At a Glance
Click each day for more details.
Day 1: Guatemala City to Antigua - Arrival
Touch down in Guatemala City, and meet your driver, waiting to whisk you away to Antigua, located 30 minutes away in a valley surrounded by towering volcanoes. Check into the stately El Convento Hotel, and settle into the lap of luxury in one of the country's most iconic locations.
Day 2: Antigua - Wander the cobblestone streets of Antigua; explore ancient ruins and learn about the city's rich colonial history
In a city where the old stands side by side with the new, nowhere offers a better introduction to Guatemala than Antigua. Step back in time on a private walking tour of the city. Meander your way through labyrinth cobblestone streets, passing through fascinating and majestic ruins of convents and churches, and catching an authentic glimpse of modern Guatemalan culture as you uncover secrets of Antigua’s ancient past.
Day 3: Antigua - Follow the process of one of Guatemala's best coffees as it makes its way from bean to cup
Today, head to Antigua’s center to embark on a tasty adventure in the scenic hills surrounding the town. Climb aboard a Unimog to take you up a steep dirt road to Finca Filadelfia, a working coffee farm whose hilltop location affords stunning panoramic views over the valley. Visit the plant nursery, where coffee and fruit plants are carefully tended until they are ready to be planted on the farm. Discover the process used to splice together Arabica and Robusta varietals to make a tasty yet hardy plant, before heading out to the farm where you’ll have the opportunity to handpick bright red coffee cherries right off the plants! Next, head to the processing plant where the beans are sorted, dried, and roasted, and finally, finish up with a cupping session and a tasting of some of the estate’s premium roast.
Day 4: Antigua to Lake Atitlán - Visit the largest outdoor market in the Americas
After a hearty breakfast, your adventure begins with a private transfer to the colorful open-air market of Chichicastenango for a truly authentic glimpse of daily life in the Maya highlands. Every Thursday and Sunday, local vendors from all over the region make their way to Chichicastenango to hawk their wares – anything from fruit and vegetables to flowers, pottery and even livestock – and local families visit their favorite vendors to gather ingredients and goods for the week.
Spend a couple of hours perusing the market stalls, then visit the cathedral of Santo Tomás, built in 1540 atop the foundation of a pre-Hispanic temple. Finally, enjoy a delicious local lunch in the market center before you depart for Lake Atitlán, where you’ll check in to the stunning lakeside retreat of Casa Palopó, and relax as the sunset bathes the landscape in a dusky pink light.
Day 5: Lake Atitlán - Relax & rejuvenate on the shores of Lake Atitlán
Today, revel in lakeside bliss and serene volcanic views from Casa Palopó. Gone are the tuk-tuks whizzing by and the market vendors hawking their wares; instead, a gentle breeze and quiet lapping of waves. Catch some rays poolside, sip a tasty cocktail at the martini bar, or gear down into vacation mode with a delectable massage to melt all your stresses away.
Day 6: Lake Atitlán - Discover the beautiful Mayan towns of Lake Atitlán; visit artisans and indigenous weavers in their workshops, peruse galleries, and taste fair-trade chocolate and honey
Get a tantalizing taste of Maya culture on an exploration of Lake Atitlán today. Explore the colors of the villages of San Juan La Laguna and Santiago Atitlán on a private boat tour, starting with the cobblestone streets of San Pedro, and the region’s oldest church, followed by sweeping lake views at a hilltop vista. Next, visit San Juan La Laguna, a colorful artisan village with walls decorated with murals. Your guide will take you to a women’s cooperative to learn about the unique traditional textiles created here, and see hand weaving and the natural dying process up close, before leading you to a cacao cooperative to taste delicious local chocolate in its many forms.
Uncover your next stop at Santiago Atitlán for a delicious local lunch overlooking the lake, and end your day at a traditional market, where you’ll pay your respects to Maximón (also called San Simón), a Mayan deity and folk saint who wears colorful garlands and scarves before boarding a boat to take you back to the lodge.
Day 7: Lake Atitlán to Tikal - Fly north to Santa Elena
Get an early start this morning with a two-hour transfer from Lake Atitlán to Guatemala City, where you'll catch a flight north, bound for Tikal, an ancient metropolis situated deep in the heart of the Maya jungle. When you land, a driver will be waiting to transport you to La Lancha Lodge, an intimate and romantic retreat along the shores of beautiful Lake Petén Itzá.
Day 8: Tikal - Explore Tikal; walk in the footsteps of the ancients
Tikal, the City of Echoes, was the greatest metropolis in the Maya kingdom. A UNESCO World Heritage site located in Guatemala’s largest protected area, Tikal’s ruins comprise more than 3000 structures, scattered over 54 square kilometers (21 square miles).
Wander through the extensive ruins, learning about Maya life as it existed from before 1000 BC until the civilization collapsed in 1000 AD. Take a gentle amble through primary rainforest as the howler monkeys whoop and call overhead, keeping your eyes open for spider monkeys, toucans, and other species of brightly-colored tropical birds.
Day 9: Tikal - Take a boat ride on Lake Petén Itzá to visit the town of Flores
Today, explore the picturesque town of Flores, located on a tiny island in the lake’s center. Discover the peaceful, slow-paced local life, narrow cobblestone streets, and colorfully painted buildings – whose unique architecture melds Caribbean influence with traditional colonial style – on a walking tour of the town with an experienced local guide. Then, board a pontoon boat for a cruise around the lake to discover spectacular views, while you learn about the legends and myths of the ancient Maya in Petén Itzá.
Day 10: Tikal to Guatemala City - Transfer to Guatemala City
Bid farewell to the jungle, and board a plane bound for Guatemala City. Check into the luxe Real Intercontinental Guatemala City for a restful night's sleep before a busy travel day tomorrow.
Day 11: Guatemala City - Departure
Transfer to the international airport three hours before your departure home. Buen viaje!