Tikal from the treetops Guatemala

Complete Guatemala

12 days from £2,815pp (excl. international flights)

Antigua  – Lake Atitlan  – Coban  – Tikal

Delve into the Mayan world

Journey through Guatemala, a land brimming with cultural treasures and natural wonders.

Begin your adventure in the charming colonial town of Antigua, where cobbled streets lead to pretty churches and vibrant markets. Delve into the rich history of this UNESCO World Heritage site before journeying to Chichicastenango, home to one of the most colourful markets in the Americas. Here, immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and aromas of indigenous culture, as vendors from across Guatemala converge to showcase their wares.

Next, venture to the breathtaking shores of Lake Atitlan, where towering volcanoes frame serene waters dotted with traditional Mayan villages. Explore the quaint streets of lakeside towns like San Juan la Laguna, known for its vibrant textile cooperatives and art galleries.

Continuing your odyssey, journey to the lush landscapes of Coban, a gateway to Guatemala's verdant highlands and Semuc Champey, a series of descending pools and small waterfalls.

Explore the ancient ceremonial centre of Yaxha at sunset, where towering pyramids and intricate stone carvings offer a glimpse into the Mayan civilization's grandeur. Conclude your journey in Tikal National Park, where towering temples rise above the dense jungle canopy, echoing with the whispers of ancient civilisations. Explore the ruins, marvel at the intricate architecture, and immerse yourself in the mysteries of this UNESCO World Heritage site, a testament to Guatemala's rich cultural heritage and natural beauty.

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Amanda

Latin America Specialist
01768 603 715

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The itinerary…

Day 1: Guatemala City – Antigua

Antigua View

Antigua

Upon arrival in Guatemala City, transfer to the charming colonial gem of Antigua. Renowned as one of the best-preserved colonial cities in the Americas, Antigua exudes an irresistible aura that transports visitors to a bygone era. Its colonial architecture and picturesque surroundings evoke a sense of timeless beauty. Wander the cobblestone streets for a glimpse into its rich history and culture and retreat to the boutique El Meson de Maria hotel for a comfortable three-night stay amidst Antigua's historic ambiance.

Day 2: Antigua Walking tour

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Exploring Antigua

With your local guide, enjoy a walking tour of Antigua, exploring its magnificent colonial landmarks and discovering its significance as the former Spanish regional hub. Start at the central plaza, where your guide will provide insights into colonisation, Guatemala's history, and modern-day issues. Admire iconic structures like Palacio de Capitanes, City Hall, and El Portal, then delve into the Cathedral, Cathedral ruins, and San Francisco church for a comprehensive exploration of Antigua's rich heritage.

Day 3: Pacaya Volcano Hike

Pacaya view

Trekking at Pacaya Volcano

Pacaya Volcano, just outside Guatemala City, stands at 2,552m and is has been one of Guatemala's active peaks since 1965. An hour's drive from Antigua leads to Pacaya National Park, where the 2-mile trail, beginning in San Francisco de Sales village, offers panoramic views of the smoking cone, lava flows, and surrounding volcanoes. Experience the unique opportunity to roast marshmallows over volcanic hotspots before enjoying a picnic lunch with a distant view of the crater.

Day 4: Chichicastenango Market & Lake Atitlan

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Chichicastenango Market

En-route to scenic Lake Atitlan, delve into the vibrant atmosphere of Chichicastenango market, renowned as one of the most colourful in the Americas. Held on Sundays and Thursdays, it attracts vendors from various Guatemalan linguistic groups, such as Mam, Ixil, Kaqchikel and others, offering a diverse cultural experience. Upon arrival at Lake Atitlan, your guide will showcase the significance of the iconic church, steeped in indigenous and Mayan history, and perhaps lead you to witness special ceremonies intertwining various religions. Spend 3 nights at Villa Santa Catarina, a colonial gem,on the edge of the lake.

Day 5: San Juan & Santiago village tour

Textile Workshop San Juan

Textile Workshop

With your guide, take a private boat excursion to San Juan la Laguna and Santiago Atitlan, two distinct towns nestled around Lake Atitlan. Santiago houses Maximon, a revered pagan saint who rotates residences annually, indulging in tobacco and moonshine. Meanwhile, San Juan la Laguna offers a serene atmosphere, with textile cooperatives and art galleries, making it a quieter, less frequented destination on the lake.

Day 6: Lake Atitlan Kayak trip

Kayak Lake Atitlan

Kayaking at Lake Atitlan

Meet your guide for a boat transfer to the kayak launch point for a serene kayak paddle journey along picturesque peninsulas, marvelling at the shoreline's lush gardens. Spectacular vistas unfold, showcasing three majestic volcanoes: Atitlan, San Pedro, and Toliman, completing an unforgettable adventure on the water.

Day 7: Lake Atitlan - Coban

Cosy rooms at La Posada

Cosy rooms at La Posada Coban

Morning transfer to Coban which is approximately a 6.5-hour journey. Nestled amidst evergreen forests and coffee-laden mountains, Coban serves as an ideal base for exploring nearby natural wonders. Renowned for its gourmet coffee production, Coban also cultivates cardamom and allspice for global markets. Spend 2 nights at the small, charming La Posada Coban located in a 16th century house.

Day 8: Semuc Champey

Semuc Champey 3

Semuc Champey

Experience the breathtaking Semuc Champey lookout and indulge in a swim in its enchanting pools. This natural marvel boasts a 500-metre-long land bridge, creating a cascade of descending pools and gentle waterfalls. Fed by Rio Cahabon runoff, the pools offer a refreshing retreat, surrounded by lush sub-tropical forest teeming with diverse vegetation. Discover the tranquillity of this idyllic setting, where nature's beauty unfolds in a mesmerising display of cascading water and verdant landscapes.

Day 9: Coban – Flores

Villa Maya sitting

View from Villa Maya

Following breakfast, transfer to Flores, which is approximately a 6-hour journey. Situated on Peten Itza lake, Flores Island offers a picturesque setting just 45 minutes from the Tikal Archaeological Site. Explore charming restaurants, craft shops, and quaint cafes, making it a delightful destination for exploration. Stay the next 2-nights at Villa Maya, an eco-lodge overlooking the lake.

Day 10: Yaxha Sunset tour

Yaxha Sunset8

Yaxha sunset

With your guide, transfer to the Yaxha archaeological site, a revered ancient ceremonial centre nestled in the northeast of Peten. Offering a blend of archaeology, stunning landscapes, and ecological wonders, Yaxha boasts over 500 structures, including 40 steles, 13 altars, and 9 pyramids. Explore the site's layout and main temples, culminating in a mesmerising sunset vista atop the pyramid, a perfect conclusion to your day of discovery.

Day 11: Tikal

Tikal Takeoff001

Tikal

Following breakfast, meet your guide and transfer to Tikal National Park. Explore the temples, delve into Mayan history and architecture, and ponder theories surrounding their disappearance. In the jungle encounter monkeys, parrots, macaws, and toucans amidst the ruins. Conclude the tour with a jungle lunch at a nearby restaurant, after a wonderful morning of rich natural and historical wonders at majestic Tikal.

Day 12: Flores – Guatemala City

Tikal Tree Top View min

Views over Tikal

Transfer to Flores airport for the short flight to Guatemala City and onward connections or continue you exploration of the Mayan world in Belize.


Duration: 11 nights

Location: Guatemala Holidays, South and Central America Holidays

Price: £2815pp

From £2,815 per person, excluding international flights.

Note - Chichiastenango Market on day 4 is only open on Thursdays and Sundays

The trip includes all accommodations and activities specified above. Rooms and meals are as below:

  • 3 nights at El Meson de Maria - deluxe, breakfast included
  • 3 nights at Villa Santa Catarina - standard, breakfast included
  • 2 nights at La Posada Coban - standard, breakfast included
  • 3 nights at Villa Maya - standard, breakfast included

Also includes

  • All transfers.
  • Private guides and entrance fees for tours.
  • Domestic flight, Flores - Guatemala City

This trip excludes:

  • Single Supplements.
  • International flights to/from Guatemala City
  • Meals not mentioned as included.
  • Entrance fees and activities not mentioned as includ
Tailor-made holidays.
Make this trip your own.

Tailor this trip around your preferred dates, your budget and your ideas.

Start planning

or call

01768 603 715

When to go to Guatemala and Honduras

Month-by-month guide of when to visit Guatemala and Honduras

  • Best
  • Good
  • Mixed
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec

January

This month offers warm sunny days and cooler evenings, making it perfect for exploring the highland regions of Guatemala around Antigua and Lake Atitlan.

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February

Similar to January, February offers excellent weather for volcano hiking and exploring Mayan ruins at Tikal and Copan.

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March

The dry season continues with March an ideal month destinations throughout the region. Temperatures are comforable with low humidity in jungle regions.

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April

Depending on the date of Easter, April can be a particularly busy month with the traditional 'Semana Santa' festivals in Antigua.

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May

May marks the start of the rainy season, with higher humidity however it's still possible to enjoy the country's natural beauty with less tourists throughout the country.

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June

The rainfall increases in June, so travellers can take advantage of lower prices and fewer tourists while exploring attractions like Antigua and Tikal.

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July

Despite rain showers, July offers opportunities for exploration is the lush jungle environment. Showers tend to be of a short duration.

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August

The rains become more intense in August, and while travel is possible, some roads may be prone to flooding so journeys are longer.

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September

A rainy month which tends to offer dry mornings with rain in the afternoons, typically for a couple of hours. Accommodation rates are lower, reflecting the wet conditions.

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October

Very similar to September, although the rains will be tapering off towards the end of the month. Patience for travelling around the country is needed if roads are affected.

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November

As the dry season approaches, November is a good month for visiting the region with all the country's highlights accessible.

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December

Weather wise the holiday month of December is very similar to November with the rains tapering off. Enjoy the Christmas festivities in cities like Antigua or Copan in Honduras.

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Speak to a Guatemala and Honduras expert today.

A tailor-made Guatemala and Honduras holiday just for you.

  • Amanda

    Amanda

    Latin America Specialist

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01768 603 715

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