The best and essentials of Guatemala! Welcome to one of the most diverse countries in Central America. This 15 day journey will allow you to immerse yourself in the living culture and traditions of majestic Lake Atitlán and Chichicastenango, the volcano views of Antigua Guatemala, experience the hustle & bustle of Guatemala City and explore the natural wonders and Maya temples of the Maya Biosphere Reserve.
One of our local experts in Guatemala will make this the perfect trip for you!
Speaks: English, Spanish and Other Local Language
Welcome to Guatemala, one of the most diverse countries in Central America! Once you land at the Guatemala City Airport one of our representatives will greet you and provide all the necessary information and recommendations to make the most of your travels. A private transfer will take you to your hotel in Antigua Guatemala (1.5 hrs approx). Free evening to relax after your flight and to explore the town. Optional Activities: 3 course private welcome dinner. Accommodation: Casa Encantada (4 star boutique hotel)__, __Casa del Parque (3 star hotel) Hotel San Jorge (2 star hotel)
Food is a great way to get to know a place when you travel, Culinary heritage in Guatemala comes from two streams: Maya and Hispano-Arabe. Antigua is one of the main historical capitals where this fusion of ingredients, techniques and culinary customs that originated our current traditional food took place. You will be walking the colorful cobblestone streets and will visit hidden restaurants, shops and street stalls with the best authentic Guatemalan appetizers and dishes. Try tamales, atole, ingredients, fruits, stews, desserts and much more! You will live an experience full of flavors, sensations and 100% Guatemalan culture. Enjoy a leisurely afternoon or choose an optional activity. Included activities: Guided foodie experience in the streets of Antigua, tasting of 13 to 15 local delights. Optional afternoon activities: Coffee experience in San Miguel Escobar or Cacao bean to bar chocolate experience in Antigua. Accommodation: Casa Encantada (4 star boutique hotel)__, __Casa del Parque (3 star hotel) Hotel San Jorge (2 star hotel)
Spend your day exploring the colonial streets of Antigua at your own pace or if you're feeling adventurous choose one of the optional activities in the area. Optional activities: Pacaya volcano trek or panoramic trek in San Cristobal el Alto. Accommodation: Casa Encantada (4 star boutique hotel)__, __Casa del Parque (3 star hotel) Hotel San Jorge (2 star hotel)
Wake up to a delicious traditional Guatemalan breakfast and head to the village of San Antonio Aguas Calientes, on the outskirts of Antigua. You will be spending the day with a women artisan association sharing their textile traditions and enjoying a cooking class together. In the afternoon, you will be sharing with a local family a very unique and special homestay experience.The family will share their traditions and culture with you as they welcome you into their home. Included activity: Textile demonstrations, worry doll making with artisans & local cooking class in San Antonio Aguas Calientes. Accommodation: Homestay experience
Say goodbye to Antigua, enjoy an early breakfast before your private transfer picks you up to take you through the highlands to beautiful Lake Atitlán. On route you will stop at Iximché Cultural Monument (approx. 1.5 hrs from Antigua), capital of the Kaqchiqueles and one of the first Maya cities to be conquered by the Spaniards in the highlands. You will have the opportunity to take a guided visit and explore the many structures of this sacred site. If possible you might even observe a Maya ceremony happening around. Enjoy lunch en route and continue your transfer to majestic Lake Atitlán (approx. 1.5 hours). Once you arrive at the town of Panajachel, you will check in to your hotel and spend the afternoon in the beautiful gardens of your hotel, while enjoying unique volcano views. Free evening to relax and eat dinner. Included activity: Guided visit of Iximché Cultural Monument. Accommodation: Hotel Atitlán (5 star hotel), Hotel Jardines del Lago (3 star hotel) or Hotel Kaqchiquel (2 star hotel).
Your local guide will pick you up at your hotel where you will a private boat transfer (approx. 30 mins) to San Juan la Laguna. Surrounded by primitive art, beautiful textiles and majestic views, San Juan will give you a warm welcome and the opportunity to interact and learn the way of life and customs of its T’zutujil villagers. You will take a guided visit to local cooperatives and associations to learn the process of natural dyeing and textiles, the use of medicinal plants, cacao production and the background and evolution of naif art. After the tour feel free to explore the town on your own before heading back to your hotel. Free evening. Included activity: Guided boat trip and visit to San Juan la Laguna, includes lunch and artisan demonstrations. Optional activity: Medicinal plants workshop with healers or art class with naif artists. Accommodation: Hotel Atitlán (5 star hotel), Hotel Jardines del Lago (3 star hotel) or Hotel Kaqchiquel (2 star hotel).
Enjoy a relaxing day, go on a kayak adventure on your own, walk the street markets of Panajachel or choose an optional activity in the area. Optional activities: Zip lining and butterfly dome in Lake Atitlán Nature Reserve or guided visit in the alleys and terraces of Santa Catarina and San Antonio Palopó. Accommodation: Hotel Atitlán (5 star hotel), Hotel Jardines del Lago (3 star hotel) or Hotel Kaqchiquel (2 star hotel).
After an early breakfast, you will take a transfer to the k'iche village of Chichicastenango (1.5 hours approx) to enjoy market day. Market days are Thursdays and Sundays and are bustling with artisans, farmers and travelers. Chichi market is the heart of Guatemalan trade and offers all sorts of crafts, textiles, local produce and living tradition. Enjoy a guided visit to the colorful cemetery and Santo Tomás Church; in these sacred venues it's still possible to observe rituals that will allow you to appreciate the Maya syncretism once again. Enjoy the traditional market day lunch and a performance of "La Danza de los Moros". In the afternoon you will make your way to Guatemala City (2 hours approx.), so you can prepare for an early morning flight to Flores the next day. Included activity: Guided visit in Chichicastenango, market day traditional lunch and dance. Optional activity: Traditional mask painting class. Accommodation: La Inmaculada Boutique Hotel (3 star hotel) or In & Out Bed & Breakfast (2 star hotel)
Get ready to experience the hustle & bustle of Guatemala City! Your guide will meet you at your hotel and you will head out to explore the city center. Move like a local and take the city's metro bus to the "centro histórico". Visit the central market and square, walk the colorful "6ta avenida" and the newly renovated urban neighborhood of "4 grados norte" while learning all about Guatemala's contemporary history and highlights. In the afternoon you will take a flight to the Maya Biosphere Reserve in northern Guatemala (approx. 45 mins). A private transfer will be waiting for you to take you to your hotel inside Tikal National Park (approx. 1 hr). Included morning activity: Guided urban tour of Guatemala City Center. Accommodation: Jungle Lodge Tikal (3 star jungle lodge) or Jaguar Inn (2 star jungle lodge and camping).
Uaxactún is the perfect place to understand how the equinoxes, solstices and agriculture all came to be of most importance for the ancient Maya. You will be welcomed by the local community development association and will learn all about the community’s efforts for sustainable development through the collection of Xate, a world class foliage endemic to the region and biggest economic activity of the village. You will also come close to the story and background of the “Chicleros” (chewing gum collectors) of the area and will venture to explore the history and amazing architecture of this small pre-classic site that harbours an astronomical observatory unique to this region of Guatemala. From there you will enjoy the sunset before returning to your hotel next to Tikal. Included activity: Guided visit of Uaxactún community and archaeological site, includes lunch. Accommodation: Jungle Lodge Tikal (3 star jungle lodge) or Jaguar Inn (2 star jungle lodge and camping).
Prepare for an excursion to explore the amazing Maya city of Tikal, recognized for both its cultural and natural significance as well as for being a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will explore the vast jungle trails and climb some of the most emblematic temples in the heart of the lush Guatemalan jungle. Appreciate millenary architecture and be immersed by the sounds of howler monkeys and Tikal´s history. After you finish the tour, you will head to El Remate to enjoy your evening (approx. 35 mins). Included activity: Guided visit of Tikal National Park. Optional activity: Sunrise visit of Tikal before park hours. Accommodation: El Gringo Perdido (3 star jungle lodge) or La Casa de Don David (2 star jungle lodge).
Begin your day with a transfer to the village of Sayaxché (approx. 2 hours ) where you will take a boat through the uncharted La Pasión River (approx. 35 kms and 30 mins) all the way to the Pucté creek where the colors of the water start to change. You will arrive at the "Crater Azul" a surreal subaquatic garden and pristine fresh blue water pools where you will spend your day swimming surrounded by nature. In the afternoon you will head back to your hotel to enjoy your evening. Included activity: Visit to Crater Azul. Accommodation: El Gringo Perdido (3 star jungle lodge) or La Casa de Don David (2 star jungle lodge).
Spend the day relaxing and paddle boarding in the warm waters of Lake Petén Itzá or choose an optional activity. Optional activities: Guided visit of Yaxhá and Nakum archaeological sites or visit to the caves of Actún Kan. Accommodation: El Gringo Perdido (3 star jungle lodge) or La Casa de Don David (2 star jungle lodge).
We couldn't think of a better way to finish your trip other than with a relaxing morning in a beautiful place. Enjoy lunch and in the afternoon you will make your way to Mundo Maya Airport so you can catch a short evening flight (approx. 1 hr) to Guatemala City. Enjoy your last night in the city center. Optional evening activity: 3 course Guatemalan fusion farewell dinner. Accommodation: La Inmaculada Boutique Hotel (3 star hotel) or In & Out Bed & Breakfast (2 star hotel)
Indulge in one last cup of exceptional coffee and say goodbye to beautiful Guatemala before you transfer to the airport for your departure flight. We hope you had an amazing trip and come back to visit again soon! END OF SERVICES.
Accommodation Lodging each night is included in your choice of hotels. Recommendations are included in the day-by-day itinerary.
Tours and activities Unique experiences available daily. See the day-by-day itinerary for recommended tours and additional options available.
Local guides English speaking local & specialized guides during activities.
Airport transfers Shuttles and taxis arranged to get you to/from the airport.
Ground transportation Private/shared shuttles will take you between destinations.
Entrance fees Entrance fees to sites of interest, museums and national parks.
Food Included meals are noted in the itinerary: BB=Boxed Breakfast, B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, BL= Boxed Lunch, D= Dinner
Boat transfers Taxi boats within Lake Atitlán villages.
24/7 assistance In country assistance during the whole trip
Domestic Flight Guatemala City-Flores and Flores-Guatemala City
In order to cancel a package for which you have made a booking, please email us stating your order reference and “Cancellation” in the title of the email. You may telephone us to discuss your desire to cancel the package but cancellation will only be effective when we have received from the person who purchased the package a written confirmation of his or her decision to cancel the package. An email to us stating that you desire to cancel a package is an irrevocable notice and you cannot subsequently change your mind even if we have not yet acknowledged the cancellation in writing. If you cancel your tour: We will apply the airline’s cancellation policy to any flights in your package and reimburse your ground arrangements in accordance with the penalty timeline. For cancellation of ground-only arrangements: (a) 90 days or more prior to the stated departure date, we will retain an administrative fee of $100 per traveler and reimburse the remaining amount; (b) Between 30 and 89 days prior to the stated departure date, we will retain 50% of the total booking cost and reimburse the remaining amount; (c) Less than 30 days prior to departure, we will retain 100% of the price paid by you for the package. If you leave a trip for any reason after it has started, we are not obliged to make any refunds for unused services. We may cancel a package at any time prior to departure by giving you notice by email, letter or (if very close to departure) by telephoning you, if, due to terrorism, natural disasters, political instability or other external events it is not viable or safe for our local partner to operate the planned itinerary. If we cancel a package prior to departure, in your sole and absolute discretion you may choose between (i) us applying the amounts paid towards an alternative trip, or (ii) receiving a full refund. We are not responsible for any incidental expenses that you may have incurred as a result of your booking such as visas, vaccinations or non-refundable flights. AMENDMENTS TO BOOKED PACKAGES If you wish to change the date of one trip there is a fee of (a) $100 per traveler if done at least 90 days prior to the scheduled date of departure, subject to availability; and (b) $300 per traveler if done between 30 and 89 days prior to the scheduled date of departure, subject to availability. If you wish to change the name of one or several travelers of the trip, there is a fee of $100 per passenger if done at least 90 days prior to the scheduled date of departure. No name changes are permitted within 89 days prior to the scheduled date of departure. No amendments are permitted to your booking within 29 days of departure.
Locally Owned Social Enterprise
Etnica is a travel company that specializes in creating personalized, culturally immersive adventures in Guatemala. They work directly with local associations, cooperatives, independent artisans, fishermen, farmers, and families to provide travelers with unique experiences that also empower the local community. If you're looking to plan a trip to Guatemala, Etnica offers a variety of experiences to choose from, including hiking through the lush forests and volcanoes of the Guatemalan highlands, exploring the vibrant markets and colorful streets of local villages, and trying traditional Mayan cuisine. They are also happy to work with you to create a custom itinerary that meets your needs and interests. Booking with Etnica means that you're not just having a vacation – you're also supporting the people and places you'll be visiting. And because they work directly with the locals, you'll be able to have authentic, once-in-a-lifetime experiences that you won't find with other travel companies. Don't miss out on the opportunity to have an unforgettable adventure in Guatemala. Check out what Etnica has to offer and start planning your next trip today. And if you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out – their team is always happy to help. So, why wait? Book one of the existing experiences shown on the page or create your own – the choice is yours!