Natural Highlights of Guatemala

4 nts Antigua, 3 nts Lanquin, 3 nts Sayaxche, 4 nts Tikal, Guat

This itinerary begins with a few days in Antigua enjoying this stunning colonial town with magnificent backdrop of three volcanoes. Enjoy guided walking and bike tours of the town and surrounds, before climbing Pacaya Volcano where you will get stunning views and see the lava fields.

You then begin your journey north of the country by vehicle to stay at several inland rustically comfortable properties in stunning, natural locations to visit the natural pools of Semuc Champey, the Blue Crater and Chiminos Island. Opportunities to visit the remote Aguateca mayan site built with natural defences as the site can only be reached by boat and a deep ravine.

Travel further north to Tikal National park to stay at a simple lodge within the park itself. The Tikal Mayan Ruins have been well excavated and take several hours to explore, staying within the park itself allows a visit of the ruins at sunrise. The ruins lie deep in the jungle and are home to monkeys, toucans, coatimundis and jaguars. Witnessing sunrise at Temple IV is an unforgettable experience hearing the jungle come alive with the sound of the parrots and the howler monkeys. You will also visit Yaxha ruins that have a unique setting on the edge of a lake.

Price Guide

14 nights from £5,160 per person based on double occupancy

These prices are excluding international flights. Average flight prices vary depending on time of year and can be considerably more expensive at peak times (Christmas, Easter, Summer). Flight routes vary, please contact us for accurate flight pricing for your timings and place of departure.

Day to Day

Below is an example day by day itinerary

Day 1

Met on arrival and transferred to Antigua and to Meson de Maria, a small hotel in a central location, close to the restaurants and shops and has a small roof terrace with views of the volcanoes that surround Antigua (B).

Day 2

This morning take a guided walk around the town to see the La Merced church, the cathedral and the ruins of the San Francisco monastery that was destroyed by an earthquake in 1773. After lunch at a local restaurant then take a guide bike tour and see the surrounding villages of Santiago Zamora and San Antonio Aguas Calientes, famous for their textiles and weavings. Overnight Meson de Maria (BL)

Day 3

Visit the market of Antigua with your guide who will open your eyes to the unique market culture of Guatemala. See, smell and learn about the traditional ingredients used in the Guatemalan cuisine. During the tour you will visit a Tortilleria where you can take part in an ancient tradition by making your own tortilla. In this cooking experience you will learn how to make Pepian, one of Guatemalan most emblematic dishes, the San Antonio Aguas Calientes way. This recipe is unique to the area of San Antonio, and you will learn it using Mayan cooking techniques. Overnight Meson de Maria (BL).

Day 4

Today you will have a private guided tour of the nearby Pacaya Volcano which rises to 2,552m (8,373ft) and is one of three active volcanoes in Guatemala. After a period of dormancy, it's been active since 1965, sometimes more dramatically than other times! The roughly 2 mile trail is relatively steep but well maintained and climbs steadily through farmland and pine forest before arriving on an exposed ridge offering a panoramic view of its smoking black cone, miles of old blackened lava flows and the volcanoes to the north around Antigua and Lake Atitlan. The hike continues on to the barren moonscape of the lava flows where you'll be able to roast marshmallows over hot spots for a smores a la Guatemala! You will enjoy a picnic lunch with a view of the crater from afar (National Park regulations do not allow climbing to the top of the crater). Overnight at Meson de Maria (BL).

Day 5

Begin your journey north through the centre of Guatemala to Lanquin but stopping on the way at the Ram Tzul ecolodge to hike to their waterfall, enjoy the views and then descend to the base of the falls where you can take a swim. Continue your journey to Lanquin to stay at Kopal by Guayaha hotel. Overnight Guayaha (B).

Day 6

Visit the natural spectacle of Semuc Champey a series of pools and waterfalls 500m long that are surrounded by subtropical forest. Hike to the lookout and swim in the pools. Overnight Guayaha (BL).

Day 7

Enjoy a leisurely float in an inner tube along the river whilst watching the world go by. Overnight Guayaha (B).

Day 8

Continue your journey north to the town of Sayaxche where you will take a boat through the Pucte stream and continue to the Blue Crater, a crystal clear water sanctuary where you can snorkel. The reason for the blue colour is unknown but believed to be due to the number of snails that live in the crater. After lunch continue by boat to Chiminos Island Lodge (BLD).

Day 9

Enjoy a private guided tour of Aguateca Mayan Ruins, your guide will take you by boat to these ruins that can only be reached by water, you will then walk through a steep ravine to view the ruins. Once an important mayan site these ruins have interesting temples and governmental buildings as well as several stelae. Overnight Chiminos Island Lodge (BLD).

Day 10

Day at leisure but with a boat and a private guide at your disposal. Explore the nature of the surrounding area by boat, spot herons, egrets, monkeys, toucans, parrots and more. Overnight Chiminos Island Lodge (BLD).

Day 11

Return by boat to Sayaxche where you will be met by your driver and then transferred further north past Flores and to the Tikal National Park which is located within the Maya Biosphere Reserve a conservation area of over two million hectares. You will stay at the jungle lodge which is also located in the park and is walking distance to the well excavated ruins. Overnight Jungle Lodge (B).

Day 12

An early start for your guided birdwatching amongst ancient ruins. The ruins are set amongst jungle canopy that is home to a number of bird species including the Oscellated Turkey, King Vulture, Crested Guan, Mealy Parrot, Pheasant Cuckoo and Tody Motmot. Your guide will seek out as many species as possible before stopping for breakfast. After breakfast your guide will give you a tour of the towering temples and well excavated buildings on the Tikal site. You may also see coatimundis, howler and spider monkeys, parrots and toucans as you walk around the park. After the tour you will have lunch in a restaurant onsite. Overnight Jungle Lodge (BLD).

Day 13

Another early start to make your way to Temple IV to witness sunrise in the Tikal Park. Listening to the sound of the jungle awakening, hearing howler monkeys roaring and parrots squawking is an unforgettable event. After breakfast you will return to the hotel to checkout before transferring to another nearby mayan site called Yaxha. This temple has an interesting location on the banks of a lagoon and offers beautiful views of the surroundings from the main temple. Your guide will show you plenty of pyramids, stelae and altars on view before stopping for a picnic lunch.

Day 14

Today you will visit the Owl caves which form part of a dry cave system previously used by the Mayans. Inside the two caves you will find stalactites and stalagmites. At one of the caves, you’ll see ancient paintings on the walls made by the Mayans. You will also see ceramics, petroglyphs and much more. After visiting the caves you will have lunch at a local restaurant before heading to Lake Flores to paddle on the lake, where your guide will point out wildlife and birds on the lake and you will have the opportunity to watch sunset before heading back to the hotel. Overnight Jungle Lodge (BL).

Day 15

Transfer to Flores Airport to take short flight back to Guatemala City or extend your itinerary into Belize for a few days (B).

14 nights from
£5,160 excluding flights

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Highlights Include

  • Hiking Pacaya Volcano
  • Semuc Champey Natural Pools
  • Birdwatching in Tikal National Park
  • Sunrise on Temple IV, Tikal
  • Chiminos Island Sunrise
  • Toucans, Trogons, Motmots and Parrots
  • Monkeys, coatimundis, iguanas and snakes

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