This short 8-day Guatemala holiday allows you to experience Guatemala’s fantastic depth and diversity in just 8 days, led by our local Mayan guides. But this is no whistle stop tour - dig a little deeper with us and you will hear the stories of Antigua’s museums and churches; experience the ancient market of Chichicastenango, with its riot of colours and importance for local indigenous communities; and learn about the textiles, spiritualism and beliefs of the Tz'utujil Maya people that live alongside Lake Atitlan. That’s not all though, as you head north to the Peten region to discover the mysteries of the ancient Mayan world and zipline through the pristine jungle!
This is a suggested itinerary. Dates, stops & activities are all flexible.
8 Days: Antigua – Chichicastenango – Lake Atitlan – Yaxha – Tikal – Ixpanpajul
Activities: colonial city, coffee tour, indigenous market, boat trips, local culture, birding, Mayan ruins, hanging bridges, ziplining
Day 1: You will be met on arrival into La Aurora Airport by your guide, who will drive with you into Antigua Guatemala to check in at your hotel.
Day 2: After breakfast explore the ruins and museums of the colonial city that, together with its atmospheric cobbled streets and monasteries, will immerse you straight away in the stories and legends of those times. In the afternoon, head to La Azotea farm where you can see the famously delicious Guatemalan coffee plants in their different stages of growth. Here you will also find a coffee museum and museum of Mayan music that includes a fascinating collection of Mayan musical instruments, artifacts, costumes and naif paintings. (B)
Day 3: Chichicastenango is home to one of the most important indigenous markets in Latin America - a real feast for the senses, full of colour, sounds and smells, where every Thursday and Sunday the Kʼicheʼ Maya people celebrate their ancient culture. The market has a significance beyond mere commerce as a meeting place for Mayan peoples, while Christian and Mayan devotees at Santo Tomas church fill the air with a mixture of flower scents and incense that turns the experience into a magical moment. Afterwards continue to the iconic and beautiful Lake Atitlan. (B)
Day 4: An incredibly scenic boat ride takes you to the village of San Juan La Laguna, where you will experience the different ways this community keep their traditions alive. Visit a women’s textile cooperative to see hand-weaving and natural dyeing processes, the studio homes of celebrated naïf painters and the shrine of the Mayan God Maximon, where you will learn about the beliefs of the Tz'utujil Maya. The day finishes with a boat trip back across the lake and a drive back to Antigua. (B)
Day 5: Today you leave the modern world behind as you fly north to the land of the Ancient Mayans. First up is the little-visited Yaxha National Park, where you will walk along ancient Maya causeways (Sac be, in Maya Language) under a dense rainforest canopy that is home to fantastic flora and fauna including lots of monkeys. The views from atop the highest temples looking over the dense forest canopy are nothing short of spectacular. (B)
Day 6: Experience the wonders of Tikal, a magical archaeological site inside the Mayan biosphere which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Destination in 1979. Here you will find a place where nature and archaeology live side by side, with abundant wildlife and forest surrounding every corner of Tikal and its temples, silent witnesses of the birth, splendor and collapse of one of the most important civilisations on the planet. (B)
Day 7: Ixpanpajul, located about 15km from Flores Island, is a reserve with a splendid protected forest and shelter for tropical flora and fauna. Here you have two great ways to experience the reserve: walking across spectacular suspension bridges and along twisting paths, full of exuberant vegetation and surrounded by nature, or a canopy tour that takes you flying through the forest in a fun and safe way. 9 daring ziplines that cross between the highest trees will make this an unforgettable adventure. After the tour drive back to Flores' Mundo Maya Airport and catch a flight to Guatemala City for your last night. (B)
Day 8: It's time to say goodbye to this magical country as you are transferred to the international airport in time for your flight home. (B)
Prices from: £995 per person
Services included: hotels on shared room basis, meals, transfers and activities as mentioned, internal flight, entry fees, English speaking guide, 24 hour assistance.
Services not included: international flights, drinks, tips and personal expenses.
Note: stops can be extended, added or cut - just ask us!