from $ 16,778* per person
Explore Guatemala by boat, by van, by any way you can. From the cultural capital in the highlands to an isolated town on the Caribbean coast, this nine-day adventure takes you through palatial jungle ruins and down remote rivers, across highland lakes and into traditional villages. Whether it’s walking the cobblestone streets of Antigua or kayaking on Lake Atitlan, Guatemala’s magic can be in every experience and every person.
Travel Dates: From 19/10/2019 to 29/12/2019
Duration: 9 days
- Gaze over the jungle from the magnificent ruins of Tikal
Be immersed in Antigua's old-world charm
Take a boat to vibrant Santiago, a traditional village on Lake Atitlan
Breakfasts Included: 8
Lunches Included: 1
Hotel (8 nights)
Private vehicle,Plane,Shared boat
Age: min 15
Group Size: 1 - 12
Leader-led Informal Spanish Lesson
Livingston - Community visit by boat
Siete Altares - Livingston's 7 Waterfalls Walk
Flores - Leader-led orientation walk
Tikal National Park - Archaeological site (Entrance fee, Guide & Transport)
Panajachel - Leader-led orientation walk
Lake Atitlan - Santiago Village tour
Antigua - Guided City Tour
Day 1: Antigua
Welcome to Antigua! As the seat of the Spanish colonial government, Antigua was once the most important city in Central America. It was destroyed by an earthquake in 1773, but many of the colonial buildings have been restored and the architecture from its glory days can still be admired under the watchful gaze of the ever-present Pacaya Volcano. You’ll be transferred from the airport in Guatemala City; please ensure you provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel so the transfer can be organised. Things will kick off with a welcome meeting at 6 pm, after which you can join an optional group dinner or explore Antigua by night.
Day 2: Rio Dulce
Today you’ll travel in a private vehicle to Rio Dulce. The Rio Dulce (Sweet River) runs out of Lake Izabal to the Caribbean Sea through Guatemala’s small stretch of eastern coastline sandwiched between Honduras and Belize. It’s home to the Guatemalan manatee, which you may be lucky enough to see tomorrow. It’s a long journey, approximately 6.5-7 hours, and on the drive your leader will teach you some useful Spanish phrases other than ‘una cerveza, por favor’. The van will stop for an optional lunch on the way.
Day 3: Rio Dulce
Take a scenic boat trip downstream to Livingston, a laidback town at the mouth of the Rio Dulce that offers a unique glimpse into local Garifuna culture. Afterwards explore Siete Altares (Seven Altars), the hidden cascading waterfalls. A fair level of fitness and good walking shoes is required for the path, and water shoes for the falls themselves are recommended for this activity. Later, there are several optional activities to choose from, such as exploring the nearby San Felipe fort, checking out the heritage-listed Quirigua Ruins or submerging yourself in the natural hot springs. Free evening in Rio Dulce.
Day 4: Flores
Depart Rio Dulce at 9 am for Flores, a 3.5-4 hour drive by private vehicle. Arrive in time for an optional lunch by the water. Afterwards, choose to spend the afternoon either relaxing or taking part in one of the optional activities on offer. A boat tour on Lake Peten Itza or a visit to El Castillo Fort are both good options. Your leader will also take you on an orientation walk around town. The evening is free for you spend how you please; find a restaurant or grab some street food and picnic by the lake.
Day 5: Tikal Ruins / Flores
Rise and shine, the group is up (very) early today in order to witness a Tikal ruins sunrise. Towering above the jungle of the Tikal National Park, the five granite temples of Tikal are an awesome sight and one of the most magnificent Maya ruins. Hidden in the jungle growth is a maze of smaller structures just waiting to be explored. The energetic can climb to the top of the ruins for spectacular views over the canopy and you may even spot toucans, macaws and other colourful birds. You’ll have an hour-long guided tour then time to explore the site on your own before returning to Flores.
Day 6: Panajachel
Another early start today with a 5.45 am departure to Flores airport for a 7 am flight to Guatemala City (1 hour). You’ll jump in a private vehicle to Panajachel, a town in the Guatemalan highlands on the shore of Lake Atitlan, and your leader will take you on an orientation walk before checking in to the hotel. There’s an optional lunch and the afternoon is free for you to explore the town’s thriving market, take a walk around the lake or perhaps you’d rather hire a kayak for a different view.
Day 7: Lake Atitlan / Panajachel
There are numerous villages scattered around Lake Atitlan and today you’ll jump in a shared boat and visit Santiago, the largest of them. Santiago remains very traditional with many villagers continuing to live a Tz’utujil lifestyle, and your leader will take you on a walking tour of the community. Lunch is included at Casa del Mundo, a spectacular hotel overlooking the lake, after which there’s free time walk around the village and markets on foot or rent a bike to explore further.
Day 8: Antigua
Antigua is calling and we’re listening. Take a private vehicle (3 hours) back to where it all started and take a city tour (2 hours) with a local guide. Antigua remains the cultural centre of Guatemala with its cobbled streets, markets and colonial buildings, not to mention the indigenous marimba music drifting from the many bars and restaurants. The afternoon is yours to enjoy – perhaps you’ll take a chocolate-making workshop, or visit a coffee and macadamia plantation, or even hike the mighty Pacaya Volcano outside town. Don’t forget to organise a farewell dinner tonight with your group!
Day 9: Antigua
Today is your final day and there are no activities planned. You’re free to depart after breakfast, but there’s plenty to do in Antigua if you’d like to stay on, and a whole lot more to see in Central America if you’re interested in jumping on another trip.
Terms and conditions
- The following product terms and conditions apply in addition to our Booking Terms and Conditions (available on our website) and terms and conditions of the relevant travel service provider.
- Prices quoted valid for sale until 20 October 2019 for travel during the period specified (if applicable) unless otherwise stated or sold out prior.
- All prices are per person (unless otherwise stated), subject to availability and may be withdrawn or varied without notice. Accommodation (if included) is based on twin share unless otherwise stated.
- Advertised price includes bonus nights and/or stated saving (if applicable).
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- Airfare (including internal flights) is not included unless otherwise stated and, if included, is economy class unless otherwise stated.
- Components of the total price including local payments, "resort fees", "national park fees", "trip kitties" and food funds (if applicable) may be payable direct to the supplier on arrival or to your travel consultant prior to your departure. Where applicable, these payments are included in the total price quoted.
- Gratuities are not included unless otherwise stated.
- Prices shown are fully inclusive of taxes, levies and government charges current at the time of publication.
- Additional levies, government charges & other applicable fees, including additional taxes, surcharges and visa fees specific to your departure date or flight routing, may apply and are beyond our control.
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- Prices shown are for payments made by cash in store or by BPAY.
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- These prices are a guide to the best price and are subject to change without notice, due to matters outside our control, such as adverse currency fluctuations, fuel surcharges, taxes and airfare increases. Please enquire for further details..
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