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The mesmerizing Tikal temple Unesco site, Guatemala

Captivating Guatemala Tour

Prepare to be overwhelmed by towering temples, colonial beauty, dazzling colours and fascinating cultures. Guatemala has so much on offer to captivate travellers and this 15-day tour has been designed to bring together all the elements that make Guatemala such a magical holiday destination. Our Captivating Guatemala Tour offers the perfect combination of stunning scenery, traditional villages, fascinating Mayan archaeological sites and vibrant current day cultures. It takes travellers on a journey of discovery to three corners of the country and provides an exciting, authentic and varied introduction to this captivating country.

  • Gain an understanding into the rich and fascinating Mayan ancestral beliefs, and the cultural traditions that still continue to thrive to this day
  • Delight in the magnificent colonial grandeur and beauty of Antigua, Guatemala’s former capital and now a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Hike up the Pacaya Volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in the country, and enjoy the far-reaching views from the top
  • Discover the stunning natural beauty of volcano-ringed Lago de Atitlán, whose shores are home to many traditional villages, and whose crystal clear waters are perfect for a dip
  • Learn about traditional Mayan arts and handicrafts, and visit a ceramics cooperative
  • Visit an organic coffee cooperative to learn about coffee from bean to cup
  • Bath in beautiful turquoise waters at Semuc Champey, the home of natural limestone pools
  • Explore the ancient Mayan kingdom of Tikal, and be overwhelmed by its vast and towering pyramids, palaces and temples located deep in the heart of lush jungle
  • Enjoy an unforgettable boat-ride along the jungle fringed Rio Dulce
  • Relax on pristine Caribbean beaches near the town of Livingston, home to a completely different side of Guatemalan culture
  • Visit the fascinating archaeological sites of Q’umarkaj and Quiriguá to learn more about the Maya civilisations

This is a private tour and you will be accompanied by an English-speaking local guide and driver throughout. All activities and excursions are private (only for you). The price displayed is per person based on two people sharing. All tours can be tailor-made to suit your interests and requirements.

This tour combines Guatemala’s many cultural and natural highlights, allowing you to discover the stunning scenery of the Western Highlands, Antigua’s beautiful colonial architecture, fascinating ancestral and current day Mayan culture and impressive archaeological sites. Along the way you’ll visit many small traditional villages, savour local flavours at family-run restaurants and learn about the Guatemalan way of life. The tour starts in the colonial gem of Antigua, former capital of Guatemala, and now a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Antigua boasts some of Latin America’s most beautiful and well-preserved colonial relics as well as a truly stunning location, being set between three volcanoes. A visit to the Guatemala wouldn’t be complete without an up close and personal encounter with a volcano - so next stop is the crater of Pacaya - one of the most active volcanoes in the country! The highlands of Guatemala are home to some of the country’s most beautiful sceneries, and it is here that indigenous culture is at its strongest. The next three days of the tour are spent exploring the surroundings of stunning Lago de Atitlán, and the many traditional villages that dot its shorelines. Here you’ll be able to learn about ancestral beliefs and ancient knowledge, and gain an understanding of current day Mayan culture. You’ll also discover local art, its influences and learn about traditional handicrafts. Guatemala produces some of the world’s best coffee, and you’ll have the opportunity to try some during a visit to an organic coffee cooperative. The crystal clear waters of the lake, with views of volcanoes in the background, provide the perfect setting for for some swimming and relaxing. After enjoying the beauty of the Western highlands and Lago de Atitlán, you’ll start your journey towards the north, and the heart of the ancient Mayan Kingdom of Tikal. Along the way we’ll stop at Semuc Champey, famed for its 300-metre long limestone bridge on top of which are a series of turquoise pools, perfect for bathing. Next stop are the Candelaria Caves, significant for both their peculiar karst phenomena and their importance in Mayan culture, some believing them to be the entrance to the underworld. Tikal is one of the few places in the world to be recognised by UNESCO for both its natural and cultural significance, and this is the next stop on the journey. Here you will be able to explore the ancient Mayan kingdom and be overwhelmed by its vast and towering pyramids, palaces and temples, located deep in the heart of lush jungle. The last part of our tour takes us to Guatemala’s short but fascinating Caribbean coast. From Rio Dulce, you’ll take an unforgettable boat ride through beautiful jungle scenery, to reach the ocean. You’ll have the opportunity to relax on a chilled white sandy beach at Playa Blanca, and swim in warm Caribbean waters. After a short boat ride, you’ll arrive at the town of Livingston to discover a completely different side of Guatemala. The town is the main Garifuna enclave of the country, and is quite unlike anywhere else, having developed a very distinct culture incorporating African, indigenous and European elements. On your way back to Antigua, you’ll stop off at another UNESCO World Heritage Site, Quirigua. The Quirigua Archaeological site is one of the major testimonies to the Mayan civilisation and contains some outstanding 8th-century monuments. After a visit to the site we’ll continue our journey back to Antigua for one last night before your flight home the following day – or perhaps your next Central American destination!

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  • Trip duration: 15 days
  • Countries visited: Guatemala
  • Comfort level: Medium: Accommodation in B&Bs or 2-star family-run hotels (always in a private room).
    Note: this is a guideline; please refer to the tour detailed description for what is and is not included.
  • Level of difficulty: Low
  • Accommodation: 2 nights in a hotel in Antigua, 2 nights in a hotel in Panajachel, 1 night in a family B&B in San Juan La Laguna, 1 night in a ecolodge in Santiago Atitlán, 1 night in a hotel in Santa Cruz del Quiché, 1 night in a hotel in Cobán, 1 night in ecocabins at a hostel near Semuc Champey, 1 night in a lodge near Candelaria Caves, 1 night in a lodge in Tikal, 1 night in ecocabins in Rio Dulce & 1 night in a hotel in Livingston, 1 night in a hotel in Guatemala City
  • Transport: Private car, coach and boat
  • Meals included: 14 breakfasts, 1 lunch
  • Percentage of cost going to local communities:
    25%
  • Bilingual guide: Available in English or Spanish
  • Extra services: -
  • Additional information: You will be greeted at the airport on arrival by a local guide who will take you to your hotel and will be able to answer any questions, make any additional arrangements and generally ensure everything goes smoothly. No minimum number of passengers required. Prices quoted are per person and based on at least 2 people travelling. You should expect a cheaper price for a bigger group. Your passport is required at time of booking. For information on visa requirements, immunisations and health formalities please visit the FCO Travel Advice Website (for UK citizens) and US Travel Advice website (for US citizens). Information on money changing in each destination, as well as what it is customary to tip for various services, will be provided. This tour of Guatemala has a low level of physical difficulty but participants can choose to do as much or as little as they like. What to bring: Travel insurance, passport, binoculars, alarm clock, walking shoes, water bottle, daypack, sun protection, insect repellent, sun glasses and hat, swimwear, flip-flops, torch with extra batteries, comfortable light cotton shirts with long and short sleeves, comfortable trousers made of cotton or a light synthetic material (bring at least two sets of light clothes which can be washed and dried easily), shorts, rain coat, dry bag /ziplock bags for valuables, and waterproof cover for your luggage in case of rain.
  • Best time to travel: The country has two seasons, the rainy season (May to November) and dry season (November to May).
  • Extra budget recommended: Around £250 / $300 pp to cover all meals, snacks & expenses not included in the in the tour.
  • What is included: Welcome reception at the airport. Transfers (private car). Overland transport. Accommodation. Entrance fees to sites of interest, museums and national parks mentioned in the itinerary. Guided activities and excursions with English speaking guides (all private). Meals as stated in the itinerary (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner). Contributions to the social projects visited. Donation to help in preserving the Amazon rainforest through agro-forestry and education.
  • What is not included: Flights from your country of origin. Optional activities (if any). Travel insurance. Alcoholic drinks. Additional meals or snacks. Travel within and around each town. Visa fees (if any). Tips. Souvenirs.
To start creating your ideal, tailor-made tour to Guatemala, please complete and send this form. Our Guatemala partner will be in touch shortly: [contact-form-7 id="4220" title="Guatemala Form - Viva Atitlan"]

Captivating Guatemala Tour

£ 2,280 GBP

Guatemala has something to offer everyone: fascinating and distinct local cultures, amazing natural beauty, vibrant and colourful markets, a rich heritage of arts and handicrafts, plenty of opportunity for adventure, and world class archaeological sites and colonial architecture. This 15-day tour combines all of these elements and takes travellers on a journey of discovery to three corners of the country, providing an unforgettable and insightful introduction to Guatemala.


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