Explore the fertile landscape and rich Maya heritage by land and water on this 11-day Guatemala tour. Towering volcanoes, verdant highland farms, lush cloudforest, and bustling markets make a spectacular backdrop for a multisport travel adventure. Bike and hike along pathways which have been used for centuries by the Maya, and paddle the azure waters of the volcano-fringed Lake Atitlan. Immerse yourself in the culture and traditions of your hosts during a homestay in the highlands and take some time to explore the colonial city of Antigua before bidding farewell to the natural and cultural treasures of Guatemala.
Hike Pacaya Volcano and view glowing lava in the crater
Explore El Zotz a Maya ruin site and its 148 foot tall temple "El Diablo"
Kayak past villages, fields, and fisherman on Lake Atitlan
Activities that provide a reasonable level of physical challenge and elevate the heart rate. Focused on more active pursuits including multisport tours. Travelers may be active 5-7 hours total each day. Recommended for travelers with active lifestyles.
Leaving right from your hotel doorstep, this biking tour is a pleasant, half day excursion in the scenic Antigua valley, riding on back roads and trails through local villages’ farms and fields. A perfect way to experience authentic local life of Guatemala, this bike ride visits tranquil villages, churches, and coffee plantations. Return to Antigua in the afternoon to rest, relax or explore the city on your own.
Your day begins with a transfer to Pacaya National Park to ascend the famed Pacaya Volcano. This two and a half hour hike takes you to the top of the volcano, where you can look down into the glowing lava of the crater and feel the ground shake as the volcano rumbles beneath your feet. If the day is clear, enjoy stunning views of the coastline and the El Salvador boarder. Hike back down Pacaya and return to Antigua, where you can take an optional bike ride along the foothills of the volcano.
Day 4: Fly Flores | Trek to El Zotz
1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Leave for Flores in the early morning and journey to the village community of Cruce dos Aguadas, and begin hiking to the ancient site of El Zotz. The trek takes you through the rainforest and along many of the routes used by the 'Chicleros,' who work to collect sap from trees to produce chewing gum. Upon arrival at El Zotz, help set up camp.
Hiking time: approximately 8 hours.
Day 5: Explore El Zotz
1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
El Zotz, a Mesoamerican archaeological site, was named after the large number of bats which live in the nearby cliffs. The site contains many mounds and ruins which have not been fully excavated, and, as far as Maya ruins go, is the road less traveled. The tallest temple is approximately 148 feet in height, and is called "El Diablo" due to the steep rise of its sides. Spend the day with your guide in the ruins, and keep your eyes out for possible undiscovered archaeological finds.
After breakfast, transfer to Tikal National Park to explore the amazing UNESCO protected Mayan Temple site of Tikal, where huge Mayan temples rise above the jungle canopy and monkeys and tropical birds are abundant in the surrounding rainforest. Explore the area with your guide, a resident expert, who will provide excellent service while explaining the archaeology and tropical wildlife of the area. Enjoy lunch in the ruins and transfer back to your hotel.
Day 8: Fly to Guatemala City | Bike to Lake Atitlan
In the morning, fly to Guatemala City and begin your journey to Lake Atitlan. Transfer by boat and bicycle as you make your way around the lake. Along the way, stop at crystal clear beaches, meet local farmers, and savor the awe-inspiring scenery.
In the morning, meet your boat driver at your hotel and enjoy a short transfer to the Cerro de Oro area. Meet your guide along the lake for a kayaking tour of Lake Atitlan. Before you begin, learn about the route, equipment, and safety procedures. Pass local Maya people as they work in the fields, wash their clothes, and fish from their unique wooden boats. Reach the shore and begin your hike in the village of Cerro de Oro. Begin your ascent and enjoy a picnic lunch at the peak. Explore the area after lunch before hiking back down, where a transfer on a local truck will bring you back to Santiago.
The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.