DURATION

10 DAYS

WHEN

Nov – April

DESTINATION

Guatemala

TYPE

PRIVATE

Guatemala 

When visiting Guatemala, ambitious travelers may find their schedules quite busy. Some of the spectacular adventures that await in this fantastic country include breathtaking trekking routes through the rainforest and up volcanoes, world-class water rafting, kayaking with stunning volcano views, and picturesque villages and markets.

There are plenty of Spanish colonial buildings and old Maya archaeological sites for history buffs to explore, including the outstanding Tikal.

This program can be fully customized to your needs and interests, do not hesitate to contact us to craft your perfect Guatemala experience.

WHAT MAKES THIS TRIP EXTRAORDINARY

  • Explore the picturesque Antigua and its most important archeological sites.
  • Experience a close encounter with locals in a cooking class.
  • Hike up to the active Palcayo mountain to enjoy a panoramic view of Guatemala and enjoy a picnic lunch with a distant view of the crater.
  • Visit and stay on the banks of the beautiful Lake Atitlan, and stop in Iximche, a unique Maya archeological site.
  • Kayak in the Atitlan Lake and enjoy the views of three stunning volcanos: Atitlan, San Pedro, and Tolima.
  • Visit the tiny San Juan village and get in touch with their local artisans.
  • Stop at the Chichicastenango Market, one of the most colorful markets in the Americas.
  • Sail along Rio Dulce and look for fantastic wildlife on its banks.
  • Visit the unique Ak’ Tenamit, a colonial fortress used to expulse pirates out of the Guatemala shores.
  • Experience a unique moment: Tikal at sunrise and at sunset plus farewell dinner, the perfect match to finish this amazing expedition in Guatemala.

“Live with no excuses and travel with no regrets.”

Unknown

QUESTIONS?


If you have any questions, please let us know. We are here to help you!

Itinerary in Brief

Day 1 

Arrive in Guatemala & transfer to Antigua

Upon your arrival in Guatemala, an NPE representative will meet and greet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel in beautiful Antigua (1 hr. drive).

Antigua is among the world’s best-preserved colonial cities in the Americas. It is a mysterious and alluring tiny village that gives the impression that time may have stood still 300 years ago. The colonial architecture and stunning surroundings will attract you as you meander through the town on the cobblestone streets.

Overnight at El Convento (No meals).

Day 2

Antigua walking tour & community cooking class

After breakfast, enjoy a guided walking tour of Antigua. You will visit breathtaking colonial monuments and find out why this city was the bustling center of the region for the Spaniards. You will start your tour at the central plaza, and your expedition leader will give you a general idea about colonization, Guatemala’s history & contemporary issues.

View the main buildings (Palacio de Capitanes, City Hall, and El Portal), and visit the backstage Cathedral & Cathedral Ruins and San Francisco Church.

Stop for lunch at a local restaurant.

Afterward, hop on a private transfer to San Miguel Escobar Town. On arrival, you will head towards the house of a Guatemalan family to test your cooking skills by preparing a traditional Guatemalan dish at a real Guatemalan home. Enjoy for dinner the fruits of your labor.

Overnight at El Convento (B, L, D)

Day 3 

Pacaya Volcano hike

After breakfast, you will head towards the Pacaya volcano.

One of three active volcanoes in Guatemala, Pacaya Volcano, is situated not far from Guatemala City and rises to 2,552m (8,373ft). It has been active since 1965, occasionally more spectacularly than other times, following a period of hibernation. The Pacaya National Park, established in 2001, and the trailhead in the little community of San Francisco de Sales are both around an hour’s drive from Antigua.

During your hike, you will enjoy panoramic views of Pacaya’s smoking black cone, and miles of ancient blackened lava flows from the about 2-mile-long, slightly steep but well-maintained trail through farmlands and pine forests.

The journey continues onto the desolate moonscape of the lava flows, where you can make Guatemalan-style smores by roasting marshmallows over hot places and stop for a picnic lunch with a distant view of the crater.

Afterward, you will return to Antigua to rest and have dinner at a local restaurant.

Overnight at El Convento (B, L, D).

Day 4

Iximche visit & transfer to Lake Atitlan

After breakfast, your driver will transfer you from Antigua to Lake Atitlan (approx 3hrs).

En route to Lake Atitlan, you’ll visit Iximche archeological site. The Western Highlands of Guatemala is home to the Post Classic Mayan site of Iximche. It was established in 1,470 by the Kaqchikel Maya following a protracted struggle with the Quiche. It served as the Late Pre-classic Kaqchikel kingdom’s capital from 1470 until the arrival of the Spaniards in 1524, when it was abandoned.

After visiting this unique archaeological site, you will stop for lunch at a local restaurant and continue your journey to your hotel located at the banks of Lake Atitlan.

You will have time to relax and get ready for dinner, served at your hotel.

Overnight at Hotel Atitlan (B, L, D).

Day 5

Kayak & San Juan village visit

Your expedition leader will meet you for a boat transfer to the kayaking starting point. Kayak for approx 45min along delightful peninsulas admiring the shore’s beautiful gardens and the panoramic views of three stunning volcanoes: Atitlan, San Pedro, and Toliman.

After the kayaking, you will be transferred by boat to the picturesque San Juan village. San Juan is famous for its naïf art galleries, town murals, and natural dyes. This town is set as an example of an organization and tourism destination among the highlands.

Stop at a local restaurant for dinner.

Overnight at Hotel Atitlan (B, L, D).

Day 6

Chichicastenango Market & transfer to Guatemala City

Transfer to Guatemala City (approx 4hrs).

En route to Guatemala City, you’ll stop at Chichicastenango.

Chichicastenango is home to the most colorful native market in the Americas. Market days are held every Sunday and Thursday and draw not only the K’iche’ Maya of the surrounding region but vendors from all over Guatemala, representing many of Guatemala’s linguistic groups, such as Mam, Ixil, Kaqchikel, and many others.

On arrival in Guatemala, you will meet your new expedition leader. They will show you the church in the heart of Guatemala City, an essential and iconic monument for indigenous and Mayan history.

If we’re lucky, you will also witness special ceremonies and a mix of religions.

Stop at a local restaurant for dinner.

Overnight at Hyatt Centric. (B, L, D).

Day 7

Private transfer to Rio Dulce (approx 5hrs).

Stop for lunch at a local restaurant.

Rio Dulce is a navigable river that begins in Lake Izabal and empties into the Atlantic Ocean. Rio Dulce has become an ideal destination to navigate due to the magical journey through the canyon, which was part of the route of commerce of the Mayas. It has a fantastic view when browsing through the cliffs over 300 feet high and is covered with tropical vegetation.

Upon arrival at your hotel, you will have free time to rest before heading to a local restaurant for dinner.

Overnight at Villa Caribe (B, L, D).

Day 8

Rio Dulce boat tour & transfer to Flores

Today, you will experience an early boat tour through the impressive Rio Dulce.

You will travel via “EL Golfete,” the broader section of the Rio Dulce (sweet river), where the Chocon Machaca park and the floating gardens are situated. This area is known for its wide variety of wildlife and flora.

Along the journey, you’ll also stop at Ak’Tenamit, a local cooperative that has used sustainable practices to help the village with healthcare and education. Situated between “El Golfete” and Livingston is a stunning canyon with limestone and jungle-covered walls.

Afterward, you will stop at Livingston, the sole town in Guatemala where the Garifunas settled in the 1800s. You won’t find a similar atmosphere anywhere else in the nation. Livingston is a laid-back city that will make you feel like you are in the Caribbean rather than Latin America.

After the boat tour, a private transfer to Flores Island (approx 4hrs).

Upon arrival, relax and enjoy dinner at the hotel.

Overnight at Jungle Lodge. (B, L, D)

Day 9

Tikal sunrise & sunset

You will wake up early to experience a magical moment: Tikal at sunrise.

On arrival at Tikal National Park, you’ll walk and climb temple IV to watch a fantastic sunrise, a truly magical experience.

After witnessing this stunning dawn, our expedition leader will guide us through this beautiful archaeological site, showing us the main temples.

Afterward, we will enjoy breakfast on-site before returning to our hotel.

Once in the hotel, we will have some free time to explore the town or simply leisure before returning to the National Park.
We will be transferred to the National Park once again to start a walking tour through the dense jungle to “Mundo Perdido” just in time for sunset.

After this fantastique and unique experience, we will return to the hotel for our farewell dinner with lots of new stories of this fantastic experience.

Overnight at Jungle Lodge. (B, L, D).

Day 10

Flight to Guatemala City & departure
Today, after breakfast, transfer to the airport and fly back to the U.S. or continue to the Belice Extension

Belice Extension

Day 11

Transfer to Belice

Transfer to the Belize Border. At the border, you will cross on your own, and a different vehicle will meet you on the Belizean side.

After crossing the border, you will be met by your driver for transfer to your hotel (approx 2hrs).

Please note that an NPE Senior Local Guide will escort the extension.

Overnight at Cassia Hell Resort Belize. (B)

Day 12

Xunantunich & Cahal Pech

On this day, you will be transferred to Xunantunich Archeological Site. Enjoy a guided tour through the site, visiting the most important monuments. El Castillo’s structure rises 130 feet above the ground, making it one of the highest buildings in Belize, offering an impressive panoramic view of the Mopan River valley. From this structure, you will be able to appreciate a lower temple, a large stucco frieze, as well as a mask with larger ears next to a moon sign with a border of signs representing Venus.

After the Xunantunich visit, transfer to Cahal Pech archeological site.

Cahal Pech means “place of ticks” in the modern Maya language and refers to the fact that the area was surrounded once by pastureland. During the Classic Period, Cahal Pech was the royal acropolis-palace of an elite Mayan ruling family. Cahal Pech was settled around 1000 BC and abandoned by 800 AD. The site consists of seven plazas and over 30 structures, including temples, residential buildings, ball courts, an altar, and a sweathouse, all situated on just 2 acres. A royal burial chamber was found in one of the structures. Inside the tomb, a ruler had been laid to rest with the accouterments necessary for the afterlife. Included in the find were shell & bone ornaments, pottery vessels, obsidian blades, and jade objects, the most impressive being a jade & shell mosaic mask. One of the temples in this small complex commands the best view of the surrounding Belize River Valley. 

Overnight at Cassia Hill Resort Belize. (B, L).

Day 13

Transfers to Belize City & flight to San Pedro

Transfer to Belize City (approx 2hrs).

A hotel representative will meet you at San Pedro Airstrip to help you carry your luggage to the hotel, located 5 minutes from the airstrip.

Upon arrival in San Pedro, an NPE representative will pick you up and transfer you to your hotel. You will enjoy a leisure day or sign up for the activities in the hotel surroundings. 

Overnight at Sunbreeze (B).

Day 14

San Pedro
Enjoy a day at leisure to explore on your own or sign up for the activities in the hotel surroundings.
Overnight at Sunbreeze (B).

Day 15

Fly Back Home
After breakfast, an NPE representative will transfer you to the airstrip to catch your flight back home.

Lodgings

El Convento

Located in the heart of the historic yet vibrant city of La Antigua, inscribed by Unesco as Cultural World Heritage since 1979, El Convento Boutique Hotel is a door to a majestic experience, inside and out, with its contemporary colonial architecture and premises and world-class services, surrounded by the spectacle of a diverse community that throbs with activity in 300-year-old churches, plazas, and markets.

Hotel Atitlan

Hotel Atitlán has the best views of the lake. A property with fantastic gardens, birds, and a great place to stay when visiting the lake. Each room has a unique personality that is reflected in the decor of hand-woven fabrics, hand-crafted furniture, paintings, and other decorations from the many indigenous villages in the region. The floors are made of traditional tile and covered by hand-made area rugs.

Hyatt Centric

Located just minutes away from the airport, this modern hotel offers 138 rooms and suites, each complete with floor-to-ceiling views of Guatemala City or our atrium. The hotel is decorated with Guatemalan pieces and textiles in a chic style. Hyatt also has a pool, rooftop bar, restaurant, meeting spaces, and more.

Villa Caribe

Located in Livingston, a colorful fishing town where the Caribbean Sea meets with Rio Dulce and home to the Garifunas, a culture rich in African traditions, is Villa Caribe. Its 47 bedrooms are surrounded by gardens and beautiful views toward the Caribbean Sea and Rio Dulce. Enjoy a white sand oasis covered in rich tropical vegetation.

Jungle Lodge

The Jungle Lodge Hotel was established in 1956 by Mr. Antonio Ortiz Contreras (the one who discovered the temple of the inscriptions in 1951), just a 10-minute walk from the ceremonial center of Tikal. It has a restaurant, bar, swimming pool, gift shops, Wi-Fi connections, and conference rooms. It has been under constant renovation in order to adjust to modern standards of comfort and hospitality.

Cassia Hill Resort Belize

Cassia Hill is a full-service Belize Resort conveniently located just minutes out of San Ignacio Town, yet far enough to still enjoy a true jungle experience. Its proximity to most tourist attractions makes Cassia Hill Resort the perfect base to experience all the adventures this area offers.

Sunbreeze

SunBreeze Hotel is located in the town of San Pedro on Ambergris Caye. This beautiful hotel has a U-shaped Spanish design with Caribbean elements. It’s surrounded by tropical gardens, and an incredible beach just steps away from your room. SunBreeze hotel offers 43 spacious air-conditioned bedrooms, an onsite restaurant, a pool, and complimentary morning coffee.

When to go

The dry season, from November to April, is the ideal time to visit Guatemala. However, with temperatures ranging from 72°F to 90°F, the nation enjoys a comfortable environment that encourages travel all year long.

Even during the rainy season (May to October), the main tourist regions only see a few hours of daily precipitation.

The days are gorgeous and warm in the highlands, but the nights are chilly. Around Tikal, the lowlands are typically warm all year round (79°F to 90°F), with humidity rising in May.

We advise against traveling in September and October if you plan to visit Belize’s beaches. During that period, the rain there will be more disruptive and less enjoyable for activities like snorkel, diving, etc.

QUESTIONS?


If you have any questions, please let us know. We are here to help you!

START YOUR ADVENTURE HERE:

Recommended Expeditions

y2 1

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

You have Successfully Subscribed!