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Semuc Champey, Guatemala

Highlights of Guatemala

  • TAILOR-MADE HOLIDAY IDEA

Duration

8 Days

Prices Start from

£2,825 ex. flights

Unveiling some of the most visually stunning landscapes in vibrant Guatemala, this trip journeys from dazzling high altitude lakes to ancient Mayan ruins. Encompassing Shaman ceremonies, traditional textile weaving workshops and an expertly guided tour of Tikal, this customisable itinerary is designed to give a comprehensive introduction to one of the most vivid countries in Central America.

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Capuchins Monastery, Antigua, Guatemala 1

Antigua & Atitlan

Amble the UNESCO town of Antigua and sail Lake Atitlan in the volcanic highlands.

Mayan Ruins, Tikal, Guatemala 2

Discover Tikal

Explore the ancient Maya site of Tikal, observing temples that rise above the jungle.

Blankets, Guatemala 3

Traditional Weaving

Peruse markets bursting with colourful fabrics and try your hand at a traditional weaving.

Turtle Inn, Beach, Placencia, Belize 4

Belize Extension

Perhaps extend your trip to the white sand beaches and jungles of Belize’s Caribbean coast.

Why we like it

Befitting culture enthusiasts and those who take joy in perusing lively markets and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Guatemala is awash with indigenous communities and ancient archaeology that is marvelled at world-over. In a place where rich culture abounds and enchanting high-altitude lakes lie in colossal volcanic craters, we can tailor a bespoke trip that suits all activity levels and interests, encompassing anything from private coffee tours to exclusive Shaman rituals. Ideally suited to those who are eager to travel to the three corners of this richly-coloured nation, the route also combines beautifully with the jungles and beaches of adjoining Belize.

Don't forget, we will customise this journey to suit you.

Explore our suggested itinerary

Keys:
Internal Flight
  • Day 1
    Guatemala City - Antigua
  • Day 2
    Antigua
  • Day 3
    Antigua - Lake Atitlan
  • Day 4
    Lake Atitlan
  • Day 5
    Lake Atitlan - Flores - Lake Peten Itza
  • Days 6-7
    Lake Peten Itza
  • Day 8
    Lake Peten Itza - Guatmala City
  • Optional
    Extension in to Belize
Saint James Cathedral, Antigua, Guatemala
Saint James Cathedral, Antigua, Guatemala
Local on Cobbled Streets, Antigua, Guatemala
Local on Cobbled Streets, Antigua, Guatemala
Santa Catalina Arch, Antigua, Agua Volcano, Guatemala
Santa Catalina Arch, Antigua, Agua Volcano, Guatemala

Cathedrals & Coffee Roasting

Amble the cobblestone streets of charming Antigua, the nation’s old capital that doubles as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Bursting with pastel-painted dwellings, ancient cathedrals and lively markets, the volcano-cradled city is a living time capsule of its colonial past. Perhaps tour the city in the company of an expert private guide, revelling in behind-the-scenes access to some of the churches and convents part-ruined by earthquakes. We can also arrange visits to the small town of San Miguel Escobar, just outside of Antigua, to learn about a charitable coffee cooperative, visit some of its supported families and work side-by-side with organic bean farmers – from picking and fermenting to roasting and sampling.

Local Woman, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
Local Woman, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
Kayaking on Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
Kayaking on Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
Fruit Market in Antigua, Guatemala
Fruit Market in Antigua, Guatemala

Lake Atitlan: Shaman Rituals & Textile Weaving

Journey to Lake Atitlan, the jewel in the crown of the highlands, to witness its dazzling waters and dramatic volcanic backdrop first-hand. In one of the most traditional and culturally-rich locations in Central America, we can arrange sailings across the lake, private visits to local naif painters’ studios and lessons with back-strap loom textile weavers (you might even get to keep your yield). Perhaps watch a local Shaman perform a ritual, have a private ceremony, or embark on an exclusive guided tour of the lesser-visited Comalapa Market to sample baked goods. Those seeking a slightly more exhilarating and exclusive experience might like to join a multi-day hiking and glamping trip on the volcanic terrain.

Sunset, Tikal National Park, Guatemala
Sunset, Tikal National Park, Guatemala

Sunset at a Maya Metropolis

Surrounded by other towering Maya metropolises such as Mexico’s Chichen Itza, Honduras’ Copan and Belize’s Xunantunich, Guatemala boasts some of the most highly impressive archaeological ruins in Central America. In the company of an expert local guide or archaeologist, travel to the awe-inspiring Maya metropolis of Tikal, where some 3,000 structures rise from a rainforest inhabited by a myriad of wildlife. Intrepid visitors to the ruins can follow in the footsteps of royalty through the majestic Great Plaza and its Temple of the Jaguar to experience first-hand one of the greatest ancient cities of this most powerful dynasty. We can arrange a sunset visit to the site, during which you can take in all-encompassing canopy views and sweet birdsong from the top of a temple, or even a remote camping trip at a campsite near the jungle-shrouded structures.

Belize Cayes Beach, Belize
Belize Cayes Beach, Belize
Toledo District, Belize
Toledo District, Belize

Suggestion: Belize Extension

Suited to both outdoor enthusiasts and those who simply endeavour to dip their toes in the aquamarine waters of the Caribbean Sea, Belize is a pint-sized tropical playground. In a place where intense jungle hikes are rewarded with secluded waterfall pools, ancient Maya ruins nestle in dense jungles and scenic flights allow for birds’ eye views of the Blue Hole, we can tailor a bespoke extension to compliment your Guatemalan adventures. As the country is so small, it is possible to visit a number of exotic destinations either in the company of an expert private guide or while travelling independently. Plus, when it comes to accommodation, we know the most thrilling family-friendly jungle hideaways and the most romantic infinity pool cabins.

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

El Convento £££££

  • Guatemala
  • Boutique

El Convento offers a collection of 26 suites arranged over three elegantly columned levels. Each individual suite overlooks the central courtyard with an enormous Tempixque tree at its core. Each spacious marble and stone bathroom offers towel warmers and a therapeutic rain shower. Some suites also offer a deep soaking tub and a private interior garden with a wall mounted fountain. Furthermore, both grand suites benefit from a Jacuzzi located on a private outdoor terrace. Sitz Restaurant serves exquisite gourmet cuisine. It is possible to dine alfresco on the terrace or inside. The beautifully maintained garden patio features a lap pool.

View Property

Casa Palopo £££££

  • Guatemala
  • Boutique

Casa Palopo is stunning. It has to be one of our favourite properties, winning numerous awards. Dramatic hillside property with magnificent views over Lake Atitlan and the volcanoes, Tomalin, Atitlán and San Pedro, Casa Palopó is a magical hideaway. There are only seven luxurious rooms in the main body of the hotel. All carefully designed and decorated with exquisite taste and style. Local art and colourful furnishings abound. Each room is very different whether in colour, fabrics, sunken baths or private terraces. You can enjoy breakfast and drinks on the terrace while a small, intimate restaurant awaits you for dinner. The service is very personal and attentive. Facilities include a swimming pool and gym – exercise bike, running machines and weights.

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La Lancha £££££

  • Guatemala
  • Boutique

La Lancha is a small and secluded jungle lodge immersed in the rainforest on the shores of Lake Peten Itza not far from the site of Tikal. La Lancha hosts a collection of 10 rustic casitas, some with panoramic views of the lake while others are more secluded in the thick of the rainforest. All have air conditioning. The main lodge houses an excellent restaurant serving traditional Guatemalan cuisine. Don’t be surprised if the peace is disturbed by a local family of howler monkeys who frequently visit the lodge to introduce themselves. There is a beautiful tiered pool and for those unable to resist the tranquil waters of Lake Peten Itza, canoes and kayaks offer the best way to explore the shorelines.

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Blancaneaux Lodge £££££

  • Belize
  • Wilderness

Tucked into a remote region of the Maya Mountains and overlooking the gentle rapids of the Privassion River, Blancaneaux Lodge has 20 sophisticated cabanas and villas. Each palm-thatched cabana has an expansive wraparound sun deck, a Mexican-tiled bathroom with a Japanese style bathtub.

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Turtle Inn £££££

  • Belize
  • Beach and Island Escapes

Turtle Inn is a rustic, Indonesian-style beach resort on a narrow stretch of fine pearly white sands. It sits on Belize’s southern coast, just two miles from the sleepy village of Placencia hosting a collection of thatched cottages and villas, including the film director’s, Francis Ford Coppola, own Pavillion House.

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Let’s chat

Speak to our experts

Our team is waiting to help you tailor a trip that will leave you with stories for a lifetime. Call us on

01285 601 784

Send us an enquiry

Or send us a quick email below and start your next journey.

Call us

So many thanks indeed for the care and time that you put into organising this trip for us. I cannot underestimate the value of the latter in terms of reading what we wanted and then advising on the best way to achieve that. As I am sure you will know only too well, other operators are over keen to sell “this is what we do”, and make the sale. So thank you for putting together what will be a really memorable experience for us.

Destination: Guatemala
Travel Expert: James

John's advice on unique locations and experiences throughout Guatemala were invaluable.

Destination: Guatemala
Travel Expert: John

A note on price

Prices will vary depending on the time of year you are travelling. Prices do not include international flights. Please ask one of our Travel Experts for an accurate quote. Flights purchased through Steppes Travel departing from the UK are ATOL protected.

This Itinerary
Price
From £2,825 Per person

When to travel

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