Astonishingly beautiful and remarkably traditional, wander around Antigua’s cobbled streets, its colourful market and peek through colonial doorways.
For the traveller who is inspired by the indigenous culture of a country, then a Guatemala holiday is hard to beat. Up in the hills, the daily markets are a gorgeous riot of colourful clothing while the landscape is dotted with lakes and a backdrop of perfect volcanic cones.
The Spanish colonial architecture of the towns and the impressive Mayan ruins surrounded by jungle are further reasons for you to enjoy a Guatemala holiday.
An exploration of the ancient Maya sites of Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras, this route strikes the perfect balance between ancient temples, dense jungles and dazzling lakes. Unveil some of the most visually stunning landscapes in the Americas and a series of world-renowned archaeological sites, with the added bonus of having a chance to attend a private Shaman ceremony.
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.
Geographically small, a holiday in Guatemala does not involve travelling great distances. Rather, the focus of your trip to Guatemala will be the striking variety of topographic features, ranging from the Cuchumatanes Mountains and the beautiful Lake Atitlan to the volcanoes of Antigua and the black beaches of the Pacific. Guatemala’s ecosystems host a huge range of plants and animals, notably orchids and birdlife. A quarter of Guatemala is covered in forests where the noise of spider and howler monkeys and screeching parrots fills the air.
The colourful Mayan people add an additional dimension to your Guatemala holiday. The extensive ruins of their ancestors lie scattered across the Peten region while their heritage lives on today, evident in the bustling markets of Solola, the traditional reed collecting on the shores of Lake Atitlan and the unique weaving methods of the K’iche, Kaqchiquel and Achi communities. Now throw in the cobbled streets, beautiful churches, hidden convents and colonial plazas and you begin to understand the charm of a Guatemala holiday.
Tell us what you love doing and we’ll curate a journey that’s perfect for you.
Kayak on the lake, enjoy the adrenaline thrill of a zip line or the unique experience of diving in the volcanic crater-lake.
Visit Lake Atitlan and make the most of its excellent bird watching opportunities.
Visit some of the more remote nearby sites of Uaxactun and Yaxha.
Climb to the top of Temple IV, for glorious views above the jungle canopy.
Stay next to Tikal for early access to the archaeological zone and to discover the sounds of the surrounding jungle at night.
Climb the active Volcan Pacaya and experience the smoking crater and incredible views.
Explore the archaeological park and then find a shaded spot between the Maya superstructures for a luxury picnic lunch
Meet the independent coffee farmers and have a traditional lunch with a local family.
Discover the culinary delights of Antigua’s exceptional street food.
Stay at Casa Palopo, one of the best hotels in Guatemala.
Hotels and lodges tend to be small and privately owned with a great atmosphere and a winning smile.
Villa Bokeh is an oasis that blends luxury and nature seamlessly together. Full of artistic history and ideally located on the outskirts of Antigua, this property is an infusion of classic Guatemalan colonial architecture with contemporary…View Property
Laguna Lodge is a luxury, boutique hotel on the shores of Lake Atitlan close to the village of St Cruz. The hotel is in fact located on a large private area of land called the Tzantizotz…View Property
Hotel Atitlan is nestled above a magnificent maze of terraced gardens that slope gently down towards the shores of Lake Atitlan. Sweeping views of the lake and its steep verdant hills dominated by enormous volcanoes, is…View Property
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, Atitlan and San Pedro, Casa Palopo is…View Property
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,…View Property
A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.
John’s most recent trip to Guatemala was for Semana Santa (Holy Week), a heady mix of colourful processions where huge swaying floats are carried on the shoulders of purple-clad brotherhoods in high pointed headgear who shuffle through billowing clouds of incense.
In short, fiestas in Guatemala revolve around religion. Semana Santa (Easter Week) in Antigua offers an incredible procession with carpets of flowers paying homage to Jesus. It is a real spectacle and, as a result, you will need to book up early to avoid disappointment. In addition to this, the country offers various fiestas with Ladino towns offering fairgrounds, processions and beauty contests, whereas in the Mayan highlands traditional dances with musicians fill the festival.
Guatemala’s staples are black beans, guacamole and rice with tacos. A typical breakfast consists of frijoles negros (stewed black beans), banana, eggs, guacamole, rice and tortillas — a Central American fry up. Guatemalans eat tortillas some three times a day and you will often see and hear women clapping their hands baking these.
Generally, temperature varies little throughout the year but the rainy season is from May to October. It does not affect all areas and often means sunny mornings are followed by rainy afternoons from around 4 pm.
Chicken buses are multi-coloured camionetas, which are converted school buses from the U.S. They are quite an experience should you wish to travel on one and you may need to sign a disclaimer before you do so. We can arrange a tour visiting a chicken bus factory with a ride out to a nearby school in Antigua if you would like to experience these.
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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.
John's advice on unique locations and experiences throughout Guatemala were invaluable.
Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.
Are you ready to discover extraordinary once again?