Yaxha, Guatemala

Guatemala Holidays

A small country with a booming ecosystem. Among the breadth of animals in its forests, the calls of howler monkeys and blaring parrots will be something from your trip that ring loud in your memories.

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.

Scarlet Macaw, Copan Mayan Ruins, Honduras
Copan Mayan Ruins, Honduras

Epic Maya Journey: Mexico, Guatemala & Honduras

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.

20 days

from $10,597 pp

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Tikal Ruins, Guatemala
Tikal Ruins, Guatemala

Highlights of Guatemala

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.

8 days

from $4,147 pp

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

Guatemala: What to Expect

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.

Local Woman, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
Local Woman, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Meet the Locals

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.

Explore Guatemala

  • Antigua
  • Lake Atitlan
  • Tikal

Experiences

Tell us what you love doing and we’ll curate a journey that’s perfect for you.

Men in traditional dress, Guatemala

Meet local communities

Explore the many lakeside villages and visit the revered idol Maximon.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Kayaking on Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Lake Atitlan Adventures

Kayak on the lake, enjoy the adrenaline thrill of a zip line or the unique experience of diving in the volcanic crater-lake.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Bird Watching

Visit Lake Atitlan and make the most of its excellent bird watching opportunities.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Uaxactun Mayan site

Uaxactun and Yaxha

Visit some of the more remote nearby sites of Uaxactun and Yaxha.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Tikal, Guatemala

Temple IV

Climb to the top of Temple IV, for glorious views above the jungle canopy.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Tikal Ruins, Guatemala

Overnight at the ruins

Stay next to Tikal for early access to the archaeological zone and to discover the sounds of the surrounding jungle at night.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Horse on Pacaya Volcano, Guatemala

Volcan Pacaya

Climb the active Volcan Pacaya and experience the smoking crater and incredible views.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Tikal, Guatemala

Picnic lunch within the ruins

Explore the archaeological park and then find a shaded spot between the Maya superstructures for a luxury picnic lunch

Suggested Holiday Idea

DLG Coffee Tour, Antigua, Guatemala

Spend time with Coffee Farmers

Meet the independent coffee farmers and have a traditional lunch with a local family.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Fruit Market in Antigua, Guatemala

Sample Local Cuisine

Discover the culinary delights of Antigua’s exceptional street food.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Where to stay

Some of the wonderful places to stay that we frequently recommended.

Villa Bokeh £££££

  • Guatemala
  • Boutique

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 design.

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Laguna Lodge Lake Atitlan £££££

  • Guatemala
  • B&B, Motel and Guesthouse

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 Nature Reserve and the hotel is operated with a strong focus on sustainable travel best practice.

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Hotel Atitlan £££££

  • Guatemala
  • B&B, Motel and Guesthouse

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 a sight to behold.

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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, Atitlan and San Pedro, Casa Palopo is a magical hideaway.

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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.

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Meson de Maria £££££

  • Americas - Central
  • Boutique

Centrally located close to a number of local markets, Meson de Maria is a well-appointed and traditional property in Antigua. This is a charming boutique hotel centrally located in the lovely UNESCO town of Antigua. With 20 rooms of varying categories, including three delightful Meson suites with fire places, Hotel Meson de Maria is a welcoming and stylish haven for guests.

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Meet our experts

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.

Rachael Tallents

Adventure, discovery and my curiosity for people and the natural world is what drives my love of travelling.  I am grateful for my parents’ desire to explore, and from an early age my eyes were open to diverse landscapes, cultures, and underwater worlds.

For the last 16 years, I have worked for a leading luxury tour operator designing incredible journeys for discerning clients and travelled to some magical places. I am excited to have joined Steppes Travel, and to be working for a company with such strong ethical and sustainable values.

Talk with our experts
  • 1 800 571 2985

John Faithfull

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.

Talk with our experts
  • 1 800 571 2985

Frequently asked questions about Guatemala

What is a chicken bus, and will I be travelling on one?

Are there any festivals I can see during my trip?

What is the typical food and drink in Guatemala?

When is the rainy season in Guatemala?

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