Exploring Guatemala with GL Tours
(This sample itinerary will be customized to suit your interests and budget.)
Day 1 ~ Guatemala City
International flight arrival to Guatemala City, where you’ll be greeted by your private guide. Travel for about 2 hours to Antigua.
Get settled in your charming hotel where you’ll spend the next 3 nights.
GL Tours works with several hotels in this area. Contact our travel specialists to find the best match for you.
Day 2 ~ Antigua
Today, explore the UNESCO inscribed colonial capital of Antigua, one of Guatemala’s most enchanting cities. Learn how Antigua is one of the oldest cities of the Americas as you follow your guide the landmarks like the San Francisco Church, the arch of Santa Catalina, Casa Santo Domingo and Plaza Central. Admire the priceless gems on display at the Museo del Jade, then visit the surrounding villages. The visits of the day will be adjusted by your guide to suit your personal interests.
Day 3 ~ Pacaya Volcano Hike
This morning, drive 15 miles with your private guide, to the base of the Pacaya Volcano. Get up close and personal with one of the country’s most active volcanoes during this hike. Travel through volcanic vegetation and surreal landscapes on your way to the top, enjoying impressive views of three nearby volcanic peaks, including Agua, Fuego and Acatenango at the summit. Due to safety concerns, you won’t venture all the way to the volcano’s crater, but you will have the chance to see glistening lava and a series of steam baths created by its heat.
Day 4 ~ Chichicastenango & Atitlan
This morning, check out of your hotel and drive to the nearby Chichicastenango, with your private guide. Upon arriving at this historic village, take some time to wander its cobblestone streets and colonial structures before continuing to the city’s renowned Maya market for shopping. This sprawling commercial center features local produce and a wealth of handmade goods for sale, including ceramics and woodcarvings. Bargain for a souvenir or two, and then proceed to the east side of the plaza to Iglesia de Santo Tomas (Church of Saint Thomas). This historic structure, built in 1540, often plays host to Mayan rituals. Continue to Lake Atlitan, where you will spend the next two nights.
Day 5 ~ Lake Atitlan
Today, take a private boat tour to visit the most important communities on Lake Atitlan. During the boat trip you will enjoy stunning views of the lake and its three volcanoes as well as learn about the culture, traditions, and costumes of the different villages. Start from Panajachel, and visit San Juan La Laguna. Here you will see textiles with natural dyes and beautiful Maya art. You will also enjoy seeing the different murals on the walls made by local artists reflecting the life and culture of the Tzutujil Maya people. Then, continue to Santiago Atitlan, the capital of the Tzutujil Maya Group and the largest indigenous community on the lake. Here you will visit the most antique Catholic Church and Maximon (Rij Laj Mam) a postclassic Maya God. Finish the day in San Antonio Palopo, a small Mayan village with unique pottery.
Day 6 ~ Copan, Honduras
Today, you’ll embark on a journey with your guide, depart from Atitlan on a full day drive to Copan, Honduras. This drive through typically takes 8 hours. However, if you prefer to shorten the drive for one day, then drive to Guatemala City for 1 night and then proceed the following day on a 5 hour drive to Copan.
Spend 2 nights in Copan.
Day 7 ~ Copan
Enjoy a full day tour of the archaeological site and the local museum with a private guide. Considered by many one of the most spectacular cities of the ancient Maya civilization, the ruins of Copan are known for its beautiful stone temples, altars, hieroglyphs, and stelae. It was built between 400 and 800 A.D. Today, the Mayan Ruins of Copan are one of the most important and impressive Mayan sites to visit, due to its rich stone sculptures and intricate hieroglyphs. The ruins were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites in 1980.
Day 8 ~ Rio Dulce
Today, you’ll depart from Copan, traveling back into Guatemala to the Caribbean lowlands at Rio Dulce (4 hours). Along the way, you’ll make a stop at the Archaeological site of Quirigua. Inhabited since the 2nd century A.D., Quirigua had become during the reign of Cauac Sky (723–84) the capital of an autonomous and prosperous state. The ruins of Quirigua contain some outstanding 8th-century monuments and an impressive series of carved stelae and sculpted calendars that constitute an essential source for the study of Mayan civilization. This site has the tallest and best-preserved Mayan Stelaes.
Spend 2 nights in Rio Dulce area.
Day 9 ~ Rio Dulce
Embark upon a private boat tour along the Rio Dulce River. You will observe the various birds and visit the Caribbean village of Livingston during this tour.
Day 10 ~ Peten
Departure from Rio Dulce, traveling north for about 4 hours, to the region of Peten. Upon arrival, you’ll settle in to a well-appointed lodge at Lake Peten Itza. Enjoy activities and amenities on site for the remainder of the afternoon.
You’ll spend 3 nights here, exploring the surrounding area.
Day 11 ~ Yaxha
Today you will visit the site of Yaxha, one of the largest Maya sites in Guatemala. Explore the ruins with your personal guide. Spread out over nine plazas the site contains over 500 structures, including 40 stelae, several pyramid temples and ball courts. Yaxha is one of the few Maya cities to retain its traditional Maya name, which translates as “green waters”. If you so choose, you will have an opportunity to watch the sunset from one of the temples.
Day 12 ~ Tikal
Tikal National Park in Guatemala is a UNESCO world heritage area and National Park with 222 square miles of unspoiled natural beauty home to many exotic animals including tapir, jaguar, crocodile, cougars and monkeys as well as an assortment of colorful birds. It is the largest excavated Mayan site in the American continent containing over 3,000 structures and massive, beautiful temples rising out of the dense jungle. The layout, beautiful architecture and scale of impressive buildings connected by large causeways, the rich jungle life and the relaxed ambiance make this an unforgettable experience.
Day 13 ~ Departure
You will be transferred to the local airport in Flores, for a morning flight to Guatemala City. (This flight will be included in your travel package.)
In Guatemala City, connect to your international flight(s) home.