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Trip Report

Presented by New Paths Expeditions

Guatemala Adventure Vacation: Conquer Volcanoes, Kayak Epic Lakes & Explore Mayan Ruins

Guatemala is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts and a treasure trove for history buffs. This incredible tour by New Paths Expeditions is led by expert guides with 15+ years of experience.

  • Pacaya Volcano Hike+ 11
  • Antigua Guatemala
  • El Converto
  • Guatemala Adventure Vacation: Conquer Volcanoes, Kayak Epic Lakes & Explore Mayan Ruins
New Paths Expeditions
About Me:At New Paths Expeditions, we curate unforgettable small-group journeys led by expert guides who know their destinations inside and out. Explore the world's most captivating corners with passionate specialists who bring each location to lif... read more

North AmericaGuatemala10 days / October 2024

Highs & Lows

Hiking volcanoes, kayaking volcanic lakes & exploring ancient Mayan ruins like Tikal. Adventure & history collide!

Never enough time to see everything Guatemala has to offer

Itinerary Overview

This itinerary will take you on an unforgettable journey through the heart of Guatemala, immersing you in its rich culture, stunning landscapes, and vibrant energy. Here's a glimpse of the experiences that await:

Antigua's Allure: Explore the picturesque city of Antigua, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Delve into its colonial charm and uncover the stories behind its most significant archaeological sites.

Culinary Connection: Engage with local residents and learn the secrets of Guatemalan cuisine through a hands-on cooking class. Prepare yourself for a delicious encounter with traditional flavors and cooking techniques.

Volcanic Vistas: Embark on a challenging yet rewarding hike to the summit of the active Pacaya volcano. Be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of Guatemala and a picnic lunch consumed with the crater smoking in the distance.

Lakeside Tranquility: Immerse yourself in the serenity of Lake Atitlan, a majestic volcanic lake. Stay on its picturesque shores and visit the unique Mayan archaeological site of Iximche.

Aquatic Adventure: Glide across the crystal-clear waters of Lake Atitlan on a kayak tour. Enjoy a front-row seat to the majestic scenery, surrounded by the imposing volcanoes Atitlan, San Pedro, and Tolima.

Artisan Encounters: Explore the charming village of San Juan and interact with local artisans. Witness their talent firsthand and perhaps take home a unique piece of Guatemalan craftsmanship.

A Market Marvel: Immerse yourself in the vibrant colors and bustling energy of Chichicastenango Market, considered one of the most colorful markets in the Americas. Prepare to be dazzled by the array of local produce, handcrafted souvenirs, and traditional textiles.

Rio Dulce's Enchantment: Sail along the scenic Rio Dulce, a mesmerizing waterway surrounded by lush vegetation. Keep your eyes peeled for the diverse wildlife inhabiting the riverbanks.

Guardian of the Coast: Explore the Ak’ Tenamit, a colonial fortress that once served as a vital defense against pirates attempting to enter Guatemala's shores. Learn about its historical significance and marvel at its architectural details.

Tikal's Majesty: Witness the grandeur of Tikal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most impressive Mayan archaeological cities. Experience the unique magic of Tikal at sunrise and sunset, creating unforgettable memories.

A Fitting Farewell: Cap off your Guatemalan adventure with a delicious farewell dinner, the perfect way to celebrate your incredible journey and bid adieu to this enchanting country.

Join New Paths Expeditions on October 26th, 2024 on this unforgettable expedition and discover the magic of Guatemala!

  • 3 Nights: Antigua Guatemala
    Step Back in Time: Arriving in Antigua, Guatemala
  • Day trip: Antigua Guatemala
    Unveil Antigua's Treasures: A Guided Walking Tour & Culinary Adventure
  • Day trip: Pacaya
    Conquer Pacaya Volcano: Hiking, S'mores & Panoramic Vistas
  • 2 Nights: Lake Atitlán
    Unveiling Mayan History & Atitlan's Beauty: Iximche & Lakeside Escape
  • Day trip: Mirador Rey Tepepul Reserva Natural de Atitlan
    Rey Tepepul Reserve
  • 1 Night: Guatemala City
    Immerse Yourself in Guatemalan Culture: Chichicastenango Market & Guatemala City
  • 3 Nights: Flores
    Soar Through the Skies & Unearth Mayan Secrets: Flores & Yaxha Exploration
  • Day trip: Uaxactun
    Step Back in Time at Uaxactun: Unveiling Mayan Astronomy & Local Life
  • Day trip: Tikal National Park
    Unearthing the Majesty of Tikal: A Full Day of Discovery
  • 1 Night: Guatemala City
    Fly back home
Antigua Guatemala - Step Back in Time: Arriving in Antigua, Guatemala
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Antigua Guatemala Step Back in Time: Arriving in Antigua, Guatemala

Antigua Guatemala - Step Back in Time: Arriving in Antigua, Guatemala - Antigua Guatemala
Antigua Guatemala
Antigua Guatemala - Step Back in Time: Arriving in Antigua, Guatemala - El Converto
El Converto

As you touch down in Guatemala, a friendly NPE representative will be waiting to greet you and whisk you away to your hotel in captivating Antigua (a scenic 1-hour drive).

Prepare to be charmed by this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Antigua is widely recognized as one of the best-preserved colonial cities in the Americas. Imagine yourself transported back in time as you wander the cobblestone streets, surrounded by alluring architecture and a timeless ambiance.

Antigua Guatemala - Unveil Antigua's Treasures: A Guided Walking Tour & Culinary Adventure
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Antigua Guatemala Unveil Antigua's Treasures: A Guided Walking Tour & Culinary Adventure

Antigua Guatemala - Unveil Antigua's Treasures: A Guided Walking Tour & Culinary Adventure - Antigua Guatemala
Antigua Guatemala

Unveil Antigua's Treasures: A Guided Walking Tour & Culinary Adventure

Fuel up for a captivating morning with breakfast before embarking on a guided walking tour through Antigua's vibrant core. Immerse yourself in the city's rich history as you explore its magnificent colonial monuments.

Journey Through Time:

Your exploration begins at the bustling central plaza, where your guide will weave a captivating tale of Guatemala's colonial past and present-day life. Stand in awe of architectural gems like the Palacio de Capitanes, City Hall, and the evocative Cathedral Ruins, each whispering stories of bygone eras.

A Taste of Tradition:

After delving into history, tantalize your taste buds with a delicious lunch at a local restaurant. Prepare to be further immersed in Guatemalan culture with a unique afternoon activity.

Become a Local Chef: Travel to San Miguel Escobar Town, a charming locale, and step into the welcoming home of a local family. Here, you'll have the opportunity to learn the secrets of preparing a traditional Guatemalan dish firsthand. Under their expert guidance, unleash your inner chef and create a culinary masterpiece.

Savor Your Creation: As evening approaches, gather around the table and try the fruits of your labor. Enjoy a delightful dinner featuring the dish you prepared, creating unforgettable memories amidst warm Guatemalan hospitality.

Pacaya - Conquer Pacaya Volcano: Hiking, S'mores & Panoramic Vistas
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Pacaya Conquer Pacaya Volcano: Hiking, S'mores & Panoramic Vistas

Pacaya - Conquer Pacaya Volcano: Hiking, S'mores & Panoramic Vistas - Pacaya Volcano Hike
Pacaya Volcano Hike

After a satisfying breakfast, gear up for an exhilarating adventure – a hike up Pacaya Volcano! This active giant, situated near Guatemala City, promises breathtaking panoramic views of its smoking cone and ancient lava flows.

Embrace the Challenge:

Embark on a well-maintained trail that winds through verdant farmlands and cool pine forests. As you ascend, the scenery transforms, leading you to a dramatic moonscape of solidified lava flows. Feel the thrill of conquering this active volcano and revel in the sense of accomplishment.

A Volcanic Feast:

Once you've reached a suitable vantage point, it's time to refuel with a delightful picnic lunch. Savor the flavors of Guatemala while gazing upon the awe-inspiring crater below. For an extra touch of adventure, roast marshmallows over volcanic heat for a truly unique experience – Guatemalan-style s'mores!

Descent & Delicious Dinner:

Following your volcanic adventure, descend the trail and return to Antigua, where you can unwind and reminisce about the day's conquests. In the evening, cap off your experience with a delicious dinner at a local restaurant, where you can share stories and savor the flavors of Guatemala.

Lake Atitlán - Unveiling Mayan History & Atitlan's Beauty: Iximche & Lakeside Escape
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Lake Atitlán Unveiling Mayan History & Atitlan's Beauty: Iximche & Lakeside Escape

Lake Atitlán - Unveiling Mayan History & Atitlan's Beauty: Iximche & Lakeside Escape - Lake Atitlan
Lake Atitlan
Lake Atitlán - Unveiling Mayan History & Atitlan's Beauty: Iximche & Lakeside Escape - Hotel Atitlan
Hotel Atitlan

Your Guatemalan adventure continues with a captivating journey from Antigua to the majestic Lake Atitlan. But before reaching this breathtaking destination, we'll delve into the fascinating past at the Iximche archaeological site.

Step Back in Time at Iximche:

Prepare to be transported back to the Postclassic Mayan era as you explore the ruins of Iximche, established in 1470 by the Kaqchikel Maya. Uncover the secrets of this ancient city and marvel at its impressive structures.

Scenic Journey & Local Delights:

Following your historical immersion, embark on a scenic drive towards Lake Atitlan. As the landscape unfolds before you, soak in the breathtaking beauty of Guatemala's countryside. Savor a delicious lunch at a local restaurant, allowing you to tantalize your taste buds with authentic Guatemalan flavors.

Lakeside Paradise Awaits:

Finally, you'll arrive at your charming lakeside hotel, a haven of relaxation nestled on the shores of the majestic Lake Atitlan. Take some time to unwind and rejuvenate, soaking in the stunning scenery. As evening descends, enjoy a delectable dinner served at the hotel, the perfect way to unwind and immerse yourself in the beauty and history of this captivating region.

Mirador Rey Tepepul Reserva Natural de Atitlan - Rey Tepepul Reserve
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Mirador Rey Tepepul Reserva Natural de Atitlan Rey Tepepul Reserve

Mirador Rey Tepepul Reserva Natural de Atitlan - Rey Tepepul Reserve - Rey Tepepul Reserve
Rey Tepepul Reserve

Calling all nature enthusiasts! Today's adventure takes you to the famed Rey Tepepul Reserve, nestled on the slopes of the majestic Atitlán volcano. Renowned for its incredible avian diversity, this reserve is a haven for birdwatchers.

Spotting Spectacular Species:

Led by your expert expedition leader and a knowledgeable local guide, you'll embark on carefully curated trails designed for optimal birdwatching opportunities. Keep your binoculars handy as you scan the vibrant canopy, hoping to catch a glimpse of some of the reserve's incredible feathered residents.

Unwind on a Private Boat:

After your exhilarating birding adventure, unwind aboard a private boat transfer to the charming village of San Juan. This picturesque lakeside community is renowned for its vibrant art galleries and a rich tradition of crafting authentic textiles.

Immerse Yourself in Culture:

Prepare to be captivated by the artistic spirit of San Juan. Explore the village's charming galleries and discover a treasure trove of locally-made artwork. Witness the meticulous craftsmanship of the artisans as they create exquisite textiles, a testament to the village's cultural heritage.

Relax and Reflect:

Following your cultural immersion, return to your lakeside hotel, brimming with memories of the day's discoveries. Take some time to relax and reflect on your encounters with nature and local traditions before enjoying a restful evening.

Guatemala City - Immerse Yourself in Guatemalan Culture: Chichicastenango Market & Guatemala City
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Guatemala City Immerse Yourself in Guatemalan Culture: Chichicastenango Market & Guatemala City

Guatemala City - Immerse Yourself in Guatemalan Culture: Chichicastenango Market & Guatemala City - Guatemala City
Guatemala City
Guatemala City - Immerse Yourself in Guatemalan Culture: Chichicastenango Market & Guatemala City - Hyatt Centric
Hyatt Centric

Get ready for a vibrant cultural immersion as we journey to Guatemala City, with a captivating stop at Chichicastenango along the way. Here, experience the heart and soul of Guatemala at the famed Chichicastenango Market.

A Tapestry of Cultures:

This bustling marketplace is a kaleidoscope of colors, sounds, and aromas. Explore endless stalls overflowing with handcrafted textiles, traditional souvenirs, and fresh produce. Witness the unique cultural exchange as vendors from various indigenous groups, each with their distinct languages and traditions, come together in this vibrant hub.

Unveiling Guatemala City:

Following this sensory overload, continue your journey to Guatemala City. Upon arrival, meet your new expedition leader, a passionate expert who will guide you through the city's rich tapestry. Immerse yourself in history with a visit to the iconic church, a landmark steeped in both indigenous and Mayan significance.

A Glimpse into Religious Traditions:

Consider yourself fortunate if your visit coincides with special ceremonies or religious practices taking place within the church. Witnessing these rituals offers a rare opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of Guatemala's unique spiritual traditions.

Culinary Delights:

As the day draws to a close, cap off your cultural immersion with a delicious dinner at a local restaurant. Savor a taste of Guatemalan cuisine and connect with your fellow travelers, sharing stories and experiences from this unforgettable day.

Flores - Soar Through the Skies & Unearth Mayan Secrets: Flores & Yaxha Exploration
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Flores Soar Through the Skies & Unearth Mayan Secrets: Flores & Yaxha Exploration

Flores - Soar Through the Skies & Unearth Mayan Secrets: Flores & Yaxha Exploration - Flores
Flores
Flores - Soar Through the Skies & Unearth Mayan Secrets: Flores & Yaxha Exploration - Las Lagunas Luxury Lodge
Las Lagunas Luxury Lodge

Gear up for an exhilarating morning as we whisk you away on a private transfer to Guatemala City's airport. Board your flight and take to the skies for a scenic journey to Flores, the gateway to adventure in the Petén region.

Journey to Yaxha's Majesty:

Upon arrival in Flores, prepare to be transported back in time as we embark on an expedition to the awe-inspiring Yaxha archaeological site. This magnificent Mayan ceremonial center, nestled amidst the lush rainforests of Petén, boasts over 500 ancient structures waiting to be unearthed.

Unveiling a Lost City:

Join your knowledgeable guide on a captivating exploration of Yaxha's wonders. Decipher the stories etched on towering stelae and marvel at the architectural mastery evident in the colossal pyramids. As you delve deeper into this lost city, feel the weight of history come alive.

A Picnic Amongst the Ruins:

Immerse yourself further in the ambiance with a delightful picnic lunch enjoyed amidst the breathtaking landscapes surrounding Yaxha. Savor delicious food while surrounded by the mystique of the ancient Mayan civilization – a unique blend of archaeology and ecological tourism that makes Yaxha a must-visit for any explorer.

Uaxactun - Step Back in Time at Uaxactun: Unveiling Mayan Astronomy & Local Life
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Uaxactun Step Back in Time at Uaxactun: Unveiling Mayan Astronomy & Local Life

Uaxactun - Step Back in Time at Uaxactun: Unveiling Mayan Astronomy & Local Life - Uaxactun archaeological site
Uaxactun archaeological site

Today, we venture beyond the usual tourist trail to explore the captivating Uaxactun archaeological site. Immerse yourself in the mysteries of this ancient city, guided by the knowledgeable Francisco, your expert on all things Uaxactun.

Unveiling a Hidden Gem:

Uaxactun boasts a rich history, predating the famed Tikal. Prepare to be captivated by its intricate structures and unravel the secrets of this Mayan gem.

A Community Steeped in Tradition:

Francisco will not only guide you through the archaeological wonders but also share insights into the fascinating community that has thrived here for over a century, living in harmony with the surrounding rainforest. Witness firsthand how their daily lives are intertwined with the ancient legacy of the Maya.

Secrets of the Stars:

Delve deeper into Mayan culture with a visit to the Astronomical Observation Complex. Learn how the Maya used these structures to map the cosmos and understand the movement of celestial bodies, a crucial element of their ceremonies and rituals.

A Taste of Local Life:

Prepare to tantalize your taste buds and immerse yourself further in local culture with lunch at a local cook's house. Savor a delicious meal, listen to captivating stories about the region, and explore a small archaeological museum, brimming with hidden treasures.

Unwind and Reflect:

After a day filled with discovery and cultural exchange, return to your hotel with a heart brimming with memories. Take some time to relax and reflect on your unique experience at Uaxactun, a place where ancient history and vibrant traditions collide.

Tikal National Park - Unearthing the Majesty of Tikal: A Full Day of Discovery
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Tikal National Park Unearthing the Majesty of Tikal: A Full Day of Discovery

Tikal National Park - Unearthing the Majesty of Tikal: A Full Day of Discovery - Tikal National Park
Tikal National Park

Fuel up for an exhilarating adventure with breakfast before embarking on a captivating guided tour of Tikal National Park. Prepare to be awestruck by the grandeur of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, a sprawling Mayan metropolis that thrived centuries ago.

Journey Through Time:

Your expert guide will lead you on a captivating exploration of Tikal's architectural wonders. Ascend towering temples, decipher the stories etched on ancient stelae, and delve into the fascinating history of this once-powerful civilization. Learn about the rise and fall of the Maya and the mysteries that continue to shroud their disappearance.

Encounter the Jungle's Embrace:

Keep your eyes peeled for vibrant wildlife as you navigate the lush rainforest trails. Spot playful monkeys swinging through the canopy, listen to the calls of exotic birds, and witness the incredible diversity of the Guatemalan jungle.

A Jungle Feast:

After a thrilling morning of exploration, replenish your energy with a delicious lunch amidst the heart of the jungle. Immerse yourself in the sounds and sights of the rainforest as you savor a delectable meal, a unique experience unlike any other.

Independent Exploration in Flores:

Following your Tikal adventure, return to Flores. The afternoon is yours to explore this charming island town at your own pace. Wander through the colorful streets, browse local shops for unique souvenirs, or simply relax and soak in the vibrant atmosphere.

A Cultural Evening Awaits:

As evening descends, return to your hotel for a delightful dinner. Immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Guatemalan culture with a captivating performance by a folkloric music group. Savor the music, vibrant costumes, and traditional dances, creating unforgettable memories that will stay with you long after your trip concludes.

Guatemala City - Fly back home
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Guatemala City Fly back home

Guatemala City - Fly back home - Guatemala City
Guatemala City

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

Q & A

  • Packing tips?

    Dress in versatile layers! Guatemala's days are warm, but evenings can get surprisingly cool. Comfortable walking shoes are essential since we'll be exploring different parts of the country. Pack light for easy movement.
  • Transportation Tips?

    All transportation will be provided.
  • Booking details?

    This luxury small group tour provided by New Path Expeditions. October 26th, 2024 (10 days). $7,650 per person. Most meals, expert guide with a minimum of 15 years of experience and transportation are provided. Further details and booking information can be found at: https://npexpeditions.com/expeditions/guatemala-expedition/

Lodging

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Las Lagunas Luxury Lodge - it's a beautiful property that combines over 300 acres of land with the comfort of luxury.