GuatemalaAntigua, Lake Atitlan, Chichicastenango, Tikal, Coban and Lanquin
Guatemala, known as “The Land of Eternal Spring” is as spectacularly beautiful as she is fascinating and adventurous! Among her enticing attractions are three UNESCO World Heritage Sites – Antigua, Quiriguá & Tikal. She boasts romantic Spanish colonial towns; the largest indigenous population in the Americas; diverse geography from desert to rainforest to highlands (including 33 volcanoes); and, an abundant population of birds and wildlife. Guatemala is also known for its luxury and unique accommodations including private villas, boutique hotels and jungle lodges, as well as some of the most well known restaurants in all of Central America. Best of all, the activities in Guatemala are as abundant as the wildlife, unique accommodations and great restaurants!
There is something for everyone in Guatemala. Come explore the Guatemala we know and love!
Some of Our Favorite Places:
Antigua is among the best preserved colonial cities in the Americas, even touting the designation of UNESCO World Heritage Site. With her beautiful cobblestone streets, art galleries, coffee shops and colonial architecture, you cannot help but luxuriate in her charms. The area around Antigua is famous for growing coffee (one of the most well known in world) and don’t forget about chocolate – it is a tradition here. The vibrancy of culture, the world-renowned boutique hotels, top rated restaurants and the quaint hometown feel will make your stay in Antigua a sublime experience.
You must see for yourself!
This is a wonderful video clip about Antigua from the New York Times:
Few destinations have the ability to stir your imagination and fulfill your desire for adventure, culture, history, romance and excitement as the highlands of Guatemala. Located in the western highlands lies the spectacular caldera lake, Lake Atitlán. Aldous Huxley once wrote that Lago de Atitlán is “the most beautiful lake in the world.” And we believe him! This stunning lake gets its name from the Mayan word Atitlán meaning “where the rainbow gets its color. “Lake Atitlán is surrounded by several towering 10,000 foot volcanoes. These magical volcanoes, spectacular mountains, and beautiful valleys are the land of the Maya. The Mayan culture is very active in this area and seeing men, women and children in their traditional Mayan clothing is common in many lakeside villages.
Chichi (to which it is fondly referred) rests at over 8200 feet above sea level. This quaint, historic town is famous for its market on Thursdays and Sundays, where traditionally dressed villagers from the surrounding areas and local fruits, veggies and crafts blend together in a kaleidoscope of color! Spanish Colonial Catholicism, modern evangelism and ancient Mayan tradition intertwine at Santo Tomas Cathedral in Chichi’s central square to produce a synchronicity of religious practice that is deeply moving to witness. Chichicastenanago is a place you will likely never forget!
The Peten and Tikal:
The Tikal National Park, in the Peten region of northern Guatemala is an area that covers roughly 200 square miles. The park contains some of the most well preserved archaeological remains of the ancient Maya Civilization. Even though excavation continues, Tikal now stands as the largest excavated site in the American continent. The history and culture will move you. The magnificence of the ruins will enthrall you. And with the cacophony of howler monkeys, spider monkeys, parrots, toucans and cotamundis serenading you, this UNESCO wonder will astound you! Stand atop Pyramid IV at sunrise or sunset and you might just be finished with your bucket list!
Some Of Our Favorite Activities:
Pacaya Volcano Hike – Amatitlán, Guatemala
The hike up Volcán Pacaya begins with a fairly strenuous uphill stretch but becomes more moderate quite quickly. On the way up, you wind through wonderful pine forest to a molten lava rock area where hot steam seeps through crevices in the base of the volcano. Learn about the formation and evolution of the volcano, local flora and fauna and the people of this area as you traverse the volcanoes’ ever changing face. This 2-2.5 hour round-trip hike is a truly memorable experience!
Chocolate Making Workshop – Antigua, Guatemala
In 1.5 to 2 hours you will learn all the steps of chocolate making from harvesting the cacao to the creation of a chocolate bar. From roasting the cacao beans to peeling them and grinding them into a paste, you will be able to learn this long held tradition. The cacao paste is used to prepare a traditional chocolate drink (the first of which was made by the Mayas). You will also be able to use the refined chocolate to prepare a chocolate bar that you can take home and share with your friends – or not!
Iximche Tour and Shaman Ritual – Tecpán, Guatemala
Approximately 1 hour from Antigua is the famous Maya archaeological site of Iximche. After a guided tour of these deeply revered ruins, we will take you into a lesser-known (to visitors) yet extremely important Maya spiritual, ceremony site. There we meet a local Shaman who performs an authentic Mayan ceremony in a local Mayan language (translated by the guide) especially for your family. You can participate as much as you choose. It is a fascinating experience!
Reserva Atitlan Hiking and Canopy Tour, Panajachel, Lake Atitlan
Enjoy an easy hike in the tropical forest with enchanting waterfalls and bridges. The short hike takes you to the 8-cable canopy tour where you can zip through the forest for an unprecedented view of the plants and animals, including monkeys, the raccoon-like coatis and exotic birds. You can also explore the butterfly preserve with a breeding laboratory and approximately 200 living specimens of nearly 20 species of native Guatemala butterflies.
Kayaking on Lake Atitlán – Panajachel, Lake Atitlan
Kayaking on Lake Atitlan is a one of a kind adventure. From the breathtaking views of towering volcanoes to watching the pesaderos fishing in the lake wearing their hand sewn cayukas, you will experience the richness and beauty of this area up close and personal.
Climb San Pedro Volcano – Panajachel, Lake Atitlan
3-4 hours of climbing through coffee plantations, farm fields and spectacular cloud forest, takes you to the top this magnificent volcano and just shy of 10,000 feet in elevation. It is not an easy hike but the views and feeling of accomplishment is well worth the effort! Enjoy breathtaking views of gorgeous Lake Atitlán, with her blue waters, rolling mountains and majestic volcanoes, all while devouring a well-deserved lunch!
Sunrise or Sunset Tour of Tikal, The Peten, Guatemala
Tikal is absolutely stunning! With its huge temples rising up through the jungle canopy, the magic absolutely permeates the air . . . Tikal is truly a place where dreams are made! Enjoy the sights and sounds of the howler and spider monkeys as well as many colorful tropical birds and other mammals in this magnificent UNESCO wonder. Sunset (or sunrise) in Tikal is a deeply moving, yet tranquil experience, and ranks among our favorite moments spent in Guatemala.
Uaxactun Day Trip and Tikal Sunset Tour
Venture deep into the jungle to the site of Uaxactun, which is famous for having the oldest complete Maya astronomical complex as well as being one of the longest-occupied Maya sites. Uaxactun is a community where the Chicleros (gum collectors) have lived for over one hundred years. Many of Uaxactun’s residents make their living by gathering products such as chicle, allspice and xate palm leaves from the forest for export. A visit to Uaxactun is a rich cultural and historical experience!
Ixpanpajul Canopy Tour
Ixpanpajul Natural Park, located in the cradle of the Mayan culture, is a splendid forest that shelters over 200 species of trees, 150 species of birds and 40 species of mammals. You will have the opportunity to explore this tropical paradise on winding paths and via an exciting zip line. The Canopy tour is home to eight daring platforms and a crossed cable system. This unforgettable adventure will leave you breathless and exhilarated!