Guatemala – land of the Maya and tropics…

12 days
05-14-2025
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Travel itinerary Terms of participation and cancellation
Price $2540

Price includes

  • Accommodation in high-standard tourist hotels (double rooms)
  • Transportation throughout the tour
  • Assistance of a Polish-speaking guide
  • Assistance of local guides
  • Breakfasts 1 lunch Entrance fee to Pacaya
  • Volcano Boat ride to San Juan
  • Entrance fee to Chichicastenango Market
  • Entrance fee to the Quetzal Nature Reserve
  • Entrance fee to Candelaria Cave
  • Entrance fee to Tikal
  • Entrance fee to the Quiriguá Archaeological Site
  • Swimming in the water at Semuc Champey

The price does not include

  • Cost of international flights
  • Travel insurance (available for purchase at Rek Travel office)
  • Tipping

GUATEMALA CITY – ANTIGUA – PACAYA VOLCANO – CHICHICASTENANGO MARKET – LAKE ATITLAN – BIOTOPO DEL QUETZAL – LANQUIN – SEMUC CHAMPEY – TIKAL – RIO DULCE – FLORES – LIVINGSTON – QUIRIGUA

 

 

Boat cruise

Culture and history

Holidays

National parks


Travel itinerary

1.day

CHICAGO - ANTIGUA

Arrival at La Aurora International Airport. Transfer to Antigua. Overnight stay at the hotel.

2.day

ANTIGUA

Today we will explore the city located in the Panchoy Valley – Antigua. It lies between the cones of the Agua, Acatenango, and Fuego volcanoes. Founded in 1543 as the third capital of Guatemala, it was initially named “Santiago de Guatemala.” However, after a powerful earthquake in 1773, the capital had to be relocated to Guatemala City. The city reached its peak in the second half of the 18th century during a construction boom, with a population of 50,000. Before 1773, the city boasted around 25 churches, 5 female and 8 male monasteries, and a cathedral built in 1680, which, due to its beauty and majesty, was compared to the cathedrals in Mexico City and Lima, Peru. Today, Antigua is like a museum in itself, where you can learn about history simply by strolling through its streets. Accommodation and overnight stay.

3.day

ANTIGUA - PACAYA VOLCANO - ATITLAN LAKE

Located 67km from Antigua is the most active and beautiful volcanic complex in Central America – Pacaya Volcano. Its main crater reaches a height of 2552 meters above sea level. From 1961 to 2002, a total of 14 major eruptions were recorded. According to Carlos Sapera, Pacaya Volcano is “the most interesting volcanic complex in Central America in terms of the number of eruptive cones, craters, and changes that can be constantly observed.” We will begin our climb at an altitude of 1900 meters above sea level and ascend to 2300 meters. After descending, we will continue to Lake Atitlan. Accommodation and overnight stay.
Volcano Pacaya Guatemala, Central America.
4.day

LAKE ATITLAN

Today we will visit another town located on Lake Atitlan, inhabited by the Tz’utujil Maya people. We will start with a boat trip to San Juan, where numerous art galleries showcasing primitive and naïve art styles can be found. Then, we will sail to the other side of the lake to the town of Santiago. Founded in 1547 at the foot of the Atitlan volcano, it has a population of 32,000, of which 95% are Tz’utujil Maya. The local population makes a living from fishing, agriculture, and crafting traditional kayaks. Santiago is a city of worship for Maximon, a pagan Maya deity, to whom offerings of alcohol and cigars are made. We will visit the local Catholic church, where Catholicism and Maya beliefs have merged. We will also take a stroll through the local town hall, where the city’s elders gather. Our final stop before returning to Panajachel will be San Antonio Palopo. Accommodation and overnight stay at the hotel.

5.day

CHICHICASTENANGO

Today we will visit the largest Maya market – Chichicastenango, famous for its wide selection of textiles and masks. At first glance, Chichicastenango may seem isolated from the rest of Guatemala, as it is surrounded by mountains and valleys. But soon after, the place becomes enchanting, especially when narrow, cobblestone streets and roofs covered with red tiles are shrouded in mist. Crowds of vendors and tourists gather here every Thursday and Sunday. The city itself, built in 1540, is named after its patron saint, Saint Thomas. When missionaries arrived here, they destroyed the Maya temple and built a Catholic church in its place, naming the city Santo Tomas in his honor. Only 18 steep steps leading to the church remain from the old temple, symbolizing the number of months in the Maya solar calendar. Today, these steps are mainly used for selling flowers, candles, and perfumes. After visiting the market, we will head to Panajachel, located on the shores of Lake Atitlan. Accommodation at the hotel and overnight stay.

6.day

GUATEMALA CITY - BIOTOPO DEL QUETZAL - LANQUIN

Today we will head to the greenest and rainiest area of Guatemala – Alta Verapaz. We will also visit the Quetzal Nature Reserve, which was created to protect the Quetzal bird, considered a sacred bird by the Maya civilization and today is one of Guatemala’s national symbols, representing freedom for the Maya people.

There will be an opportunity to walk through the humid forest and admire orchids, ferns, and bromeliads, as well as observe owls, hummingbirds, and toucans. With a bit of luck, we may also see the Quetzal bird.

Quetzal, Pharomachrus mocinno, Guatemala

Transfer do Lanquin, gdzie czeka nas wypoczynek w komfortowo wyposażonych namiotach. Nocleg.


7.day

LANQUIN - SEMUC CHAMPEY

Today we will visit one of the most beautiful places in Guatemala, Semuc Champey – a series of natural pools and basins, not only to admire them but also to enjoy a swim. In the Mayan language (Keqchi), Semuc Champey means Holy Water. The Cahabón River flows at the very beginning of Semuc Champey and reappears about 400 meters after passing through a natural limestone bridge with beautiful, crystal-clear pools. The water in these natural basins has an emerald-green color, sometimes resembling a navy blue sapphire..

Sunset in Semuc Champey, Guatemala

 

8.day

LANQUIN - CANDELARIA CAVE - FLORES, PETEN

Today we will head to the northernmost point of Guatemala, Peten. Along the way, we will visit an extraordinary cave. Candelaria Cave is one of the most important caves in this region. For the ancient Maya, this cave served as an entrance to the underworld of Xibalba. Today, Maya rituals still take place here. We will then continue our journey northward in Guatemala. Overnight stay.



9.day

TIKAL

Today we will explore Tikal, also known as the “place where voices are heard.” Compared to other cities from the classical period, Tikal is the largest pre-Columbian settlement in America. This opinion was confirmed by scientists based on a series of excavations conducted in the late 1950s. The city was inhabited around 700 BCE, only to be forgotten as it was engulfed by the local jungle. It was not until 900 CE that it was rediscovered and restored. In Tikal, covering an area of ​​66 km2, there were 3,000 buildings, and the pyramids stood out with a specific style, unmatched anywhere else in Mesoamerica. Today, six pyramidal temples somewhat resemble skyscrapers. It’s no wonder archaeologists have called Tikal the New York of the Maya civilization. The Tikal National Park covers 575 km2 and has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Afternoon flight to Guatemala City. Overnight stay.

10.day

FLORES - RIO DULCE - LIVINGSTON

We will travel to Izabal to admire Guatemala’s most picturesque river, the Rio Dulce. Izabal is a complex system of limestone caves, hills, rivers, lakes, marshes, and vast plains. Here you can find Mayan pyramids hidden in the rainforests. The natural area of Izabal resembles the richness of the Amazon forests and impresses with its lush vegetation. It is sometimes called the jade coast.

We will sail along the Rio Dulce: steep canyon walls, thermal springs, and the beauty of the tropical jungle will leave unforgettable impressions. We will also visit the town of Livingston, inhabited by the Garifuna people, descendants of slaves brought from Africa, who will show us their unique culture blending African, Caribbean, and European elements. Lush palm trees, reggae music, and delicious seafood symbolize Livingston, allowing you to experience the true spirit of Jamaica in the heart of Guatemala. During our tour, you can try the typical Garifuna dish – tapado soup (seafood soup cooked in coconut milk).

Accommodation and overnight stay.

Flores, Peten, Guatemala
11.day

RIO DULCE - QUIRIGUA - CIUDAD DE GUATEMALA

Today we will visit the archaeological site of Quirigua. This ancient Mayan city is mainly characterized by its majestic stelae, which are the largest and best-preserved in the Mayan world. Most of the monumental structures were built during the reign of the new Quirigua dynasty, which dominated the Copán and Motagua river region. The largest sculpture on the Great Plaza weighs 55 tons. The zoomorphic altars serve as a kind of artistic monument. It’s no wonder that Quirigua was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. We will then travel back to Guatemala City for overnight stay.

12.day

GUATEMALA CITY - CHICAGO

Transfer to the airport in Guatemala City and departure to Chicago.

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12 days

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The company is not responsible for any loss of customer's property due to burglary, theft, loss, etc. We also do not assume responsibility for any losses incurred by the customer in motels. Rek Travel reserves the right to change the itinerary due to circumstances beyond its control. The customer is obliged to comply with the tour regulations. Tour participants are insured according to the requirements of the US Department of Transportation for a total amount of $500,000 (insurance policy available upon request). Participants may opt for additional insurance coverage for hospital and outpatient treatment of illnesses acquired during the tour, as well as accidents in visited facilities (further information available at the office) for an additional fee.

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