Signature Guatemala

From Guatemala City to Guatemala City
  • Guatemala
  • Cultural Experiences
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Tour Description

Join us on this 8 day adventure to explore the highlights of Guatemala! Discover volcano-studded horizons, abundant jungles and cobblestone streets while you experience the culture and history of an ancient Mayan civilization.

Our Signature Guatemala journey begins in the the charming colonial city of Antigua, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Antigua was the former capital of Guatemala, its colourful streets surrounded by a backdrop of volcanoes and coffee plantations. Taste the local flavours on our street eats tour. 

Explore the pre-Columbian Maya ruins of Ixmche, dive deeper into the local culture on a tortilla making workshop, and explore one of the largest, vibrant and colourful markets in the region in Chichicastenango.

Stay on the shores of Lake Atitlan, and explore this fascinating region, steeped in tradition. By boat, visit the small towns of San Juan La Laguna Village and Santiago Atitlan, where locals practice many of the old ways, including worshipping Maximon, a Mayan folk saint...who today you may find smoking cigars and drinking alcohol!  Also, visit a coffee plantation to learn more about the process involved in producing 100% organic coffee.

Discover the ancient Mayan citadels and archaeological sites of Yaxha and Tikal, located deep in the jungle with more than 3,000 ancient and impressive structures.

Charming Guatemala is waiting to be discovered!

*Chichicastenango Markets open on a Thursday & Sunday, so we start this tour on Tuesdays & Fridays,  or Monday & Thursday with an extra night in Antigua

Viva's Best Bits...

Explore the highlights of the Mayan heartland, including the cobblestone streets, lakes, town, and jungle ruins. Along the taste the local cuisine on a street eats tour in Antigua, a corn tortilla workshop with local, and coffee at an organic plantation.

Explore Tikal, an ancient Mayan citadel in the rainforests of northern Guatemala. Its iconic ruins of temples and palaces include the giant, ceremonial Lost World Pyramid and the Temple of the Grand Jaguar.

Discover indigenous communities living in their traditional lifestyle, learn about Maximón, an important Mayan folk saint in Guatemala represented by a dressed up wooden effigy who, unlike other saints, smokes cigars and drinks alcohol.

Tour Itinerary

Customisable ? This tour can be customised to suit your tastes and timing. Enquire here for more information.
Day 1
Guatemala City Antigua

Upon arrival into Guatemala City Airport, transfer to your hotel in Antigua. The afternoon is free for you to explore this charming town at your own leisure.

Antigua is a beautiful old colonial city, the former capital of Central America and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city sits beneath three volcanoes, surrounded by coffee plantations and indigenous communities. Renowned for its Spanish colonial buildings including the baroque La Merced church with its ornate yellow and white facade. The streets are lined with pastel coloured buildings and churches, and the markets and plazas throb with activity.

Day 2
Antigua City and Street Eats Tour

First we will explore La Antigua, known for its beauty and greatness of its colonial buildings, surrounded by the Volcanoes of Agua, Fuego and Acatenango. Agua was declared as cultural heritage of the humanity by the UNESCO in 1979, and you can see why when we witness some of its important monuments while walking through the beautiful and romantic cobblestone streets. From here, we will drive to the surroundings towns of La Antigua, San Juan del Obispo, this small village is famous for holding the first Catholic church in Guatemala.

We will continue to Santa Maria de Jesus, a village which is located under the slopes of Volcano Agua and has in its central square; a temple which was built in the
17th century.

We will return to Antigua to experience some of the local street food with your guide. Sample a wide array of tasty local dishes, all which are on offer from the busy food stalls next to the church of La Merced. Soak in the culture and atmosphere in this area of Antigua while enjoying the famous tastes of Shucos (Guatemalan Hotdog) and Chuchitos (made with corn dough, stuffed with chicken or pork) among a variety of other foods.

Day 3
Antigua via Iximche and Chichicastenango Lake Atitlan

Early this morning you will depart from La Antigua heading towards Chichicastenango. We will travel for around 1.5 hours, until we reach the archaeological site of Iximche, where we will stop for a guided tour. Iximche, is a pre-Columbian Mayan site which was ruled by the Kaqchikel in the 15th century. Located in the municipal district of Tecpàn, Iximche was the capital of the Late Postclassic Kaqchikel Maya kingdom from 1470 until its abandonment in 1524. The architecture of the site includes a number of pyramid-temples, palaces and two Mesoamerican ballcourts. Although it is not as well-known as other major archaeological sites of the Classic Period (250 to 900 AD), it is still a popular site to visit because of its easy accessibility and pleasant setting. Afterwards we will continue the drive to Chichicastenango.

On arrival into Chichicastenango, we will visit one of the America's largest open markets. Here, you will experience natives trade their crops, pottery and handicrafts, in an explosion of colour, on Thursdays and Sundays. Wonder the many stalls, filled with hidden gems which are all made locally in the village. There will be plenty of time to pick up a few special souvenirs. We will also visit the 400 year old Santo Tomas church, which is settled on the remains of an ancient Maya temple, where catholic religious ceremonies and pre-Hispanic rights were practiced together.
Please note: The market takes place only on Thursdays & Sundays.

We will journey to a local cornfield that is harvested in the area. We will learn about the different types and colours of corn that are grown there and in the surrounding region, before getting to partake in a tortilla making workshop. Learn how local tortillas are made using the harvested corn, while tasting the produce with different sauces and cheese.
At the end of the workshop, there will be time for you to enjoy some homemade food for lunch.

Travel to Panajachel on the shores of Lake Atitlan for the evening. Panajachel is a town in the Guatemalan Highlands, located on the north shore of Lake Atitlán. Surrounding the lake are the San Pedro, Tolimán and Atitlán volcanoes. Cafes, bars and stalls selling handicrafts and textiles line Calle Santander, the main street. In the old town is the colonial San Francisco Church, with a stone facade. Boats connect Panajachel with
lakeside Mayan villages

Day 4
Lake Atitlan boat tour

Early morning you will be collected from your hotel for a boat journey across Lake Atitlan. First heading to San Juan La Laguna Village, where the Tzutujil people live surrounded by its many hills and mountains. Ancestral traditions and one-of-a-kind natural marvels have existed here for many years. This town is special for how its population lives in harmony with nature. While here, we will also visit La Voz Coffee Plantation. Founded by the people from the Tzutujil Maya culture with the vision of producing 100% organic coffee. Enjoy a guided walk through the coffee plantation and factory, used for drying and packing the coffee, learning along the way how the process takes place. Ending your experience by tasting a local cup of coffee.

Back onboard the boat we continue the journey onto another local village, Santiago Atitlan in time for lunch (not included). Located on the south part of Lake Atitlan, the largest village on the skirts of the volcano. You will walk with your guide to the house where the Maya God Maximón is living. Each year a different ''brotherhood'' has the privilege of taking care of their God so his location changes. Once with Maximón you may see local shaman performing rituals for local people. After visiting Maximón we will visit the local church and learn about the history of this very traditional town, as well as the local
market, learning about the distinctive textiles and primitive art that is famous from this area.

Day 5
Atitlan Flores with Yaxha

Departing early from Panajachel, you will head to Guatamala City airport and to fly to Flores.

You will travel to Laguna Yaxha, the site of an archaeological site with over five hundred structures and forty carved monuments, two ball courts and nine temple pyramids. Yaxha means ‘emerald-green water,’ an apt title due to the two lakes it’s located between. The area is also abundant with local flora and fauna, providing a habitat to howler, spider monkeys and a number of tropical birds. Your day will end watching the sunset over Yaxha Lake.

Day 6
Tikal Archaeological Tour

Today you will visit Tikal National Park. The park is home to several Maya ruins including the Great Jaguar of Tikal, the North Acropolis, The Lost World, the Central Acropolis and Temples I, II and III. While exploring the ruins with your own private guide, be on the lookout for local wildlife and birdlife. Tikal is also home to hummingbirds, toucan, parrots, coatis, howler monkeys, spider monkeys, crocodile, snakes and even the occasional jaguar. Lunch included

Day 7
Fly to Guatemala City

You will fly back to Guatamala City from Flores and the remainder of your day is free to explore the city. Perhaps take the time to visit Centro Historico at the heart of the city. Here you can see the National Palace of Culture, the Metropolitan Cathedral, the National Congress, the Presidential House, the National Library and Constitution Plaza.

Day 8
Guatemala City Depart

You will be transferred to the airport to fly to your next destination.

What’s Included

  • Included Copy 20 Standard accommodation with breakfast daily
  • Included Copy 31 Upgrade to superior or deluxe accommodation
  • Included Copy 20 Breakfast daily, Other meals where stated
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 Airport Transfers
  • Included Copy 20 Sightseeing with local English-speaking guides
  • Included Copy 20 Entrance fees
  • Included Copy 20 Internal flights as part of this itinerary*
  • Included Copy 7 International Flights, Visa and reciprocity fees (if applicable), tips, travel insurance
Land, Air, Ship, Train ...


  • Included Take part in a tortilla making workshop
  • Included Explore Lake Atitlan by boat, including the towns of San Juan La Laguna and Santiago Atitlan
  • Included Taste local cuisine during a street eats’ tour of Antigua
  • Included Visit the vibrant local markets of Chichicastenago.
  • Included Discover ancient Mayan ruins, Ixmche, Yaxha and Tikal
  • Included Sample local coffee at an organic coffee plantation
Click here for dates & prices

8 days

Price from

$2,998 USD

Per person, sharing

Tuesdays & Fridays Or Monday & Thursday With An Extra Night In Antigua