This tour takes you off the beaten path and exposes you to the reality of Guatemalan life for many people, acting as humanitarian aid for those who don’t normally see benefits from tourism.
Despite Guatemala being a country rich in culture and natural beauty, there are many communities lacking basic necessities to live. This ten-day tour has been created to not only show you Guatemala’s highlights, but will also expose you to the reality of life for many Guatemalans. You will provide humanitarian aid to a community that does not experience the benefits of tourism, undoubtedly connecting with the people of Guatemalan on a deeper level than most tourists. You will develop a greater understanding of the Mayan culture. You will also explore the shores of Lake Atitlan, shop at the famous Chichicastenango market, see stunning panoramic views from Tikal’s highest jungle temple, speed down Río Dulce in a private boat, and enjoy succulent seafood in Guatemala’s little Jamaica – Livingston. Not to mention you will have comfortable and safe transportation, professional bilingual tour guides, and a 24/7 tour leader the entire trip.
Guatemala City Airport to Antigua.
You will be picked up from the airport and driven 45 minutes to the picturesque colonial town of Antigua, where you will check in to your hotel. Antigua has a vibrant history and culture. Depending on your arrival time, you will either enjoy an authentic Guatemalan meal in a local restaurant or explore the city first.
Boat tour of Lake Atitlan.
You will be picked up from your hotel at 8:00 am and start the two hour drive to Panajachel. Once arrived, you will check in to your new hotel and have a few minutes to relax before heading to the pier. You will take a tranquil boat ride to the village of Santiago, a laid-back place full of cultural diversity. As you tour the town, you will see a Maximon Ceremony where the locals celebrate, worship, pray, and give sacrifice to the famous Saint Maximon. You will then travel by boat to San Juan La Laguna, a smaller village where the local Mayan women create handmade textiles. You will learn their traditional ways. You return to Panajachel for lunch and spend the afternoon shopping or exploring down town. The rest of the evening will be free. Discover Panajachel culture by night, or unwind at the hotel.
You will start the drive to Chichicastenango Market at 8:00 am, around an hour and forty-five minutes from Panajachel. Chichicastenango is the largest market in Guatemala and is only open on Thursdays and Sundays. It is well worth the drive as it’s famous for its jade jewellery, handmade wooden crafts, traditional textiles, and other unique, and valued items in Guatemala. Spend a day shopping and enjoy the regional food of Chichicastenango. You will arrive back in Antigua around 18:00 pm, giving you time to check in at your hotel before a fine international style dinner.
Humanitarian Aid Experience in El Jicaro in el Progreso Guastatoya.
Today you will get the opportunity to give back to the Guatemalan community. This tour will open your eyes to a different side of Guatemala other travellers will not experience. You will be picked up after breakfast from your hotel at 7:00 am, arriving at El Jicaro around 10:30 am. You will trip to a few of the extremely poor east side communities called El Jicaro in El Progreso Guastatoya. The people here do not normally experience the economic benefits of tourism, and many cannot even afford basic necessities. Guinness Travel will make a grocery donation on your behalf with items such as beans, rice, oil, and corn meal. You will see first hand the impact of your humanitarian aid. You are also welcome to bring or purchase other items to donate such as toothbrushes, dental floss, books, school supplies, and clothing. The people of El Jicaro will ensure you will feel welcome and it will be an enjoyable, eye-opening experience for everyone. After a late lunch in El Jicaro, you will return to Antigua around 20:00 pm. Enjoy a delicious dinner in Antigua and explore the city’s nightlife.
Walking tour of Antigua.
Have breakfast in your hotel or at one of Antigua’s many charming cafes. At 9:00 am you will begin the Antigua walking tour. Visit San Francisco El Grande, the famous Arch Street, Hermano Pedro Museum, Central Park, and Capuchinas Convent. Lunch will be at a traditional restaurant giving you an opportunity to taste the unique and appetizing flavors of Guatemalan cuisine. Then you are off to Cerro de la Cruz, a hill that provides amazing views of the entire city and the famous volcanoes; Fuego, Agua, and Acatenango. Afterwards you will have free time to explore Antigua yourself.
There will be an early morning pick up at 4:00 am to go to Guatemala City Airport, where you have the chance to grab a quick breakfast. At 6:30 am you will take a half hour flight to Flores Airport. The drive to Tikal National Park will take 45 minutes. At 9:00 am you will start the jungle tour accompanied by a private guide. With the help of your guide, you will explore all the main points of Tikal; The Lost World, Complex Q, Temples 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6, The Great Plaza, and The Window Palace. You will enjoy a delicious lunch outside the park before driving to Temple VI and the Palace of Las Acanaladuras. Then race from tree top to tree top, zip lining past magnificent jungle flora. Return to the hotel, relax by the pool, enjoy a drink, and recharge your energy.
El Remate to Rio Dulce.
Begin with a traditional breakfast before an 8:30 am departure. First stop is Castillo San Felipe, an ancient castle used as a fortress during the pirate activity of the seventeenth century. You will continue by boat to the Island of Birds, a tiny island where the beautiful Cormoran lives. After photos, you are off to the hot springs to soak in the warm water flowing from the banks of Rio Dulce. Then you continue your boat journey to Siete Altares on the Caribbean side of Guatemala. Here you will hike alongside a waterfall and naturally made pools, exploring the turquoise water that flows from the mountains. Even take a dip if you want! Next up is Livingston and the true Garifuna culture. Drink fresh coconut water from a coconut, get your hair braided by a local, or try the traditional ‘Tapado’ a seafood soup made with coconut milk and plantains. Return to Rio Dulce overnight.
Rio Dulce to Antigua.
You will depart at 9:00 am for a 3 hour drive to Flores for the flight back to Guatemala City. Private transport will return you to Antigua, arriving around 20:00 pm.
Pacaya Volcano Hike.
After breakfast in your hotel or your place of choice, meet your tour guide at 9:00 am and head to the local market. At the market, there is an abundance of both traditional and modern food that will serve nicely as snacks for the afternoon trip. You will also be provided with apples and brown sugar to caramelize over the lava, not to mention a classic American s’more! After buying delicious snacks at the market, you will have a few hours of free time to pack, eat lunch, and prepare for the hike. You will meet again as a group at 14:00 pm and drive to Pacaya Volcano. The hike begins at 16:00 pm and by 18:00 pm we will be roasting apples and eating s’mores while the sky lights up in a colorful sunset. You will return to your Antigua hotel around 20:30 pm.
Antigua to Guatemala City Airport.
You will be taken to the airport three to four hours before your flight.
Minimum 4 people for this tour.
After you book your experience, you will receive a confirmation email from us confirming that your payment went through. You will then be connected directly to the tour operator, in case you have any further questions. We are also happy to answer any questions about the tour, or travel in general in your country of destination.