Guatemala is the most rewarding travel destination in Central America. The combination of nature, culture, and history is unmatched in the region, with rainforests, volcanoes, lakes, hot springs, waterfalls, caves, and wildlife.
This tour is during the very special week of Semana Santa (Holy Week), with opportunities to observe and attend the processions and activities of Palm Sunday and Good Friday. The tour starts in Antigua, one of the most beautiful colonial cities in Latin America, with towering volcanoes behind the city and perfect weather due to the 5000′ altitude. Guatemala’s top highlight is the ancient Mayan city of Tikal, one of the best archaeological sites in the Americas, with pyramids and ruins amidst rainforest teeming with colorful birdlife and other wildlife.
Guatemala is an excellent-value destination and a relatively short flight from Los Angeles, with just a 2-hour time difference. Dates are April 7–15, 2017, and the cost is $1090 for hotels, transport by private tour bus, breakfasts, entries/activities, and Matt Ebiner as tour leader.
GUATEMALA 2017 IS FINISHED.Download Guatemala Itinerary
LAND COST = $1090 (hotels, transportation by bus, entries/activities, local guides, Matt Ebiner as leader, all breakfasts)
Airline tickets are extra and cost about $650 from LAX, including taxes
Friday April 7 – Flight to Guatemala
Depart USA and arrive Guatemala. Two nights in Antigua, with beautiful colonial buildings, comfortable temperatures, and fine restaurants and shopping. Stay at Hotel Aurora, an old colonial house just 2 blocks from the main plaza. It is possible to leave the USA a day or two earlier to have more time in Guatemala.
Saturday April 8 – Antigua
Morning to enjoy the ambience of Antigua. Option to do an afternoon hike up active Volcano Pacaya, with the possibility of riding a horse part way up. Night #2 in Antigua.
Sunday April 9 – Antigua and Lake Atitlan
Palm Sunday festivities in Antigua. Hike in Atitlan Nature Reserve with forest, waterfalls, and monkeys with an option to go zip-lining. We continue to beautiful Lake Atitlán, surrounded by volcanoes and traditional Mayan villages. Two nights in Panajachel.
Monday April 10 – Lake Atitlan
After a boat ride on the lake we hike an hour along the shore between villages, with great views across the water to three volcanoes. Visit more villages by boat before returning to Panajachel for night #2.
Tuesday April 11 – Panajachel – Rio Dulce
Travel to Rio Dulce. Two nights at Hacienda Tijax, a jungle lodge on the river amidst mangrove forest, with comfortable cabins and a nice swimming pool.
Wednesday April 12—Around Rio Dulce
Option to go kayaking at sunrise or to walk in the rainforest. Visit a Spanish castle built to fight British pirates. Take a river trip in a dugout canoe through an impressive canyon . Swim at a hot waterfall (into a cool river). Night #2 at Hacienda Tijax.
Thursday April 13 – Tikal
Visit the ancient Maya city of Tikal, one of the greatest ancient cities of the Americas, situated amidst luxuriant rainforest with lots of wildlife. One night in El Remate at Casa de Don David.
Friday April 14 – Good Friday
Morning flight from Flores to Guatemala City. Optional visit to Antigua to observe Good Friday activities, with elaborate processions over colored sawdust, beautifully designed on the cobblestone streets. One night in Guatemala City.
Saturday April 15 – Depart Guatemala
Travel back to Guatemala City to fly back to the USA. Arrive home the same day in time to be home for Easter Sunday. Or stay longer in Guatemala to explore on your own.