Embark on a fascinating and enlightening 10-day tour of Guatemala to discover and gain insight into the Mayan Culture’s significant achievements, such as their calendar. The Mayan civilization was magnificent, and their extensive knowledge in mathematics, astrology, and astronomy remains a remarkable legacy to humanity. Some of their contributions are still in use today.
Guatemala has a singular cultural and natural wealth, accommodating a wide touristic offer that appeals to travelers’ demanding tastes, interests, and choices worldwide. Traveling to Guatemala is a non-recurring, unparalleled, and never-to-be-forgotten experience that is reachable to everyone.
An inspiring destination with its cobblestone streets, architecture, and stunning volcanoes
Famous for its exceptional sculptures
The most breathtaking lake globally, thanks to its picturesque volcanic peaks and vibrant Mayan communities
Impressive Maya ruins in a green forest in northern Guatemala
The Mayans used astrology to determine the best times for personal and group activities. With their scientific expertise, they developed around 20 calendars, each serving a distinct function. Join our skilled guides on an adventure to explore Mayan ruins and settlements and gain insight into the present-day Mayan culture.
You have arrived in Guatemala, the most diverse country in Central America. Our representative will meet you at the Guatemala City airport, providing all the essential information and recommendations to make your trip enjoyable. A driver will take you to the colonial city of Antigua Guatemala.
Two nights in Antigua Guatemala.
Begin your day with a delightful cup of Guatemalan coffee and set off on an adventure to explore the picturesque cobblestone streets of Antigua Guatemala.
You will travel to San Miguel Escobar village for a coffee tour. Experience this excursion with small-scale coffee growers. Come along as they guide you through their fields and home, showcasing the coffee production process from bean to brew. They offer freshly roasted and prepared coffee that you can enjoy.
Next, a knowledgeable guide will lead you through the bustling streets, sharing fascinating information about the UNESCO World Heritage site’s fascinating past. Discover the most picturesque locations to capture stunning photos of Antigua Guatemala’s significant landmarks. Your guide will provide helpful tips to enhance your photography skills and guide you to hidden scenic spots that tourists often miss.
With its stunning architecture and breathtaking volcanoes, Antigua Guatemala is a colonial masterpiece that exudes passion and charm. Whether you enjoy early morning strolls along the cobblestone streets or relaxing afternoon conversations at one of the cozy cafes, this city is a photographer’s paradise.
We will head to Chichicastenango today, known for hosting Central America’s most vibrant market. To fully experience your trip and immerse yourself in the environment, your guide will lead you through the broad market, where you can observe the busy loading areas.
Families arrive from neighboring villages on trucks and carts filled with produce and goods from their farms and workshops. They set up their stalls with a diverse range of products while their leaders negotiate deals with vendors who will sell their wares. Marvel at the impressive array of beautifully crafted, colorful handicrafts such as rugs, blankets, skirts, blouses, napkins, and more.
Discover beautiful and unique handicrafts such as delicate miniature village displays, illustrated housewares, and wooden masks depicting animals from indigenous dances. You’ll also be amazed by vibrant displays of vegetables in various colors. Experience the lively atmosphere of a Diego Rivera-inspired market with bustling merchants and locals purchasing farm supplies and goods. After this exciting excursion, we will drive you to your hotel in Lake Atitlan.
Two nights in Lake Atitlan.
Everyone agrees that Lake Atitlan is incredible and breathtaking. The lake is enclosed by three magnificent volcanoes and charming Mayan villages, making it one of the most picturesque locations in the world. Lake Atitlan is considered one of Central America’s most stunning natural wonders, often called ‘the most beautiful lake in the world’ and ‘the closest thing to Eden on Earth.’
Our itinerary includes visits to three towns around the lake. Our first stop will be San Juan La Laguna, a magic Mayan village surrounded by towering cliffs, thriving coffee farms, and the serene Lake Atitlan.
San Juan La Laguna is a haven for artisans, and the town itself is a work of art. Everywhere you turn, there are murals, paintings, textiles, leatherwork, sculptures, pottery, and art installations that will delight your eyes. The town is home to many Mayan artist cooperatives, making it the perfect place to buy unique handcrafted items or observe local artisans. San Juan is worth a visit for anyone who appreciates art and crafts.
Later we’ll go to the charming and vibrant streets of Santa Catarina Palopo. This village is leading a movement to revitalize communities through textile-inspired artwork around the lake.
The town has changed positively in recent years to eradicate poverty and foster economic development. Pintando el Cambio is an association that has painted more than 850 houses in Santa Catarina Palopo using bright colors and traditional Maya designs, which the residents chose. You will have many chances to capture photos of these unique houses.
We will visit the Painting Change museum, which showcases various symbols, geometric shapes, and colors in the town. After that, we will head to the Cultural Center, where you can learn about the Mayan culture and traditions of the village. Additionally, you can shop, try traditional clothes, and enjoy freshly roasted coffee or hot chocolate.
As we tour the town, we can witness Maya women weaving intricate textiles using the traditional backstrap loom. These women have formed cooperatives to preserve their cultural heritage and support their families financially. We will visit one of these cooperatives.
San Antonio Palopo is a charming village on a hillside near a lake, and it has done an excellent job of preserving its natural beauty and allure. During our visit, we will explore the village’s traditional handcrafted pottery and ceramic factories, which are famous for their unique designs. San Antonio Palopo is renowned for its rich culture and heritage and proudly maintains its local way of life and customs.
We’ll visit the Mayan site of Iximche, spanning about eight square kilometers. They built the buildings using carved stone and stucco; then, they covered them with painted walls. This city was the site for essential power, justice, stability, and harmony ceremonies. Afterward, we’ll spend a couple of hours in Tecpan, known for being the birthplace of brave warriors and home to one of the most influential political groups in the area.
Later, we’ll drive to Guatemala City, where you’ll spend the night before your flight to Flores Island. We’ll go to a restaurant with traditional Guatemalan food for dinner.
Overnight in Guatemala City.
A driver will take you to the international airport of Guatemala City for your flight to Flores Island. On arrival, a guide will be waiting for you to take you to the Mayan ruins of Yaxha.
Yaxha is next to a sizable body of water, commonly known as the crocodile lake. At the visitor center, your guide will provide an introduction to Yaxha. At the same time, various informative boards will detail the history of Yaxha Guatemala, the lake’s location, and the Maya Calendar.
Explore the area with the assistance of a knowledgeable guide to fully appreciate the architecture and nature. You’ll traverse historic Mayan pathways and encounter the astronomical center, ball court, plazas, and pyramids hidden by the surrounding jungle.
The northern Acropolis is a plaza with multiple buildings, a common sight in ancient Maya cities. Visitors can climb the temples to enjoy stunning views of the Acropolis and its surrounding area. Temple 216, in particular, can be seen from the highest peak, just above the treetops. People often gather at this temple to admire its stunning sunset views, which are widely renowned and highly popular.
Stroll on the Calzada del Lago towards the lake while admiring the southern Acropolis. This path offers a unique experience as the ruins are next to two lakes that were an essential part of the past trade route between Maya cities.
During your journey, visit one of the houses in the southern Acropolis. Your guide will showcase the unique architectural style of the interior. This specific house is a rare one that allows visitors to see the inside and is worth a stop. Nowadays, it is home to numerous bat families.
When touring Yaxha in Guatemala, a must-see attraction is temple number 216, the tallest temple in the complex at 30 meters high. The Temple of the Red Hands provides a stunning 360-degree panoramic view that will take your breath away. The name comes from the red handprints found in the temple. Catching the sunset from this temple is a must-do experience. After completing the tour, you’ll go to your jungle lodge located in Tikal.
Overnight in Tikal.
You’ll begin your day early, at 5:00 a.m., to go on the sunrise tour of Tikal. It’s a fantastic experience to witness the sunrise over the jungle, and you’ll gain a newfound appreciation for the beauty of each day. After breakfast, you’ll continue with this incredible archeological tour.
The ancient city of Tikal was home to Mayan settlers known for their expertise in hieroglyph writing, mathematics, and calendar-making. They used their pyramids as astrological observatories to accurately calculate their calendar.
Located in the rainforests of northern Guatemala, Tikal is a fascinating collection of Mayan ruins with over 3,000 structures; it is the remains of an ancient Mayan city. Tikal was the capital city of a highly influential kingdom in the old empire. The structures date back to the fourth century B.C. They are now included in a Guatemala national park and recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Most of the city’s structures have sturdy limestone, which has helped them withstand the test of time. Tikal also had a well-designed system of paved causeways and intricate canals to collect rainwater and supply the city’s reservoirs. In addition, you can discover the remnants of several ballcourts that used to engage in the Mesoamerican ballgame.
Currently, archeologists are still working at Tikal to map and excavate the residential areas where most of the population used to live. After this exciting and unforgettable day, you’ll go to Rio Dulce.
Two nights in Rio Dulce.
Once you’ve had breakfast, you’ll have the opportunity to embark on a stunning boat excursion along the Rio Dulce (Sweet River) to Livingston in the Caribbean Ocean – one of Central America’s most breathtaking experiences. This adventure will take you through a protected area filled with abundant rare and exotic birds, mangroves, canyons, and pelicans before reaching the Caribbean Ocean of Guatemala.
When you visit Livingston, you’ll experience a unique aspect of the country. This remote town has an intriguing mix of cultures, including the Maya community and the Garifunas.
The eastern part of Guatemala is home to a Caribbean coast surrounding the Gulf of Honduras and Belize. Livingston, a town only accessible by boat, played a significant role in the export of bananas and coffee. The small town’s streets are adorned with bouncy houses, street art, coconuts, and many people with a rasta-Faria style.
We’ll go to the ruins of Quirigua, where you can see remarkable 8th-century Mayan masterpieces. One of the main attractions is the carved stelae and sculpted calendars, which are an essential source of information for studying the Mayan civilization. Quirigua is known for having the largest and best-preserved stelae in the Mayan World. Afterward, we’ll drive to Guatemala City.
Overnight in Guatemala City.
Today marks the end of this incredible holiday. A driver will take you to the international airport.
map, expenses & price
Mayan Calendar Route
-All private transportation.
-Nine nights of hotel accommodations.
-Professional local guides.
-Tours and activities as listed.
-All park entrance fees.
-Breakfasts and two traditional lunches.
You will visit by boat the Siete Altares, a natural park where there are many waterfalls staggered throughout the rainforest. The reserve is in the middle of lush rainforests, and although it’s a beautiful spot all year round, it’s advisable to visit during the wet season when the creek and waterfalls are at their fullest. Next, you will enjoy one of the best beaches in the entire country, with a relaxing afternoon at the ocean on the white sands of white beach.
Copan is regarded by archaeologists as a significant cultural hub, often called the ‘Paris of the Mayan World.’ It functioned as its valley’s political and civic core and now boasts numerous well-maintained sculptures and pictographs. The natural surroundings and wildlife in and around the site are equally impressive, and visitors see a diverse range of plants, birds, and insects that inhabit the ancient Mayan cities.
Monterrico, situated on the stunning Pacific coast, is well-known and admired as one of the most spectacular beaches in Guatemala. It is famous for its long, volcanic, black sand beaches and charming small town. Relax at the beautiful beach and enjoy the tropical flavor. You may choose to visit the sea turtle project to witness the release of baby turtles back into the ocean at the shores of Hawaii and Mañanita, located just outside Monterrico.