Your tailor made Guatemala tour starts when you land in Guatemala City, via Miami or Madrid. We’ll take you to Antigua, a glorious colonial jewel of a town founded in 1543. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the oldest cities in the Americas, and one of the prettiest too. Full of lovingly restored colonial buildings painted in terracotta colours, the city has a laid back charm that is not slow to enchant you.
Today, you’ll learn all about how coffee is produced. On your Fair Trade Coffee Tour you’ll meet small, independent coffee producers and their families who are supported by As Green as it Gets. Get your caffeine hit in before your afternoon visit to traditional craft workshops. We’ll even show how disused US school buses are inventively transformed into the distinctive, brightly-coloured buses that transport people, grain and chickens from village to village.
Antigua is yours to explore today. Stroll along the cobbled streets of the city, exploring the Central Plaza, the Cathedral, La Merced and the San Francisco Church. The Catedral Santiago is a haunting ruin, destroyed by an earthquake in 1773 and only partially rebuilt, it’s perfect for an atmospheric photo. In the afternoon, you can hike up one of the volcanoes overlooking the city for some spectacular panoramic views, or browse its markets for Guatemalan worry dolls or other souvenirs.
It’s time for a scenic morning drive up into the highlands. The serene waters of Lake Atitlan are surrounded by three volcanoes and numerous Mayan villages. On a boat you can drift to the villages, visiting local weavers, painters and shamans. You’ll see Mayan women in their traditional colourful clothing and in welcoming but tranquil locations, such as San Pedro La Laguna or San Marcos, you’ll find stunning views and begin to feel the true spirit of this legendary lake.
At Comalapa you can experience its colourful local market and famous painted murals. Amid the smoke of snack vendors and the many distinctive languages of the Maya, traders sell everything from flowers and fruit to colourful tapestries and paintings. In the afternoon you’ll head to Guatemala City airport for the one hour flight to Flores, deep in Guatemala's northern, jungle area called the Peten.
Today you can relax on the island town of Flores, where the cube-shaped houses reach down to the encircling lake. You can channel your inner explorer, and head into the jungle searching for peccary, howler monkey and the rarely seen jaguar. Or, you can channel Indiana Jones on a trip to Mayan sites such as Yaxha, Topoxte and Ceibal, that are hidden away on a tributary of the Usumacinta River.
The ancient culture of the Maya, that mysteriously vanished before the Spanish even set foot ashore, comes alive on your guided tour of Tikal National Park. Home to stories of sacrificial rites carried out atop huge temples rise imperiously above the jungle’s mists and canopy. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was one of the major seats of the ancient Mayan civilisation. Today it’s home to howler and spider monkey, and many colourful tropical birds. In the afternoon, you’ll transfer to Flores airport for the flight to Guatemala City.
Fresh from your jungle adventures and the riches of Maya history, you’ll board your plane for an overnight flight to London, via Miami or Madrid. Your tailor made Guatemala tour may be at an end but you’ll come home with a newfound appreciation of all things Maya and have conquered your fear of heights scaling those stone steps of the pyramids.