10 Best Guatemala Tour Operators 2024 [Unbiased & With Reviews]

10 best guatemala tour operators 2024.

Are you planning to visit Guatemala, but unsure which tour provider to select? Now, you no longer have to waste time searching the internet and filling out dozens of contact forms. Simply fill out ONE form, we’ll send it off to multiple tour providers and they’ll contact YOU! You’ll be able to compare rates and find the lowest cost tour for the most affordable trip abroad.

Get Free Quotes From 10 Best Guatemala Tour Operators

Have you been imagining a dream adventure in Guatemala, one of the most looked over tourist destinations in the world? Is it in your interest to discover the best tour companies in Guatemala? Do you want to discover the highest rated and safest Guatemala tour companies to help you on your trip?

While you are on vacation in Guatemala, you will see many examples of the Mayan history in the country. Ancient ruins can be seen throughout the country and you can even meet indigenous Mayan descendants. The country is also very well known for its picturesque views and volcanic landscape. Guatemala is covered in dense vegetation and beautiful jungle canopy’s. Beaches in Guatemala are also rated as some of the prettiest in Central America.

Save time and hassle with our guide to the top 10 tour operators. Avoid the risk of a disappointing experience and high costs by relying on our well-researched list of trusted tour companies. We’ve done the work to ensure you have the best possible time in Guatemala with reliable services and unforgettable adventures. Don’t spend hours sifting through options – let our guide lead you to a fantastic journey.

Here is an unbiased list of the Top 10 most reputable Guatemala tour operators.

Table update Jan 18, 2024

Wicho & Charlie’s Volcano Tours

Wicho & Charlie's Volcano Tours

As the best volcano tour operator in Guatemala, Wicho & Charlie’s Volcano Tours has been providing exciting tours to Guatemala’s most iconic volcanoes. The company established its operations in 2017 in Antigua. However, the original founders, Luis (Wicho) and Carlos (Charlie), were adventure-spirited guides that trekked these volcanoes since the 90s.

The company wants you to experience the best of Guatemala. They have a team of highly skilled and professional guides and all of their equipment meets international standards. With Wicho & Charlie’s Volcano Tours, you will get a safe and amazing experience of Guatemala’s frequently erupting volcanoes.

Wicho & Charlie’s Volcano Tours Best Guatemala Tour Packages

At Wicho & Charlie, they provide detailed tours of the most popular volcanoes in Guatemala. Join their tour of the Acatenango Volcano package. In this 2-day trip, you will witness some incredible moments from atop the volcano while spending the night in a quiet camp.

If you are traveling in a large group, you should consider their Acantenango for 8 Persons tour package. You will see the majestic volcano up close and at night.

Also, they offer Acantenango on a 4×4 tour. If you are looking to avoid the altitude climb from 2400m to 3400m, this package is the perfect pick!

Wicho & Charlie’s Volcano Tours Reviews

As the top-rated tour operator in Guatemala, their spectacular service has been praised my many adventure-seeking tourists. They have 855 reviews on TripAdvisor and are ranked top outdoor activities providers in Antigua. They are also awarded the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award for their all-inclusive services. A recent customer of theirs wrote:

Wicho and Charlie’s provided great food and support through this challenging hike. The cabins were also a life saver because it was freezing… abbybloom

Read all reviews of Wicho & Charlie’s Volcano Tours on TripAdvisor .

Gem Trips

Gem Trips is one of the leading Guatemalan tour companies that provide tours in Tikal and surrounding areas of Guatemala. The company’s name is an acronym – GEM stands for Global Evelin (Marlon’s wife) and Marlon (founder). The company is dedicated to providing beautiful nature and sightseeing tours in Guatemala. They value excellence, customer service, safety and responsiveness. They also pay special attention to their customers to ensure that all their needs are met.

Gem Trips Best Guatemala Tour Packages

You can choose from a wide variety of tour packages that Gem Trips offers in Tikal and surrounding places. Explore the Mayan site of Tikal in their Tikal Full Day tour package . You will see all the great spots around the Tikal Palace including its temples. A local bilingual guide will also tell you about the history and local flora and fauna present there.

For a unique experience of the Tikal area, go on their Sunrise Archaeological and Wildlife Spotting Tour . A local expert will lead you to all the popular archaeological spots where you can learn Tikal’s history.

Don’t miss out on their Yaxha Archaeological Focus Day Tour . Begin at the Trail Gate of Yaxha site and move through its temples, astronomical observatories and many more in this historical tour.

Gem Trips Reviews

As an authentic Guatemalan travel agency, Gem Trips is dedicated to bringing its customers the true essence of Guatemala. With over 744 reviews on TripAdvisor, they have received the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award in 2023. They are also ranked as #1 of 4 Tours & Activities in Tikal National Park. A satisfied customer wrote:

Tikal is a beautiful place with such an amazing history. Marlon did an amazing job taking us through the history of the Mayan people. Marlon was an amazing tour guide… Ekib E

Read all reviews of Gem Tours on TripAdvisor .

Simoon! Rentals & Tours

Simoon! Rentals & Tours

Simoon! Rentals & Tours is the only tour operator in Antigua that is able to offer tours on motorcycles, scooters, and ATVs around the rural village areas. They offer a large range of distinctive tours for your choosing. Their staffs are extremely skilled and capable of catering to their clients.

At Simoon, safety is the number one priority in each and every tour. They promise to give you an experience that takes you off the beaten trail and into the more indigenous areas of Guatemala. Explore mountains and villages with one of the best Guatemalan tour companies.

Simoon! Rentals & Tours Best Guatemala Tour Packages

As pioneers of adventure tourism in Antigua, Simoon has tour packages that will suit all your adventure needs. The Antigua Mountain Tour package is a fun experience where you will be taken to the mountain of El Hato.

Simoon’s Antigua Motorcycle Adventure will have you driving your own motorbike through organic farms and even a hobbit-themed lodge within Antigua.

You can also go on their Antigua Villages Tour to get a unique chance to interact with the local communities and roam their local factories and markets.

Simoon! Rentals & Tours Reviews

Their adrenaline-pumping adventures have received positive acclaim from many tourists that chose Simoon Rentals & Tours as their tour company in Guatemala. With over 625 reviews and 5-star ratings on TripAdvisor, the company is ranked as #2 of 76 Outdoor Activities in Antigua. A customer that toured with them in the past wrote:

Our guide was very attentive and helpful with inexperienced drivers. The experience was a lot of fun. We went to several places and enjoyed them all… 498katherineg

Read all reviews of Simoon! Rentals & Tours on TripAdvisor .

Quetzaltrekkers

Quetzaltrekkers is the leading non-profit and all-volunteer run tour operator in Guatemala. They are dedicated to bringing you a unique experience of the Guatemalan countryside. Their motto is “Hike Volcano, Help Kids”. The company aims to raise awareness and funds for various social projects through their tours and excursions. Their tourism technique is also sustainable and non-invasive to the environment.

Quetzaltrekkers Best Guatemala Tour Packages

Quetzaltrekkers offers unique tour packages throughout the Western Highlands of Guatemala. Tour the Santa Maria Volcano atop Xela Valley. In this trip, you will climb the steep hillside through pine forests and see the amazing view of the Guatemalan Highlands.

Join Quetzaltrekkers on their most popular tour package – the 3 day hike from Xela to Lake Atitlan . Trek through cloud forests and rural villages and immerse yourself in local Mayan communities. Also, you can go on a thrilling 5 day adventure to Todos Santos , a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Quetzaltrekkers Reviews

Being leaders in the Guatemalan tourism industry, the company’s efforts and service has been praised by many. This Guatemalan tour company has 625 reviews on TripAdvisor and has received the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award in 2023. They are also ranked as #1 of 21 Tours & Activities in Quetzaltenango. A past customer wrote:

We had a great experience! The hike itself was beautiful with great views and nature. There where no other tourists around which was great… Judith K

Read all reviews of Quetzaltrekkers on TripAdvisor .

Old Town Outfitters

Old Town Outfitters was founded in 1998 and has been providing the highest quality tours in Antigua. Old Town is a full-service Guatemala tour company that specializes in adventure travel and management. The company was founded by Matt Hartell. As pioneers of outdoors adventure, their tour guides are extremely passionate and skillful at what they do. They are rock climbers, bike experts, adventure fanatics and everything in between!

Old Town Outfitters Best Guatemala Tour Packages

With many years of experience in the industry, Old Town Outfitters provides you the best tours in Guatemala. One popular tour option is the Acatenango Guatemala Volcano tour . This famous volcano has a plethora of flowers and fauna covering its sides and is a beautiful trip for your whole family.

If you are interested in Mayan ruins, the Tikal Ruins 1 Day Tour is the perfect fit for you! Spend the day exploring Tikal’s burial grounds and their impressive pyramids and ruins.

Your adventure needs will be met fully on their El Zur Mountain Bike Tour . Ride the only MTB customized trail in Guatemala for a thrilling and adrenaline-surging experience.

Old Town Outfitters Reviews

As one of the highest-reviewed travel agencies in Guatemala, Old Town Outfitters’ exciting adventure packages are liked by all tourists. They have 612 reviews on TripAdvisor and are ranked as #7 of 76 Outdoor Activities in Antigua. A customer satisfied with their service wrote:

We travelled up in 4x4s which was hilarious. Your guides are talented drivers! This was my best experience in Guatemala… Claire

Read all reviews of Old Town Outfitters on TripAdvisor .

CA Travelers

CA Travelers is an avant-garde agency that has a different take on what a tourist experience should be. The company wants to give a truly unique tour experience that offers clients the absolute best service of the highest quality. At CA Travelers, they value honesty, reliability, sustainability and growth.

CA Travelers Best Guatemala Tour Packages

You can find yourself spending quality time exploring a beautiful foreign country with tour packages from CA Travelers.

Traverse the beautiful landscapes of Semuc Champey National Park . You will be roaming around a tropical forest and swimming in crystalline pools in this tour package.

Their unique Cultural Tour of Santa Maria de Jesus offers you to enjoy local chocolate and wine.  For a taste of Guatemalan delights, you can opt for their Culinary Nightfall tour package .

CA Travelers Reviews

Steadily rising to the top of the travel market, this Guatemalan travel agency has not had any problem in providing satisfactory tours to its clients. Their 498 reviews on TripAdvisor have led them to be ranked as #2 of 61 tours and transportaion in Antigua. A recent client of theirs wrote:

I can highly recommend this tour. Farah is a great and very passionate guide, who provides you with lots of informations, especially about the politic development of Guatemala… Christoph

Read all reviews of CA Travelers on TripAdvisor .

Los Elementos Adventure Center

Los Elementos Adventure Center

Los Elemenots Adventure Center was founded by Lee and Elaine in 2005. The company emerged from their passion for adventure upon relocating from Colorado to Guatemala. What originally started as a small venture quickly rose to become one of the largest and most successful travel agencies in Guatemala. The company provides immersive cultural and adventure tours in Lake Atitlan and its surrounding areas.

Los Elementos Adventure Center Best Guatemala Tour Packages

From kayaking in whitewater rapids to scaling rocks and volcanoes, there is no shortage of tour packages at Los Elementos.

Go on the #1 hiking expeditions in Guatemala with Los Elementos’ San Pedro Volcano Hike . In this 3-5 hour hike, you will scale the dormant volcano and see breathtaking sights of Lake Atitlan from its summits.

For a true experience of Guatemalan indigenous culture, take part in a Mayan Fire Ceremony in the sacred caves of Lake Atitlan.

Similarly, go on their Guatemala Jungle Trek for a trip filled with natural beauty. You will see a wide variety of wildlife and fauna including the Quetzal, the national bird of Guatemala.

As one of the best tour companies in Guatemala, Los Elementos has consistently delivered satisfactory services to its customers. They have 449 reviews on TripAdvisor and most of them are positive. A past customer of theirs wrote:

We did the Santiago and San Juan Tour, we had an amazing experience!! Mario was our guide, he was fantastic!! Our goal was to have an immersive experience… Pablo B

Read all reviews of Los Elementos Adventure Center on TripAdvisor .

De La Gente

De La Gente

De la Gente is a private company based in Guatemala that helps coffee-growing communities by providing authentic tours of coffee plantations. The company was founded in 2014 by Franklin Voorhes. Through their immersive and rich coffee tours, they have become a well-recognized tour operator in Guatemala.

Their aim is to provide a sustainable livelihood to local people involved in coffee plantations. Their main focus lies in community tourism where they invite tourists to truly experience and learn from local communities.

De la Gente – Private Tours Best Guatemala Tour Packages

Experience the soulful culture and tradition of local Guatemalan coffee-growers through De la Gente’s many tour packages. Embark on their Coffee Tour near the outskirts of Antigua. In this tour, you will learn everything about coffee-making from bean to brew. End the tour with a nice, hot coffee at the producer’s home.

If you want a taste of Guatemalan gastronomy, try their Pepian Cooking Class . De la Gente also offers Origin Trips which is a unique experience where you will be interacting first-hand with small-scale coffee producers.

De la Gente

Coffee is a big part of Guatemalan culture and De la Gente has proved this point through its popular coffee tours. As a highly-reviewed Guatemalan travel agency, they have 445 reviews on TripAdvisor. They are at the very top as #1 of 51 Food & Drink in Antigua. A customer who toured with them in the past wrote:

The pepian class was excellent! Rosie and her husband we very welcoming and kind. A great way to experience a part of Guatemalan culture up close… Melissa P

Read all reviews of De la Gente – Private Tours on TripAdvisor .

Tikal VIP Tours

Tikal VIP Tours

Tikal VIP Tours is a top-rated local tour operator in Guatemala. The company was founded by Elmer Alvarado, a passionate tour guide, in 2019. Besides being known for their exceptional private and sunrise tours, they also ensure reliable, safe transportation, including A/C and insurance. They are dedicated to responsible tourism, providing educational insights into history, archaeology, flora, and fauna of Guatemala.

Tikal VIP Tours Best Guatemala Tour Packages

Tikal VIP Tours is widely recognized for their exclusive tours of Mayan ruins around Tikal and Yaxha. Join them on one of their Tikal Private Tours where you will spend the day exploring the Mayan ruins around Tikal.

Don’t miss out on their iconic Sunrise Tour of Tikal . Travel to Tikal early in the morning and watch the gorgeous view of the sunrise atop Mayan monuments.

Also, a must-see is Yaxha National Park that is just a few hours’ drive from Tikal. Tikal VIP Tours provides a beautiful Sunset Tour of Yaxha where you will get unique views of the sunset from this archaeological ruin.

Tikal VIP Tours Reviews

As a highly-reviewed Guatemalan tour company, Tikal VIP Tours has been praised by many tourists that booked their travel services. Out of 412 reviews on TripAdvisor, 400 of them are 5-star ratings. They are ranked as #1 of 30 Tours & Activities in Flores. A past client of theirs wrote:

The tour was simply fantastic. We left early to get ahead of the busy crowds. The van was new and very clean. Elmer our guide was one of the best… Tim S

Read all reviews of Tikal VIP Tours on TripAdvisor .

OX Expeditions

With OX Expeditions , you are guaranteed a solid and professional tour experience of Guatemala. OX prides itself on being one of the top Guatemalan tour operators within all of Antigua and they have a knack for details.  They value professionalism, safety, care and sustainability. At OX Expeditions, their responsible and accountable tour guides will ensure the best vacation for you and your family. Their attention to your needs will give you the chance to relax and feel confident that your tour will be everything you imagined.

OX Expeditions Best Guatemala Tour Packages

With their attentive tour guides and personalized service, OX Expeditions provides tour packages that will cater to your every need.

Go on an unbelievable adventure on their Summit to Surf  tour package. Hike 13000ft to the top of a volcano and descend the next day to surf waves on the Pacific Ocean.  

Ox Expeditions offers the  Lost City Guatemala tour  where you will see the “real” Guatemala on a bike. Also, visit ruins, churches, cemeteries and more on this exciting and immersive tour.

You could also climb a mountain on their  Acatenango Day Hike  package. In this adventure filled hike, you will be able to see breathtaking views atop Acatenango’s summit.

OX Expeditions Reviews

This Guatemalan travel agency has single-handedly raised the standards of tourism in Guatemala through its spectacular service. They have 382 reviews on TripAdvisor and most of them are positive. They are also ranked as #2 of 14 Boat Tours & Water Sports in Antigua. A satisfied customer who toured with them recently wrote:

Alonso and the whole OX team was amazing. Great adventure to be done with friends. I recommend this company… Eliana T

Read all reviews of OX Expeditions on TripAdvisor .

Uncover the hidden gems of Nicaragua. Choose one of the 10 Best Nicaragua Tour Operators , providing exceptional services for your exploration.

The #1 attraction in Guatemala is undoubtedly the Tikal National Park. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, this area offers an immersive experience of Mayan ruins as well as great views of the surrounding areas.

The best time to visit Guatemala is during the months of November to April. The warmer months like March and April are especially appealing to tourists since there is no rainfall and you get excellent views from atop Guatemala’s fascinating volcanoes.

Guatemala is a haven for outdoors adventure! From volcano climbing to whitewater rafting, tourists will have no shortage of activities to do. You could also spend time on the Pacific Ocean if you wanted!

The most popular food in Guatemala is its national dish, Pepian de pollo, which is a special type of chicken stew. Besides that, you also have Chiles rellenos, Jocon, Kak’ik and Hilachas.

Guatemala is one of the safest countries in Central America for female solo travelers. It is very affordable and the Guatemalan locals are friendly and approachable when it comes to tourists.

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Guatemala Tours & Trips

If you want to catch a glimpse of ancient Mayan civilisation in South America then come along on a adventure of Guatemala to Tikal, one of the most important cities in the Mayan world. Visit highlands and tropical forests, adventure junkies can take a volcano climbing expedition.

86 Guatemala tour packages with 134 reviews

7D/6N Gorgeous Guatemala Tour Tour

  • Christmas & New Year

7D/6N Gorgeous Guatemala Tour

I was not expecting the rooms to be so hot and noisy; other than that it was good. I did have my own bathroom; it was a hostel still, I’ll use marvelous and Tourradar again It was a great introduction to Guatemala Thank you

Basic Guatemala - 8 days Tour

Basic Guatemala - 8 days

Without a doubt, the best travel agency to get to know Guatemala and its surroundings. Our experience hiring them from Spain has been incredible. His efficiency and professionalism has exceeded our best expectations. My recommendation for anyone who wants to know the area.

Heart of Guatemala Tour

Heart of Guatemala

Lake Atitlan & Chichicastenango  Market 3D/2N Tour

  • In-depth Cultural

Lake Atitlan & Chichicastenango Market 3D/2N

Things that were great: The shuttle pick-ups were reliable and close to on-time. The places the tour took me were exactly where I wanted to go. The price was right. Things that were not great: The Kakchiquel hotel in Panajachel didn't have hot water and was not very clean (felt like a flophouse). The shuttle from Panajachel to Antigua stopped 30 minutes into the 2 hour ride because the driver got a phone call saying there were more passengers for him to take. We idled on the side of the road for 30 minutes waiting for these late passengers to be driven to where we were waiting. That was weird, and it delayed the whole bus load getting to Antigua.

The Best of Guatemala Tour

The Best of Guatemala

Guatemala Express - 5 days Tour

Guatemala Express - 5 days

The trip was amazing. The company was super helpful and responsive.

Tailor-Made Guatemala Tour with Daily Departure Tour

Tailor-Made Guatemala Tour with Daily Departure

  • Book With Flexibility This operator allows you to rebook your dates or tours with them for free, waiving change fees.

Looking for tours beyond just Guatemala?

Explore tours with itineraries going through multiple countries, including Guatemala.

Guatemala Encompassed Tour

Guatemala Encompassed

Best of Guatemala 8 Days Tour Tour

Best of Guatemala 8 Days Tour

We had an excellent experience seeing Ecuador on the 8 day tour. This tour was a great immersion in the lesser visited cities and communities of the Ecuadorian Andes mountains. The trip was well organized and paced for our comfort and full of culturally meaningful experiences. We felt that our safety and interests were always the top priority. Our guide, Josue, was very experienced, friendly and spoke excellent English. We especially enjoyed Intinan, Cotopaxi, Chimborazo, Ingapirca, Pumapungo museum. Banos and Cuenca were our favorite cities: beautiful and walkable. We loved trying all the new foods, and I appreciated Josue's help with my Spanish.
  • 10% deposit on some dates Some departure dates offer you the chance to book this tour with a lower deposit.

Tailor-Made Best Guatemala Tour with Daily Departure Tour

Tailor-Made Best Guatemala Tour with Daily Departure

Real Guatemalan Group Experience 8D/7N Tour

Real Guatemalan Group Experience 8D/7N

Coban & Semuc Champey Tour 3-day Tour

  • Hiking & Trekking

Coban & Semuc Champey Tour 3-day

We had an amazing time and were over-satisfied with everything. Our tour guide Davis was beyond amazing and very patient, helpful, knowledgeable, and a good driver as well.

Glimpse of Guatemala 5D/4N Tour

Glimpse of Guatemala 5D/4N

Fun trip to Antigua, Guatemala and Pacaya Volcano, Lake Atitlan and best of all Tikal! Expert guides made the trip most memorable!

Mayan Sun Southbound: Boat Rides & Ruins Tour

Mayan Sun Southbound: Boat Rides & Ruins

This tour is perfect for first-time travellers and those in their early 20s.

Guatemala to Measure Tour

Guatemala to Measure

What people love about guatemala tours.

Well organized with a fantastic and well informed guide, met all our expectations.

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Search 58 Guatemala tour operators and travel companies, with 371 reviews.

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Big Five Tours & Expeditions

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On The Go Tours

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Guatemala Reviews & Ratings

The guatemala trip through charliethetraveler had so much packed into 6 days..

The Guatemala trip through CharlieTheTraveler had so much packed into 6 days. I had such a good time on each daytrip and going to each attraction. I was intrigued by...

The company was well-organized and I enjoyed every activity they planned for this trip!

Although I have a friend from Guatemala who has told how magnificent the country is, I had never gone. One night I was doing research when I came across CharlieTheTr...

CharlieTheTraveler has all positive reviews online, which made it an easy choice to book my Guatemala trip through them.

CharlieTheTraveler has all positive reviews online, which made it an easy choice to book my Guatemala trip through them. They ensured I was safe throughout the trip ...

CharlieTheTraveler balanced nature and culture in this Guatemala trip.

CharlieTheTraveler balanced nature and culture in this Guatemala trip. It was awesome to go on the exhilarating excursions. I could not believe all of this way for o...

CharlieTheTraveler did an amazing job keeping me busy with interesting and exciting activities on this trip.

The entire time I was in Guatemala, I seemed to forget about the stresses and worries of homelife, which is exactly what I wanted out of a trip. CharlieTheTraveler d...

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Our Guatemala trips take you through ancient Maya Cities, the volcanoes of the Guatemalan highlands, and colonial towns. Visit indigenous families and take in the vibrant Mayan culture on interactive Guatemala expeditions. You’ll wander the fascinating mountain towns, acclaimed for their colorful markets, and looming volcanoes. Discover archaeological sites deep in the jungles.

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For such a tiny country, El Salvador displays a big punch. Santa Ana is the country’s largest volcano with a dazzling turquoise lake sitting in the crater. No trip is complete without a visit to Suchitoto, an old-fashioned village with colonial architecture, and a morning surf on the waves of the Pacific Ocean. Along with the Archeological Site Joya de Ceren, El Salvador highlights the natural delicacy of Central America.

On a Nicaragua tour with us, you can discover active volcanoes, rainforests, cloud forests, handicrafts markets, dazzling beaches, and colonial towns in a single trip. Walk along the streets of colonial Leon and Granada. Kayak in calmness amidst hundreds of tiny islands next to active volcanoes on Lake Nicaragua. Zip-line through Mombacho’s cloud forests, then hike and bike Ometepe Island’s twin volcanoes. 

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Town square in Antigua with mountain in the distance on a sunny day in Guatemala

Bienvenidos! Welcome to Guatemala – a land of ancient civilizations, steamy jungles and laidback locals.

This coffee-growing, lava-flowing, jungle-clad landscape definitely doesn't hold back when it comes to color – think retro chicken buses cruising down the highway, pastel-painted buildings lining the cobbled streets of historic Antigua and vibrant wares on sale at market stalls in Chichicastenango. And whether you're cruising down the Rio Dulce to Garifuna-influenced Livingston, strolling around the quaint island of Flores in Lago Peten Itza, or trekking to the Maya ruins of Tikal, your Guatemalan adventure will unlock all but one of its highland secrets – how this  Central American  beauty is still largely undiscovered will continue to remain a mystery.

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Guatemala to Belize

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Guatemala at a glance

Capital city.

Guatemala City (population 3 million)

(GMT-06:00) Central America

CALLING CODE

Electricity.

Type A (North American/Japanese 2-pin) Type B (American 3-pin)

Learn more about Guatemala

Culture and customs.

Guatemalan culture is a vibrant mix of  Spanish ,  European  and Maya customs and languages. Although most of the population is Catholic, many indigenous communities still have links to ancient Maya rituals and practice these alongside their Christian faith.

Indigenous customs, dress, language and cuisine still persist, especially in villages where you commonly see people dressed in colorful traditional clothing, celebrating various age-old festivals and producing local handicrafts to sell at village markets. Traditional dress is highly regarded, and different villages have their own patterns and designs to set themselves apart.

People living in the cities range from business owners to culturally savvy university students to modest street cart operators. Rural life also varies; many people in villages rely on subsistence farming or handicraft-making and typically have less access to electricity, plumbing, health care and formal education than their urban counterparts. Outside the main cities, many live a very humble life, but despite this, Guatemalans maintain a positive outlook, focusing on family and religion.

History and government

The maya times.

Before the Spanish colonized this part of the world, hunter-gatherers lived on the land for thousands of years. Olmecs were in the region from 1500 BC, and in the following centuries, Maya civilizations came to dominate, and sites like Peten, Tikal, Cival and El Mirador were established.

Maya city-states dominated the region, some with massive temples and upwards of 100,000 inhabitants. But in the eighth and ninth centuries, conflicts and droughts forced the Maya to abandon their settlements and move north into Mexico.

Spanish colonization

Many believe the Maya had already moved on or were defeated during Spanish colonization in the 1520s. In 1542, after a capital city was destroyed by earthquake and flooding, Antigua was established, and Spanish settlers pushed some of Guatemala's indigenous population into forced labor. Antigua-based Dominican friar Bartolome de Las Casas convinced higher powers in Spain to end the system, and over the following years, the practice died out.

19th and 20th century

Guatemala declared independence from  Spain  in 1821 and became part of the fledgling First Mexican Empire. Like many of its Central American neighbours, Guatemala grappled with unstable governance, experiencing dictatorships, insurgencies, coups and civil wars.

The Guatemalan Civil War stretched out over more than thirty years of turbulent times between 1960 and 1996. A peace process was underway by the late 1980s, but it took many years to restore democratic rule and peace to the country.

More recently, Guatemala's economy has improved, mainly due to the strength of the local agriculture and tourism industries. Despite a rocky past and many ongoing social and economic issues, Guatemala continues to rebound from its challenges to modernise its industry.

Eating and drinking

Touted as the birthplace of chocolate, Guatemala obviously knows a thing or two about flavor. The food here is among the best in  Central America , so hit the markets for some street snacks or a restaurant for a more formal and wholesome meal.

Must-try dishes and drinks in Guatemala

  • Elotes The simplicity of this dish is what wins travelers over. Take a fresh ear of corn, roast it on a barbecue, add cheese, lime, butter and chili, and serve it on a stick. Cheap and easy – you really can't go wrong.
  • Chiles rellenos Chiles rellenos are another popular street food snack – peppers stuffed with pork and vegetables, then lightly battered and fried.
  • Tamales This is one of the most popular comfort foods in Guatemala and a staple in a lot of Central American cuisines. Tamales are a corn-dough-based dish, boiled or steamed and served wrapped in a plantain leaf. Typical fillings include chicken, pork, cheese and vegetables, as well as sweet dessert fillings like fruit or almonds.
  • Pepian Probably the most representative Guatemalan dish, pepian is a spiced and slightly bitter stew, with pumpkin seeds, tomatoes and guisquil, a type of squash. Try a chicken, pork or beef one, or mix and match your meats!
  • Kak’ik What's a cuisine without a signature soup? Kak'ik is a sweet and sour broth made with turkey and often served when christening a new home in Guatemala. Be sure to ramp up the spice with some chilli paste, usually served on the side.
  • Spiced mango Most cities and markets in Guatemala will have street carts selling mango spiced with chili and lime. The blend of sweet and bitter flavors with a hint of spice is a perfect pick-me-up during your day of exploring.
  • Limonada con soda You think you've tried lemonade? Well, the Guatemalans take it next level. This zesty soft drink is made with real lemons and is the perfect refreshment on a hot and humid day of touring lanes and markets.

Geography and environment

Guatemala shares borders with  Belize ,  Mexico ,  Honduras  and  El Salvador , and is predominately mountainous terrain except for pockets of land on the south coast and northern lowlands. With large areas of rainforest, cloud forest, woodlands and mangroves providing a habitat for a huge range of birds, mammals, reptiles and insects, Guatemala one of the most bio-diverse countries in the world.

The fertile valleys provide perfect conditions for growing coffee and other crops, but farming can be difficult with volcanic eruptions and frequent floods and landslides. Despite the challenges, many Guatemalans live rurally, and visitors will be able to see many small villages and towns dotted throughout the country and larger cities with more developed infrastructure.

The varied environments and climates provide the perfect conditions for an array of wildlife, especially of the flying kind. Be sure to keep a keen eye out for some of Guatemala's famed birdlife on your travels.

Birds to spot in Guatemala

  • Keel-billed toucan This tropical feathered icon is known and loved all over Central America. Often found in pairs or groups, keel-billed toucans use their huge beaks to chomp on fruit and nuts. Abundant populations make them easy to find in the rainforests and jungles of Guatemala.
  • Guatemalan screech owl In Guatemala, owls represent luck, so you're bound to see plenty of owl trinkets, statues and jewelry in the shops and markets along the way. Hopefully, you'll also get to see a Guatemalan screech owl hiding in woodlands and forests. Listen for its faint but distinct call – its 'oos' get higher and higher in pitch until they abruptly break off.
  • Resplendent quetzal Guatemala's national bird is a colorful mix of emerald green, scarlet red and white. The males feature a very long tail, which makes launching into flight difficult, so they often jump backward first – like a parachutist!
  • Wine-throated hummingbird These tiny birds nestle in the cloud forests of highland Guatemala. Despite their size, they're not impossible to locate – just look for their green head and a stunning magenta throat that shimmers like a mini scarf.
  • Ringed kingfisher These noisy birds – named after their wide, white collars – can be found near large bodies of water looking for their favorite food, fish, although they will also eat reptiles, insects and berries. You won't have many problems spotting this species as they are found in great numbers throughout Central and South America.
  • Blue-crowned motmot This striking, multi-coloured bird has a green and yellow body with a turquoise-fringed face and deep-set red eyes. Motmots love humid conditions, so they can be found in forests, plantations and gardens throughout tropical Guatemala.

The most interesting shopping experiences in Guatemala happen at the many markets you can visit in villages and cities. Have fun, and don't forget to haggle for a good price! It's also a good idea to check with your local customs officials to ensure that you are able to bring certain items back into your home country. Countries like Australia and New Zealand generally have strict quarantine laws.

Things to buy in Guatemala

  • Traditional handicrafts Colorful blankets, shawls, scarves and clothing, wooden carvings, woven baskets and handmade ceramics all make great souvenir options. Guatemalan goods come in a rainbow of colors and won't break the bank!
  • Art Guatemalan paintings are typically colorful and uplifting. The galleries and markets of Antigua are among the best spots to pick up unique art, from traditional paintings to folk art and contemporary pieces by emerging local artists.
  • Coffee Guatemala produces and exports some of the best coffee in the world, with its range of growing environments producing unique variations in flavor – from the complex, fruity notes of beans grown at high altitudes to the nutty, chocolatey products of volcanic soil. Coffee lovers should stock up here where the quality and price are exceptional, plus enjoy (at least) one local brew daily.
  • Chocolate Guatemala also creates some of the finest chocolate in the world. Head to a chocolate shop and choose from bitter dark chocolate, spicy chili and cinnamon chocolate, or perhaps pick up some rich hot chocolate mix to take home.

Festivals and events

Semana santa.

Guatemalans take their Holy Week traditions seriously. Occurring the week leading up to Easter, celebrations of Maya and Christian traditions take place, including many processions of swathes of dyed sawdust made into colorful rugs. Most of the main Easter celebrations occur in and around Antigua and are some of Guatemala's busiest and most popular events.

Festival Folklorico de Coban

The Coban Folkloric Festival takes place in the last week of July, with parades, rodeos, art exhibitions and more. The main event is the Rabin Ajau, or 'daughter of the king' pageant, where girls from across the country don traditional dress and vie for the crown of Maya princess, a title bestowed to the contestant judged not just the most beautiful but, more importantly, the most representative of Maya values and traditions.

Dia de los Muertos

This well-known holiday that honors the dead is celebrated all over Central America. Guatemalans usually fly massive kites, visit the graves of ancestors and eat fiambre – a giant mixed salad of meat, cheese, olives, egg, corn and onion. Colorful altars decorated with flowers and skulls can also be found in homes, shops and streets during the Day of the Dead.

Fiesta de Santo Tomas

The highland town of Chichicastenango is home to one of the best outdoor markets in Central America, and also this extraordinary annual festival. Combining Catholic and Maya traditions, expect to see lively displays of fireworks, pageantry and a mash-up of dance and bungee jumping called palo volador (flying pole) – where two men scale a wooden pole, tie ropes around their waist, then leap off, spinning to the ground.

Further reading

For inspiring stories to prepare you for your Guatemala adventure, check out these books:

  • The Long Night of White Chickens – Francisco Goldman
  • The President – Miguel Angel Asturias
  • Popol Vuh: A Sacred Book of the Maya – Victor Montejo and Luis Garay
  • In Search of Providence: Transnational Mayan Identities – Patricia Foxen
  • Homies and Hermanos: God and Gangs in Central America – Robert Brenneman 
  • Severina – Rodrigo Rey Rosa
  • Guatemalan Journey – Stephen Connely Benz

Guatemala travel FAQs

Do i need a covid-19 vaccine to join an intrepid trip.

Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards

From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travelers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises).

However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travelers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

When is the best time to visit Guatemala?

Just like much of  Central America , Guatemala has a wet and dry season, with a pretty consistent temperature throughout the year. July–August and December–January are the peak seasons for traveling, which coincide with US and European summer holidays and winter breaks. However, visiting outside these times may mean that you not only escape the crowds, but you'll also be able to fit in a couple of popular Guatemalan festivals.

The dry season is from November to March, which is generally considered the best time to visit as the weather is warm and sunny. However, this is also the busiest tourist time so expect more people about, especially around Christmas and Easter and in the main cities.

Do I need a visa to travel to Guatemala?

Citizens of over 86 countries, including Australia, New Zealand, the UK, the US and Canada, can visit Guatemala for up to 90 days without a visa. If you’re unsure if you need one or not, check your tour’s Essential Trip Information or enquire at a Guatemalan embassy well in advance of your travel date.

This is for general information only and may be subject to change. It is your responsibility to obtain relevant visa and travel information required for entry, departure and travel to each country or region you visit on your trip. You should confirm these with the relevant embassies and/or consulates. 

Last updated: 15/12/2023

Is tipping customary in Guatemala?

It's customary to add an extra 10% to restaurant bills – if this hasn’t already been included. Tipping elsewhere is optional, but leaving spare change or rounding up your bill at small cafes is always a good idea as most Guatemalans live on a very limited income.

What is the internet access like in Guatemala?

Wi-fi is becoming more and more prevalent in Guatemala’s cities, although the connection may be slower than you’re used to. Remote areas will have little to no internet access, so be aware if you’re traveling outside of the main tourist hotspots that you may have trouble getting online. The fast food chain Pollo Campero usually has wi-fi networks available, and they’re located in most larger towns.

Can I use my cell phone while in Guatemala?

Using your cell phone while in the cities of Guatemala shouldn’t be a problem. Coverage may be less reliable in remote and mountainous areas.

Note that global roaming is especially pricey in Guatemala, so if you want to stay connected on the go, it’s probably best to get a local SIM card. Service providers Tigo and Claro have the best coverage across the country.

What are the toilets like in Guatemala?

Many tourist sites and restaurants have flushable toilets, although some remote areas may have compostable or drop toilets. It’s a good idea to carry your own toilet paper and hand soap or hand sanitizer, as these aren’t always provided.

What will it cost for a…?

Spain's unit of currency is the quetzal (GTQ). Here's what you can expect to pay for a:

  • Cup of coffee at a cafe = GTQ 12
  • A bottle of beer = GTQ 15-20
  • Basic meal = GTQ 40-50
  • Dinner at a midrange restaurant = GTQ 80-120

Can I drink the tap water in Guatemala?

Drinking tap water isn't recommended in Guatemala. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water – be sure to ask your group leader where filtered water can be found. It's also advisable to avoid ice in drinks and peel fruit and vegetables before eating.

Are credit cards widely accepted in Guatemala?

Credit cards can be used at most large restaurants, shops and other tourist hotspots. Expect to pay cash when dealing with smaller vendors, family-run restaurants and market stalls. Make sure you have smaller denominations of currency with you when you’re purchasing at local vendors to make transactions simpler and easier.

What is ATM access like in Guatemala?

Internationally compatible ATMs can be found in most of Guatemala’s major cities. ATMs are far less common in rural areas and small villages so make sure you have cash on hand to cover purchases when traveling away from the larger cities.

What is the weather like in Guatemala?

Temperatures across Guatemala sit, on average, at a comfortable 22°C nearly year-round, and don’t differ too much in terms of season, but vary with the altitude.

In the wetter season, running from April until around September, rainfall is much more abundant; however, it would only disrupt your outdoor plans in the afternoon. The central region has mostly clear skies during the day with a downpour in the mid to late afternoon.

In the shoulder season (September–October), rains begin to ease up, but October is peak hurricane season. Mild temperatures and clear days make this a good time to travel and hike in the highlands.

The dry season from November through to April sees average temperatures drop slightly in the hilly central region – Antigua, Lake Atitlan, Chichicastenango, Coban and surrounds – to around 18°C.

Do I need to purchase travel insurance before traveling?

Absolutely. All passengers traveling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance

What public holidays are celebrated in Guatemala?

1 January: New Year’s Day

April: Holy Thursday (Thursday before Easter)

April: Good Friday (Friday before Easter)

April: Easter Sunday

1 May: Guatemalan Labor Day

30 June: Army Day

15 September: Independence Day

20 October: Revolution Day

1 November: All Saints Day

25 December: Christmas Day

Please note: Guatemalapublic holidays may vary.

Is Guatemala safe for LGBTQIA+ travelers?

As with many Latin American countries, Guatemala is not particularly gay-friendly, despite homosexual activity being legal over the age of consent. Many Guatemalans hold quite conservative Christian views, especially in remote or rural areas.

Same-sex couples and households are not eligible for the same legal protections as opposite-sex married couples, and while discrimination protections are in place in some contexts, discrimination against gender identity is not mentioned explicitly in law.

LGBTQIA+ identifying travelers are unlikely to encounter violence, outright hostility or overt discrimination in Guatemala, but it is advised to be mindful of the situation travelers find themselves in.

For more detailed and up-to-date advice, we recommend visiting Equaldex or ILGA before you travel.

If you are traveling solo on an Intrepid group tour, you will share accommodation with a passenger of the same gender as per your passport information. If you don’t identify with the gender assigned on your passport, please let us know at the time of booking and we’ll arrange the rooming configuration accordingly. A single supplement is available on some tours for travelers who do not wish to share a room.

Is Guatemala accessible for travelers with disabilities?

Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. We’re always happy to talk to travelers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.

Much of Guatemala’s hotspots are based around the coast and nature, so depending on travelers’ level of mobility, they can prove difficult to access. Many national parks are inaccessible for travelers using a wheelchair, as jungle paths are mostly remote and not stable. Antigua is also a bit tricky to get around, with rugged sidewalks and a lack of ramps. Transportation is an important factor also, and with not much space at all on public transport, private rental or tour-based travel may be the only option.

If you do live with a visual, hearing or another impairment, let your booking agent or group leader know early on so they’re aware and suitable arrangements can be made. What will assist you may depend on what country you are visiting, but as a general rule, knowing some of the local lingo, carrying a written itinerary with you and taking to the streets as a group, rather than solo, can help make your travel experience the best it can be.

If you have a disability and are planning to travel with Intrepid, we recommend speaking with your booking agent about specific concerns that pertain to accessibility.

How do I stay safe and healthy while traveling?

From Australia?

Go to: Smart Traveller

From Canada?

Go to:  Canada Travel Information

From the UK?

Go to:  UK Foreign Travel Advice

From New Zealand?

Go to:  Safe Travel

From the US?

Go to:  US Department of State

The World Health Organisation also provides useful health information.

Does my trip support The Intrepid Foundation?

Yes, all Intrepid trips support the Intrepid Foundation. Trips to this country directly support our global Intrepid Foundation partners, Eden Reforestation Projects and World Bicycle Relief. Intrepid will double the impact by dollar-matching all post-trip donations made to The Intrepid Foundation.

Eden Reforestation Projects

Eden Reforestation Projects are helping to mitigate climate change by restoring forests worldwide; they also hire locally and create job opportunities within vulnerable communities. Donations from our trips support restoration across planting sites in 10 countries around the globe. Find out more or make a donation World Bicycle Relief

World Bicycle Relief provides people in low-income communities with bicycles to mobilize school kids, health workers, and farmers in far-out areas – giving them access to vital education, healthcare, and income. Donations help provide Buffalo Bicycles – specifically designed to withstand the rugged terrain and harsh environment of rural regions – to those who need them most. Find out more or make a donation

Does my Intrepid trip include airfare?

While our Intrepid trips include many modes of transport, from tuk-tuks to overland vehicles, bullet trains and feluccas, airfare to and from your home country is not included in your tour package.

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Guatemala Tours

Mayan carvings in black and gold from Guatemala

Land of the Maya

Smoking volcanoes spin by as a sea of Mayan weaving lurches from one side of the chicken bus to the other. With the Mayan majority on constant display, dramatic geography, and prices any frugal traveller could love, for some, Guatemala is the quintessential Central American experience. Incredible Antigua, one of its mandatory stops, was once the capital of an enormous swath of the Americas. Frozen in time for centuries thanks to repeated earthquakes, today it has been impeccably restored in all its rubble and glory... not to mention it's the best traveller's hub from here to Cusco. From crater lakes to the ruins of Tikal, it's a miracle Guatemala is still off the radar for so many. Let's hope it stays that way.

What our travellers are saying about Guatemala tours

Recommended tours, guatemala tour photos from our travellers.

Guatemala Travel Guide

Guatemala’s landscape inspired Maya legends, and it continues to make an indelible impression. You’ll see why when you visit Lake Atitlán, coffee plantations, and volcanoes. Rainforests here contain the remains of powerful Maya cities, as well as lively populations of monkeys and exotic birds. Guatemalans have been tested by numerous political upheavals, but they maintain a welcoming culture as well Maya religious practices and festivals.

Antigua Guatemala

About Guatemala

Guatemala is located in northern Central America, and it borders Mexico, Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador. It’s fairly large for this region — at 42,042 square miles (108,889 km²), Guatemala is approximately the same size as Tennessee.

On your travels you’ll see dramatic changes in the landscape. The central and western regions of the country are home to volcanoes and mountains. There are several large lakes – including Lake Izabal , Lake Petén Itzá , and Lake Atitlán – that are lovely and surrounded by small Mayan villages. The northern region of Petén has dense tropical jungles, while the Pacific coastline is punctuated by mangrove swamps.

A Vibrant History and Culture

Mayan city-states were once scattered across the country, and many of their structures have survived. From the massive temples at Tikal to the intricately carved stelae at Quiriguá , it feels like you can’t go more than a few miles without running into a thousand-year-old ruin. For this reason, Guatemala is a popular destination among amateur archeologists and history buffs.

Guatemala also has a great deal of tradition alive today — many towns still hold onto the beliefs and practices of their ancestors. This is most evident in the towns along the shores of Lake Atitlán and Lake Petén Itzá and in places like Todos Santos Cuchumatán .

Guatemala is extremely accessible to travelers, especially those coming from North America, where flights are quick and fairly cheap. The country’s tourism infrastructure is sound, which makes it easy to get around and explore all sorts of places. Guatemalans are a friendly and welcoming bunch.

Family Vacations Guatemala

Guatemala’s Climate & Terrain

The landscape here varies greatly and includes everything from jungles to volcanoes to mangroves. The elevation also fluctuates significantly from one part of the country to another — you can start your day at sea level and end up at over 14,000 feet (4,200 m) by the afternoon.

Various Microclimates of Guatemala

Coastal areas tend to be warm and tropical, while mountainous areas are cool and alpine. Indeed, climate is largely determined by location in Guatemala, especially as it pertains to elevation. Simply put, the higher up you go the lower the temperature be. Rain often varies depending on what side of a mountain chain you’re on. Guatemala does, however, have a rainy and dry season — the dry season usually lasts from November to May, while the wet season lasts from May to November. During the rainy season, the mornings are usually dry and sunny, with rain coming down during the afternoon.

The volcanic highlands spread across Guatemala, all the way from El Salvador to Mexico. There are 33 volcanoes in total, many of which can be climbed and some of which are active. The most frequently climbed volcanoes include Acatenango , Pacaya , and Agua. Volcán Tajumulco, at 13,845 ft (4,220 m), is the highest spot in Central America. Guatemala’s non-volcanic ranges include the Sierra de los Cuchumatanes, which is Central America’s highest mountain chain.

Guatemala’s northern region of Petén is vast and covered almost entirely in tropical forests. This Ohio-sized area has large swaths of forest, especially in its northern third; the southern sections are, however, suffering from deforestation. This is also home to the Maya Biosphere, the largest protected tropical forest in North America.

Agriculture is big in Guatemala, especially in places along the Pacific Coast flatlands — this area is home to huge coffee and sugarcane plantations. The Pacific Coast also has large mangroves and wetlands, as well as beaches with dark sand — a result of the nearby volcanoes. The Caribbean Coast of Guatemala is small, but it does have dense tropical forests and a few white-sand beaches.

Cultural Overview

Guatemala’s history is plagued with civil wars, foreign conquests, and government coups. It was once home to powerful Mayan city-states, but since then its history has been largely a series of land grabs and internal conflicts. While some of this still exists today, Guatemala is undoubtedly moving in a peaceful direction.

The cultures you’ll encounter will largely depend on what part of the country you visit. The Spanish invaded Guatemala in the 16th century and their influence continues to dominate much of Guatemalan culture. Along the Caribbean Coast you’ll meet the Afro-Caribbean Garífuna, while along the shores of Lake Petén Itzá you’ll see traditional Mayan communities.

Society & Economy

Despite a growing economy, there is a significant wealth gap in Guatemala. Many of the Guatemalan elite are direct descendants of Spanish colonial-era families, while some of the poorest Guatemalans are indigenous people. Indeed, race and social standing are intimately linked in Guatemala.

Guatemala has the largest economy in Central America. Since the peace accords of 1996, the Guatemalan economy has enjoyed a steady upswing. Moderate development has accompanied this growth, largely due to tourism. Tourism has played a big role in the Guatemalan economy, and currently employs around 35 percent of the population. The money from tourism often stays in communities and continues to help with local development projects.

Environmental Snapshot

Guatemala’s environmental resources are balanced precariously in the equation between development and sustainability. Guatemala’s population is increasing and putting more pressure on the environment. Unfortunately, development is taking precedence at the moment — it’s still common to clear forests with slash-and-burn agriculture to make way for big construction projects. There is a fledgling environmental movement in Guatemala, but it has a ways to go before it can efficiently protect the country’s vast resources.

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Top Tour Operators and Travel Agencies in Guatemala 2024/2025

Top Tour Operators and Travel Agencies in Guatemala. Below you will find 10 of the best tour operators and travel agencies in Guatemala offering in total 46 tours and holidays through-out Guatemala. Combined they have received 22 customer reviews and an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars. The top tour activities offered in Guatemala are: Adventure and sport, Sightseeing, attractions, culture and history & Wildlife, landscapes and nature.

  • Tours in Guatemala
  • Guatemala Travel Guide
  • Best Time to Visit Guatemala

10 Tour Operators in Guatemala with 22 Reviews

World Expeditions

World Expeditions

  • Address 1B Osiers Road, Wandsworth, London, England
  • Response Rate 82%
  • Response Time 3 hours

guatemala tourism company

  • Best-in-Class Top 5% of companies
  • Excellent Service Top 10% of companies
  • Superior Service Top 15% of companies

Intrepid Travel

Intrepid Travel

  • Address 380 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, Australia
  • Response Rate 90%

G Adventures

G Adventures

  • Address G Adventures Ltd, 60 Bastwick Street, London, England
  • Response Time 2 hours

Explore

  • Address Nelson House, 55-59 Victoria Rd, Farnborough, England
  • Response Rate 96%

Bamba

  • Address 2461 FM 778, Mineola, USA
  • Response Rate 95%

Destination Services

Destination Services

  • Address Edificio TUI, SM2, Calle Rita Levi, Parc Bit, Palma de Mallorca, Spain
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  • Address Avenida Santander Zona 2 , Panajachel, Guatemala
  • Response Rate 85%
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Vibe Adventures

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Contiki

  • Address 38-51 Bedford Way, London, England
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On The Go Tours

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  • Address 3 Shortlands, 4th floor, Office 19, Hammersmith, England

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Being a mega diverse country, Guatemala can offer an incredible adventure and be as enticing as it can be complex to navigate. Allow us to share our knowledge and make your next adventure unforgettable.

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We have been creating tailored trips to Guatemala for more than 30 years and helped out thousands of travelers. Let us help you get your next adventure ready to enjoy the magic that Guatemala has to offer.We focus on offering you a complete and personalized package that helps develop sustainable tourism in rural areas. Talk with us and we will make sure to meet and exceed your expectations, we are eager for you to discover our wildlife and have unforgettable adventures.

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Guatemala has the strongest pre-Columbian traditions mixed with being one of the most diverse countries in the world. Let Guatemala surprise you at every turn with our wonderful colors, people, nature and traditions; from popular market places like Chichicastenango, to the less visited communities in the remote Cuchumatan Mountains. Where will your next adventure take you?

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THE 10 BEST Guatemala City Tours & Excursions

Guatemala city tours.

  • Historical & Heritage Tours
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  • The ranking of tours, activities, and experiences available on Tripadvisor is determined by several factors including the revenue generated by Tripadvisor from these bookings, the frequency of user clicks, and the volume and quality of customer reviews. Occasionally, newly listed offerings may be prioritized and appear higher in the list. The specific placement of these new listings may vary.

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1. Guatemala City & Antigua Guatemala Private Tour

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2. Guatemala City Tour

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3. Tikal From Guatemala

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4. Visit Hobbitenango Themed Park and Antigua Guatemala

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5. Lake Atitlan Solo Traveler´s Fav: Panajachel +San Juan +Boat Ride

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6. Tikal Day Trip by Air from Guatemala City with Lunch

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7. Pacaya Volcano Vistas + Enjoy Pizza Cooked Under Volcanic Heat

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8. Private Shuttle in Guatemala

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9. Pacaya Volcano Day Trip from Guatemala City

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10. Discover Private parks at Xetulul and Xocomil in Guatemala

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11. Climb Active Pacaya Volcano + Box Lunch at the Top - Shared Tour

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12. Lake Atitlán Sightseeing Cruise with Transport from Guatemala City

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13. Full Day Tour: Chichicastenango Maya Market and Lake Atitlan from Guatemala City

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14. Altamira &Hobbitenango:Movie Themed Nature Parks Private Full-Day

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15. Hobbitenango and Altamira Parks From Guatemala

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16. Full-Day Lake Atitlan Tour

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17. Full Day Tour of Antigua Guatemala

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18. Private Transport - From Guatemala City Airport to Antigua

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19. Pacaya Volcano Morning Tour from Antigua

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20. Guatemala City Afternoon Sightseeing Tour

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21. Pacaya Volcano Tour and Hot Springs from Guatemala City

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22. Antigua Guatemala , Full-Day Shared Tour from Guatemala City

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23. Tour to the active Pacaya Volcano.

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24. UNESCO JEWELS: Antigua Half Day Tour from Guatemala City

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25. Half-Day Guatemala City Tour

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26. Private Ground Transfer Airport - Antigua Guatemala

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27. Guatemala Personalized Private Tours

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28. 4-hour Bike Tour Guatemala City South Center

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29. Graffiti Walking Tour in 4 Grados Norte Guatemala City

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30. Half Day Experience in Antigua Guatemala - Private Tour

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Escorted & Package Tours in Guatemala

Before you start your search for the lowest airfare, you may want to consider booking your flight as part of a travel package. Package tours are not the same thing as escorted tours. Package tours are simply a way to buy the airfare, accommodations, and other elements of your trip (such as car rentals, airport transfers, and sometimes even activities) at the same time and often at discounted prices -- kind of like one-stop shopping. Packages are sold in bulk to tour operators -- who resell them to the public at a cost that often undercuts standard rates.

Before you book your package through a tour company, remember that with a few phone calls and e-mails, you can often organize the same thing on your own without having to pay the sometimes hefty service fee. This guide contains all the information and resources you need to design and book a wonderful trip, tailored to your particular interests and budget. Moreover, package vacations are still a nascent industry in Guatemala and do not offer the kinds of amazing bargains as those to Cancún or the Caribbean. In fact, many come with hidden charges and costs, so shop carefully.

Your best bet is often to do it yourself or to go with a Guatemalan-based specialist; many of these companies emphasize adventure travel or ecotourism and can put together a complete custom itinerary for you.

Package tours can vary by leaps and bounds. Some offer a better class of hotels than others. Some offer the same hotels for lower prices. Some offer flights on scheduled airlines, while others book charters. Some limit your choice of accommodations and travel days. You are often required to make a large payment upfront. On the plus side, packages can save you money, offering group prices but allowing for independent travel. Some even let you add on a few guided excursions or escorted day trips (also at prices lower than if you booked them yourself) without booking an entirely escorted tour.

Before you invest in a package tour, get some answers. Ask about the accommodations choices and prices for each. Then look up the hotels' reviews in a Frommer's guide and check their rates online for your specific dates of travel. You'll also want to find out what type of room you get. If you need a certain type of room, ask for it; don't take whatever is thrown your way. Request a nonsmoking room, a quiet room, a room with a view, or whatever you fancy.

Travel packages are also listed in the travel section of your local Sunday newspaper. Or check ads in the national travel magazines such as Budget Travel Magazine, Travel + Leisure, National Geographic Traveler, and Condé Nast Traveler.

Ask Before You Go -- Before you invest in a package deal or an escorted tour:

  • Always ask about the cancellation policy. Can you get your money back? Is a deposit required?
  • Request a complete schedule. (Escorted tours only)
  • Ask about the size and demographics of the group. (Escorted tours only)
  • Discuss what is included in the price (transportation, meals, tips, airport transfers, and the like). (Escorted tours only)
  • Finally, look for hidden expenses. Ask whether airport departure fees and taxes, for example, are included in the total cost -- they rarely are.

Escorted General-Interest Tours

Escorted tours are structured group tours with a group leader. The price usually includes everything from airfare, hotels, and meals to tours, admission costs, and local transportation.

Despite the fact that escorted tours require big deposits and predetermine hotels, restaurants, and itineraries, many people derive security and peace of mind from the structure they offer. Escorted tours -- whether they're navigated by bus, motorcoach, train, or boat -- let travelers sit back and enjoy the trip without having to drive or worry about details. They take you to the maximum number of sights in the minimum amount of time with the least amount of hassle. They're particularly convenient for people with limited mobility and can be a great way to make new friends.

Escorted tours are also a good bet in Guatemala, since safety and the conditions of internal travel can be daunting for many independent travelers

On the downside, you'll have little opportunity for serendipitous interactions with locals. The tours can be jampacked with activities, leaving little room for individual sightseeing, whim, or adventure -- plus they also often focus on the heavily visited sites, so you miss out on many a lesser-known gem.

Before you invest in a package tour, get some answers. Ask about the accommodations choices and prices for each. You'll also want to find out what type of room you get. If you need a certain type of room, ask for it. Also ask about the group size and demographics, as well as the company's cancellation policy.

Recommended Escorted-and Package-Tour Operators

North American-Based Tour Operators -- These agencies and operators specialize in well-organized and coordinated tours that cover your entire stay. Many travelers prefer to have everything arranged and confirmed before arriving in Guatemala, and this is a good idea for first-timers.

  • Abercrombie & Kent (tel. 800/554-7016; www.abercrombiekent.com) is a luxury tour company that offers upscale trips around the globe. Their 12-day "Guatemala & Honduras: A Cultural & Photographic Sojurn" hits all of the major sites and destinations, and includes 2 days at the Copán ruins in Honduras. Cost is around $6,995 (£3,498) per person, airfare not included.
  • Caravan Tours (tel. 800/227-2826; www.caravantours.com). If you don't mind sharing your vacation with up to 45 fellow travelers, this is a great value. See six places (Guatemala City, Antigua, Lake Atitlán) in 11 days for around $1,000 (£500) per person. Airfare not included.
  • Overseas Adventure Travel (tel. 800/493-6824; www.oattravel.com) offers good-value natural history and "soft adventure" itineraries, with optional add-on excursions. Tours are limited to 16 people. The "Route of the Maya" 14-day package includes 8 days in Guatemala, and also visits Copán in Honduras and ruins in Belize. Around $2,345 (£1,173) per person including round-trip airfare from Miami or Houston.

U.K.-Based Tour Operators --

  • Imaginative Traveller (tel. 0800/316-2717 or 44/147-366-7337; www.imaginative-traveller.com) is a good-value operator specializing in budget student, group, and family travel. Their offerings focus on the larger Maya world, and spend time in parts of southern Mexico and Belize. They do two different 14-day trips and a 28-day trip, which combines the two. Around $1,170 (£585) to $2,098 (£1,049) per person. Airfare not included.
  • Journey Latin America (tel. 44/208-747-8315; www.journeylatinamerica.co.uk) is a large British operator specializing in Latin American travel. They offer a range of escorted tours around Latin America, with some that spend much of the time in Guatemala. They also design custom itineraries, and often have excellent deals on airfare.

Guatemalan Tour Operators -- Because many U.S.-based companies subcontract portions of their tours to established Guatemalan companies, some travelers like to set up their tours directly with these companies, thereby cutting out the middleman. While that means these packages are often less expensive than those offered by U.S. companies, it doesn't mean they're cheap. You still pay for the convenience of having all your arrangements handled for you.

Scores of tour agencies in Guatemala City, Antigua, and the other major tourist destinations offer a plethora of sightseeing and adventure options. These agencies, and the tour desks at most hotels, can arrange everything from tours of the Maya ruins to village market shopping sprees. While it's generally quite easy to arrange most of these popular tours and adventures at the spur of the moment during your vacation, some are offered only when there are enough interested people or on set dates. If you have a specialized tour or activity in mind, it pays to contact the hotel you will be staying at or a few of the companies listed here before you leave home to find out what they might be doing when you arrive.

  • Clark Tours (tel. 502/2412-4848; www.clarktours.com.gt) has been operating for more than 70 years in Guatemala, making it the oldest tour company in the country. They have several offices and are the official representatives of American Express in Guatemala. They offer many tours, including an afternoon in Antigua for around Q225 ($30/£15) per person; 2- to 4-day archaeology trips starting at around Q3,000 ($400/£200) per person; and the 14-day Antigua, Lake Atitlán, Chichicastenango, and Tikal trip for around Q13,500 ($1,800/£900) per person.
  • Martsam Tour and Travel (tel. 866/832-2776 in the U.S. and Canada, or 502/7867-5093 in Guatemala; www.martsam.com) based on the island of Flores, these guys are hands down the best operators for Tikal and the Petén, although they also have an office in Antigua and can book tours for the entire country.
  • Maya Vacations (tel. 502/2426-1400; www.mayavacations.com) is a smaller and newer company run by very knowledgeable local operators. Their standard itineraries run the gamut from a 4-day/3-night circuit of Guatemala City, Antigua, and Chichicastenango and Tikal for Q5,993 ($799/£400) per person to an 8-day/7-night highlight tour for around Q10,200 ($1,360/£680) per person. They also offer a wide range of active and adventure tours.
  • Via Venture (tel. 502/7832-2509; www.viaventure.com). This well-run operation specializes in custom-designed itineraries using the finest high-end hotels in the country, as well as an excellent team of guides and ground transport services. They are also particularly strong in the area of adventure tourism and theme vacations. In addition to Guatemala, these folks run trips and combined itineraries into Belize and Honduras.

Note : This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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Guatemala Travel Guide

Last Updated: September 1, 2023

A volcano view in Guatemala with a small town nestled in the valley between the mountains

The rugged mountains and jungles offer adventurous travelers a chance to get off the beaten path and explore pristine landscapes for a fraction of what you’d pay elsewhere in the world. And the ruins are underrated and a must-see for history buffs, including the impressive Tikal, an ancient Mayan city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

I love this country and have always had an incredible time here. (One of my favorite memories involves camping in Tikal National Park)

In this travel guide to Guatemala, I’ll show you how to make the most of your trip, save money, and stay safe in one of Central America’s most popular destinations!

Table of Contents

  • Things to See and Do
  • Typical Costs
  • Suggested Budget
  • Money-Saving Tips
  • Where to Stay
  • How to Get Around
  • How to Stay Safe
  • Best Places to Book Your Trip
  • Related Blogs on Guatemala

Top 5 Things to See and Do in Guatemala

volcano view in Guatemala

1. Visit Lake Atitlán

This spectacular lake is actually a massive volcanic crater. The lake sits 1,500 meters (4,921 feet) above sea level and is also one of the deepest lakes in Central America. It should come as no surprise that it’s one of the best spots to watch the sunset in Guatemala. On the northern coast of the lake lies the tourist village of Panajachel, a good base to arrange lake and volcano tours (there are two volcanoes here you can explore, Toliman and San Pedro). The village offers incredible views of the surrounding volcanoes and you can also enjoy restaurants, bars, and nightlife in a rustic lakeside setting here too. Boat tours are available as well.

2. Head to Antigua

Antigua is a picturesque colonial city in a highland valley between three volcanoes. It’s full of colonial Spanish architecture, including cobbled streets, what’s left of the centuries-old San Francisco church, houses, and ruins. There’s a vibrant market with colorful Guatemalan blankets and fabrics as well as lots of crafts and souvenirs. Head to the Plaza Mayor to take in the city’s amazing garden and don’t miss a hike up the Fuego volcano (which is active). There are two routes to choose from: La Soledad and the super high, extremely steep Alotenango Route. Conversely, you can hike the difficult (yet super popular) Acatenango volcano, which offers well-earned views of Fuego spitting lava, fire, and ash into the air. The best time for these hikes is during the dry season from the end of November to early April.

3. Explore Tikal National Park

Tikal is home to the most popular Mayan ruins in the country . Located in Petén Province in the north of Guatemala, this enormous national park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and spans nearly 600 square meters (6,500 square feet), housing centuries of Mayan history and archeology covered in lush vegetation. It is famous for rare animals like pumas, toucans, snakes, monkeys, and many species of birds. Arrive early and stay late as the park empties out in the afternoon when tour groups leave. I also recommend sleeping over in the park to catch the sunrise. You will need to pay extra for a guided tour if you want to see the sunrise or sunset. Ticket prices vary depending on if you buy day tickets, sunrise tickets, or sunset tickets. Admission is 150 GTQ for day hiking before sunset. You can reach Tikal from Flores by shuttle bus or even from neighboring Belize .

4.Visit Semuc Champey

This natural attraction outside the town of Lanquin near Coban consists of 300 meters (984 feet) of limestone bridges over the Cahabòn River that form natural lagoon-like pools. Take a candlelit tour through the Kamba caves, go tubing down the Cahabòn, or swim in the turquoise pools along the bridge. Keep in mind that the caves can only be visited with a guide. It’s possible to get here with local transport, private shuttles, or on a day trip. Go early in the morning to beat the crowds. To avoid getting rained on or risk that the area is flooded, visit during the dry season (December-April). Day trips cost 250-300 GTQ.

5. Explore the Chichicastenango Market

Most people who come to Guatemala visit Chichicastenango, the largest indigenous market in North America. Every Thursday and Sunday, thousands of Quiché Mayans come to town to buy and sell handicrafts, flowers, poetry, trinkets, pottery, and colorful textiles. There are plenty of places to eat tasty street food and buy local fruits and veggies, try fresh juices or Guatemalan coffee, and buy delicious handmade tortillas. Don’t forget to bring smaller bills and remember to bargain for the things you buy. Go early in the morning to beat the crowds.

Other Things to See and Do in Guatemala

1. visit the national museum of archaeology and ethnology.

Located in Guatemala City, this museum houses the many artifacts uncovered from the Mayan archaeological sites around the country. Created in 1898, the museum holds over 20,000 items and artifacts and is a good place to visit so you can learn more about the Mayan culture. Admission is 60 GTQ.

2. See the Yaxha ruins

If Tikal is too touristy for you, consider the more secluded Yaxha ruins. Like Tikal, Yaxha is a massive Mesoamerican archaeological site. Located in the northeast, it was the third-largest Mayan city in the region. Home to several huge stone pyramids, the site was “discovered” in 1904 and dates to 250-600 CE. Spend a few hours looking at ancient drawings and intricately carved hieroglyphs. Admission is 80 GTQ.

3. Explore Quirigua

The archaeological site of Quirigua, located in the southeastern corner of the country near the border with Honduras, contains the largest stelae (upright stone columns covered in drawings or carved into shapes) ever discovered in the Mayan world. Nine stelae are arranged around a central plaza, accompanied by altars carved into zoomorphic shapes that date from the 2nd-8th centuries CE. Although the stelae are unrestored, they are a magnificent sight; the largest of these is a whopping 25 feet tall! Admission is 80 GTQ.

4. Hike the Volcán de Pacaya

This active volcano frequently erupts ash clouds over Antigua, however, it makes for a fun day hike (don’t worry, it’s safe). The trail is relatively easy (it’s not that steep) and takes around two hours to hike, giving you lots of time to admire the view before you actually get a chance to peer into the volcano’s cone. Pacaya can only be accessed with an authorized guide so you will need to book a tour. Be aware the cheap tours often just offer transportation and a Spanish-speaking guide. If you don’t speak Spanish you will need to ask for an English-speaking guide. Guided hikes start at 250 GTQ . Some of the tours also include a visit to a thermal spa where you can soak in the naturally warm waters as well as a chance to roast marshmallows over the volcano.

5. Wander Flores

A small island, Flores sits on Lake Peten Itza, a large lake in the north and the second-largest lake in the country. A narrow man-made causeway connects the island to the mainland and the region is perfect for hiking, swimming, and spotting wildlife. From here, you’re just a short drive away from some of the most untamed jungles in the country (it makes for a good base for exploring the nearby jungles). It’s also close to the ruins at Tikal.

6. Visit the ruins at El Mirador

El Mirador is one of the most undiscovered Mayan sites in Guatemala. Located near the border with Mexico in the northeast, the majority of its complexes lie in the depths of the jungle and remain relatively inaccessible to tourists. It’s the largest of all the Mayan ruins, rivaling even the pyramids in Egypt in size. Though discovered in 1926, researchers didn’t start studying it until 2003! Multi-day tours cost around 2,300-3,100 GTQ since it’s so remote.

7. Explore Rio Dulce

Rio Dulce is a gorgeous river and popular backpacker destination in eastern Guatemala. Two towns, El Relleno and Fronteras, lie on either side of the river and are connected by one of the largest bridges in Central America. The area is famous for its trekking and water activities, including the Finca Paraiso hike, which leads to a hot spring and a waterfall. The Quiriguá ruins (mentioned above) are also nearby and worth a visit.

8. Visit the Antigua Market

This sprawling market is colorful and somewhat chaotic. It’s open-air and filled with everything from fruits and vegetables to handmade crafts and poultry to fake DVDs and knock-off jeans. Come here to buy souvenirs, people watch, and take in the bustling chaos!

9. Relax at Monterrico

This is the most popular beach in the country. Located close to Guatemala City and Antigua, this laid-back beach town is a relaxing place to catch some sun and hit the waves. Between June-December, you can also see giant leatherback, green sea, and smaller olive ridley turtles. There are also lots of tours of the nearby mangroves.

10. Hike Acatenango

Located near Antigua, Acatenango is a stratovolcano standing almost 4,000 meters (13,000 feet). It’s the third-highest volcano in Central America and last erupted in 1972. It offers a strenuous 7-8-hour hike up to a campsite, where you camp overnight before summiting to watch the sunrise. Overnight hiking tours cost around 600-800 GTQ and include cold-weather gear, an English-speaking guide, and park admission.

11. Watch the sunrise from Indian Nose

The sunrise from the Indian Nose volcano is quite possibly one of the most magical sunrises you will ever experience. Located next to Lake Atitlan, you’ll get to look out across the water and the magnificent volcanoes before you (including the Atitlán and San Pedro volcanoes). You can do this hike alone but it is difficult finding the path in the dark so it is much better to go with a guide. Expect to pay around 465 GTQ.

12. Learn to surf

Guatemala isn’t known for its beaches but the small coastal town of El Paredon is a well-kept secret where you can hit the waves. The black sand beach is beautiful and the surf is great. A board rental is around 100-125 GTQ per day and surf lessons cost around 120 GTQ for a private class, including a board.

Guatemala Travel Costs

Pyramids and other ruins in the jungle at the Mayan site of Tikal in Guatemala

Budget hotels are plentiful in Guatemala and rooms cost as little as 235-250 GTQ for a double or twin bed with basic amenities. For a mid-range hotel with free breakfast, expect to pay closer to 500 GTQ

Airbnb is available around the country, with private rooms starting at 200 GTQ per night. For an entire home or apartment, prices begin around 300 GTQ per night though they average closer to 800 GTQ. Book early to find the best deals.

For those traveling with a tent, camping is not common and not recommended. You can camp in the parks of El Paredon and Tikal though. Camping there costs around 50 GTQ per night.

Food – Guatemalan cuisine leans heavily on traditional Mayan foods with a strong influence from Spain (the Spanish arrived here in 1524). Traditional foods use a lot of corn, chilies, avocados, and beans. Popular dishes include tamales, seafood soup, and meat stews (usually chicken or beef), which are readily available and usually quite affordable. Gallo en perro (spicy stew), tapado (seafood soup with green plantain and coconut milk), and fried rice are other popular dishes.

If you’re on a budget, you can get a large meal of beans, rice, corn, and meat for around 40 GTQ from a comedor (local eateries that usually offer large portions). Another local favorite is a tortilla with beans and eggs with sour cream and fried plantain on the side, which usually cost the equivalent of just a couple of dollars.

Lunch is the main meal of the day here, and many restaurants offer affordable set menus. These usually include soup and grilled meat.

Pre-made plates of food (usually chicken or beef, rice, and tortillas) are often sold on the buses during stops for about 25-30 GTQ. Street food, like hot dogs or tamales, can be found for less than 15 GTQ.

A three-course meal in a mid-range restaurant with a drink costs around 250 GTQ. Mexican-style dishes like tacos or enchiladas are a popular evening choice (since dinner is usually a lighter meal).

Fast food like McDonald’s costs around 45 GTQ for a combo meal. For a meal at a Western restaurant (think burger and fries or pizza), expect to pay at least 100 GTQ.

A beer costs 15 GTQ, bottled water is 6 GTQ, and a cappuccino/latte costs around 19 GTQ.

If you plan on buying your own groceries, expect to pay around 200 GTQ per week for staples like vegetables, rice, seasonal produce, and some meat.

Backpacking Guatemala Suggested Budgets

As a budget backpacker in Guatemala, expect to pay around 250 GTQ per day. This assumes you’re staying in a hostel dorm, cooking most of your meals, sticking to free activities (like hiking and the beach), limiting your drinking, and using public transportation to get around.

On a mid-range budget of 650 GTQ, you can stay in an Airbnb, eat out for all your meals, enjoy a few drinks, take some guided tours, use taxis here and there, and visit more attractions such as museums or ruins.

On a “luxury” budget of 1,750 GTQ per day, you can stay in a hotel, take taxis everywhere, book higher-end tours (including private tours and day tours), and eat out every meal at nicer restaurants. This is just the ground floor for luxury though. The sky is the limit!

You can use the chart below to get some idea of how much you need to budget daily, depending on your travel style. Keep in mind these are daily averages — some days you’ll spend more, some days you’ll spend less (you might spend less every day). We just want to give you a general idea of how to make your budget. Prices are in GTQ.

Guatemala Travel Guide: Money-Saving Tips

It’s easy to save money while traveling in Guatemala since the country isn’t that expensive. However, a good budget traveler always looks for ways to maximize value. Here are some of the best ways to save money in Guatemala:

  • Take a free walking tour – In some of the larger cities (like Antigua) you can find free walking tours. They’re the best way to get introduced to a new destination. Freetour.com has options you can choose from. Just be sure to tip your guide at the end!
  • Stay with a local – While accommodation is cheap here, staying with a local via Couchsurfing makes it free. Not only will you save some money, but you’ll get firsthand knowledge from a local!
  • Visit the Mercado – Although eating out is cheap in Guatemala, it makes sense to shop at the markets for your food to take on day trips or to prepare at your hostel. Fruit costs mere pennies and everything is always fresh.
  • Eat street food – The local street food is the cheapest food you can eat — and the tastiest. Stick to street food when it comes to eating out.
  • Avoid flying – Bus rides are longer, but if you are trying to see the country on a budget you shouldn’t fly. An hour-long flight can cost hundreds of dollars. Avoid flying as much as possible!
  • Avoid drinking – Sure, the beer here is cheap but a couple of beers every day will add up. Watch your drinking to keep your budget intact!

Where to Stay in Guatemala

Guatemala has plenty of hostels in all the major cities. Here are some of my suggested places to stay:

  • Maya Papaya (Antigua)
  • Barbara’s Boutique Hostel (Antigua)
  • La Iguana Perdida (Santa Cruz, Lake Atitlan)
  • Casa de Grethel (Flores)
  • Hostal Los Lagos (Guatemala City)
  • Hostal Guatefriends (Guatemala City)

How to Get Around Guatemala

Cobblestone-lined street with brightly colored low buildings on both sides, with a yellow archway going over the street in Guatemala

Public transportation – The main method of transportation in Guatemala is las camionetas (“chicken buses”). They are old school buses from North America and are the most inexpensive way to get around. Expect to pay around 10 GTQ for a 1-2 hour journey. Shorter journeys can cost as little as 5 GTQ.

If you are traveling between places like Antigua and Lake Atitlan, shuttle buses are the most common form of transport for backpackers. Travel between Antigua and Guatemala City costs around 150 GTQ on a shuttle bus. On a chicken bus, it costs considerably less.

Train – There are no trains in Guatemala.

Bus – Because of the poor condition of the roads in Guatemala large coach buses aren’t available on many routes. You can find night buses between Guatemala City and Flores to take you to countries like Mexico , Belize , and Nicaragua . For most other places, you have to rely on shuttle buses.

You have two options for booking: asking in your hostel to call and book for you and pay in cash, or booking online through guatego.com. Unfortunately, websites like Busbud don’t operate in Guatemala as their transport infrastructure is still developing.

Keep in mind the shuttles are pretty basic. Most don’t have working AC and are not very spacious. Plan for delays as well.

Flying – There are regular flights from Guatemala City to Flores, usually costing around 1,000-1,400 GTQ per person for the one-hour flight. If you are short on time and have plenty of money to spend, I suggest flying. But for most travelers, the bus is the best option.

Car rental – Renting a car costs around 175 GTQ per day. Do take care if you decide to drive in Guatemala as the roads aren’t the best and landslides are common during the rainy season (which can often result in both accidents and road closures). Make sure you have an International Driving Permit (IDP) — you’ll need one for any car rental.

For the best car rental prices, use Discover Cars .

When to Go to Guatemala

Guatemala is a fantastic place to visit at any time of the year because of its spring-like climate. As many places are at altitude, you can expect cool mornings and evenings and warm days. Expect temperatures to sit between 18-28°C (65-82°F).

Many choose to avoid Guatemala during the rainy season (May-September) as the rain can be a bit disruptive, especially if you want to do things like hiking. That said, it is during these months that Guatemala is at its most beautiful as the country turns green and the flowers bloom. Prices also drop significantly during the rainy season.

To beat the crowds, visit in the shoulder season (the start or end of the rainy season). You’ll see fewer people and things will be a little cheaper. The weather won’t be perfect but it will still be sunny and warm most days so you’ll still be able to hike.

How to Stay Safe in Guatemala

While Guatemala is generally safe, there’s no denying that certain precautions should be taken as there is a lot of petty crime (and other safety issues) in the country. Avoid isolated areas, especially at night and in big cities. Keep your personal belongings on you while using public transit (especially chicken buses) and night buses.

Additionally, don’t wear flashy jewelry or leave your valuables out in the open. Petty theft is common here so you must be vigilant.

Violent attacks against tourists are rare. Most of the time it’s because the tourist was involved in something drug-related or was where they shouldn’t be at night.

Scams are common in the larger cities so be wary of any overly friendly strangers. You can read about common travel scams to avoid right here.

Solo female travelers should generally feel safe here, however, the standard precautions apply (never leave your drink unattended at the bar, never walk home alone intoxicated, etc.). Whenever possible, share a taxi with friends and avoid walking around alone just to be safe.

Guatemala is home to 37 volcanoes so volcanic activity isn’t uncommon. Be sure to check for warnings before you embark on any hikes/activities (especially ones on or around volcanoes).

Additionally, due to its political instability, protests and demonstrations are common. If one is occurring near you, simply head back to your accommodation and avoid taking part.

If you experience an emergency, dial 110 for assistance.

The most important piece of advice I can offer is to purchase good travel insurance. Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. You can use the widget below to find the policy right for you:

Guatemala Travel Guide: The Best Booking Resources

These are my favorite companies to use when I travel. They consistently have the best deals, offer world-class customer service and great value, and overall, are better than their competitors. They are the companies I use the most and are always the starting point in my search for travel deals.

  • Skyscanner – Skyscanner is my favorite flight search engine. They search small websites and budget airlines that larger search sites tend to miss. They are hands down the number one place to start.
  • Hostelworld – This is the best hostel accommodation site out there with the largest inventory, best search interface, and widest availability.
  • Booking.com – The best all around booking site that constantly provides the cheapest and lowest rates. They have the widest selection of budget accommodation. In all my tests, they’ve always had the cheapest rates out of all the booking websites.
  • Get Your Guide – Get Your Guide is a huge online marketplace for tours and excursions. They have tons of tour options available in cities all around the world, including everything from cooking classes, walking tours, street art lessons, and more!
  • SafetyWing – Safety Wing offers convenient and affordable plans tailored to digital nomads and long-term travelers. They have cheap monthly plans, great customer service, and an easy-to-use claims process that makes it perfect for those on the road.
  • LifeStraw – My go-to company for reusable water bottles with built-in filters so you can ensure your drinking water is always clean and safe.
  • Unbound Merino – They make lightweight, durable, easy-to-clean travel clothing.
  • Top Travel Credit Cards – Points are the best way to cut down travel expenses. Here’s my favorite point earning credit cards so you can get free travel!

Guatemala Travel Guide: Related Articles

Want more info? Check out all the articles I’ve written on backpacking/traveling Central America and continue planning your trip:

Do You Need Travel Insurance for Costa Rica?

Do You Need Travel Insurance for Costa Rica?

The Best Tour Companies in Costa Rica

The Best Tour Companies in Costa Rica

The 6 Best Hostels in Panama City, Panama

The 6 Best Hostels in Panama City, Panama

Is Belize Safe to Visit?

Is Belize Safe to Visit?

Is Central America Safe to Visit?

Is Central America Safe to Visit?

How to Get Around Central America on a Budget

How to Get Around Central America on a Budget

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Things to know before visiting Guatemala

Doug Murray

Nov 2, 2023 • 7 min read

Hispanic woman on the pier of Lake Atitlan in Guatemala looking aside, full body

Guatemala is a fascinating country with so much to see – here are tips that will help you make the most out of your trip © Fernanda Reyes / Getty Images

Guatemala has been my second home for nearly two decades, and the country still captivates me: the landscape with its volcanoes and coffee trees, the lakes and rivers and tropical beaches, Mayan ruins peeking out above the treetops. 

Mayan traditions are still alive and well, and the weather’s almost always fine in the Land of Eternal Spring. However, there's information travelers to Guatemala should know before visiting if you really want to enjoy all it has to offer. 

Get your shots before you leave

If you come in from a country where yellow fever is endemic, you’ll need to be vaccinated against this mosquito-borne disease. It’s also recommended that you’re up to date with your typhoid, hepatitis A and B, rabies, flu and TDaP (tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough) shots. It’s best to visit a travel clinic at least a month before your trip if you need to get vaccinated so there’s enough time to give you full protection. Some vaccines, like hepatitis B and rabies, require follow-up doses.

Bring your own bug spray if you like it DEET free

Most of the things you may have forgotten at home are available in Guatemala, but some items are more difficult to find or very expensive. Bug spray is easy to find but usually contains DEET. The locally produced DEET-free repellents aren’t very effective, so you’ll want to bring a good brand from home. The mosquito-borne diseases of malaria, zika, dengue fever and chikungunya are all endemic in parts of Guatemala. 

Silhouette of a fisherman casting his net in Guatemala

Don't go without sunscreen

Sunburn is a real risk if you spend time outside. Some of the larger stores and pharmacies sell chemical sunscreens, but these generally don’t have an SPF higher than 25. The stronger stuff and natural mineral sunscreens are normally only available in a handful of specialty health stores, with limited options and much higher prices. Pack enough of your favorite sunscreen, and remember to use it.

Your preferred feminine hygiene products might be hard to find

In terms of feminine hygiene products, most shops stock pads only. Some larger stores and pharmacies stock tampons with applicators. You might find the kind without an applicator, as well as menstrual cups, in specialty health stores, but the price will reflect the fact that they’re imported.

Pack lightweight clothing

Because Guatemala’s weather is mainly warm and humid, light clothing that dries quickly is more useful than jeans, which are heavy, too warm for the climate and take forever to dry. For cooler days, a light sweater or jacket is generally sufficient. If you need more clothes than you brought or just a wardrobe revamp, most towns have a paca , a place where you can buy secondhand clothing for as little as Q5 (less than US$1). 

The Arco de Santa Catalina, in Antigua, is a remnant of a 17th-century convent; the arch enabled nuns to cross the street unseen.

When in doubt, cover up

Guatemalans tend to be religious: practicing Catholic, evangelical or, to a smaller extent, traditional Mayan belief systems. That deep-rooted faith also means that they are generally more socially conservative, especially in Maya-dominated communities. 

Men don’t go shirtless unless they’re at the beach. Women prefer knee-length shorts and oversized T-shirts to bathing suits. In the large cities and Ladino-dominated areas, people are more open to shorts, shorter skirts and tank tops. In the Maya communities, however, the women usually wear traditional clothing in public, and their cortes – a garment worn as a skirt – always fall below the knee.

If you’re not sure whether your clothing is appropriate, it’s best to cover up: put on a shirt and don’t wear anything shorter than mid-thigh. If you visit a church or other spiritual site, it’s respectful to cover your shoulders and arms.  

Avoid illegal drugs

Some bars and hostels turn a blind eye to the use of marijuana and other illegal drugs. However, police raids on bars and hostels aren’t uncommon, and if you’re found with any illegal substances in your possession, you will be arrested. 

Don’t drink the water

Tap water in Guatemala is not safe to drink. To reduce your risk of getting parasites, stick to purified water: bottled water is readily available everywhere. Hostels and restaurants will usually let you refill your water bottle, sometimes for a small fee. You may also want to skip the raw salad unless you’re sure that purified water was used for washing produce. 

If you do contract parasites, a trip to the pharmacy is often all you need to get the right treatment.

Guatemalans can get personal but don’t mean harm

It’s not unusual in Guatemalan culture to call people by some physical attribute. Being called guapo or guapa (attractive one) can feel uncomfortable at worst, but being called gordo or gorda (fat one) may sting. If you don’t like the nickname you’ve been given, try not to act offended; the trick is to let it slide and to tell the person your name instead. 

You may also find that Guatemalans like to ask personal questions: how old you are, how many children you have, where you are going. If you answer in the negative as to whether you have a spouse, this may even lead to questions about the status of your virginity, no matter your age. If you feel uncomfortable, remain polite, joke, and change the subject. 

Politeness goes a long way – most of the time

Guatemalans appreciate politeness. A friendly buenas  (good morning/afternoon/evening) or hola  (hello) creates a good first impression. Por favor  or simply porfa  (please) and gracias  (thank you) show that you were raised right. If you learn to say thank you in the Mayan dialect spoken at your destination, it’s guaranteed to elicit a smile. Ask locals how to say thank you in their language, repeat the phrase back to them and then use it for as long as you’re in that town.

One area where being too polite will do you no good, though, is standing in line. People will patiently wait in line in a more formal setting, such as at the clinic or a government office. At the market or in a neighborhood tienda (corner store)? If you don’t speak up, somebody may very well step in front of you as if it’s the most normal thing in the world – and in Guatemala, it is. 

A woman walking on a path surrounded by tropical greenery, seen from behind

The travel experience might be different for female visitors 

The culture of machismo is rife in Guatemala. Local women generally don’t frequent bars and cantinas on their own because of the risk of sexual harassment and violence. Even in pairs, women may face harassment. If you want to go out drinking, it’s best to do it in a mixed group: the presence of men in your group will deter those who won’t take no for an answer.

Women travelers may also encounter micro-aggressions like being talked over or ignored in favor of the men in their group. They’re also held to a higher standard than male travelers when it comes to dress or how they behave in bars and at parties. Sexual harassment and violence are real risks, and the conviction rate for offenders is low. 

However, as a woman traveler, you may find real solidarity – local women tend to be protective of female tourists traveling on their own. If a situation makes you feel uncomfortable, try to move closer to groups of other women. And who knows: you might make some real connections and make some new friends!

The LGBTQI+ scene is small   

Same-sex relationships are legal in Guatemala but frowned upon. The LGBTIQ+ scene in the country is small and mostly confined to the largest cities and tourist areas. While violence against LGBTIQ+ tourists is rare, local activists have been attacked. Take your cues from your surroundings and watch how the local community behaves towards transgender people or public displays of affection between same-sex couples, for instance. If you’re unsure, err on the side of caution. 

Hiker with panorama view of Lake Atitlan and volcano San Pedro and Toliman early in the morning from peak of volcano Atitlan, Guatemala. Hiking and climbing on Vulcano Atitlan

Always hike with a local guide

Some tourists who come to Guatemala climb volcanoes on their own with no issues. However, hiking alone is not a good idea because of the risk of getting robbed, injured or lost. Use local guides and follow their instructions: if they say they’re not going any farther, turn around with them. Guides know what the risks are, and the risks are very real – Guatemala has seen several high-profile deaths of hikers in recent years. Rescue teams are normally made up of volunteers using donated gear. When they have to risk their lives to rescue you, the decent thing to do is to reimburse them for their trouble.   

To stay safe, don't take unnecessary chances

Is Guatemala safe? As a tourist, you’re unlikely to run into serious trouble. That said, listen to local advice about areas to avoid, always be aware of your surroundings and never leave your belongings or your drinks unattended. 

Guatemala has a reputation for corruption and poor enforcement of laws. You may hear of travelers who bribed officials and got away with it. You may also hear of travelers who weren’t so lucky, so just don’t do it. 

This article was first published Mar 3, 2022 and updated Nov 2, 2023.

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A dventurous travelers seeking beauty and budget thrills should look no further than Guatemala, a friendly country that remains largely unexplored by many Americans, but can be reached in as little as six hours from many cities in the U.S.

A question I fielded several times before my late February trip: Why Guatemala?

My partner and I have made a habit of planning at least one international trip each year. Actually, I’ll shoulder most of the blame — nothing scratches my travel itch like a new passport stamp. But because we’re early-career professionals, with limited stockpiles of paid time off and inevitable bills, a month-long vacation to Southeast Asia or Eastern Europe is out of the question (for now).

Last summer, I found myself in a rabbit hole of research: Panama, Aruba, Curaçao. Slowly, the pieces fell together for Guatemala.

I started to hear about this friend or that roommate who had visited — or even temporarily moved to — the Central American country over the past few years and couldn’t get enough of it.

Social media platform TikTok features videos of jet-setters of every creed successfully journeying through the tourist destinations of Antigua and Lake Atitlán, offering tips on how to navigate the nation. By August, our accommodations were booked.

Both sets of our parents initially balked at the idea. My dad had previously flown to Guatemala City on business, and was confined within the limits of Central America’s largest metropolis. Like others in the baby boomer and Gen X demographics, much of what they’d grown up hearing about the country was related to its conditions during the Guatemalan Civil War, which lasted 36 years.

However, over the past decade, the nation’s tourism industry has consistently grown — minus a setback during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data-gathering platform Statista. And I was hearing piqued interest from millennials and zoomers about making the trip south. At the Cherry Creek Shopping Center days before my trip, a clerk peppered me with questions about my itinerary as she considered doing the same.

After my editors gave me the green light to briefly chase a story on the ground, the trip became both work and play — four days off, two days on. I took the necessary precautions learned on my last reporting trip to Peru in the pre-COVID era: monitor travel advisories with the U.S. State Department, submit my itinerary to the agency’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program and set an appointment with a travel clinic to get relevant vaccines.

With interviews set and bags packed, we hopped on our 6 a.m. American Airlines flight from Denver, then stopped briefly at the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport before touching down in the early afternoon at La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City. On the flight, our seat neighbor — a Guatemalan who planned to visit her family for a long weekend before heading back to the U.S. — excitedly shared her recommendations, then led us through the winding halls of the airport to customs and immigration.

Guatemala’s cash economy

After a quick and easy process, we were set to embark into a new country — and learned lessons pretty quickly. We brought cash because Guatemala is a cash-reliant economy, particularly outside of its capital city. The airport provides several opportunities to exchange dollars for quetzales, with $1 worth about 8 quetzales, as of mid-April. It’s best to fork over the added exchange fee there and avoid the inconvenience of hunting for a bank like we did later.

More than 3 million people reside in the city’s urban area, which is made up of 21 zones — some of which tourists are advised against visiting. We stayed one night in Zone 4, which a travel blog calls “the upcoming hipster area.” Zones 9 and 10 come highly recommended, too. We felt safe and relaxed in the neighborhood around our Airbnb — a unit in a modern apartment complex, with its own private patio.

Our plans for that first day were ambitious: see the National Palace of Culture, stop by the city’s market and eat dinner at steakhouse Hacienda Real Zona 10. Instead, we took in the sunset views on the rooftop of restaurant Los Tres Tiempos in the city’s historical district, cocktails and croquetas de pache — mozzarella croquettes made of Guatemalan potato dough — in hand, before turning in. But if you’re short on time or not a big city person, then you can skip visiting the capital like most tourists do.

Disclaimer: I’m not sure what it would be like to travel through Guatemala without a Spanish speaker by my side. Spanish and even some Mayan dialects take precedence over English throughout the country. Because that’s my partner’s first language, I didn’t have to put my rudimentary skills to the test. However, I encountered plenty of Europeans and North Americans who managed to make it from Point A to Point B.

2 nights in Antigua

The next morning started with the one-hour drive west to the colonial city of Antigua. Visitors have several options for transportation. Uber is available, and we used it for a short ride in Guatemala City, but I’d read enough mixed reviews for me to largely opt against it. The bravest — and stingiest — of travelers sometimes ride the chicken buses: decorated buses that serve as public transportation. However, I’d also seen a litany of online grievances, as the buses can often run unreliably and feel crowded, with the risk of pickpockets.

Instead, we used private cars and shared shuttle services to travel from town to town, which are affordable by American standards. Viator Travel served as a trusty resource for finding highly-reviewed drivers, who often arrived early and provided a smooth ride.

Our two nights in Antigua left us wishing for more time. There, activities abound — sightseeing at the famous Santa Catalina Arch and Central Park, bartering at the massive Mercado Central and eating so many piping-hot tortillas. My go-to breakfast for days in a row: plantains, refried beans, farmer’s cheese and eggs soaked in salsa, scooped into tortillas and washed down with that famous Guatemalan coffee.

Antigua is the place to buy souvenirs. I scored a Mayan cookbook, plus trinkets for my family like handmade worry dolls: tiny dolls that you tuck under your pillow to whisk away your stresses as you dream. It’s also the spot for nightlife, with several dozen bars and restaurants concentrated in a walkable area that’s both spotless and safe.

Speaking of walking, follow our lead and bring a duffle or weekend bag, instead of a suitcase. Otherwise, navigating the cobblestone roads can quickly turn into the bane of your existence. And wear comfortable sneakers. We walked almost 9 miles one day, but that’s the best way to find hole-in-the-wall joints like restaurant Cafeteria La Concepcion, which is where I tried the traditional dish of pepián de pollo, a Guatemalan chicken stew.

Depending on the timing of your trip, you could also experience a local festival. I was delighted to realize that we visited ahead of Semana Santa, or Holy Week, with Guatemala considered a deeply Christian country. Street vendors sell cheap delicacies, such as empanadas de leche, or sweet cream empanadas. Antigua residents wake up every Sunday during Lent and create alfombras — intricately designed “carpets” made of flower petals and sawdust dyed in every color — on the streets before the evening’s religious procession. Then, just hours later, the temporary creations are stepped on and swept up.

From Antigua, you can admire the surrounding peaks of towering volcanoes, and tour operators like OX Expeditions take hikers on excursions to Pacaya, Acatenango and Agua volcanoes. We signed up for an easy sunset hike up to Pacaya and its lava fields. The other two are known as longer, more intense endeavors. I would strongly advise any hiking hopefuls to cough up the money and join a group because robberies of solo tourists are common along the trails.

Picturesque Lake Atitlán

My first work day was spent reporting in Jocotenango, a town on the outskirts of Antigua, with the team at the nonprofit Education for the Children Foundation. They run the School of Hope, a free private school for disadvantaged students. I chatted with pupils and teachers during the school day. Then, U.S. executive director Sara Miller drove me around town and up to La Vista Hermosa, a shantytown of homes built illegally on the hillside where about 150 of the school’s families reside.

As a journalist, I’m grateful to have spent those hours getting the perspective that tourists often don’t see, but, for that reason, I won’t highlight Jocotenango as a place that visitors need on their itineraries. Then, we hopped in a shared shuttle — a small van that fits 10 passengers — for the three-hour ride to Lake Atitlán. If you get car sick, then it is absolutely necessary to bring non-drowsy motion sickness medicine to survive the winding roads.

Lake Atitlán is often referred to as “the Lake Como of Latin America,” referencing the Italian lake in the Alps’ foothills. It’s also held sacred by the nation’s Mayan population — Guatemala’s largest Indigenous group. Outside of Guatemala City, Native people in their traditional garb are a common sight. A Mayan woman typically wears a corte (skirt), huipil (blouse) and faja (belt), and you come across shops selling the clothing in different colors and patterns.

Upon arriving at the lake, you’re typically dropped off in Panajachel — one of almost a dozen towns and villages sitting on the water’s edge. There, I spent my final day of reporting at the headquarters of nonprofit Friendship Bridge, which works with Indigenous women entrepreneurs to provide loans, business training and more.

Nicknamed Pana, the town is accessible by car, but several of the most popular destinations can only be reached by boat. Before departing Pana for other lakeside locations, stock up on sunscreen, beer or any other desirable products because the small stores in the remote villages offer limited stock.

Public and private lanchas, or boats, float at the main dock to ferry locals and tourists across the lake. Beeline for the cheap public option, which costs 10 to 25 quetzales, or you could be swindled by a private captain into paying hundreds of quetzales for your own boat. It’s a longer wait as the water taxi loads up on passengers, but it’s worthwhile for your wallet.

The lake is a place to relax, swim and hop from village to village, which is exactly what my partner and I did on our last day of vacation. Boats are ever reliable on the lake, and you can flag one down at the nearest dock. But I wanted to try out a tuk-tuk — a doorless, three-wheeled vehicle, manned by a driver, who can transport you between towns. I highly recommend the very Guatemalan experience.

Our favorite village: San Juan La Laguna, which bursts with art, restaurants and merchants. Our least favorite: San Marcos La Laguna — a hippie haven, known for its yoga retreats and meditation centers. However, it felt very gentrified to me.

We didn’t get the chance to visit Santa Catarina Palopó, where the houses are painted in eye-popping colors. Cerro Tzankujil Nature Reserve has a prime spot for cliff jumping into the lake, which I’d add to my list for when we return.

And that’s “when,” not “if,” because I’d happily fly back to Guatemala for a much longer trip in the future. Not only did I feel welcome and safe during my travels, but I also experienced an adventure that I won’t soon forget.

Where to eat

Los Tres Tiempos, 6ta. Avenida “A” 10-13 Zona 01, Azotea Del Edificio Centro Vivo, Cuidad de Guatemala: A chic rooftop restaurant, this is the ideal spot to watch the sun set in Guatemala City’s historical district. Enjoy 360-degree views of the Central American metropolis on the outdoor patio.

Cafeteria La Concepcion, H75F+5C4, Antigua: This unpretentious, hole-in-the-wall restaurant offers a limited menu for low prices, with top-tier Guatemalan food like pepián de pollo.

Restaurante 7 Caldos, 3a Calle Oriente 24, Antigua: Enter through the cobblestone street into an open-air restaurant where you can watch as your tortillas are made fresh. The expansive menu, which includes cocktails, is sure to satisfy most cravings.

Café 22, 6a Calle Poniente 8, Antigua: This small café feels like your own private courtyard. Stop by for a cup of Guatemalan espresso and lunch.

Casa Troccoli, H758+773, 5a Avenida Norte, Antigua: With its romantic architecture and expansive garden, date night should go smoothly at Casa Troccoli. Its red sangria is a great way to cool off, so check it out for a quick drink or a meal.

©2024 MediaNews Group, Inc. Visit at denverpost.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Street mural on San Juan La Laguna at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.

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Corcovado’s Delicate Ecosystem at Risk Due to Increased Tourism

Tico Times

Corcovado National Park has a unique biodiversity, which must be protected. Therefore, the Osa neighbors expressed their concern over the decision the Osa Conservation Area (ACOSA) made to double the daily access to the Sirena Station in Corcovado National Park, as revealed by the Costa Rican media outlet Delfino.

The maximum daily visitation to this area of the park increased from 120 people to 240, distributed in two shifts at 7:00 and 10:00 a.m. The measure was implemented by ACOSA because Corcovado is a protected wilderness area recognized in our country and in the world thanks to its biological intensity, which makes it a special site for attracting tourism.

The local community also denounced neglect of the Los Patos and La Leona areas and an increase in the use of the area as a transit point for drug trafficking. Neighbors have reported crowds of tourists at the park entrance, limited water access, and mass visitation in an area with vast and delicate wildlife.

The National Park is home to several vulnerable species. They also pointed out that the decision was taken after a series of workshops with the park’s stakeholders but did not include experts, public institutions, or researchers.

In addition, locals believe there is no environmental technical basis to justify the increase in capacity, and there have been no studies conducted on the protected area to demonstrate its impact.

According to Carlos Eduardo Castro Rojas, legal representative of the company Ecoturístico La Tarde to Mena Corea and CONAC, and who lives in Puerto Límenes, this increase in visits reduced the opportunities for visitors to explore other local projects on the Osa Peninsula while waiting to enter the Sirena sector, affecting the entire rural tourism sector of the Osa Peninsula. “

Visitors do not need to stay overnight in the Osa because in one day they can visit Corcovado and leave the Peninsula without consuming more than the services related to the visit to Corcovado National Park,” he said.

However, there are some hotel owners who are thrilled as this increasae represents more income, but smaller businesses are suffering.

The greatest risk is that Corcovado will become a destination for mass tourism, which would threaten the flora and fauna of one of the world’s most biodiverse and fragile ecosystems.

Tico Times

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Chef Enrico Ferrulli destacó la gastronomía de Petén en el Arabian Travel Market en Dubái

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Descripción de la foto para personas con discapacidad visual: en la foto de la derecha aparece Enrico Ferrulli y en la segunda aparece uno de los platillos que presentó en el Arabian Travel Market. (Crédito: Enrico F. Ferrulli)

El chef Enrico Ferrulli destacó la gastronomía de Petén en el Arabian Travel Market celebrado en Dubái en el mes de mayo.

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La gastronomía de Petén fue destacada en el Arabian Travel Market , un evento que se celebra cada año en Dubái y en donde se destaca lo mejor de más de 100 países de todo el mundo. ¡Qué chilero! El chef Enrico Ferrulli tuvo la oportunidad de representar a Guatemala en este importante evento internacional.

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Enrico ferrulli destacó la gastronomía de petén en el arabian travel market en dubái.

Durante el Arabian Travel Market , un evento de renombre mundial que se celebró en Dubái del 6 al 9 de mayo, Guatemala tuvo el honor de ser representada por el talentoso chef Enrico F. Ferrulli. Apasionado por la riqueza gastronómica de Petén, compartió sobre la cocina autóctona maya-mopán y maya-itzá ante miles de visitantes de varios lugares del mundo.

Durante el evento, el chef presentó platillos peteneros emblemáticos, destacando la diversidad y autenticidad de la cocina local. Entre los platos ofrecidos se encontraban el Chal’kun , un plato típico del municipio de Dolores, así como el pinol y la refrescante bebida de tiste , todos ellos representantes de la tradición culinaria de la región.

Chef Enrico Ferrulli  destacó gastronomía de Petén en Arabian Travel Market en Dubáii

En sus redes sociales, Ferrulli expresó su emoción y gratitud por la oportunidad de representar a Guatemala en el Arabian Travel Market y de ser el embajador de la cocina de la región en este prestigioso evento internacional: «Cerramos este gran evento, Arabian Market Travel en Dubái, con muy buenos resultados para Guatemala, gracias Inguat, por darle esa oportunidad a Petén y a mí por permitirme ser embajador de la cocina [del departamento], gracias Dolores, Gracias todo mi hermoso Petén. También quiero agradecer a muchas personas que permitieron que pudiéramos hacer un excelente trabajo en estas tierras lejanas […]».

El Arabian Travel Market, con tres décadas de trayectoria, se ha consolidado como la plataforma líder del Medio Oriente para la promoción de destinos turísticos, atracciones y negocios relacionados con la industria del turismo y los viajes. La presencia de Guatemala en este evento, junto con más de 150 países, ofreció una valiosa oportunidad para mostrar la riqueza cultural, gastronómica y natural del país a miles de visitantes y potenciales turistas y socios.

Un apasionado por la cocina petenera

A pesar de haber nacido en Italia, Enrico F. Ferrulli se ha convertido en chef petenero de corazón que promueve la cocina del departamento. Llegó a Petén hace muchos años, enamorándose no solo del lugar sino de su comida. En su restaurante, La Casa de Enrico, ofrece una exquisita variedad de platillos peteneros.

Con su amor por la gastronomía del departamento, Ferrulli representó con orgullo a Guatemala y compartió la diversidad de los sabores guatemaltecos con personas de varios países. Puedes conocer más de su trabajo y restaurante en las redes sociales:

  • La Casa de Enrico: @lacasadenrico en Instagram y La Casa de Enrico Rest. en Facebook
  • Chef: @ferrullienrico en Instagram y Enrico F. Ferrulli en Facebook

Chef Enrico Ferrulli  destacó gastronomía de Petén en Dubái

Te podría interesar: Chef guatemalteco Steve Kestler está nominado a los Premios James Beard 2024 de Estados Unidos

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  1. Guatemala Tours

    Welcome to Guatemalan Adventure Tour Operator, your gateway to the most amazing destinations in Guatemala including Mayan Ruins, Colonial Cities, Living Culture, Wild Jungles and much more! Our company specializes in providing from standard to luxury Guatemala Tour Packages, Day Tours and Quality Transportation for couples, families and groups.

  2. 10 Best Guatemala Tour Operators 2024 [Unbiased & With Reviews]

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  3. 10 Best Guatemala Tours & Trips 2024/2025

    Browse the best tours in Guatemala with 134 reviews visiting places like Antigua and Guatemala City. All Major Brands. Biggest selection. Best Prices. Deals of the Week Solo is the new black Up to 50% OFF. Deals end: 2d 11h 53m 45s ... The company was super helpful and responsive.

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    5 Avg. Rating for Guatemala Trips|899 Reviews for Guatemala Trips. All Charlie The Traveler company reviews. Why we love them. Travelers report that traveling with CharlieTheTraveler is a life-changing experience, in the best possible way. Featured Guatemala Trips. # 8. of 58 matches. preferred. Contiki.

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    We specialize in both, one country and multi-country tours that showcase the beauty and splendor of Central America. With exclusively private transportation, interactive tours, personal bilingual guides, and top tier accommodation, we make your safety and comfort a top priority. 5-Star Rated Travel Agency for Tours in Guatemala, Central America ...

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    Guatemala to Belize. Laura · Traveled April 2024. Absolutely amazing trip. A great mix of culture, nature, history and relaxation. Tidal was fascinating l, swimming with sharks was brilliant and the scenery was breathtaking. Definitely would recommend this trip. Review submitted 18 Apr 2024.

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    Pacaya Volcano Tour and Hot Springs from Antigua. 62. Enjoy the perfect mix of adventure and relaxation on this 9-hour day trip, ascending Pacaya Volcano and then soaking your muscles at Kawilal Hot Springs. Scale the 8,300-foot (2,500-meter) heights of Pacaya, one of the most active volcanoes in Guatemala.

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    Expect to pay around 10 GTQ for a 1-2 hour journey. Shorter journeys can cost as little as 5 GTQ. If you are traveling between places like Antigua and Lake Atitlan, shuttle buses are the most common form of transport for backpackers. Travel between Antigua and Guatemala City costs around 150 GTQ on a shuttle bus.

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    Avenida "A" 10-13 Zona 01, Azotea Del Edificio Centro Vivo, Cuidad de Guatemala: A chic rooftop restaurant, this is the ideal spot to watch the sun set in Guatemala City's historical district.

  25. Travel alerts

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  26. Corcovado's Delicate Ecosystem at Risk Due to Increased Tourism

    The greatest risk is that Corcovado will become a destination for mass tourism, which would threaten the flora and fauna of one of the world's most biodiverse and fragile ecosystems. Experts warn that doubling daily visitor capacity in Corcovado National Park may threaten its fragile ecosystem.

  27. Chef Enrico Ferrulli destacó la gastronomía de Petén en el Arabian

    Enrico Ferrulli destacó la gastronomía de Petén en el Arabian Travel Market en Dubái. Durante el Arabian Travel Market, un evento de renombre mundial que se celebró en Dubái del 6 al 9 de mayo, Guatemala tuvo el honor de ser representada por el talentoso chef Enrico F. Ferrulli. Apasionado por la riqueza gastronómica de Petén, compartió sobre la cocina autóctona maya-mopán y maya ...