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12 days & 11 nights
This adventure will take you through the main cultural and natural destinations in Guatemala, visiting ecoregions ranging from subtropical and tropical rainforests, wetlands, and dry and pine-oak forests that inhabit a significant variety of wildlife species.
Guatemala has two essential characteristics: a) the richness of culture defined by cultures, textiles, handicrafts, languages, and b) the natural richness integrated by the agricultural landscapes (sugar cane, coffee, vegetables, and fruits) and forests (more than fourteen life zones).
The most impressive fact, at last, is the fact that every cultural feature originated in the geological characterization from the area. The geology from Guatemala is varied because of the three tectonic plates that give shape to the country.
The geology is related to the weather, and the weather defines the natural landscapes. Maybe the surprise for most people is that the natural landscapes define people’s cultural characteristics.Therefore, the geology from a place has an important influence on the people’s culture. It is better to see that fact than Guatemala because of their variety in both aspects.
A representative from Authentic Travel will meet you at Guatemala City Airport and take you to your hotel in Antigua, Guatemala.Three nights of lodging in Antigua Guatemala
This morning you will begin the adventure with a short transfer from your hotel to San Cristóbal El Alto, where you will enjoy a nature experience and have breakfast with the breathtaking views of the volcanoes and Antigua.
Then continue to Finca El Pilar. This natural spot is a small paradise located in the mountain forest of Guatemala. It has an infrastructure of trails for bird watching, spread through the organic plantations of coffee, mountain forest, and cloud forest.
This reserve's vegetation, mainly constituted by coffee, pine, and oaks, settle at an altitudinal range from 1,710 to 9,500 feet above sea level. One of Finca El Pilar's main attractions is in the zone of hummingbird feeders. It is possible to spot a wide variety of hummingbird species that inhabit the area feeding oneself simultaneously, representing an excellent opportunity for birdwatchers and naturalists.
In the afternoon, it is time for our journey to visit ruins, churches, and museums. In this city, the colonial times' stories and legends are still present, and the old paved streets. In this journey, you will visit: La Merced Church, Convent Las Capuchinas, Saint Joseph Cathedral, Central Park, local craft market & Chocolate Museum.
The impressive Pacaya volcano is one of the active volcanoes in Guatemala, located in San Vicente Pacaya's municipality, in Escuintla. It elevates 2,552 meters ASL. (8,373 ft.) Pacaya is one of the most suggested volcano hikes due to its easy ascent and spectacular views of the volcanic chain.
Our tour begins with a transfer from Antigua Guatemala (1 hour) towards the active Pacaya volcano's foothills. This volcano hike will take about 1.5 hours, requiring a moderate effort. Please take note that it is possible to rent a horse at the park entrance.
Our trail will take us through a pine forest, where you will get to volcanic ash and finally reach the cone. From the top, you will have fantastic views of the volcanoes in the North, the Pacific coast's lowlands, and El Salvador. After enjoying our volcano adventure tour, you will return to the foothills to get back to your hotel.
Get ready to enjoy the native market, where the scent of incense and the people's mysticism promises a unique atmosphere, tropical flowers, bargaining of prices, and a church with mixed Mayan and Catholic traditions.
A unique market where only on Sundays and Thursdays offers all kinds of products to locals and visitors. You will enjoy lunch with a Mayan family
After the tour, you will be transported to Quetzaltenango (1 hour)
One night of lodging at Hotel Pension Bonifaz in Quetzaltenango
Early in the morning, visit Almolonga market, this is one of the best vegetable markets in Central America. Here you will enjoy your visit taking pictures or sit to see the people doing their buys and walking around with their little kids on their back.
Then, continue to birdwatch in the very humid sub-tropical forest at Fuentes Georginas. In addition to being an excellent birding and natural destination, Fuentes Georginas is a hot spring with developed pools.
You will also visit the colorful church of San Andres Xecul and Zunil, and this small village settled in a valley surrounded by beautiful mountains and famous for the San Simon saint that is the patron of the place.
Afternoon transfer to Lake Atitlan (1 hour)
Two nights of lodging in Panajachel
This morning you are going to take a scenic boat ride across Lake Atitlan (30min) to Santiago Atitlan; at your arrival, you will have a 10 minute's ride to the entrance of Rey Tepepul Park for a short hike and try to spot the Resplendent Quetzal,
After the hike, return to Santiago Atitlan to have breakfast and then continue the tour to the village visiting the Maya God Maximon and learn about the textiles, spiritualism, and beliefs of the Tz'utujil Maya. Each year a different "brotherhood" has the privilege of taking care of their God; therefore, his location change.
Afternoon visits San Juan La Laguna's village, where you can visit the women's textile association to discover hand weaving and the natural dye process. Visit the studios/homes of the celebrated naïf painters, then continue to Santiago Village.
After the visit, you will be transferred to your hotel.
Morning transfer to Guatemala City, on route visit Los Tarrales private reserve.
Los Tarrales is placed southeast of Atitlan Volcano and inhabits the Azure-rumped Tanager; here, you will find a different kind of forest due to the altitudinal range from 2297 8200 feet ASL. Los Tarrales Nature Reserve is an important spot for conservation and has promoted bird monitoring and forest preservation of the area.
Here you can choose tours between birdwatching, coffee tour or nature and butterfly tour
After lunch, transfer to Guatemala City
One night of lodging in Guatemala City
Morning transfer to the airport and then a short flight to Flores airport.
Meet & greet by our team at the airport and transfer to Flores Island to have breakfast with the lake view,
After breakfast, we will head toward Las Guacamayas Biological Station, placed inside the largest wetlands in Central America, on the banks of San Pedro River in the heart of the Mayan Biosphere. During the transfer, we will have breaks for wildlife observation.
Arriving at Paso Caballos village, we will get a boat ride for about 45 minutes, wildlife observation on the route. After check-in, you will have a short hike ending at Las Guacamayas lookout with fantastic views to enjoy the sunset
Night hike to see wildlife
Two nights of lodging at Las Guacamayas Station.
Early wake up to discover the wildlife around the station. After breakfast, you will take a boat ride before starting a jungle walk to discover the natural world in one of the most important wetlands of central America. Return for lunch
After lunch, you will go on a boat ride around the San Pedro river and Sacluc stream on the quest for wildlife, including the colorful Agami Heron.
Before dinner, you will have time to enjoy a nocturnal aquatic excursion around the San Pedro River and the streams
After breakfast, you will board the boat to Paso Caballos, then by car to Tikal National Park; lunch on route.
At the arrival time for check-in and then, begin a hike inside Tikal Park, a natural paradise to enjoy a nature exploration and a sunset from the top of one of the Mayan temples.
One night of lodging at Tikal national park
Here, an early birding and nature tour is an excellent opportunity to discover the birds that inhabit Tikal and Howler & Spider monkeys, butterflies, and fantastic insects.
Breakfast at the lodge, then continue the wildlife adventure around the archaeological area with a Maya history explanation and the possibility to climb some temples.
Lunch and transfer to the airport in time to catch your flight to Guatemala City
Meet & greet at La Aurora airport and transfer to your hotel One night of lodging in Guatemala City