Itinerary for Guatemala & Tikal« Back to Trip Overview
Day 1-(-/-/-) GUATEMALA CITY AIRPORT – ANTIGUA
On your arrival to the “La Aurora” airport in Guatemala City, you’ll be met and taken to the colonial old capitol of Antigua private transfer about 45 min. You’ll stay the next two nights in the Posada de Don Rodrigo (or equivalent), an historic hotel brimming with colonial atmosphere. Here we take the time to get to know each other and have a restful nights sleep before our first day of excitement!
Day 2-(B/-/-) ANTIGUA
There are hundreds of amazing churches in this colonial city and many of them were built over powerful native sites. Today we visit many of these beautiful places and practice “dreaming”, a Toltec technique that we can use to merge with the energies of these places. Full day tour of Antigua, a UNESCO World heritage site. You’ll visit the Capuchinas Convent, San Francisco church and the Casa Kojom, a museum of Mayan Music and a working coffee plantation. Take time to visit the local markets and shops to get your first glimpse (but not your last!) at the great quality and variety of native handicraft available in Guatemala. Optional activity: Climbing Pacaya Volcano – an active volcano and a great day hike! There will be some time to explore the city on your own and do some shopping too.
Day 3-(B/L/-) ANTIGUA | SAN ANDRES IZTAPA | SAN ANTONIO AGUAS CALIENTES | IXIMCHE
Start your tour early to enjoy a wonderful macadamia nut pancake breakfast at the Valhalla Macadamia Nut Farm just outside of Ciudad Vieja. Marvel at the sustainability of Macadamia nut farming and the innovative inventions to process them for the humble farmer of Guatemala. Then we will drive close by to the town of San Antonio Aguas Calientes for a glimpse of the best weaving in the country. San Antonio is famous for their two sided back loom weavings. Take the time to investigate the town cooperative and the church and plaza. Most San Antonians thrive in their native dress.
Enjoy lunch in a quaint restaurant en route to San Andres Iztapa. It will take us about 1 1/2 hours drive to reach the town where you may want to stop at the local street vendor stalls to buy some of the local necessities to honor San Simon. San Simon is the Kaqchiquel version of Maximon, the Maya Saint whose house is located in Santiago Atitlan by Lake Atitlan. The Catholic Church does not recognize the Maya saint, however, many Mayan Catholics recognize him as the provider for many of the delights of life. He is the “bad boy” who loves to smoke cigars, drink alcohol, and live the fast life. He is the protector of many who seek love, a good job, a nice house and all the good things for ones family. One belief is that you need to share with Maximon and he will bring you good fortune. Often, there are Maya shamans perfuming their fire rituals with their patient in tow. After watching and possibly participating in a cleansing ritual, we return to Antigua. We will also, time permitting, drive to the ruins of Iximche an hour from San Andres. The Maya site from the post classic time was the first capital of the Spanish Conquered Maya realm. It’s a large site with many various buildings, mounds and ball courts. Return to Antigua to Posada Don Rodrigo hotel.
Day 4-(-/L/D) YAXHÁ & TOPOXTÉ
Early morning transfer to the airport for flight to Santa Elena, Peten. Transfer from the airport in Santa Elena, Peten to the Eco-Lodge “El Sombrero”, a quaint lodge with bungalows both private and communal and hammocks for resting in the dinning area and private bar. Transfer in small-motorized boat to the Maya archaeological site of Topoxté located on an island in the middle of the Lake. Return to the restaurant for lunch. After a brief rest, transfer to the newly built museum of Topoxté and the site of Yaxhá. Yaxhá has been recently excavated and the restoration of the large temple 216 makes a great platform for observing the sunset over the Lake. Return to the lodge for dinner in a peaceful family setting. Optional Night Crocodile Photo hunt by boat on Lake Yaxhá.
Day 5-(B/L/D) TIKAL
After breakfast, transfer to the magnificent site of Tikal where you will enjoy a full day visit to this incredible ancient city; considered by most to be the most impressive in the Mayan world. Tikal is famous for it’s monumental pyramids and grandiose central plaza. There is no way to talk about Tikal and its towering pyramids that look over the surrounding jungle canopy! We spend the day in this wonderful city exploring the ruins and the jungle in our own minds.
We then return to the comfort of our hotel at the entrance to the park for lunch and later, we can visit the Museum of Tikal where many jade artifacts, ceramics, and tomb contents are on display or return to the site of Tikal. You will note that most visitors to Tikal are “day trippers” – arriving in the morning and leaving in mid-afternoon. As such, you will have the park largely to yourself this afternoon, as you will stay tonight at the Tikal Inn, located in the park itself. Staying in the park will give you a greater appreciation for the area and its abundant flora and fauna – especially the howler monkeys and coatimundis!
Day 6-(B/-/-) TIKAL
Early morning birding and nature walk, followed by time in this amazing ancient city. Late afternoon flight to Guatemala City, transfer to Antigua for your final night in Guatemala City.
Day 7-(B/-/-) ANTIGUA – GUATEMALA CITY AIRPORT
Today we leave our new friends and family to fly back home enriched by our experiences in this charming country.