Guatemala: Tikal, Pacaya and the Magic of Atitlan

NUMBER OF DAYS 9

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On your family vacation adventure in the enchanting little Central American slice of heaven that is Guatemala, your family will visit the largest and most astonishing of all Mayan ruins at Tikal, as well as the ruins of Iximche, before heading to Lake Atitlan.

Explore the region around Atitlan, often referred to as “the most beautiful lake in the world." Kayak around its crystal-blue waters, with towering volcanoes dominating the horizon all around you. Zip line in the jungle in Atitlan Nature Reserve, packed with astounding wildlife like monkeys, coatis, and exotic birds (including Guatemala's national bird, the quetzal). Practice your bartering skills with the vibrantly dressed indigenous Mayan locals at the lively Chichicastenango Market, and participate in a private workshop with a professional naïf painter.

Continue on to the charming colonial city of Antigua Guatemala. Take a guided walking tour of Antigua’s quaint cobblestone streets and old churches, and learn Spanish at one of the city’s famous language schools.

Hike to the top of the very active Pacaya Volcano to see the spectacular views it offers, learn how to make chocolate the Mayan way with local cacao beans, and take a fairly traded coffee tour with the great charity organization As Green as it Gets (AGAIG).

This family vacations provides endless thrills and priceless cultural experiences that we know will make you fall in love with Guatemala!  

2015 Dates
Dates 10 or more
travelers
6 to 9
travelers
2 to 5
travelers
Internal Air
04/18 - 04/26 $4,390 $4,640 $4,890 $300
06/27 - 07/05 $4,390 $4,640 $4,890 $300
12/19 - 12/27 $5,090 $5,340 $5,590 $300

Special Savings On Spring Break family Adventures:  Book your Feb to April 2015 adventure before January 2, 2015 and receive a $300 discount per person for groups of 2 to 5 or a $600 discount per person for groups of 6 or more.

Child Discount: $200 for children under 12

Triple discount for children under 12 sharing with two adults: $200

Alumni Discount: if you are a returning Thomson guest, please subtract $500 per family from these prices

Price includes: All conservation, park and entrance fees; accommodations based on two to a room, land transportation, private bi-lingual guide throughout, all meals, bottled water & snacks in the vehicle, Comprehensive Travel Insurance.

Prices are based on the number of people in your party.

Don't see your travel dates?

Call us, we can personalize any trip to meet your travel needs! 

Day 1 – Depart Home / Arrive Guatemala City

Upon arrival into Guatemala City’s Aurora International Airport, your family will be met by your local guide (who will accompany you throughout the trip) and transferred to your hotel. Rest and relax after your long journey.

Day 2 – Tikal

Within Tikal National Park you’ll find a humbling site: the ancient Mayan ruins of Tikal. This magnificent historical and cultural jewel is a powerful remnant of a once-glorious civilization, with over 3,000 individual structures, temples and courtyard groups covering 16 square kilometers. In addition to the sprawling Mayan city it’s famous for, Tikal National Park also contains dense rain forest and a vast array of tropical wildlife. There are 54 species of mammals in the park, including spider monkeys and pizotes, as well as 333 species of birds, like the endemic ocellated turkey and plenty of vibrantly colored exotic birds.

 

  • Tikal Mayan ruins tour
  • Picnic lunch in Tikal National Park
Days 3-5 – Lake Atitlan

Atitlan is a lake formed by volcanic activity and the deepest lake in Central America. It’s bordered by three volcanoes and the area around it is lined with Maya villages. This region has been a center of indigenous culture for thousands of years and people wearing traditional Mayan dress can still be seen living in much the same way they always have. The lake has been aptly referred to as "the most beautiful lake in the world."

  • Visit the Mayan ruins of Iximche
  • Transfer to the Lake Atitlan region
  • Watch the sun set over Lake Atitlan
  • Lake Atitlan kayaking
  • San Juan la Laguna and naïf painting workshop
  • Zip line at Atitlan Nature Reserve
Days 6-8 – Antigua Guatemala
  • Chichicastenango Market
  • Transfer to Antigua
  • Antigua walking tour
  • Spanish lesson option
  • Friends Across Borders Meeting (pen pals)
  • AGAIG Fairly Traded Coffee Tour
  • Pacaya Volcano hike
  • Chocolate making workshop
  • Farewell dinner
Day 9 –Depart Guatemala City / Arrive Home
Biltmore Express

The Biltmore Express enjoys a convenient location near the airport, in the lively Zona 10 area of Guatemala City. The rooms are simple and spacious, and it’s easy to explore the city’s restaurants and bars from here.

Jungle Lodge Hotel

The Jungle Lodge Hotel is located in the heart of Tikal National Park, amid Peten’s lush tropical forest. The lodge is just a 10-minute walk from the awe-inspiring ceremonial center of the site of Tikal, and the property boasts rooms and bungalows with comfortable beds and private bathrooms, as well as gardens bursting with flora and fauna – coati, parrots, macaws, spider and howler monkeys, ocellated turkeys and more inhabit these on-site gardens.

Posada de Don Rodrigo Lake Atitlan

Posada de Don Rodrigo sits in the heart of Panajachel, at the end of the town’s main street. It’s set amongst plenty of shops and restaurants and only a block from Lake Atitlan. The hotel is full of colonial antiques and has some lovely gardens, a restaurant and a pool. The rooms are big and decorated with all sorts of pleasant touches, like authentic baroque carvings, carved furniture and fireplaces.

Casa Santo Domingo

Casa Santo Domingo is a gorgeous hotel located within the ruins of a 17th century monastery in downtown Antigua. The property has lush gardens and a pool, a bar and many restaurant areas. The 125 rooms are all equipped with cable TV and a safety box. The hotel grounds also host a traditional candle factory and a small colonial museum.

Why Guatemala?

Thriving indigenous culture
Guatemala has one of Latin America’s highest percentages of indigenous people. The country’s ancient Mayan roots are evident all over the country, as is the still-booming Mayan community. Not only can your family visit such astounding ruins as Tikal, Iximche, and Uaxactun, among others, you can also see how people still live in the Mayan villages surrounding Lake Atitlan and at the lively Chichicastenango Market.
Antigua's colonial charm
Antigua Guatemala is a quaint, lovely little colonial city, founded by Spaniards in the 17th century , nestled in a mountain valley and surrounded by evergreen forests. The city is full of cobblestone streets and ruined colonial Catholic churches, convents and Cathedrals featuring Mudejar (Spanish Muslim) architecture from the Baroque period.
Gorgeous natural landscapes
There is some breathtaking natural beauty in Guatemala. The immense, crystal-clear Lake Atitlan has often been called “the most beautiful lake in the world,” and the distinction is quite fitting. Surrounding the lake are rural mountain highlands and three towering volcanoes. There is also plenty of dense, lush rain forest in Guatemala populated by abundant wildlife, from monkeys to vibrantly-colored tropical birds.

Why with Thomson?

Kayaking on Lake Atitlan
With us, your family will have the chance to really experience the natural beauty of Lake Atitlan. Watch the sunset over the lake from your hotel’s terrace, and hop in a kayak and paddle around the picturesque, serene setting.
Getting to know the locals
You’ll have plenty of opportunities to interact with the locals and see what Guatemala’s all about. Try your hand at bargaining at Chichicastenango Market, meet some of the resident chicleros (gum collectors) in Uaxactun and eat lunch in a local’s home.
Special workshops
We provide plenty of chances to roll up your sleeves and have some hands-on fun! Learn how to make the raw cacao bean into chocolate bars, Mayan and European hot chocolate, and cacao tea. Participate in a private naïf painting workshop with a local professional painter. Learn some of the key basics in an hour-long Spanish lesson at one of the Spanish schools Antigua Guatemala is famous for, and learn the whole process of making organic coffee by hand on a fairly traded coffee tour.
Variety
We’re always switching it up on this trip, so it’s impossible to ever get bored! Travel around the country, seeing remarkable Mayan ruins, touring Antigua, kayaking on Lake Atitlan, and zip lining through the rain forest, among many other phenomenal activities.
a map of Guatemala: Tikal, Pacaya and the Magic of Atitlan