Guatemala, positioned in Central America, is thought to be one of many international locations with the best focus of volcanoes on the earth.
That’s truly one of many foremost explanation why we determined to go to Guatemala. We needed to see an lively volcanic eruption from up shut and this was one of many uncommon locations the place it’s doable. Nevertheless, we have been shocked by simply how way more there may be to this nation. Stuffed with historical Mayan ruins, a wealthy indigenous tradition, lovely volcanic lakes, and scrumptious meals, Guatemala ended up being a complete spotlight of our travels.
Nevertheless, with so many issues to see, it might be troublesome to determine learn how to finest plan your time. Because of this, now we have provide you with the final word 1 week Guatemala itinerary that features a few of our favourite experiences. In case your tastes are barely completely different, now we have additionally added some various choices that may be swapped or added in in case your keep is longer.
How lengthy do you have to spend in Guatemala
We’d advocate staying not less than 10 days to see all of the highlights of the nation at a cushty tempo. Though one week is feasible, you’ll need to skip on not less than one of many foremost experiences.
A lot of the major points of interest corresponding to Guatemala Metropolis, Antigua, the volcanoes, and Lake Atitlan are clustered in an identical space within the south.
The opposite foremost websites like Semuc Champey and Tikal, nonetheless, are within the north and tougher to achieve. It is for that reason that attempting to incorporate each Tikal and Lake Atiltan in the identical one-week itinerary could be too rushed.
In our proposed plan of 1 week, we selected to go to Tikal for Mayan historical past as a substitute of Lake Atitlan for a extra unwinding lovely surroundings kind of journey. Nevertheless, this may be simply swapped as will probably be defined additional down. If nonetheless you might have 10 days, it is possible for you to to go to each areas!
1-Week Guatemala itinerary
In our proposed plan of 1 week, we selected to go to Tikal for Mayan historical past as a substitute of Lake Atitlan for a extra unwinding lovely surroundings kind of journey. Nevertheless, this may be simply swapped as will probably be defined additional down. If, nonetheless, you might have 10 days, it is possible for you to to go to each areas!
We had personally spent near 2 weeks in Guatemala and have skilled every of those actions. To see the perfect that Guatemala has to supply in 7 days, we imagine this itinerary is right!
Day 1: Arrival in Guatemala Metropolis – transport to Antigua – Meals tour
In your first day, your worldwide flight to Guatemala will arrive at La Aurora Worldwide Airport in Guatemala Metropolis. Total, we might not advocate staying in Guatemala metropolis as there are elevated charges of crime and a few security issues.
Because of this, we suggest reserving a transport direct from the airport straight to Antigua. This transport takes between 90-120 minutes relying on visitors however is a pleasing trip via the countryside.
As soon as arrived in Antigua and checked in to your lodge, among the best methods to get your bearings on town is a Meals Tour. With a Meals tour, not solely will you get to expertise a few of the most genuine native dishes, however additionally, you will be dropped at areas that you could be in any other case miss.
The information may also clarify to you the historical past of the nation and provide you with a greater understanding of your entire Guatemalan tradition.
After a tiring day of flights, that is the best exercise because the expertise may be very laid again. There are a number of night Meals excursions in Antigua which you’ll be able to register for upon your arrival.
If a meals tour just isn’t your factor, then possibly attempt a cooking class. We really feel that cooking class additionally permits you to be taught loads in regards to the tradition and offers you entry to the experience and information of your information.
Day 2: Discover Antigua and ruins
Antigua is a lovely Colonial metropolis surrounded by 3 outstanding volcanoes, which contribute to the breathtaking panorama of the area. Spend your second day simply roaming across the metropolis and admiring the structure. You’ll shortly discover the distinct model of the buildings, reflecting the Spanish Baroque affect of their colonial instances.
Along with strolling via the cobbled streets, among the best issues to do is go to the church buildings and cathedrals, or their ruins. As a consequence of a number of earthquakes prior to now, many of those grand buildings have collapsed and left behind the attractive framework of the buildings.
A lot of the cathedral domes have collapsed, permitting the brilliant sky to light up the remaining archways, facades, and courtyards. This creates a really mysterious and ethereal feeling and presents you with some unimaginable pictures alternatives.
Our favourite ruins embrace the primary Antigua Cathedral in addition to Convento Santa Clara. We spent round 3-4 hours visiting each and photographing the attractive structure. You probably have extra time, listed below are a few of the different foremost ruins:
- Convent of La Campaña de Jesus
- Iglesia El Carmen
- Nuestra Señora de la Merced
- Iglesia de San Francisco
- San Juan El Viejo
- Convent of Las Capuchinas
Additionally, ensure that to cease by the Santa Catalina Archway on the northern aspect of the city. This is among the most iconic landmarks of Antigua the place the brilliant yellow archway frames the volcano within the background. This spot is ideal to go to at sundown the place the orange glow of the sky makes the view much more magical.
Day 3: Acatenango hike
The most effective experiences in Antigua is the two day, one-night hike as much as witness the lava eruption of Volcano Fuego from Volcano Acatenango. On the primary day, you can be doing a grueling 6-hour hike as much as the bottom camp of Acatenango the place you can be spending the night time. Right here, relying on the tour group you go along with, you can be sleeping whether or not in a tent, a shared cabin, or a person cabin. From right here, you get the right vantage level to witness the volcanic eruptions of Fuego.
Nevertheless, in case you are extra daring, you’ll be able to embark on the extra 2-3 hour hike up the slopes of Volcano Fuego the place you’ll rise up near the eruptions. This was a really difficult hike for us however so value it!
Standing on the naked peak of the volcano, whipped by the torrential winds, witnessing the night time sky lit up with the brilliant orange glow of the lava. This can be a second we’ll at all times bear in mind.
You’ll then hike again the identical option to return to your base camp. After dinner, spend the night time dozing off and listening to the rumble of the distant volcano.
For a extra in-depth breakdown of all the perfect issues to do in Antigua together with the volcano hike, the logistics of all of the actions, and pictures highlighting the experiences, take a look at our information on finest issues to do in Antigua with 3, 4, 5 days.
Day 4: End Acatenango hike – Transport again to Guatemala Metropolis – flight Flores
On the subsequent day, you can be ending up your Acatenango hike. Rising early within the morning, you’ll have the choice of mountain climbing as much as the height of the volcano Acatenango to witness the view from the summit.
After that, you’ll return to base camp for breakfast earlier than heading downhill. Mountain climbing down the mountain is 1000x simpler than mountain climbing up and by round midday, you can be again to Antigua. At this level, you’ll possible be very drained so spend the day stress-free in transport. You possibly can e book the identical firm to move again to Guatemala metropolis airport straight after which take a flight to Flores in Northern Guatemala.
At Flores, it is possible for you to to witness a few of the most unimaginable Mayan ruins and jungles and go to the world-renowned UNESCO heritage web site of Tikal.
Though it’s fairly out of the way in which to go to Flores and Tikal, we really feel it’s 100% value it. Having traveled to many different international locations which have Mayan ruins together with Chitzen Itza in Mexico, the expertise at Tikal was way more genuine, distinctive, and memorable.
Earlier than arriving in Flores, attempt to already arrange your tour to Tikal. The perfect instances to go to Tikal are throughout Dawn and Sundown so it’s higher to plan forward. We’d extremely advocate contacting Los Amigos Hostel who arrange glorious excursions across the space.
Day 5: Discover Tikal
On the fifth day, you can be visiting Tikal throughout dawn or sundown. These are the best instances because the glow of the rising and setting solar on the ruins creates a magical expertise.
Tikal is an historical archaeological web site and one of many largest and most vital Mayan cities in Mesoamerica. Situated within the rainforests of northern Guatemala, Tikal served as a significant political, financial, and cultural heart of the traditional Maya civilization. Right here, you’ll be able to witness a few of the largest Mayan buildings ever constructed and even have the prospect to climb up and stand on the highest of a few of them.
With the assistance of the information, you’ll be taught a lot in regards to the Mayan tradition and historical past, and several other attention-grabbing information of their affect even up until right now. For instance, the Mayans used a numbering system of strains and dots that’s nonetheless right now mirrored within the Guatemalan foreign money.
Visiting Tikal will take your entire day. The drive to achieve there takes about an hour every manner and will probably be included within the tour. If you’re considering of visiting Tikal, ensure that to take a look at the information we talked about earlier than as we offer loads of useful ideas.
Day 6: Discover Yaxha + Flores
The subsequent day, we might advocate taking the time to go to Yaxha, one other spectacular Mayan metropolis deep within the jungles of Guatemala. You is perhaps questioning if visiting two Mayan ruins again to again would get repetitive, however Yaxha actually brings its personal distinctive expertise.
For us, what made it stand out was how immersed you’re feeling. The ruins have been solely partially excavated and the encompassing forest left utterly intact, preserving the surroundings that town as soon as existed in. Additionally, at Yaxha, you might be allowed to climb up lots of the pyramids and buildings, additional enhancing the expertise. We went to go to Yaxha for sundown and extremely advocate it.
Spend the remainder of the morning or night visiting Flores. It’s a small however very cute city crammed with colourful buildings and a lot character. There are additionally some extremely scrumptious eating places that we might advocate.
For a full breakdown of what to do in Flores, learn how to plan your time visiting Tikal and Yaxha, in addition to meals suggestions, take a look at our Flores Guatemala Itinerary for 3, 4, or 5 days.
Day 7: Flight again to Guatemala metropolis after which departure
Your last day will probably be spent totally on transport. You’ll be taking the flight from Flores again to Guatemala metropolis after which await your worldwide flight again dwelling.
Relying on the time of flights, you might be able to spend the morning in Flores exploring and even going kayaking on the lake.
Ensure that to select up some Guatemalan espresso on the way in which out as it’s scrumptious!
Different or you probably have 10 days
If Mayan historical past and archeology are of much less curiosity to you, then you’ll be able to as a substitute go to Lake Atitlan a couple of hours away from Antigua. Lake Atitlan is a volcanic lake surrounded by lush forests. There are a number of little cities that you would be able to keep at, every offering a novel trait. For instance, there’s a city centered on meditation and yoga, one other centered on artwork, whereas one centered on backpackers.
If you’re excited about visiting Lake Atitlan, then select this route as a substitute for Days 4-7 in our unique itinerary. If, nonetheless, you might have 10 days in whole, then you’ll be able to merely add these 3-4 days to the unique itinerary.
- Day 4: Transport to Lake Atitlan from Antigua + discover Panajachel
- Day 5: Discover Casa Del Mundo lodge + go to San Juan for the road artwork and galleries + spend the night having fun with the Sizzling tub at Casa Del Mundo
- Day 6: Weaving class or yoga class (this may be performed within the close by cities)
- Day 7: Take the 3-hour bus transport to return to Guatemala Metropolis after which departure in your worldwide flight
For extra particulars about what to do, the place to remain, the place to eat, and a few of our spotlight experiences in Lake Atitlan, take a look at our Lake Atitlan full itinerary breakdown. We go into much more element in regards to the proposed days 4-7 as described above.
Finest time to go to Guatemala
The perfect time to go to Guatemala is throughout January, February, March, April, or November to December. The summer season months from Might to September are the wettest in Guatemala.
Guatemala is named the land of everlasting spring so the temperatures have a tendency to stay fairly fixed at round 22-27 levels celsius. Because of this, the best months are these with the bottom chance of rain. We ended up visiting finish of November and had excellent climate!
Is Guatemala secure?
A query we get requested usually is that if Guatemala is secure. The general reply is Sure, Guatemala is secure. We spent loads of time touring via Flores, Antigua, and Lake Atitlan and at all times felt secure. The one space that we felt a bit extra on edge was Guatemala Metropolis. It is for that reason that we advocate skipping Guatemala Metropolis and heading straight to Antigua. In Antigua, we went out strolling at night time after visiting Las Palmas Latin bar and felt very comfy.
Normally, so long as you keep inside the primary vacationer areas, then you must really feel secure.
Is Guatemala costly?
Total, Guatemala is a really inexpensive nation to go to. Lodging might be had for a mean 30-50$ per night time, and if consuming native meals, meals are between 5-15$ per particular person. The biggest bills of our journey have been the excursions to go to Tikal and the Volcano Acatenango.
As some extent of reference, visiting Tikal prices round 70 CAD per particular person and the Volcano trek prices round 100 USD per particular person. Guatemala additionally had surprisingly modern worldwide delicacies which price round 40-60$ per couple.
Abstract: 1-Week Guatemala Itinerary
Guatemala, crammed with volcanoes, Mayan tradition, and such a wealthy historical past, makes for an incredible nation to go to. With this 1 week Guatemala Itinerary, you might be in your option to planning your subsequent journey!
We’ve got included the traditional historical past of Tikal, the comfort at Lake Atitlan, the journey of Volcano Acatenango, and the wealthy tradition of Antigua, all into one journey that’s positive to fulfill everybody’s pursuits!
Ryan & Nan, journey storytellers and journey photographers at Wayless Vacationers, share their ardour for exploration. Having journeyed via 25+ international locations, they supply journey planning insights and charming pictures to gasoline your subsequent journey.
They search genuine tradition, journey, mountain climbing, and venturing off-the-beaten paths to uncover the true marvels of the world. Go to their Instagram account.