Days 1 - 4
Situated in the central highlands of Southern Guatemala, Antigua is a small city surrounded by numerous lush coffee plantations and majestic volcanoes. It’s renowned for its is vibrant traditions, well -preserved Spanish colonial buildings, unique beauty and historical significance. It once served as the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Guatemala and today, it has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can look forward to exploring the impressive architecture of the Baroque La Merced Church, wander down pastel-facades lining character-filled streets, browse a bustling local market and people-watch in one of many plazas. Don’t miss the annual famous holy week of Semana Santa Festival featuring colourful parades and sacred rituals.
Days 4 - 6
Fondly known by locals as simply ‘Pana’, the quiet Cakchiquel village of Panajachel has been popular with tourists since the 1960s. The town rests on the northern shore of the crystalline Lake Atitlan and it serves as the main transport hub for travellers eager to explore this spectacularly scenic natural area featuring three dramatic volcanoes. The main street hosts a range of hotels, restaurants, and shops as well as vendors selling a variety of handicrafts such as weaving products, wood carvings, and clothing. Popular activities include kayaking, bike tours, climbing volcanoes, bar-hopping, and visits to nearby villages. Don’t miss the nearby Atitlan Nature Reserve and butterfly sanctuary where you can catch a glimpse of the local wildlife, walk on hanging bridges towards the waterfall or the private beach, or whizz across the valley on eight zip lines offering incredible views of the lake and the volcanoes.
Days 6 - 8
Making up roughly a third of Guatemala, the Peten Department, in the north of the country, is a paradise of jungle, Mayan mysteries and gorgeous lakeside vistas. Awe-inspiring, lush green forests inhabited by macaws, bright butterflies, monkeys, agoutis, foxes and ocellated turkeys offer a wonderland to explore. A prolific number of ancient Mayan ruins are the area’s main drawcard, the pinnacle of these being the remote, Late Preclassic metropolis at El Mirador, once a sprawling city home to tens of thousands of people and boasting the biggest pyramid in the Mayan world, still standing. While El Mirador takes some planning and significant hiking to reach, several other sites such as the towering Tikal collection of temples are more accessible. The stunning Petexbatun Lake is a must-see, as is the Azul Crater, a spring-fed tributary with crystal clear waters, offering opportunities for breathtaking underwater photography.