Guatemala’s Indigenous and Colonial Cultures


Explore the rich colonial heritage of Antigua, the stunning Maya ruins of Tikal and Yaxha, and immerse yourself in the beautiful scenery and indigenous cultures surrounding Lake Atitlan.


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Guatemala’s Indigenous and Colonial Cultures

February 5 – 15, 2025

Inquire about custom dates and itineraries to suit your group of family and friends.

Over the course of ten days, we’ll explore the rich history of indigenous and colonial cultures in this special Guatemala tour.

In Antigua, we’ll explore Guatemala’s rich cuisine with a sunset dinner tour encompassing three different restaurants, street food (safely!), and the vibrant food market. We’ll also have time to explore a complex of museums and the city’s colonial architecture.

In the north, we’ll explore world-famous Maya sites Tikal and Yaxha.  Then we’ll go to Panajachel where we’ll take a private boat to our hotel on the lake.

During our time on Lake Atitlan we’ll observe the vibrant live along the shoreline during several boat rides, learn about Maya weaving techniques, the impact of women’s weaving cooperatives on the standard of living of the indigenous Maya people,  and go shopping in Panajachel. There will also be free time to relax by the lake, go ziplining, birding or volcano hiking, or take a day trip to one of the other indigenous communities in the nearby mountains.

Day 1

Arrival in Guatemala

Arrive at Guatemala City’s international airport by 1:00 pm to be met by your tour curator.  A one-hour van ride will take us to El Carmen Hotel in Antigua.  After settling in at the hotel and taking a rest, we’ll take a late afternoon street food tour to get us acquainted with Antigua and Guatemalan food.  Meals included: dinner.  Arrival on the previous day can be accommodated if desired (at additional expense).

Day 2


In the morning, we’ll get the lay of the land with a Cultural Walking Tour.  This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a favorite to walk through its cobblestone streets, views of the volcano, colonial architecture, and the abundance of crafts and markets. Discover the historical sites that give Antigua its special character.  In the afternoon you’re free to relax, meander through the city, or sign up for a tour of the market, a cooking class, a volcano hike, or whatever strikes your fancy.  Meals included:  breakfast.

Food CNN

Day 3


On our second full day in Antigua, you can relax on the roof terrace, wander around Antigua, book a volcano hike, or visit the ruined Iglesia y Convento de Santo Domingo. The convent’s archaeological zone includes six museums, with rich collections. Admission includes:  the Museo de la Platería, with silverwork masterpieces including incense burners, candelabras and crowns; the Museo Colonial, with canvases and wooden sculpture on religious themes from the 16th to 18th centuries; the Museo Arqueológico, with ceramic and stone objects from the Maya Classic period; the cleverly curated Museo de Arte Precolombino y Vidrio Moderno, with Maya sculpture and ceramics shown as art pieces alongside glass works by modern artists; the Museo de Artes y Artesanías Populares de Sacatepéquez, with exhibits on traditional handicrafts from the Antigua region; and the Museo de la Farmacia, a restored version of a 19th-century apothecary’s shop from Guatemala City.   Meals included: breakfast.

Iglesia y Convento de Santo Domingo

Day 4

Transfer to Lake Peten

We’ll linger a bit this morning in Antigua before returning to the Guatemala City Airport and flying to Flores in northern Guatemala.  Then we’ll take an hour-long van ride to Hotel Gringo Perdido on the shore of Late Peten.  Take the remainder of the day to lounge by the pool or the lake, explore the grounds, or enjoy a glass of wine in the bar.  Meals included:  breakfast & dinner.

tikal upenn 1

Day 5

Lake Peten

In the afternoon we’ll explore Yaxha, a city of the Classic Maya period. This tour will give you an overview of the history of the city and allow you to examine buildings  such as the Royal Palace, the North Acropolis, the Astronomical Complex, and others.   We’ll conclude with the climb of  Pyramid 216, from where the sunset is expected behind the Yaxhá Lagoon.  Meals included:  breakfast & dinner.

Yaxha wikipedia

Day 6

Lake Peten

Experience an extended stay in the ancient Maya city of Tikal on this double tour that combines exceptional early morning exploration into the jungle and a spectacular view of the landscape from Temple IV. This visit allows you to appreciate the singing of birds, howler monkeys and other animals in their natural habitat. The schedule is the coolest for walking in the jungle and the least crowded of the day, and if the weather allows it, you can enjoy a spectacular sunrise over temples I, II and III. Then enjoy the Archaeological Tour that includes the visit of several of the main points of the Tikal National Park. A unique and exclusive experience for passionate explorers.  Meals included:  breakfast & dinner.

Tiikal wikipedia

Day 7

Transfer to Lake Atitlán

This morning we’re transferring to Lake Atitlan.  We’ll fly back to Guatemala City, then take a private van to Panajachel on the lakeshore, and finally a private boat transfer to our hotel. We expect to arrive at La Casa del Mundo around 3:00 pm so you’ll have a couple of hours to settle in, explore the grounds of our hotel, and walk into the village of Jaibalito for a coffee.  FYI, we’ve reserved the hot tub (with lake view) for all four evenings of our stay! Meals included:  breakfast.

casa del mundo


Day 8

Lake Atitlán

Today a local guide will take us on the public boat to the village of San Juan La Laguna along the western shore of the lake.  In San Juan, we’ll see the coffee making process from planting to packaging and visit a textile cooperative where we’ll learn Maya ancestral weaving and natural dye-making techniques.  You can immerse yourself in San Juan’s culture at the textile shop, art galleries, market, and church.  After lunch, we’ll take the public boat back to La Casa del Mundo.  Meals included:  none.

badams guatemala 10

Day 9

Lake Atitlán

We’ll take the public boat into Panajachel to shop for local goods.  As noted on Atitlan Living, “Like everywhere in Guatemala, you can and should haggle. A good rule of thumb is to half whatever the asking price is and judge the reaction. The angrier the shop keeper, the better the deal.”  Meals included:  none.

badams guatemala 06

Day 10

Lake Atitlan

There’s nothing scheduled for today.  You can relax at the hotel or sign up at the desk for an adventure:  kayaking, a volcano hike, a cultural tour, tubing, and more!  You’ll find a printed Activity Guide in your room for you to consider.  And we’ll send you a pdf version of the Guide with your trip orientation packet so that you can plan ahead if you wish  Meals included:  none.


Day 11

Flights home

We’ll depart the hotel by 7:30 am, transferring by private boat and van to Guatemala City airport to arrive at 11:00 am in order to check in for flights departing at 2:00 pm or after.  Meals included:  none.


Activity Level


Activities are generally not very strenuous; however, we expect guests to enjoy two hours or more of walking, be sure-footed on cobbled surfaces, and walk up and down stairs without assistance. In rural and small-town settings, unpaved roads and pathways will be common with some short sections of rough trail, which we expect that guests can traverse with no more than a companion’s hand to steady them. Historic city centers are frequently more accessible by foot than a vehicle, and sometimes your motorcoach can’t drop you off at the hotel and site entrances. Due to the structure of some buildings, facilities for the disabled may be limited.  Please note that at Casa del Mundo, it’s approximately 85 steps from the dock up to reception and the dining room.  Hotel staff will carry your bags for you, but they won’t carry you!

This Tour’s Local Partners

Casa del Parque 1
logo atitrans pequeno
Maya Traditions
Taste Antigua
Screenshot 2021 10 28 at 13 21 36 ActivitiesEN – La Casa del Mundo

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