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Mayan ruins at Tikal

Things to do in Guatemala

Despite its compact size, Guatemala is incredibly diverse. From atmospheric towns oozing colonial charm to impressive Mayan ruins and abundant wildlife, there’s plenty to see and do.

Explore the World Heritage-protected city of Antigua for its charming colonial architecture or wander through colourful Chichicastenan market where traditionally-dressed locals sell everything from fruit and vegetables to textiles and wood crafts. Alternatively, glide across the calm waters of Lake Atitlán and marvel at the beauty of its surrounding volcanoes or visit the temples and palaces of Tikal, one of the most impressive Mayan sites in Central America, before hiking through the surrounding jungle to see howler and spider monkeys.

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Audley Travel specialist Tom

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Ideas for experiencing Guatemala

Experiences you have as you travel often hold the longest memories. As part of their research trips, our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know Guatemala, and the best local guides. These activities reflect some of their best-loved experiences.

  • San Juan Comalapa Cemetary wall mural

    Comalapa Market & Paintings Tour

    Antigua

    Travel through the stunning scenery of the highlands passing local communities farming their land using traditional methods, for about an hour, before reaching San Juan Comalapa.

  • Santiago de Atitlan, Lake Atitlan

    Boat tour of the lake and Santiago de Atitlan

    Lake Atitlan

    Travel across the calm waters of Lake Atitlan by boat to the lively village of Santiago de Atitlan. Here you can explore the fascinating Catholic church and haggle for a bargain at the bustling market.

  • Comalapa market, Guatemala

    Street food tour of Antigua

    Antigua

    This is the perfect tour for any foodies with a flair for local flavour and an adventurous attitude towards cuisine!

  • Sunset at Yaxha

    Yaxha at Sunset

    Tikal & El Petén

    Yaxha, q'equchi' for green water, is located 73 km from Flores. This Maya site, discovered in 1904 by architect Teobert Maler, is situated within the Maya Biosphere Reserve along with the sites of Nakum and El Naranjo.

  • Smouldering lava fields at Volcano Pacaya

    Pacaya Volcano Hike

    Antigua

    Hike up the smouldering cone of the active Pacaya volcano to see small eruptions and glowing hot lava flows, all framed by magnificent views of the surrounding landscape and imposing, distant peaks of neighbouring volcanoes.

  • Volcan Toliman and Atitlan, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

    San Pedro Volcano Hike

    Lake Atitlan

    Embark on a challenging hike through patchwork fields and beautiful cloudforest to the top of San Pedro volcano. Enjoy a delicious lunch near the summit whilst gazing out across Lake Atitlan and the towering peaks of the surrounding mountains.

  •  Guatemala City

    Guatemala City Tour

    This Guatemala City tour will cover the main monuments of the capital, including the cathedral, the National Palace, the Central Square and the main craft market.

  • Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

    Santiago Bay Kayak & Hike

    Lake Atitlan

    Begin your exploration of Lake Atitlan by taking the kayaks to paddle through Santiago Bay where you pass by the local Tzutujil Maya people working in the fields, washing clothes and fishing from their unique wooden boats.

  • Antigua, Guatemala

    Antigua City Tour

    Antigua

    Stroll through the beautiful cobbled streets of Antigua and visit the city's highlights, including the Church of St. Francis, the Central Plaza, the San Jose Cathedral and the Church of La Mercedes.

  • The church of San Juan Comalapa

    Excursion to San Juan Comalapa

    Lake Atitlan

    Explore the historic town of San Juan Comalapa and its bustling market, where local traders sell everything from fruit and flowers to beautiful tapestries and paintings. Your guide will take you to see the other highlights throughout the town including museums, local art galleries and excellent bakeries to sample the much-loved roscas.

  • Mayan ruins at Uaxactun

    Uaxactun camping excursion

    Tikal & El Petén

    A two day / one night excursion visiting the ruins of Uaxactun and the opportunity to enjoy a locally cooked, evening meal.

  • Chichicastenango, Guatemala

    Chichicastenango Market

    Lake Atitlan

    Explore the colourful fruit, vegetable, craft and textile stalls at this famous market. This excursion allows you to explore Chichicastenango Market at your own pace with the advantage of your own driver to take you there and back to your hotel at the end of the day.

  • A Petate mat weaving demonstration, Santiago Zamora

    Antigua Textile Tour

    Antigua

    In the morning, you take a guided tour around Antigua, with the focus on learning about the complex Guatemalan and Mayan textiles and folk art.

  • El Fuego Volcano, Antigua, Guatemala

    Antigua Valley Mountain Biking

    Antigua

    This is a great way to explore Guatemala and see how the local people live. You visit tranquil villages and churches, coffee plantations and come into contact with the local Mayans.

  • Tikal, Guatemala

    Tikal Tour

    Tikal & El Petén

    Tikal is most definitely the most impressive of all the Mayan sites in Central America not only for its historical remains but because it is also a haven for wildlife, making the trip to Tikal all the more enchanting.

  • Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

    Acatenango Volcano Hike

    Antigua

    Trek through open fields, farmland and pacific cloudforest with spectacular views over the Antigua valley area.

  • Roasting the coffee

    Responsible Travel Coffee Tour

    Antigua

    Visit coffee farmers in the lush plantations surrounding Antigua and see how the families pick, pulp, ferment and roast the fresh beans to produce some of the finest coffee in Guatemala. Your visit will also help support a local charity working to improve the lives and pay of the farming families.