Uncover the alive-and-well Mayan culture at the UNESCO colonial city of Antigua, Tikal National Park (the epicenter of the Mayan civilization), and one of the most culturally historic lakes in the world on this 9 day / 8 night Premium Guatemala Tour. On this experience of a lifetime, you will exercise senses you didn’t even know you had as you unearth the mysteries of the Maya, explore the colorful streets of Antigua, taste the world’s best coffee and chocolate, and dive head-first into what could be one of the best vacations of your life. Your professional guide will accompany you the entire way, with three nights in astounding Antigua, two nights at the breathtaking Lake Atitlán, two nights in Tikal National Park, and one night in Guatemala City. On this tour, it’s guaranteed that you will experience Guatemala at its finest and gain a true understanding and appreciation, from experience, why Guatemala is such a colorful and top-notch destination.
On this Premium Guatemala Tour, you will begin and end at the La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City. You can expect your complete itinerary from transportation, accommodations, private tours/experiences and meals to be previously arranged and paid for by your guide. You will be accompanied the entire tour by a Gardner Tours professional guide, educated on Guatemala’s colorful culture and history, it’s coffee, etc. All we require of you is to simply enjoy yourself! In the event that something changes or doesn’t go exactly as planned, please be patient and courteous, as it is our guarantee that our guides will handle any challenges with timely grace to ensure that you are taken care of and that you get the authentic Guatemalan experience you desire.
*Your accommodations will be at hand-picked, authorized Guatemalan BnBs or hotels that are equipped with air-conditioners (unless accommodated in certain hotels like the Jungle Lodge in Tikal where they are eco-friendly, yet adequate fans are provided) as well as private bathrooms with hot water. Each of our accommodation partners provide private rooms and can occupy up to two persons per room with the occasional exception. If you desire to share a room with your travel companion, or desire three or more persons per room, please specify in the details of your booking.
**The Hill of the Cross provides arguably the best view of Colonial Antigua possible, but we can’t guarantee you that there won’t be thick clouds. Throughout most of the year, the mornings are when the sky is clear, showing you the entirety of the city and Volcán Agua in the distance. Don’t worry, your guide will keep their eyes on the weather to ensure that you get the best view at the right time.
***Coffee harvest in Guatemala is during the dry season, from October to March. If you book in these months, you might even get to help in harvest! However, if you happen to book from April to September, know that you might see barren coffee plants, but it is our guarantee that you will experience the same education and coffee experience as if you were visiting in-season. You might not get to witness the acts of harvest, but you will definitely encounter the world’s greatest coffee culture at work.
****One morning on your tour, you will get the chance to take a leisurely hike along the waters of Lake Atitlán. The hike will be about 1.25 miles / 2 kilometers of different terrain from rocks to bamboo bridges and wooden sidewalks all the way to grassy knolls by the water. The elevation change will be approximately 250 feet / 76 meters, but not all at once. Remember, this is a leisure hike with a difficulty of easy to moderate and you are free to take it at your own pace. More than anything, we want you to enjoy the breathtaking views as you get out and about.
*****The Mayan Ruins in Tikal National Park are absolutely jaw-dropping and unforgettable. In fact, it is the only UNESCO World Heritage site in Central America that holds both natural and cultural classifications. No matter what tour you choose, the sunrise tour or the day tour, know there is a short 20 minute moderate hike at the beginning of the tour that can not be avoided. Please be aware that, depending on what season you book in, it might be much more humid and hot with more bugs. To prepare properly, we recommend bringing water, a light rain jacket, bug spray, sunscreen, and snacks. No matter the season, with the help of your guide, the mysteries of the Mayans will intrigue you and bring your imagination to life as you explore the epicenter of the Mayan civilization.<
Each of our guides are well versed and able to answer almost any question you may have for them! You will have complete freedom to take your tour at the pace you please, deciding to sit and enjoy the view as long as you desire, asking the coffee farmer as many questions as you want, or simply enjoying your dinner just a little longer than normal. Your guide will give you time and space to enjoy your lunch each day as you like (with or without them). They meet you at the arranged time each morning to begin your day and will drop you off at your accommodations each night. They will serve you along the way and ensure that you are well taken care of during your entire stay.
Gardner Tours is committed to delivering you the most professional, hospitable, and entertaining tours offered in Guatemala! If you have questions or would like to adjust this tour in any way, feel free to contact us and we will gladly accommodate your desires.
Based upon the time your flight arrives at La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City, your professional guide will be waiting for you at your final customs exit. Following a quick meet and greet, you will ride to Antigua, get settled into your private accommodations. After a time of acclimation and rest from a long travel day, you will be taken to one of our favorite restaurants in the city to experience their mouth-watering cuisine and the incredible ambience that they offer! If you choose, your guide will drop you off at your accommodations after dinner. If you desire to explore the nightlife of Antigua, you will be free to do so.
At the pre-arranged time that you choose, your professional guide will take you to the best viewpoint, overlooking the city of Antigua. After a short walk down, you will begin your day with an Antigua Walking Tour where you will receive a completely comprehensive education on Guatemalan culture, history, folklore, and much more on this two hour tour. You will be walked through Antigua, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, led by a professional guide, to learn of and visit some of the city’s colonial architecture, churches, ruins, cuisine, rich textiles, local people groups, personalities and so much more. Each step will take you deeper into the secrets of this ancient city, helping you to discover and understand the complexities of Guatemalan society via its history, customs, culture, and a number of other things that may leave you scratching your head.
After lunch at the restaurant of your choice, you will be transported just outside of town to meet one of the most experienced jade artisans in Guatemala. You will be welcomed into the home of he and his family to learn all about his trade, jade, its history in Guatemalan culture, and then you will spend time choosing, shaping, and polishing a stone that is yours to keep. What you may find most amazing about this experience is the time with their family, learning their stories and connecting with one another as you work.
Following your Jade Workshop, you will be returned to your accommodations to rest and freshen up before dinner at a restaurant that offers an artistic and tasty interpretation on international cuisine from a prized chef. Oh, and their desserts may leave you drooling with a curiosity that beckons you to your own kitchen, trying to make one for yourself. After dinner, your guide will drop you off at your accommodations if you so choose. If you desire to further explore the nightlife of Antigua, you will be free to do so.
Day three will be the grand finale of your relaxing time in Antigua with a Guatemala Coffee Farm Tour, time to explore the best local artisan markets, and dinner at our favorite restaurant in Antigua!
Following your breakfast, you will be transported to a local Guatemalan coffee farm to experience a day in the life of a local Guatemalan coffee farmer. After a short hike up Volcán Agua to explore and learn about the coffee fields, you will be invited into the farmer’s house to experience and utilize the machinery used to process coffee. The best part comes at the end when you get to roast coffee in the traditional Guatemalan way, over the fire, and share a fresh cup of coffee with the farmer and their family.
After lunch at the restaurant of your choice, you will be guided to the most famous artisan markets in Antigua to satisfy your appetite for souvenirs and gifts. And believe us when we tell you, Antigua has a great variety of high quality souvenirs for everyone alike!
Just before dinner, you will take time to freshen up to experience our favorite culinary establishment in the city, one that offers dishes that might leave you drooling for more. The chef is a self-made genius in the kitchen who has published a number of books. Just wait, you won’t leave disappointed. Following dinner, you may want to explore Antigua’s nightlife, but if not, your guide will escort you to your accommodations.
After breakfast, you will take off on a three hour ride to Lake Atitlán. Upon arrival, you will have a chance to relax and enjoy a nice lunch. From there, you will be transported to get settled into your lake-side accommodations. Depending on the location of your accommodations, you may eat lunch at a restaurant of your choice either before or after arriving at your accommodations.
You will then have the opportunity to either rest a bit and get acclimated to the relaxing pace of Lake Atitlán or you may want to walk down and dip your toes in the crystal clear blue waters of Central America’s deepest lake. Lake Atitlán is also renowned as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world that is surrounded by a number of different cultures of Maya.
After your low-key afternoon, you will then take time to clean up before being transported to the highest rated restaurant in Panajachel that offers top-notch service and a delightful selection of authentic cuisine. After dinner, your guide will ensure that you are transported safely back to your accommodations. If you desire to explore the nightlife, you will be free to do so.
At the arranged time you choose, your professional guide will meet you to begin your day with an easy and relaxing hike that offers some of the best views of Lake Atitlán. You will first be transported to your beginning location in a boat taxi (if necessary), then you will be free to take your leisurely hike at your own pace, stopping for as many photos or awe-struck moments as you please. It’s guaranteed that you will love it!
Following your hike, you will have the opportunity to enjoy lunch at a special place overlooking the water. This is the perfect time to kick your feet back and soak it all in, as you will be on top of the world.
After your relaxing lunch, you will take a short boat taxi to a nearby town to experience the entire craft process of tribal weaving and will learn about its significance in the local Maya cultures. You might even get to help dye the threads in their natural ways or finish a piece with the local Maya. One thing we guarantee is that you will see tribal weaving at its most pure and pride-filled form.
To finish your evening in the most immaculate style, after cleaning up, you will be taken just off the water, high into a mountain town to a place that has been claimed by many as the restaurant with “the best view and the most creative and tasty food in Guatemala.” What’s better is that this restaurant employs students from an acclaimed culinary school and all its proceeds go to support the local community. There you will experience an in-depth education and hands-on experience with one of Guatemala’s proudest creations: chocolate. You will learn about its origin and history while you are making your own bar of chocolate, starting from the bean, with your very own private chef. All the while, you will be looking out from the most beautiful viewpoint of Lake Atitlán. After you spoil your dinner with chocolate, you will take a seat and experience their fine dining at the same restaurant, what we claim is the best tasting cause in Guatemala. One thing guaranteed is that you will leave with a full stomach and a happy heart.
After a relaxing morning, at an arranged time, your professional guide will ensure that you are checked out of your accommodations and transported at the proper time to your taxi where you will journey down through the highlands of western Guatemala to La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City for a one hour afternoon flight to Flores, the nearest city to your accommodations in the Tikal National Park.
Directly from the Mundo Maya International Airport in Flores, you will be transported to your accommodations in the park. Depending on your time of arrival and check-in at your accommodations, you might have time to explore the surrounding rainforest or kick back and relax at the pool or bar.
To complete your day in the right fashion, you will dine at your hotel’s fine restaurant that provides a romantic atmosphere and a wonderful selection of mouth-watering international cuisine. You might even want to stay a little longer, just to cherish the sheer beauty of the atmosphere and enjoy the amenities they have to offer. When ready, you may simply retire for the night by walking just a few steps away to your private residence on the property.
Depending on your choice, you will either rise early to experience the jaw-dropping sunrise tour of the Tikal Mayan Ruins or you will sleep as normal to explore the ruins on a day tour. On this awe-inspiring tour, your certified guide will walk you through the Tikal National Park to explore and reveal its many mysteries. You will climb temples, learn about the fine details of the Mayan, and have time to satisfy the appetite of your own curiosity as your guide gives you ample amounts of time to explore on your own.
Following your tour, you will be free to grab a bite to eat at the restaurant, relax, or explore more as you please. Who knows, you might even be visited by some of the rainforest’s intrigued wildlife! But whatever you do, this is the time to soak it all in and enjoy yourself.
For dinner, you will once again dine at your hotel’s fine restaurant that offers a romantic atmosphere and a wonderful selection of mouth-watering international cuisine. After you have enjoyed your evening of dining, you may retire for the night if you choose.
Depending on the time of your flight’s departure, you might have the opportunity to sleep in and enjoy your last morning in Tikal National Park. At the proper time, you will be transported to the Mundo Maya International Airport in Flores to catch your one hour flight to Guatemala City.
Upon arrival in Guatemala City, you will be transported to your hand-picked accommodations within the city. After your check-in, if time allows, you may explore the surrounding area or sit back and soak in your final afternoon in Guatemala.
Just before dinner, you may take the time to clean up and put on your best to complete your tour in prime fashion. You will be transported to a favorite restaurant in the city to savor your ultimate evening in-country. Following your evening, you will be transported to your accommodations to finish the evening as you desire. If you choose to explore Guatemala City’s nightlife, your guide will accompany you until you return to your accommodations.
Depending on the time of your flight’s departure, you might have the opportunity to relax and enjoy your last few hours in Guatemala City. If so, you will have time to kick back and enjoy your last morning in Guatemala before being picked up by your private taxi and escorted directly to the La Aurora International Airport. You will be dropped off three to four hours prior to your departure for an ample amount of time to purchase any last-minute souvenirs, check your bags, go through security and customs, and arrive at your gate for a safe flight home.
Gardner Tours is committed to delivering you the most hospitable tours offered in Guatemala! If you have questions or would like to adjust this tour in any way, feel free to contact us and we will gladly accommodate your desires.
If you have questions or would like to adjust this tour in any way, please contact us using the form below.