Get ready to explore the lesser known areas of Guatemala. The adventure starts in Antigua surrounded by active volcanoes and artisans and beautiful architecture abounds. We will make our way to Lake Atitilan by foot over the course of 4 day, getting to know the local families, staying in luxurious Colassus tents and enjoing gourmet meals throughout the day. We are rewarded for our hard work at the tranquile shore of Lake Atitlan where we have the opportunity to shop with local astisans, relax lakeside and basque in the beauty of this culturally rich country.
Day 1: Welcome to Guatemala & transfer to Antigua
Day 2: Morning at leisure & transfer to San Andres Itzapa, hike to Terra camp
Day 3: Hike to Fuego camp
Day 4: Hike to Agua camp and visit women's weaving cooperative
Day 5: Hike to San Antonio Palopo, Lake Atitlan, & coffee tour
Day 6: San Juan & Santiago village tour
Day 7: Chichicastenango market tour & transfer to Guatemala City
Day 8. Departure day
Welcome to Guatemala & transfer to Antigua
The former capital of colonial Spain, Antigua is one of best preserved colonial cities in the Americas. It is a magic and captivating small town that makes you feel time might have stopped 300 years ago. From its colonial architecture to its beautiful surroundings, strolling through town on the cobblestone streets, you will experience the splendors of ancient times! In addition to colonial era churches, convents and monasteries, you will find many art galleries and exhibits, coffee shops, world-class restaurants, cozy bars and much more.
After passing through customs and collection your baggage, we will meet you at the airport for your transfer to Antigua. The rest of the day is at your leisure to explore this beautiful and charming town.
Morning at leisure & transfer to San Andres Itzapa
Your trek to Lake Atitlan starts in the small town of Andres Itzapa, famous as one of the home of one of the shrines to, the Maya deity "San Simon or Maximon". Every day, the mysterious San Simon is visited by locals and travelers to ask for favors like good health, success in business and finding love.
After the visit, a short drive will take you to the trailhead where you will begin to "warm up" with a half day trek to Terra camp. You will ascend out of vegetable and fruit plantations into lush Guatemalan cloud forest, topping out at nearly 8,4000 ft. Acatenango Volcano, the highest in the Antigua Valley, looms overhead as you begin to descend through thick forest until we reach a beautiful, grassy saddle between two mountain peaks. Awaiting us there is Terra Camp with a warm fire, delicious dinner and a cozy bed.
Hiking distance: 2.6 miles
Elevation gain/maximum altitude: 8,387 ft
Difficulty/Type of terrain: Moderate/Small farms and fields, grasslands and cloud forest
Hike to Fuego Camp
Another day of trekking in the beautiful Guatemalan highlands finishing in the shadow of Fuego Volcano, one of the world’s most active volcanoes that’s been erupting regularly since the Spanish conquest. With any luck, it will light up the night sky with plumes of molten lava!
Rising before the sunrise today is well worth it as you will be greeted by glowing green mountain peaks and rich Guatemalan coffee served at your tent! After breakfast, the first few hours of trekking takes you up nearly 1000 ft / 300 m as you climb into a protected area before beginning a long descent through forest and agricultural fields into the La Vega River valley, more than 3000 ft / 915 m below. Following lunch, you will cross a hanging foot bridge over the river before a challenging yet spectacular afternoon 2000 ft /600 m climb up through pine forest and local coffee farms to arrive at Fuego Camp by late-afternoon. Upon arrival, the camp staff will meet you with warm towels to clean up and a welcome drink. Relax around the campfire, and take in the panoramic view that includes a front row seat to the fireworks from Fuego Volcano. A local women’s group will show you how to make traditional Guatemala blue corn tortillas by hand before dinner.
Hiking distance: 8.8 miles
Maximum altitude: 8,671 ft
Difficulty/Type of terrain: Challenging/Pine forests, small farms and coffee plantations
Hike to Agua Camp & Mayan villages
Today you’ll reach the highest point on the trek with stunning views of Guatemala’s volcanoes. You’ll also meet local farmers tending their fields and visit a women’s weaving cooperative.
After breakfast, trek to the highest point on our journey, just over 9,040 ft / 2,755 m. You will follow a pristine ridge line with panoramic views of six volcanoes and cloud forest that reveals unique plants and birds. Along the way, you will have the opportunity to talk with local farmers tending their terraced fields and learn about traditional agricultural practices. A long, gradual descent leads you to the trail lunch location (and short siesta) before you finish the day by walking into Agua Camp, named in honor of Lake Atitlán, which can be seen shimmering in the distance below camp
After relaxing in camp for a while, we venture into the local Mayan community of Chuinimachica to visit a women’s cooperative that specializes in traditional weaving. Backstrap weaving is an ancient art practiced for centuries in Guatemala and still used to weave fabric for clothing and other household textiles. Mayan women learn from generations to generations how to dye threads using natural products.
Hiking distance: 8.46 miles
Maximum altitude: 9,040 ft
Difficulty/Type of terrain: Challenging/Rocky ridgeline, small farms
Hike to San Antonio Palopo on Lake Atitlan
This is the final day of the trek where you reach Lake Atitlan, the “most beautiful lake in the world.” You’ll also enjoy a coffee tour prior to descending the hills down to the lake.
Hiking distance: 7.17 miles
Maximum altitude: 8,192 ft
Difficulty/Type of terrain: Moderate/small farms, coffee plantations, villages
The final day of the trek begins with a 2,500 ft / 760 m descent into the La Madre Vieja River valley that weaves through a patchwork of traditional agricultural fields and small villages. Once in the valley, you will visit a picturesque coffee farm to learn about the planting, harvesting and processing of small-batch specialty coffee (and of course, sample some as well).
Following the coffee tour, you will cross the river on another hanging footbridge before a short ascent that takes us up to the rim of Lake Atitlán and expansive views of the water below and three massive volcanoes that surround it. From there, a final descent through terraced fields of flowers and vegetables takes you to the lakeside village of San Antonio Palopó to conclude the trek. After a short rest, you will be transferred to Panajachel's main dock for boat transfer to your hotel.
San Juan & Santiago village tour
Along the shores of Lake Atitlan there are twelve indigenous villages, each named after one of the twelve apostles. Today you’ll visit two of the villages, each very unique and different. San Juan la Laguna, famous for its naïf-style art galleries, colorful town murals and woman’s weaving cooperates which utilize natural dyes in their Mayan textiles. The village is very well cared for and an excellent example of how sustainable community tourism which benefits the community can be successful.
Santiago (St. James), is the largest village on the lake and most famous as the home of Maximon, a pagan saint who drinks moonshine and smoke cigars (Maximon is another name for San Simon, who you visited at the beginning of the trip in San Andrés Itzapa. There many shrines Maximon/San Simon but the most famous are in San Andrés Itzapa, Santiago and Zunil). Maximon is visited every day by locals, healers and tourists asking for favors.
After breakfast, your local guide will meet you at the lobby of your hotel for boat transfer to San Juan village. You will visit this amazing town and learn about ancient Mayan weaving textiles. After exploring San Juan, you will be transferred to Santiago by boat. Enjoy lunch followed by a tour of the town including visiting Maximon, the simple local church, the market and simply soaking in the atmosphere of this lively lakeside town. After the tour, transfer back to hotel by boat.
Chichicastenango market tour & transfer to Guatemala City
Chichicastenango is home to what is surely the most colorful native market in the Americas. Market days are held every Sunday and Thursday, and draw not only the K'iche' Maya of the surrounding region, but vendors from all over Guatemala, representing many of Guatemala's linguistic groups such as Mam, Ixil, Kaqchikel and others. Each hawks his or her products in a riotous cacophony of color, dialects and costumes, smoke, and smells.
After breakfast your guide will meet you at the lobby of the hotel for your transfer to Chichicastenango. On arrival your guide will take you to the Santo Tomas church which is an important and iconic monument for the indigenous and Mayan history itself. If you’re lucky you will also witness special ceremonies and mix of religions. Lunch is included at a local venue. After lunch, transfer to Guatemala City for hotel accommodations.
Breakfast at hotel. When you are ready, transfer to Guatemala City International airport. Depending on your departing flight, tours of Guatemala City’s attractions can be arranged – Ixchel Mayan Textile Museum, the Historic District and Avenda Sexta (6th ave pedestrian street), Popol Vuh Museum and more.
TREK DETAILS: Elevation gain/loss and mileage
El Convento Boutique
In the heart of Antigua Guatemala, a Colonial jewel and UNESCO World Heritage Site, and just across an enchanting cobblestone street from the legendary Convent of Capuchinas, Convento Boutique Hotel welcomes visitors to an oasis of stunning elegance and unparalleled comfort.
The exquisite decoration of our suites gracefully combines old and contemporary elements, drawing upon the historical and cultural wealth of this famous city, creating a remarkable blend of traditional simplicity and modern convenience.
Antigua to Lake Atitlan
Live in the lap of luxury and connect to nature on your glamping adventure. The spacious 10 ft x 14 ft waterproof canvas tents with queen mattresses & goose down comforters. You will also enjoy the luxury of hot water shower, toilet, and sink.
Gather around the table for all your gourmet meals and enjoy a specialty cocktail in front of the fire each evening.
Surrounded by Botanical Gardens, Hotel Atitlán Hotel & Gardens is one of the finest and most charming boutique hotels in Guatemala, situated ten minutes from the main town of Panajachel on what once was the estate of a family-owned coffee plantation.
Designed to be a relaxing home away from home for discriminating travellers in search of a truly unique travel experience, it is wonderfully decorated with hand-carved wood furnishings combined with ornate ceramic tiles to reflect the elegant Spanish colonial style of an 18th century Guatemalan plantation.
Outside, amidst meticulously cultivated botanical gardens, abundant roses, orchids, bougainvillea and azaleas bloom.
n infinity pool gazes onto Lake Atitlán and the majestic Atitlán, Toliman and San Pedro volcanoes in the distance.
e look forward to welcoming you to paradise.
Located in the dynamic Zona Viva at the heart of Guatemala City’s entertainment and business district and it’s just 4 miles away from La Aurora International Airport making the InterContinental a perfect location for a quick overnight. All rooms and public areas have been recently renovated.
The hotel features a gastronomic center with four unique concept restaurants, a vibrant bar, a fitness center and a Spa. The rooms are equipped to deliver the best rest featuring soundproof windows, blackout curtains, streaming speed Internet access and more.
- Hotel accommodations as described
- Hotel tax
- All guided tours as detailed
- Local guides
- Entrance fee:
- Village tour
- Chichicastenango market
- Meals as described
- International flights
- Gratuities for guides and drivers
- Gratuities for porters and housekeeping
- Personal travel insurance
- Personal expenses
- Activities not mentioned in itinerary
- Meals not mentioned in itinerary
- Alcoholic beverages