Planning your Guatemala itinerary? Whether you’re visiting for one week, 10 days, or 2 full weeks, I got you covered with the perfect itinerary to discover the country!
Guatemala is one of the most beautiful countries in Central America, and one that should be on everyone’s bucket list. Featuring very picturesque colonial cities, an astounding landscape that comprises everything from pristine lakes to volcanoes and lush jungle, and enchanting culture, Guatemala is a gem to be discovered.
Whether you’re into history, watersports, ancient ruins, or charming little towns, you’re bound to find something in Guatemala that will make you fall for the country.
I admit that I didn’t have very high expectations before my trip to Guatemala, but the country proved me wrong. I loved my time in Antigua, the temples in Tikal blew me away, and I fell head over heels for Lake Atitlan. This is all to say that if you have any doubts about traveling to Guatemala, go and book your ticket right now!
With so much to do and such different landscapes, traveling through Guatemala needs some planning and organization. If you’d rather save time and have a fantastic time in Guatemala without the hassle, why not book a tailor-made Guatemala holiday?
Original Travel is a bespoke luxury travel agency that specializes in ultra-personalized trips to Guatemala and the rest of the world. You can choose from one of their incredible Guatemala itineraries (they range from 9 days to 31 days!), or they’ll be happy to create an itinerary 100% tailor-made for you and your travel companion(s) – no matter if it’s your honeymoon, a solo trip, or a family holiday.
If you’re up to the task and ready to start planning your trip independently, this comprehensive Guatemala itinerary will help you plan your trip. Trust me, you’ll find activities to keep you busy for the whole of your stay, whether it’s a few days or a couple of weeks. Check it out!
GETTING AROUND IN GUATEMALA
Tourist Buses vs Chicken Buses in Guatemala
Tourist buses, when available, are the best transportation for long-distance journeys. They usually connect major cities across the country, including some stops at minor destinations along the way.
Bus transfers are more expensive than the other options available, but are by far the most comfortable, as coaches are modern and air-conditioned most of the time. They depart from the city’s bus station, so you’ll have to make your way there to take the bus.
⚠️ Don’t confuse the tourist buses with the chicken buses, which I don’t recommend taking! Chicken buses are colorful and loud, and not very safe for the mountainous roads they usually take. They go way too fast, and it’s quite a bumpy journey regardless of where you’re going.
You can certainly try to hop on a chicken bus in Antigua just for the experience, but I’d avoid using them for longer distances.
Tourist Shuttles in Guatemala
If you’re wondering how to travel around Guatemala on a budget, shared shuttles are a great option. They are pretty popular in Guatemala and cover a great number of destinations at extremely affordable prices.
A tourist shuttle is basically a minibus that connects short-distance towns and cities, stopping along the way to pick up or drop off passengers along the way.
They usually accommodate 15-20 people (don’t be surprised if they try to squish in a few more, though!) and are ideal for short journeys.
Most shared shuttles will even pick you up at your accommodation and take you to your new hotel or destination, which is very convenient, but at the same time, it can lengthen the trip considerably.
Flights in Guatemala
There are two main airports in Guatemala: La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City, and Mundo Maya International Airport in Flores. Being close to 310 miles apart, the best way to get from one city to the other is by flying (unless you also want to visit Semuc Champey on the way to Flores).
While there are several minor airports in the country, the rest of the destinations in this itinerary are best visited by land.
Since the first two are the only international airports, those are the ones you need to worry about when booking your flight into the country. I highly recommend flying into Guatemala City, and starting your trip there!
ONE WEEK GUATEMALA ITINERARY
The Guatemala itinerary for 1 week covers some of the major landmarks in the country, allowing you to get a fantastic first glimpse of all that it has to offer. The destinations you’ll get to visit this week are also a great introduction to Guatemala’s history, culture, and natural wonders.
While many online itineraries recommend doing Antigua, Lake Atitlan, and Tikal in one week, I don’t recommend it because it would be very rushed! Also, transportation in Guatemala is not the most reliable and sometimes they will close roads down for protests.
Antigua and Lake Atitlan are both great places to experience a slower pace of life, so I will not be including Flores and Tikal in this 7-day itinerary in Guatemala.
Brief Guatemala Itinerary for 7 Days
Day 1: Arrive in Guatemala City and get to Antigua.
Day 2. Explore Antigua for the day, checking out its most famous landmark, shopping for handicrafts, and wandering around its charming streets.
Day 3: Day Trip to Hobbitenango, the themed park that will make you believe Hobbits really do exist (and live there!)
Day 4: Transfer to Lake Atitlan and get settled. You’ll enjoy the area for the next couple of days!
Day 5-6: Explore Lake Atitlan by touring the lake, visiting the colorful lakeside towns, and marveling at the views.
Day 7: It’s the end of your 7-day Guatemala itinerary. You’ll go back to Guatemala City for your flight home.
Day 1-2: Antigua, Guatemala
I suggest getting from Guatemala City to Antigua as soon as you arrive in the country: this is where you’ll start your 7-day Guatemala itinerary.
Antigua is one of the country’s most charming cities, and was its capital for a couple of centuries, boasting incredible colonial architecture and colorful cobbled streets from that time.
Antigua is surrounded by three volcanoes, and it offers a great variety of activities to enjoy, besides one of the country’s most iconic views, the ruins of colonial buildings, and trips to hike a volcano.
How To get to Antigua from Guatemala City
Antigua is around 25 miles from Guatemala City, so the trip should take you close to an hour if you’re driving there.
▶️ The most convenient way to make the journey is by taking an Uber or private transfer. You’ll be picked up either at the airport or in the city and dropped off at your accommodation, helped with your luggage, and travel in a comfortable vehicle.
▶️ If you want to go for shared transportation, your best option is the shared shuttle, which takes around 2 hours. The first tourist shuttle departs from La Aurora Airport at 6 AM, and then there’s one every 2-2.5 hours until 7.30 PM. The trip costs $19 at the time of writing.
▶️ You can also take the shared shuttles that depart from Guatemala City. They cost the same and share the schedule with those departing from the airport.
▶️ Chicken buses are an alternative, but again I discourage you from considering them. They are by far the worst transfer method in Guatemala, and while they’re certainly cheap, they’re unsafe and uncomfortable, especially if you’re carrying all your luggage!
What To Do in Antigua
One of the landmarks you can’t miss in Antigua is the Santa Catalina Arch, through which you can see the towering Volcan de Agua in the distance. It’s the most photographed spot in town!
San Francisco Church and Hotel Casa Santo Domingo are some of the architectural gems in Antigua, Guatemala worth checking out, and you’ll also find plenty of handicraft markets and a few museums to explore as you wander around town.
El Carmen is the most popular market to shop for crafts and souvenirs. You’ll find countless stalls selling all kinds of colorful handmade products, accessories, and clothes. The attraction bustles with activity, and it’s a must-visit even if you’re only interested in window shopping.
You should also make sure to visit the ruins of Convento Santa Clara, destroyed by the various earthquakes suffered in the city over the past couple of centuries. The ruins are part of the Santo Domingo Church complex. And don’t miss Parque Central, the beautiful main square!
➤ This Cultural Walking Tour of Antigua offers a great introduction to the city, taking you to the main attractions as a guide fills you in on the history and traditions of the area. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
One of the most popular activities to do in Antigua is hiking up the active volcanoes of Pacaya or Acatenango – only for the brave ones! One of the perks is getting to see from up close Volcan de Fuego, one of the most active in Guatemala.
➤ The Pacaya Volcano Tour is a full-day excursion in which you’ll hike up the volcano with an expert guide, and then relax in a fantastic Hot Springs complex of 12 pools and over 20 steam baths. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
In general, the city of Antigua has a chill vibe and offers a great cultural and historical scene for tourists to enjoy. Chocolate lovers can’t possibly miss the Choco Museum, where you can learn about the origin of chocolate, its history, and the process to get from the cocoa bean to the delicious bars you can buy on-site.
➤ The Bean-to-Bar Chocolate Workshop teaches you how to make chocolate from scratch, as well as various chocolate desserts that you’ll get to take with you after the class. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
Besides chocolate, Guatemala is also famous for its coffee, and Antigua has a fantastic coffee culture that will delight caffeine addicts. There are plenty of cute cafés in town where you can get delicious coffee-based drinks to fuel your day and people-watch, as well as hipster places serving healthy delicious food.
➤ You could also go on an ATV Coffee Tour to visit coffee plantations and discover the process that turns the coffee seed into a steamy cup of deliciousness. You’ll also get to try the local coffee! ➥ BOOK IT HERE
➤ The Antigua Foodie Tour takes you around town with stops at the most renowned eateries. You’ll get to sample 10 different bites of typical food as the chefs tell you stories and secrets of the local cuisine. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
I went on this tour where the profits go to an incredible organization, Ninos de Guatemala, that helps support families and children in need, and I wholeheartedly recommend it. Not only you’ll have a great time and learn a lot about the reality of life for local people, but you’ll contribute to a much-needed project.
Education is the number one thing that this country needs in order to move forward and progress with the new generations, but unfortunately the public education system is severely lacking. You can contribute by joining a tour that will help the local communities.
➤ Chicken Buses and Schools Tour is a half-day trip that allows you to experience the real Guatemala, not the touristy face of it. You’ll hop aboard a chicken bus and visit a local school funded by the organization, besides touring a chicken bus factory, and learning about the city as you walk around its old town. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
Where to Stay in Antigua
LUXURY: Villa Bokéh is a very exclusive hotel that boasts beautifully designed rooms, great common areas, a swimming pool, restaurants, a spa, and gorgeous views of Volcan de Agua.
SUSTAINABLE BOUTIQUE: Good Hotel Antigua is a 4-star accommodation that features minimalistic rooms with private bathrooms and rain showers, and a bar & restaurant. This is a social business – all the profits go towards their community and school projects in Antigua. I’ve stayed at this hotel and had a fantastic experience!
ON A BUDGET: Maya Papaya offers private rooms and shared dorms, besides fantastic common areas, a shared kitchen, and a very good complimentary breakfast.
HOSTEL: Yellow House Hostel B&B features colorful and very comfortable private rooms with shared or private bathrooms. Towels are included, and so is a buffet breakfast every morning.
Day 3: Day Trip to Hobbitenango
This Guatemala travel itinerary includes a visit to Hobbitenango. As you may have guessed from the name, Hobbitenango has indeed a connection to the Hobbits of The Shire (any J.R.R. Tolkien fans out there?)
In fact, Hobbitenango is a themed park and lodge that looks like it was taken out of the movie.
There are houses with round doors and grass-covered roofs dotted on the hills, that can actually be booked to spend the night. Inspired by the actual movie set used for Lord Of The Rings, you can expect to feel like you’re really walking in the Shire pastures.
There are also games you can try, like archery, mini golf, a giant tree swing, and axe-throwing, as well as fantastic IG photo ops you’ll want to take advantage of!
What’s more, Hobbitenango is situated in the highlands of Guatemala, almost 8,000 feet above sea level, so it’s usually surrounded by clouds (yep, surrounded, not underneath!), which adds to the mystic atmosphere.
There’s also a restaurant and a great viewpoint from where to check out the volcanoes on the horizon. Located only a 30-minute drive from the city, it makes for a fantastic day trip destination, especially (but not exclusively!) if you’re a fan of the series.
The entrance fee costs 50Q ($6) for adults and 40Q ($5). Only 4×4 vehicles can get to Hobbitenango, so if you’re driving take this into account. Otherwise, you can either book your own private transportation (uber or taxi), or take the Hobbitenango Shuttle that will take you from your hotel to the theme park and back.
➤ You can book the Antigua Sky High Adventure to visit several attractions from the city, including Hobbitenango. You’ll get to admire the views from AltaMira and tour an avocado plantation. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
If you wanted to spend the night in one of the Hobbit houses like we did, you need to book it in advance – you can only do so through their official website!
Day 4-6: Lake Atitlan
Lake Atitlan is a must-visit in Guatemala. It’s said to be one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, and it’s certainly the number one in the country! Surrounded by volcanoes and featuring calm, insanely blue waters, it’s the epitome of a relaxing getaway destination.
How To Get to lake Atitlan from Antigua
There are several ways you can get from Antigua to Lake Atitlan, and the journey usually takes around three hours.
With most transfers, you’ll arrive in the town of Panajachel, located on the north shore of Lake Atitlan. If your accommodation is in any of the other towns, you’ll likely need to take a public boat from the docks of Panajachel to your final destination.
▶️ The most comfortable – but expensive – way to make the journey is by booking a private transfer. Your driver will take you all the way to Panajachel, and you’ll then take the ferry if needed, or be dropped off at your accommodation.
▶️ A more budget-friendly option is to take the shared shuttle. While the trip may take longer because of other passengers being picked up or dropped off, you’ll get the chance to arrive at Panajachel, San Marcos La Laguna, or Santiago Atitlan, whichever town is more convenient for you.
▶️ You could also possibly book a taxi or an Uber to take you there, although this is not a good option if you’re traveling on a budget.
👉 You can read my full post about how to get to Lake Atitlan from Antigua to plan your journey there!
What to Do in Lake Atitlan
Depending on which town you’re staying in, you’ll get to enjoy different local attractions. There are a few activities, though, that any visitor to Lake Atitlan should enjoy, like taking a boat tour around the lake, trying some exciting watersports, and hiking to stunning viewpoints (from which you won’t want to come down!).
Most towns around Lake Atitlan also have great handicraft centers and markets, art events, and pottery classes you should take advantage of.
Three days in the area will give you time to visit some of the prettiest locations, like San Pedro La Laguna, San Marcos La Laguna, and Santa Catarina Palopó. You’ll also get to spend hours relaxing by the lake, join a yoga class, or mingle with the locals to learn about their customs and traditions.
➤ The Lake Atitlan Villages Tour is a great way to explore the towns, as you’ll be driving your own ATV around the lake! You’ll visit local factories and enjoy photo ops along the way. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
➤ This Kayak and Hike Adventure departs from Panajachel and Santa Cruz, and can be customized to last half or a full day. You’ll hike to local villages, kayak on the lake, and even go cliff-jumping! ➥ BOOK IT HERE
➤ This Authentic Guatemalan Experience with a Community of Women is a private activity led by local women. You’ll enjoy a cooking class in Santa Cruz, learn about local life and traditions, discover the art of handicrafts and enjoy a temazcal session. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
WHERE TO STAY IN LAKE ATITLAN
LUXURY: Casa Prana Hotel is a 5-star accommodation in Santa Cruz. It features rooms with great decor and views of the lake (and some boast an incredible bathtub!), a swimming pool, a terrace, fitness facilities, and a spa.
SUSTAINABLE BOUTIQUE: Laguna Lodge Eco-Resort & Nature Reserve is a beautiful eco-hotel located in Santa Cruz La Laguna. It features a swimming pool and hot tub, a restaurant, bar, and spacious rooms with seating areas and possibly the best views in all of Lake Atitlan.
Breakfast is included. I’ve written a full review of Laguna Lodge, check it out!
FOR DIGITAL NOMADS: Selina Atitlan is in Panajachel, and it boasts a swimming pool and games room, a shared kitchen, a bar, and a restaurant. The wifi is strong and there’s a good coworking space on site. Ideal to stop for a few days and catch up on work like I did!
ON A BUDGET: Chirris Hostel is located in San Juan La Laguna. It offers dorms and private rooms with either shared or private bathrooms, a kitchen, and a patio.
Day 7: Guatemala City
This is the last day of your 1 week in Guatemala itinerary. This means you’ll have to make your way from Lake Atitlan to Guatemala City, and catch your flight back home.
It takes close to 3 hours to get back to the capital city, and you can do it by booking a private transfer (remember that they’ll only pick you up in Panajachel), or by taking the shared shuttle.
The shuttle to the airport can take from 4 to 6 hours, depending on the service you choose, so make sure you plan your journey ahead of time!
10 DAYS IN GUATEMALA ITINERARY
If you’re staying in Guatemala for a few more days, you’ll definitely have time to explore the ruins of Tikal, besides doing some extra day trips and activities.
10 days is a great amount of time to explore the country and check out its major destinations, which include the stunning Lake Atitlan, the Maya ruins, and Antigua, among some other locations. Let’s find out what you’ll be doing on your 10-day trip to Guatemala!
Brief Guatemala Itinerary for 10 Days
Day 1: Arrive in Guatemala City and Transfer to Antigua
Day 2: Explore the colonial city of Antigua
Day 3: Take a day trip to Hobbitenango, or Hike Pacaya Volcano
Day 4: Transfer to Lake Atitlan, where you’ll spend the next couple of days
Day 5-6: Explore the lively towns of Lake Atitlan and enjoy the various watersports available
Day 7: Back to Guatemala City and take your flight to Flores
Day 8: Go on a day trip to Tikal, a National Park with ancient Maya ruins
Day 9: Wander around Flores and/or take a trip to the archaeological site of Yaxha
Day 10: Back to Guatemala City and fly home
Day 1-2: Antigua
You’ll start your Guatemala 10 day itinerary by making the trip from Guatemala City to Antigua. The information for Antigua is the same as in the one-week itinerary above, so you can use it to plan your visit here.
Day 3: Day Trip to Hobbitenango or Pacaya Volcano
You’ll stay in Antigua for a couple of days, and on the third day I suggest taking a day trip. You can either go to Hobittenango, for which you also have the information above, or go to Pacaya Volcano.
Pacaya Volcano is not one of the three volcanoes that surround the city, but it’s very close and the most widely visited for hiking. That’s right, you can actually hike all the way up the volcano, and then roast some marshmallows in the magma heat!
It’s definitely not an activity for everyone, but if you’re adventurous and are up for the challenge, it can become a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The hike is moderately difficult, and it takes around 4 hours to get to the top (not the top of the volcano, but the hike! How far you’re allowed to go will depend on the current volcanic activity)
➤ Hike to Pacaya Volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in Guatemala, from Antigua. You’ll be led by an expert guide and enjoy hassle-free transfers from and to the city center. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
➤ The Pacaya Volcano Tour and Hot Springs is a full-day trip from Antigua. After hiking the volcano (and marveling at the views!) you’ll get to soak your muscles in a hot springs complex of over 10 pools. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
Day 4-6: Lake Atitlan
For your three days in Lake Atitlan, you’ll follow the one-week travel itinerary in Guatemala detailed above.
Day 7: Flight to Flores
On day seven you’ll go to Guatemala City, and catch your flight to Flores. Flores is on the lakeside of Petén Itzá, about 310 miles from the capital city, and one of its most picturesque attractions is the island of Flores, connected to the mainland by a causeway.
HOW TO GET TO FLORES
▶️ I highly recommend flying to Flores to save time. The flight takes 1 hour, as opposed to the almost 10 hours you would spend on a bus to get there.
The flight costs $200 at the time of writing and departs three times a day. You’ll be flying into Mundo Maya International Airport.
▶️ If you’d rather take the bus, which costs close to $50, you can either depart in the morning and travel during the day or book an overnight bus and arrive early the next morning.
WHERE TO STAY IN FLORES
LUXURY: Las Lagunas Boutique Hotel is a 5-star, highly-rated hotel with views of the lake, a swimming pool, spa, bar, and restaurant. The rooms are spacious and include a fully-equipped, ensuite bathroom.
BOUTIQUE HOTEL: Hotel Isla de Flores is on the island and features a rooftop pool, a bar, and a restaurant. It has great decor and spacious rooms, some overlooking the lake. I stayed here and absolutely recommend it! They also offer an affordable pickup service from Flores Airport.
ON A BUDGET: Hostal Don Cenobio has both shared dorms and private rooms. There’s also a kitchen and terrace, and all rooms include a working desk.
Day 8: Explore Tikal
It’s time to explore Tikal National Park, an ancient Mayan city whose most modern settlement dates back to the very first century AD, and which was inhabited for close to a millennium.
The archaeological site is believed to have been one of the most influential cities in the region, controlling politically and economically the nearby cities. While the city thrived in the Maya Classic Period (around 200-900 AD), some structures actually date back to a few centuries BC.
HOW TO GET FROM FLORES TO TIKAL
To get from Flores to Tikal you have several options.
▶️ In my opinion, the best alternative is booking a shuttle with a guide, so once you get to the ruins you’ll enjoy a tour around and learn about the site’s history and importance. It also includes the trip back to Flores. This is what we did, and it was a great experience.
When you click on GuateGo page, it’s not immediately obvious which option is this. If you click on More information, it will be the option that says Guide in the collapsible menu next to Pick up at hotel.
▶️ If you’re not interested in the tour, you can simply book a shared shuttle to Tikal and explore the site on your own. The price difference between both options is only $15, though, making the guided trip cheaper than booking two one-way transfers.
When you click on GuateGo page, it’s not immediately obvious which option is this. If you click on More information, it will be the option that says A/C in the collapsible menu next to Entrada Flores.
▶️ You could also book a taxi or private transfer for more comfort, although if you’re traveling on a tight budget, your best bet will be taking the public bus. Ask your hostel for more information about this option.
👉 You can read my full post about how to get from Flores to Tikal to get more detailed information about each option!
BEST TOURS TO TIKAL
A fantastic way to visit the ruins if you want a comprehensive visit of the site, and to learn about the pyramids you’re standing in front of, is to take a Tikal tour ( I have a full article with the best options!)
You’ll enjoy comfortable transfers between Flores and Tikal, and be accompanied by a local guide to answer your questions and introduce you to the Mayan civilization in Guatemala. Below are the best tours to Tikal.
➤ The Tikal Sunrise Tour takes you to the site before dawn, so you can see the beginning of the day from amidst the ruins. You’ll learn about the archaeological features of the pyramids and the wildlife that lives on-site. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
➤ The VIP Private Full-Day Tour includes exclusive transfers and a guide to your own group’s disposal. You’ll learn about the history and culture of the Guatemalan Maya people, and after the visit enjoy lunch near the site. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
➤ The Tikal from Flores Tour includes roundtrip transportation and a guided tour of the site, with time to climb some of the structures. You’ll also enjoy lunch inside the park before heading back to Flores. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
WHAT TO SEE IN TIKAL
Tikal is home to the tallest pyramid in the Americas from the pre-Columbian era (more than twice as tall as Chichen Itza’s main pyramid!), called Temple IV. This 230-foot pyramid was built in the first half of the 8th century AD for funerary purposes, and it’s believed that the tomb of one of Tikal kings lies within.
Among the most impressive pyramids you’ll see at Tikal are Lost World, a massive ceremonial complex, and the Great Jaguar, also built as a funerary temple.
For Star Wars fans, Tikal National Park appears in the movie Episode IV: A New Hope as the base of the rebels.
Day 9: Flores and Yaxha (optional)
Since you’ll be spending a few nights in Flores, it’s only fair that you get to explore the town! Located on the shores of lake Petén Itzá, the charming town is a very cool location with great viewpoints (and rooftop bars!), parks, and museums to discover.
You can otherwise take a tour to Yaxha (or do both, if you organize well your day!). Yaxha is an archaeological site located 43 miles east of Flores, considered the third-largest Mayan city in the area and a very influential one during its heyday. Even so, today it’s a bit more off the beaten path than its neighboring city Tikal.
Dating back to 600 BC, this city and ceremonial center features over 500 ruins and remains of temples and pyramids, and it’s a very interesting place to explore for those interested in history and archaeology.
WHAT TO DO IN FLORES
One of the best things to do in Flores is to walk around the island and visit Museo Santa Barbara to check out some Mayan artifacts and relics!
You should also explore the waterfront markets and the multiple craft and souvenir shops you’ll come across, go canoeing on the lake, and visit Ixpanpajul Natural Park.
If you’re feeling adventurous, give Jorge’s Rope Swing a go. It’s a restaurant situated right on the water with a diving platform and a rope swing so you can land with a splash on the lake. Very refreshing on a hot day!
BEST TOURS TO YAXHA
➤ This Sunset Tour in Yaxha allows you to discover most of the site on a guided visit, and watch the sunset from one of the impressive pyramids. Transfers from Flores are included. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
➤ The Private VIP Yaxha Experience is an all-inclusive tour in which you’ll enjoy a guided visit of the ruins, and lunch. You’ll also get to learn about the Mayan Biosphere and the ancient city’s history. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
➤ This 2-Day Tour to Tikal and Yaxha covers both Mayan ruins in two days. You’ll enjoy a guided tour of each site, lunch, and transfers on both days, so you don’t have to worry about planning the trips. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
Day 10: Back to Guatemala City and Fly Home
On your last day, you’ll fly back from Flores to Guatemala City and return home from there.
TWO WEEKS IN GUATEMALA ITINERARY
Are you planning to explore Guatemala in two weeks? That’s a great amount of time to truly immerse yourself in the country and discover all of its gems. Check out this two-week Guatemala itinerary to map out your time there.
Brief Guatemala Itinerary for 2 Weeks
Day 1: Flight to Guatemala City and Transfer to Antigua
Day 2: Spend the day exploring the cobbled streets of Antigua
Day 3: Take a Day Trip to Hobbitenango or go hiking in Pacaya Volcano
Day 4: Transfer to Lake Atitlan
Day 5-6: Relax at Lake Atitlan and explore the enchanting lakeside towns
Day 7: Take a day trip to Chichicastenango or Hike in Lake Atitlan
Day 8: Travel to Lanquin
Day 9: Explore the Natural Monument Semuc Champey
Day 10: Bus to Flores
Day 11: Explore Tikal, the most important archaeological site in Guatemala
Day 12: Stay in Flores and/or visit the ruins of Yaxha
Day 13: Make the trip to Guatemala City and explore Cayala
Day 14: It’s the end of your Guatemala trip: You’ll be flying back home!
Day 1-4: Antigua, Hobbitenango, Pacaya Volcano
The information for these destinations is detailed in the one-week itinerary above.
Day 4-6: Lake Atitlan
In Lake Atitlan, you can enjoy a variety of activities, from boat touring the lake to exploring craft markets in the towns of San Pedro, San Marcos, and San Juan, to name a few. You can find more information to plan these few days in the one-week itinerary to Guatemala.
Day 7: Day trip to Chichicastenango or Hike in Lake Atitlan
On your last day in Lake Atitlan, I suggest you either take a day trip to Chichicastenango or go hiking around the lake.
Chichicastenango is a vibrant and very colorful town situated in the highlands, north of Lake Atitlan. It’s famous for its open-air market that sells all sorts of handicrafts inspired by Mayan patterns and traditional clothing.
Located in the Central Plaza, the lively market is the town’s main attraction and one of the biggest in Central America. Needless to say, the market itself is worth the visit to Chichicastenango.
➤ You can visit Chichicastenango Market with this private tour that includes roundtip transfers from Panajachel, and the boat transfer from San Pedro La Laguna. You’ll also be joined by a guide. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
If you’re the active type and going for a hike sounds like a better alternative, you’ll be spoiled for choices in Lake Atitlan!
Some of the most stunning hikes (with rewarding views along the way) include the following:
- Indian Nose Hike takes around 4 hours and it’s of moderate difficulty.
- San Marcos to San Pedro Hike is a trail that connects both towns and takes around 3 hours at an easy pace.
- The Lower Mayan Trail that’s fairly accessible for everyone and takes close to 4 hours roundtrip.
If you’re feeling up to a challenge, you can hike up one of the volcanoes around the lake. The hikes take a full day (7-9 hours approximately) and they’re arduous, but the views are magnificent.
Atitlan and San Pedro volcanoes are the most popular for hiking, and it’s recommended you go with a guide for safety reasons (robbings unfortunately aren’t unheard of).
➤ The Indian Nose Hiking Adventure is a private sunrise experience that lasts close to 7 hours. You’ll get to the highest point to enjoy the views at dawn, led by an expert guide. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
➤ This One Day Hike takes you to the top of Atitlan Volcano on a full-day excursion. You’ll walk through coffee plantations and corn fields, enjoy stunning views, and refuel with a boxed lunch. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
➤ The most accessible hike is the Lower Mayan Trail, which you can enjoy with a guided tour from Panajachel. You’ll stop at some authentic Guatemalan villages and pass by coffee and corn fields as you make your way to the top. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
Day 8: Travel to Lanquin
From Lake Atitlan you’ll be traveling to Lanquin, a town right in the heart of Guatemala, located over 1200 feet above sea level. Surrounded by caves, lakes, and forests, it’s a great location to enjoy outdoor activities, as well as the perfect base to visit Semuc Champey.
HOW TO GET TO LANQUIN FROM LAKE ATITLAN
▶️ The best option is to take the shuttle from Panajachel to Lanquin. The journey takes around 10.5 hours, and the ticket costs $50 at the time of writing.
▶️ There are more comfortable and faster options, like booking a private transfer, a taxi, or an uber, but the cities being 175 miles apart, the trip will be very expensive. If money is not an issue, go for it. But if you’re on a budget, you’ll definitely want to take the shuttle.
WHERE TO STAY IN LANQUIN
MID-RANGE ECO HOTEL: Utopia Eco Hotel is a beautiful accommodation surrounded by lush vegetation and which boasts a vegetarian restaurant, a playground, spa, and a fitness center.
GLAMPING: Guayaha boasts spectacular tents with either a double bed or twin beds. There are 3 swimming pools, an outdoor cinema, a bar & restaurant, and shared bathrooms.
ON A BUDGET: Casa Mary offers budget private rooms with shared bathrooms, a 24-hour reception, a garden, and common areas for guests to enjoy.
Day 9: Explore Semuc Champey
From Lanquin it’s very easy to get to Semuc Champey, a gorgeous natural landmark that has become one of the most popular attractions in Guatemala. In fact, it’s a mandatory stop in the Guatemala backpacking route.
Semuc Champey consists of a natural limestone bridge over the Cahabon River, which is 984 feet long and boasts several magnificent pools of an insane turquoise color. These pools are the main attraction, as you can actually swim in them and get stunning photos!
River tubing, exploring the water caves, and hiking is also possible at Semuc Champey, and there’s a fantastic viewpoint over it, El Mirador, which you should definitely check out.
You can visit independently or book a tour or guide once you arrive there through your hotel.
Day 10: Bus to Flores
Flores is your next destination, and to get there you’ll need to take a bus from Lanquin. The trip takes 9 hours and costs less than $50 currently.
You’ll get to Flores in the afternoon, so you’ll probably want to get settled; you’ll be going on an exciting day trip tomorrow.
Day 11-12: Tikal, Flores and Yaxha
The most popular day trip from Flores is to Tikal National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can find all the information about this stop in the Guatemala itineraries above.
Day 13: Return to Guatemala City and Explore Ciudad Cayala
You’re almost done with your 2-week Guatemala itinerary. From Flores you’ll be returning to Guatemala City, and I recommend you fly there so you can explore Ciudad Cayala for the rest of the day.
The flight to Guatemala City only takes one hour, whereas if you took the bus you’d spend the whole day traveling.
Everyone always skips Guatemala City, and I understand why. Guatemala City is an unsafe city and there are areas where you should absolutely not visit. However, there’s a pocket of the city that not only is perfectly safe, but it’s also interesting to visit.
Cayala City is a wonderful district in Guatemala City with plenty of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. The perfect stop to relax before your flight back home. It’s the fanciest area of the city and one of the newest ones, which makes it an ideal part of town to stay the night.
Make sure to go out and explore its shops, cafés, and picturesque streets lined with pristine white buildings.
WHERE TO STAY IN CAYALA
MID-RANGE HOTEL: AC Hotels by Marriott Guatemala City features elegant rooms with an ensuite bathroom, a fitness center, a bar & restaurant, family rooms, and a terrace.
APARTMENT: Cayala Nuevo y Moderno Apto Shift Zona 16 offers a beautiful apartment with a full kitchen and seating area. The building also has a pool, fitness center, and a garden.
Day 14: Fly Home
They say all good things come to an end, and sadly this is true for your visit to Guatemala: it’s time to go back home! (Or fly to your next destination, why not?)
And if you have more time? Well, lucky you! If you have 3 weeks or 1 month in Guatemala, I actually suggest exploring the neighboring countries as well such as Belize and Mexico.
👉 Check out how to get from Guatemala to Belize hassle-free!
I hope this one week, 10 days, and 2 week Guatemala itinerary helps you plan your trip so you make the most of your time there.
GUATEMALA ITINERARY FAQ
10 days to two weeks is a great amount of time for a Guatemala trip itinerary.
Yes, 10 days is enough to enjoy a fantastic vacation in Guatemala.
Absolutely yes, it’s a gorgeous country that’s worth the visit, even if you can only spend one week in Guatemala.
This country boasts many natural attractions that make visiting Guatemala absolutely worth your while! The views from Lake Atitlan and from the mountains around Antigua are breathtaking!
November to April is the best time to visit Guatemala, as it’s the dry season and the weather is at its best. May marks the beginning of the rainy season, so if possible avoid visiting Guatemala during the following months.
2 weeks in Guatemala is the perfect amount of time. This Guatemala 2 week itinerary will help you make the most of the country’s main attractions.
To stay safe during your Guatemala vacation, avoid walking around at night, especially in Guatemala City, regardless if you’re on your own or with a group. Don’t wear flashy jewelry or display expensive devices, and keep away from crime hotspots.
If you’re wondering where to go in Guatemala, you should know there are many highlights in the country. Some of them include Lake Atitlan, Antigua, Semuc Champey, and Tikal.
If you’re planning a trip to Guatemala, I’d suggest flying into Guatemala City and starting your trip in Antigua. From there you can explore other attractions like Lake Atitlan, Flores, and Tikal.
If you’re backpacking for over 7 days in Guatemala, start in Antigua, and from there make your way to Lake Atitlan, before catching a bus to Flores. You should also visit Semuc Champey on the way there!
There are so many things to do in a week in Guatemala! It’s enough time to check out some of the country’s main locations, including Antigua and Lake Atitlan. Check out my full itinerary in the post!
5 days is a short time for a trip to Guatemala. I’d suggest staying at least a whole week there, so you get to visit Antigua and Lake Atitlan, and enjoy day trips to nearby locations! You can check my one week Guatemala itinerary for inspiration.
However, in 5 days you can still visit Antigua and Lake Atitlan – I suggest spending 2 nights in Antigua and 3 nights in Lake Atitlan somewhere on the lake.
Panajachel is the main town, and where most transfers get and depart from. There are plenty of charming lakeside towns to explore, though, regardless of where you’re staying. San Pedro, San Juan, Santa Cruz, Santa Catarina Palopó, and San Marcos are among the prettiest.
Laguna Lodge Eco Resort & Nature Reserve: A Full Review
Sunday 4th of June 2023
[…] Read on to discover why this Lake Atitlan eco lodge might be just what you’re looking for (and all the reasons you may want to extend your Guatemala trip!). […]
Sunday 5th of March 2023
Is it possible to have a good 7 to 10 day tour without strenuous hiking or bicycling? I am a reasonably healthy 83 year old guy, with a 73 year old wife. We do not use walkers or canes, but do not want to strain ourselves climbing up volcanoes.
How To Get from Guatemala City to Lake Atitlan  - Every Steph
Tuesday 27th of December 2022
[…] Lake Atitlan is one of the most beautiful you’ll ever lay eyes on, completely surrounded by volcanoes and showcasing different shades of green and blue waters, the ideal scenery for a boat tour or some exciting watersports. It needs to be on your Guatemala itinerary! […]
How To Get from Antigua to Lake Atitlan  - Every Steph
Tuesday 27th of December 2022
[…] Located to the northwest of Antigua, Lake Atitlan is one of the most sought-after destinations in Guatemala. It is said to be one of the most beautiful lakes in the world (if not THE most beautiful!) and NEEDS to be on your Guatemala travel itinerary. […]
How To Get from Flores to Tikal  - Every Steph
Tuesday 27th of December 2022
[…] Flores is commonly referred to as the gateway to several nearby Mayan ruins, among which Tikal is by far the most popular one. This impressive ancient citadel ought to be on your itinerary in Guatemala! […]