Mayan ruins & volcano trekking in Guatemala
Go flying across the jungle canopy on a thrilling zip-line route, hike to the summit of a live volcano and watch the sunset over an ancient Mayan temple
Mayan ruins & volcano trekking in Guatemala
Kayak on the serene blue waters of Lake Atitlan
Hike up the active Pacaya Volcano, with unspoilt landscape views
Soar through the rainforest canopy around Lake Atitlan
Explore the Tikal temple complex, located in the jungle canopy
About your trip
Leap into our Guatemala adventure to discover its best-kept secrets.
This Central American gem is full of ancient sights, spectacular landscapes and mouth-watering flavours (not to mention the incredible coffee), so if you’re happy to forgo a little luxury in the name of discovery, jump aboard. We’ll kick things off in Antigua, learning the secrets of Guatemalan cuisine, and kayaking across the vast blue crater of Lake Atitlán.
We’ll head into the Sierra Madre mountains to find the vivid town murals of living Mayan cultures, before ziplining our way through the forests of the San Buenaventura Valley, over canyons, waterfalls and dense coffee groves. We’ll watch a breathtaking sunset from a Petén temple and explore the mystery of the Mayan empire at Tikal’s iconic landmarks, then bed down in a wild jungle lodge.
Flashpackers, rally yourselves: this is one helluva ride.
- Accommodation in twin rooms
- Local transport
- Most meals included
- Max 14 travellers per group
- Private airport transfers
Remember, flights aren't included and prices are based on sharing a twin room. If you'd like to upgrade to a single room, you can add this during the booking process or by contacting our Customer Experience team.
Day 01 Welcome to Guatemala
Welcome to Guatemala. After touching down at La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City, a private transfer will be ready and waiting to whisk you off to the colonial heart of Antigua, where our eight-day adventure begins. Check in at your boutique hotel, take a moment to drink in the impressive baroque decor, then prepare to meet your new comrades as we head to a local restaurant to break bread (more likely, crispy filled tacos and delicious salsa-dipped tortillas) and share a first beer together. This is your chance to break the ice and get to know your fellow Flashpackers and guide, who’ll fill you in on all the excitement to come. We’ll round things off with a sundowner at a rooftop bar, where you’ll get to soak up the incredible bird’s eye view of a land that’s itching to be explored.
Day 02 Pacaya volcanic Hike
Grab your hiking boots Flashpackers, today we’ll be scaling the side of an active volcano. One of Antigua’s must-visit landmarks, Pacaya volcano looms a formidable 8,373 feet above sea level and has been active since 1965. Though most of its activity is known to be Strombolian (no dramatic lava flows here), you may spot the occasional puff of smoke from the crater. We’ll climb the 1 hour to the top, where spectacular views across the country’s volcanic landscape await – if you’re lucky, you might get a glimpse of the southern coastline in the distance. After a viewpoint picnic and a gentle descent (take it easy on those burning glutes), we’ll return to the hotel. The rest of the evening is yours to either kick back on the rooftop terrace, or head out to explore the local nightlife. Foodies can look to the region’s moreish cuisine, from Mayan dishes packed with roasted veggies, to hot and spicy chicken stews.
Day 03 Guatemala cooking and lake Atitlán
If your legs are feeling the burn of yesterday’s volcano hike, today’s leisurely pace will be music to your ears. We’ll be travelling southeast, from the bustling heart of Antigua to Lake Atitlán – a deep blue oasis nestled in an expansive volcanic crater, surrounded by Guatemala’s craggy Sierra Madre mountain range. Before we hit the lake’s serene shoreline however, we’ll be stopping by the small town of San Miguel Escobar, where you’ll feel the real heat of a Guatemalan kitchen with a hands-on culinary masterclass. Forget recipe books, this local family will be putting your skills to the test with traditional dishes cooked straight from the heart. Expect a spicy feast of Guatemalan delicacies for lunch, whipped up by your own fair hand. Afterwards, we’ll continue our three-hour journey south to the shores of Lake Atitlán. Beautiful views across the water await, plus a restaurant with delicious local dishes and breathtaking backdrops.
Day 04 KAYAKING LAKE ATITLÁN
Start the day in style by tucking into breakfast with spectacular views stretching right across the water, as volcanoes jut from the craggy landscape in the distance. Our first expedition on today’s adventure menu takes us to the shoreline where we’ll take to the vast waters of Lake Atitlán in kayaks. Work up a sweat gliding across the tranquil crater, then cool down with a refreshing plunge into the deep blue. We’ll then head up into the Guatemalan highlands to the town of San Juan la Laguna – a local area rich in Mayan culture. Drink in the kaleidoscopic murals that decorate walls along bustling streets, browse the market teeming with local handicrafts (if you’re keen for souvenirs here’s your chance), and flex your painterly tendencies at a traditional Tz’utujiles masterclass. Later, the evening is yours for sunset beers with your fellow Flashpackers.
Day 05 FOREST ZIP-LINING
Today we’re heading north to the jungle-dense department of Petén. But first, it’s time to indulge your inner adrenaline junkie. We’ll travel to nearby Reserva Natural Atitlán, once a coffee plantation now overtaken by verdant forest, natural waterfalls and intriguing wildlife — keep your eyes peeled for spider monkeys, coatis and hummingbirds. Strap in and take to the skies as you fly along a network of cable ziplines stretching up to a kilometre over towering treetops, plunging canyons and ancient trails. Glide your way across the San Buenaventura Valley towards Lake Atitlán — if there were ever a perfect GoPro moment, this would be it. With your feet back on the ground, explore the rest of the reserve and try an aromatic shot of the area’s award-winning coffee. Later, we’ll return to Guatemala City and hitch a flight to Flores Petén. Touch down at Mundo Maya Airport, where a transfer will whisk you to your Flores Island hotel.
Day 06 TEMPLES AT SUNSET
After yesterday’s pulse-raising agenda, savour a late start this morning. Spend the morning kicking back on a lounger with a good book or take a dip in the pool. Explore the town of Flores — fill up on pupusas (chunky tortillas stuffed with deliciously gooey fillings), cold beers, or more decadent Guatemalan coffee. Later, we’ll head to Yaxha Archaeological Site, the third largest of Guatemala’s Mayan ceremonial cities (the park covers close to 37,000 hectares), sandwiched between the waters of Lago Yaxhá and Lago Sacnab. Walk through the jungle canopy as we discover restored Mayan ruins and climb an ancient temple to watch the surrounding rainforest glow burnished gold in a breathtaking sunset. Once we’re back on level ground, bed down at a jungle lodge bordering on Tikal National Park, where you’ll doze off to the music of the canopy at night.
Day 07 MAYAN RUINS IN TIKAL
Get an early morning call like no other, amid the chirps of jungle wildlife. Enjoy breakfast at the lodge before heading deep into Tikal National Park. Guatemala’s most iconic cultural landmark, the reserve is home to the largest preservation of ancient Mayan architecture, boasting over 575 square kilometres of lush rainforest, towering temples and mind-blowing pyramids. Once a central hub of Mayan civilisation playing host to extravagant feasts, bloodthirsty sports and ceremonial sacrifices, the millenia-old ruins now hold endless clues to both the great reign and mysterious fate of the extraordinary Mayan empire. Walk ancient trails, spot wildlife from monkeys and parrots to toucans and macaws, and climb gargantuan temples for epic jungle views. Later, we’ll catch a local flight back to Guatemala City.
Day 08 DESPEDIDA GUATEMALA
Flashpackers, it’s time say despedida to Guatemala. It’s over to you to organise your taxi to the airport and depart as you wish. Wherever your next stop, you’re sure to be pumped from this whirlwind eight-day adventure around Central America’s crown jewel. You’ve kayaked across the deep blue crater of Lake Atitlán, and learnt how to whip up a Guatemalan feast with a local culinary expert. You’ve journeyed into the highlands and witnessed the vibrant murals of living Mayan cultures, and ziplined your way through tree tops, over canyons and past gushing natural waterfalls. You’ve watched the sun set over the jungle from the lofty heights of an ancient temple, spent the night under the wilds of the rainforest canopy, and explored the mystery of the Mayan empire at Tikal’s iconic landmarks. All while toasting your adventure with a brand new group of friends for life. Win.
Our Favourite Hotels
Browse a selection of our favourite hotels, for a flavour of where you may stay on this trip.
Posada Don Rodrigo, Antigua
Colonial Garden hotel near Antigua Guatemala Cathedral
This hacienda-style hotel is fringed by pretty tropical foliage and dates back over 300 years, with charming rustic décor.
Why we stay here
We love the intricate wooden shutters and baroque mirror/ chandelier detail seen in the bedrooms and the à la carte restaurant. But the real treat comes from the colourful El Jardin de la Cúpula gardens and a terrace overlooking the Volcán de Agua volcano.
Hotel Isla de Flores, Petén
Boutique island hotel overlooking lake Petén Itzá
Bold pops of colour lend a cheery vibe to this small and friendly hotel on the Guatemalan island of Flores.
Why we stay here
The town is an easy stroll away and we hear the hotel coffee is not to be missed. At sunset, make a beeline for the chic roof terrace with a small outdoor pool and gorgeous views of Lake Petén Itzá spooling out onto the horizon.
Hotel Jungle Lodge Tikal, Petén
Jungle lodge in Tikal National Park
Minutes away from the pyramids and temples of Tikal, this hideaway is beautifully located in the heart of the Mayan jungle wilderness.
Why we stay here
Spacious cabin-style rooms let you doze off to the sound of nocturnal wildlife, there’s a swimming pool shrouded by jungle palms and you’ll get to see an amazing sunrise over Tikal.
"An action packed week that was really well planned. Experience made all the more fun travelling with like minded people."
"Absolutely amazing trip with the best bunch of people and the best guide! Everything was seamless and nothing was too much trouble. Stunning hotels and brilliant activities with the perfect balance of adventure and down time. "
"Really easy to book and well organised. Loved the app packed with useful information."
"This was my first trip with a travel group, and I was not disappointed. The Flash Pack team were always available to answer questions, and were in contact with all of the pertinent details along the way, leading up to the trip. "
Fly into and out of La Aurora International Airport, Guatemala City.
You’ll be picked up by private transfer anytime on Day 1, but try to arrive before 4pm in order to make sunset drinks in Antigua. You’re free to leave anytime on Day 8.
Please be aware that the itinerary, activities and hotels are subject to change. These changes can happen with little notice due to availability, poor weather, seasonal changes, or other circumstances beyond our control. From time to time we may also make changes to your itinerary to try out new ideas and keep things fresh.
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