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Guatemala Uncovered

Toast marshmallows on a live volcano, take part in a shamanic ritual & dine in a private Maya ruin underneath the stars

Guatemala Uncovered

9 Days | From £2595

Guatemala Uncovered

Toast marshmallows on a live volcano, take part in a shamanic ritual & dine in a private Maya ruin underneath the stars

Guatemala Uncovered

About your trip

From pastel-hued Antigua to mirror-still Lake Atitlán and the jungle-shrouded temples of Tikal, this nine-day Guatemalan escapade is full of immersive Flash Pack moments.

Come join us as we hike up Volcán Pacaya, toasting marshmallows over a steaming lava vent, and take part in an ancient ritual with an authentic Iximche shaman. See how fair trade coffee is made on an organic family farm and glamp with an off-grid community hidden deep within the jungle. Feel your jaw hit the floor as you sip sunset drinks atop a private Maya temple – the sun blazing orange over the rainforest – finishing with a candlelit dinner amidst the atmospheric ruins.

With weaving workshops, streetfood tours and colourful indigenous markets, this adventure will uncover Guatemala’s best-kept secrets.

What's Included

  • Accommodation in twin rooms
  • Local transport
  • Max 14 travellers per group
  • Exclusively for people in their 30s & 40s
  • All activities mentioned on the itinerary
  • Arrival airport transfer
  • Hand-picked 3-4 star hotels & jungle glamping
  • 8 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners
  • 2 domestic flights
  • ATOL protected
  • Experienced Pack Leader with you throughout the trip

Flashpackers must provide evidence that they have purchased travel insurance for the duration of their adventure. 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.

Itinerary

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Your Itinerary

  • Day 01 Welcome to Guatemala

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    Your adventure begins in Guatemala City, the country’s economic powerhouse and largest city in Central America, where a private Flash Pack transfer will be waiting to whisk you to the charming colonial town of Antigua. Checking in at your central hotel, take a moment to drink in the impressive baroque decor as you head to a rooftop bar to share a first beer with your group. As the sun sets behind a shimmering panorama of jagged volcanic peaks, your Pack Leader will fill you in on all the excitement to come. Round off your evening with a feast of Guatemalan dishes at a nearby restaurant, raising a toast to eight more days of adventure.

  • Day 02 Toast marshmallows on a volcano

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    Wake up to a typical Guatemalan breakfast (think eggs, tortillas, beans, fried plantains and, of course, excellent coffee) and prepare for your first activity. This morning, you’ll be scaling the still-active Pacaya Volcano, over 2,500 metres above sea level. The moderate one-hour ascent offers incredible views (as far as the coast on a clear day) and you might even catch a little smoke puffing from Pacaya’s crater. At the summit, you’ll have time to rest your legs with a scenic picnic overlooking the valley, before toasting your own marshmallows over a steaming lava vent. Back in Antigua, foodies can explore the region’s moreish cuisine, from Mayan dishes packed with roasted veggies, to hot and spicy chicken stews.

  • Day 03 Visit a family-run coffee farm

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    First up today, you’ll take a tour of Antigua’s Unesco-listed old town. Gracefully ruined after an 18th-century earthquake, the cobbled streets are lined with collumned courtyards, toppled church arches, pastel-coloured houses and fountains galore. You’ll finish at the local market to sample local streetfood (think crispy filled tacos and delicious salsa-dipped tortillas), before heading to a gorgeous generations-old coffee finca in the nearby highlands. Thanks to the lofty elevation, mild temperatures and mineral-rich volcanic soil, this area is home to some of the best coffee in the world. Join the family to see how organic coffee is produced, before sitting down to share a rustic, home-cooked dinner. 

  • Day 04 Take part in a shamanic ritual

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    Today, you’ll be travelling three hours from the bustling heart of Antigua to Lake Atitlán – a deep blue oasis nestled in an expansive volcanic crater. As you travel, keep your eyes peeled for locals going about their daily lives: working in the fields, collecting firewood and traveling between markets. You’ll stop en route at the small archeological site of Iximche, an important ceremonial site for indigenous pilgrims. Here, your group will receive a blessing from a local shaman as part of authentic Mayan ritual – a fascinating and insightful experience. Then, continue west to your Atitlán hotel, where beautiful views across the serene shoreline await, framed by brooding volcanic peaks.  

  • Day 05 Learn traditional weaving

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    Dotted around the lake are a dozen indigenous villages, where both men and women still wear traditional clothes, each with their own distinctive weave. From the hotel’s boat dock, you’ll glide across the water to San Juan la Laguna, a vibrant little town with an artsy vibe. Drink in the colourful flags and kaleidoscopic murals that decorate the streets as you make your way to a traditional weaving workshop. Guided by a local artisan, you’ll learn how to use a backstrap loom and get hands-on creating your own bracelet to take home. Later, you might opt to explore Panajachel, Atitlán’s bustling hub, with restaurants and bars aplenty. 

  • Day 06 Visit Chichi's colourful market

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    This morning, you’ll visit one of Central America’s most famous indigenous markets: Chichicastenango. The narrow cobbled streets and red-tiled roofs are often enveloped in highland mist and make a magical setting for the crowds of Mayan vendors who come from miles around to sell their vibrant handicrafts, textiles and ceremonial items. You’ll climb the flower-laden steps of the 16th-century Santo Tomás church, where a curious mix of Catholic prayers and Maya rituals take place, and visit the local cemetery to see the vividly painted mausoleums. Later, you’ll continue to Guatemala City and hitch a short flight to Flores Airport, where a transfer will whisk you to your pretty island hotel, reminiscent of Venice. 

  • Day 07 Candlelit dining & jungle glamping

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    Flashpackers, there’s something really special in store today. Leaving behind your island retreat, you’ll travel to Uaxactún, one of the longest-occupied Mayan cities, dating back over 2,000 years. Here you’ll be welcomed into the local community and learn how they make a living from harvesting allspice, xate (an ornamental plant) and chicle (natural chewing gum). Late afternoon, you’ll climb to the top of a private temple for sundowners with your group, as the sun sets over the forest canopy. Follow this up with a magical candlelit dinner – exclusive for Flash Pack – dotted amongst the Mayan ruins. Tonight, you’ll sleep in an off-grid camp on the edge of the community, falling asleep to the sounds of the jungle.

  • Day 08 Uncover Tikal's secrets

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    Experience a wake-up call like no other, amid a symphony of chirping insects, tropical bird calls and the distant roar of howler monkeys. After breakfast, you’ll head deep into Tikal National Park, home to the capital of the ancient Mayan Empire. The ruins are spread over 575 square kilometres of jungle, and feature a gargantuan pyramid, ruins of millennia-old Mayan architecture and the open plain of the Great Plaza. Towering temples isn’t all there is to see at Tikal, however, as the rainforest is teeming with wildlife from monkeys, parrots and toucans, to blue-headed ‘oscillated’ turkeys and if you’re lucky, a rare jaguar spot. Mind blown, you’ll return to Guatemala City tonight for a farewell dinner with your group.

  • Day 09 DESPEDIDA, GUATEMALA

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    All too soon, your journey has come to an end and it’s time to say despedida to Guatemala. After breakfast, you’ll make your own way to the airport for your onward flight. If you’re keen to explore more of Central America, why not combine your trip with our Belize, Mexico or Costa Rica adventures? Wherever you’re headed, you’re sure to be pumped from your nine-day adventure. You’ve conquered volcanoes, been blessed by a shaman and slept in a remote jungle camp underneath the stars – all while toasting your adventure with a brand new group of friends.

Our Favourite Hotels

Here's a taste of the hotels we sometimes use on this adventure. The hotels you'll stay in for your departure will be shared with you one month before you go.

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Meson de Maria, Antigua

In the heart of Antigua’s atmospheric old town, this converted Spanish villa has just 20 characterful rooms. Expect elegant colonial-style decor, lush courtyards filled with fountains and a beautiful rooftop terrace – the perfect spot for sundowners, complete with volcano views.  

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Hotel Isla de Flores, Petén

A boutique island hotel a short stroll from the town’s main square. Whitewashed walls and blue shutters give the hotel a cheery Mediterranean vibe. At sunset, make a beeline for the chic roof terrace to soak in the outdoor jacuzzi overlooking emerald Lake Petén Itzá.

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Uaxactún glamping

Ever wanted to fall asleep to the sounds of the jungle? Now’s your chance. This remote community glampsite features canvas tents with ensuite bathrooms, surrounded by Mayan ruins. Sip sundowners atop an ancient temple and dine by candlelight under impossibly starry skies.

Important Notes

Which airport should I fly into and out of (including airport code)?

Fly into and out of La Aurora International Airport (GUA) in Guatemala City.

What time should my flight arrive (in time for the welcome meeting)?

Try to arrive before 4 pm in order to make sunset drinks in Antigua.

What time should I arrive (in time for the welcome meeting)?

The welcome meeting will be from 5pm, starting at your hotel in Antigua, which is approximately 1.5 hours by road from Guatemala City airport. We recommend booking a flight that arrives by 2pm, to allow time to settle in before meeting your group.

What time should my flight depart on the final day?

There are no planned activities for Day 9, so you’re free to leave any time you choose.

Do you include airport transfers?

Arrival transfers are included, but not departure transfers. If you arrive on Day 1 of your adventure, or you book pre-tour accommodation with us, your airport arrival transfer will be included. If you book alternative pre-tour accommodation or are arriving by another mode of transport you must arrange your own arrival transfer.

Arrival transfers are private to Flash Pack and will be in groups depending on flight times. Sometimes this means waiting in the airport for a short while until other flights have arrived. Your first hotel, in Antigua, is approximately 1.5 hours away from the airport.

For your departure, we’ll be happy to offer you support with finding a local taxi.

What level of fitness will I need?

Overall this itinerary is fairly relaxed. The most strenuous activity is hiking up Pacaya Volcano on Day 2, which requires a moderate level of fitness. The hike itself takes about 1-1.5 hours and includes some steep uphill sections over uneven surfaces. There’ll be plenty of opportunities to stop for drinks along the way, as well as a picnic at the top.

We recommend having a read-through of the itinerary above, and getting in touch if you have specific questions on fitness.

What will the jungle glamping be like?

Uaxactun is the only permitted settlement within the Mayan Biosphere Reserve, offering a unique opportunity to stay in a rustic jungle community surrounded by ancient ruins.

You’ll be sleeping in canvas tents, built on raised platforms and located on the edge of the village. Each tent features twin beds and ensuite bathrooms complete with flush toilets and sink with running water. There is a separate shower block with four cold-water showers (refreshing in the heat and humidity). Please be aware that you’ll be completely off-grid, which means no air conditioning, electricity, WiFi or cell phone reception. We recommend bringing a headtorch for after dark, as well as a battery pack to charge your phone.

Will the candelit dinner go ahead during rainy season?

During the wet season (May to October), it typically rains hard for a couple of hours in the afternoon and the stars come out at night. However, it can rain at any time of year. If it’s not possible to go ahead with the outdoor dinner, you’ll enjoy an atmospheric candlelit meal in your jungle camp.

Will this itinerary change?

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.

OUR PROMISE

Joining the Flash Pack comes with a few special guarantees

THE PEOPLE

Our mission is to create 1 million friendships, so we obsess over the group dynamic. Everyone is aged 30-49, 98% travel solo & 80% stay friends.
Want to know more about your group?
Get in touch.

THE SECURITY

We operate using a 3rd party trust bank account, meaning we guarantee refunds in 14 days if your trip has to be cancelled.
Book with confidence.

THE TRIPS

Our trips are made up of ‘can’t-do-by-yourself’ experiences – think staying on your own private island in the Arctic and glamping in Land Rovers on the Serengeti.
See trips.

THE GUIDES

We only work with trusted local guides who know their destinations better than anyone.
Meet your Pack Leaders.

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