Quetzal, national bird Guatemala

Day 1 : USA-GUATEMALA CITY
Depart USA to Guatemala City. Meeting and assistance upon arrival and transfer to your hotel. Balance of day at leisure.

Day 2: GUATEMALA CITY (B, D)
Guatemala City is a metropolis of over 3 million inhabitants. A mixture of neoclassical and modern architecture, it was founded after the earthquakes of 1773 destroyed the original capital city, Antigua. Today’s morning city tour includes visits to Minerva Park to see the giant relief map of Guatemala, to the Central Plaza to visit the National Palace, Cathedral, and to the Central Market, where a wide variety of handicrafts can be found. Proceed to the civic center to visit the “Miguel Angel Asturias” cultural center and continue to the southern end of the city along Avenida de Las Americas with its modern residential areas. Balance of day at leisure.

Guatemala City Central Market

Guatemala City Central Market

Day 3: GUATEMALA CITY-FLORES (TIKAL) (B,L)
Early morning transfer to the airport for the short flight to Flores. Transfer to Tikal, the great Mayan city, located in a tropical forest. Its Mayan ruins are among the most impressive in the world, with over 3000 structures. Visit the main plaza surrounded by the famous Grand Jaguar Temple, Temple of the Masks, altars, palaces and more. Proceed to the museum to admire the Mayan artifacts of pottery and jade jewels. Transfer to your hotel for overnight.

Maya ruins, Tikal

Maya ruins, Tikal

Day 4: FLORES-ITZA LAKE- GUATEMALA CITY (B,L)
Embark on a boat ride on Lake Peten Itza to visit Petencito, a tourist center where you can admire Peten’s fauna at the small local zoo. Proceed to “El Mirador Del Rey Canek”, a lookout point where King Canek, the Head of the Itzae tribe, had his main settlement. Then continue on to the Actun-Kan caves near Flores. In the afternoon, transfer to the airport for your flight to Guatemala City. Transfer to your hotel.

Day 5 : GUATEMALA CITY- CHICHICASTENANGO- PANAJACHEL (B, D)
Drive through the country’s highlands along the Pan-American Highway to Lake Atitlan, considered by many as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Lake Atitlan is located at an altitude of 1580 meters and covers an area of 90 square miles; it is surrounded by three enchanting volcanoes and 12 Indian communities. Continue to the town of Chichicastenango to visit the impressive open air market, where natives gather to barter their handicrafts and agricultural products. Then on to the church of Santo Tomas, built on the remains of a Mayan temple. Continue to the town of Panajachel on the shores of the lake.

Lake Atitlan

Lake Atitlan

Day 6: PANAJACHEL-SANTIAGO ATITLAN-ANTIGUA (B, D)
Cross Lake Atitlan by boat to the picturesque town of Santiago Atitlan. It is home to the Tuztuil Indians, who have preserved their Mayan religious practices and are famous for their artisans. Continue to the city of Antigua for overnight.

Day 7 : ANTIGUA (B, D)
Antigua was the third capital city of Guatemala founded by the Spaniards in 1541, but it was destroyed by a series of earthquakes in 1773. Antigua still contains some of the region’s finest examples of 16th, 17th and 18th century Spanish colonial architecture and is a UNESCO “World Heritage” site. A full day tour visits the Capucinas Convent, La Merced church, Central Plaza, Cathedral, San Carlos University, San Francisco church, Ciudad Vieja and Aguas Calientes.  Farewell dinner.

Antigua, Guatemala

Antigua, Guatemala

Day 8 : ANTIGUA-USA (B)
After breakfast, transfer to Guatemala City Airport for your flight home.

NOTE: This is a sample itinerary for group tour leaders. For more information about how to form a group and travel free, please visit: http://bodymindspiritjourneys.com/form-a-group-and-travel-free

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