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Food

  • All breakfasts, 11 lunches and 7 dinners included. Breakfast is always provided in hotels and generally consists of bread, eggs, ham, fruit, juice and coffee. You can often opt for a Guatemalan breakfast which includes eggs, beans, plantains, local cheese and tortillas. Whilst camping your food will be prepared by renowned restaurateur Juan-Carlos and his team. With his own restaurant in Antigua, he is used to preparing delicious meals, and throughout the camping section of your trip will ensure you have delicious packed lunches and evening meals designed to ensure you have the right balance of nutrients and carbohydrates do give you the maximum energy for trekking. Although meat plays a key part in many Central American dishes, vegetarians are well catered for. Please advise us on booking of any special dietary requirements you may have.

Activities

  • Adult Group
  • Accom: camping
  • Trek: point-to-point
  • Culture & Discovery
  • Walking & Trekking
  • Accom: hotel/lodge
  • Go local
  • Guided Group
  • Food

    • All breakfasts, 11 lunches and 7 dinners included. Breakfast is always provided in hotels and generally consists of bread, eggs, ham, fruit, juice and coffee. You can often opt for a Guatemalan breakfast which includes eggs, beans, plantains, local cheese and tortillas. Whilst camping your food will be prepared by renowned restaurateur Juan-Carlos and his team. With his own restaurant in Antigua, he is used to preparing delicious meals, and throughout the camping section of your trip will ensure you have delicious packed lunches and evening meals designed to ensure you have the right balance of nutrients and carbohydrates do give you the maximum energy for trekking. Although meat plays a key part in many Central American dishes, vegetarians are well catered for. Please advise us on booking of any special dietary requirements you may have.
  • 1

    Start Antigua.

    Those on group flights will be met at Guatemala City airport and transferred to Antigua (approx. 1 hour journey). Land only clients will meet at the start hotel in Antigua. Accommodation: Los Bucaros Hotel or similar

  • 2

    Pacaya Volcano hike (2570m).

    This morning we set off towards Pacaya Volcano which is a 1.5 hours drive away. The hike up Pacaya involves around 1.5 hours of continuous ascent on paths coated in volcanic ash, with much of the route being surrounded by subtropical forest. Due to the unpredictable volcanic activity, often we can't go all the way to the top. However, with clear weather we should have views of Guatemala City and the Pacific lowlands stretching away to the east. Close to the top, we break out of the trees and after a short walk across open land we come across the vast dry lava field. Due to the shifting lava flow, molten rock is unlikely to be visible but occasionally people can be seen toasting marshmallows on the fiery surface! After our packed lunch we will walk for about an hour to further explore the volcano before following the same path back to our vehicle. The descent takes around 90 minutes and the drive back to Antigua a further 90 minutes. On arrival, we have a walking tour, visiting the main sights of Antigua's colonial city centre. Walk: Distance 6 km Ascent 900m Descent 900m Max Altitude 2400m Time: 4 to 6 hours Accommodation: Los Bucaros Hotel or similar

  • 3

    To Panajachel and Lake Atitlan.

    After breakfast we drive about 2 hrs west towards Lake Atitlan. En route, we visit the Postclassic Mayan archaeological site of Iximche, a well-preserved city complete with ball courts, palaces and temples. After a short drive, we stop for lunch after visiting the site, then drive to the trailhead for a 1-2 hour hike to Lake Atitlan. The route is mainly downhill (although you should expect steep and uneven terrain), passing through farmland and small villages before ending with spectacular views over the lake and the surrounding volcanoes. We spend the night in the bustling lakeside town of Panajachel. Walk: Distance 7 km Ascent 0m Descent 900m Max Altitude 2400m Time: 1 to 2 hours Accommodation: Utz Jay Hotel or similar

  • 4

    Short boat ride across Lake Atitlan followed by Cerro de Oro Volcano walk; transfer to San Juan la Laguna.

    We take a 30 minute boat ride across the lake to Cerro de Oro, one of the least-visited villages on the lake shore and dominated by the volcano of the same name. After walking through the charming village, we reach the start of the short but intense climb through fields and coffee plantations to the summit (1870m). On the way down we will pass a sacred site still used by Mayan shamans in their rituals. After a quick descent, we board a local truck for the short transfer to Santiago Atitlan where we will have a stroll around the main square and lively local market before boarding another boat for the 35 minute ride to San Juan, where we spend the night. Walk: Distance 5 km Ascent 500m Descent 500m Max Altitude 1900m Time: 2 hours Accommodation: Chi-Ya Hotel or similar

  • 5

    Free day in San Juan.

    Today has been left free to relax, walk along the lake shore or maybe even take a dip in the cool waters. It is possible to visit neighbouring villages from here, you may wish to spend some time at the local artists' and weavers' cooperatives or embark on a climb to Volcan San Pedro where, if weather allows, you can experience fantastic views of Lake Atitlan and the surrounding Volcanoes. Volcan San Pedro Walk: Distance 11 km Ascent 1500m Descent 1500m Max Altitude 3020m Time: 5 or 6 hours Accommodation: Chi-Ya Hotel or similar

  • 6

    Steep climb ascending Indian's Nose Peak.

    This morning we begin our trek into the highlands with an ascent of Indian's Nose Peak, which derives its name from the fact that it resembles a Mayan face. The initial climb to the summit is quite steep and winding but we are rewarded with impressive views of the lake's shimmering waters as well as the peaks of the northern highlands. From the top, we follow a mountainous trail to the village of Santa Clara La Laguna, known locally for the baskets and handmade bags produced by the villagers. We continue for another 2 hours or so to Chui-rax-amolo Reserve where we camp for the next two nights. Walk: Distance 18 km Ascent 400m Descent 400m Max Altitude 2300m Time: 6 or 7 hours Accommodation: Full-service Camping

  • 7

    Spectacular ridge walk to San Marcos Peak.

    We have a fantastic optional full-day ridge walk today as we climb Pico San Marcos (2800m), ascending through highland forests and plantations. We would recommend wearing trousers as some of the path can be overgrown with vegetation. Near the top of the mountain is a cave which has been used in Mayan rituals for centuries. The summit is almost as high as the neighbouring San Pedro Volcano, but its location allows us to enjoy views in all directions so we can see not only Lake Atitlan but all the surrounding volcanoes and the main bulk of the highlands which we will traverse over the next few days. We return to the Chui-rax-amolo Reserve camp in the early afternoon. You can choose to relax at the campsite instead of joining this walk if you wish. Walk: Distance 14 km Ascent 300m Descent 300m Max Altitude 2200m Time: 6 hours Accommodation: Full-service Camping

  • 8

    Trek through mountains to Santa Catarina.

    We leave camp this morning and follow ancient Mayan trade routes, crossing the Nahulate river and ravine as we move deeper into the highlands. We pass through several villages along the way and we camp tonight in the area of old Santa Catarina, whose population has gradually decreased as geological activity has resulted in the collapse of several houses over the years. Here we can enjoy a Temazcal, a pre-hispanic sweat lodge used to purify the body,which the locals use to this day as showers, once we are settled at the campsite on the school grounds. Walk: Distance 17 km Ascent 1100m Descent 600m Max Altitude 3000m Time: 6 hours Accommodation:Full-service Camping

  • 9

    Sierra de Parraxquim walk.

    Today's hike takes us onto a high plateau (approx. 3000m) which forms the eastern extension of the Zunil mountain range. We start in Pacific cloud forest before we reach the plateau where the landscape opens up and we enjoy open highland scenery. The area is home to the Quiche Maya people who still manufacture their textiles using traditional tools such as foot looms and backstrap looms. Our afternoon tea will be shared with the welcoming local community and their children. Tonight we camp on the school grounds of another one of the local schools. Walk: Distance 19 km Ascent 900m Descent 300m Max Altitude 3300m Time: 5 or 6 hours Accommodation:Full-service Camping

  • 10

    Hike Zunil Volcano (3542m).

    After breakfast we leave camp and hike up the Zunil ridge, with spectacular views of the Quetzaltenango Valley as we make our way up towards the 3542m summit of Zunil, a picture-perfect conical volcano. We stop just below the top, where we can see 14 other volcanoes as well as Lake Atitlan in the distance, and have lunch. The descent takes us through cloud forest to the Georginas hot springs, where we stay for the next two nights. We will be staying in basic cabins within the cloud forest. In the evening, we can soak away any aching limbs from the day's hike in the hot springs while enjoying a nice cold drink. Walk: Distance 23 km Ascent 600m Descent 500m Max Altitude 3600m Time: 8 hours Accommodation: Fuentes Georgina or similar

  • 11

    Visit Almolonga, Guatemala's largest vegetable market. Free afternoon to enjoy the hot springs.

    This morning we have a 45 minute drive and then a short visit to Guatemala's largest vegetable market at Almolonga, set in the heart of the country's main agricultural region. The market gives us an insight into the life of the local Mayan communities and many of the traders and customers still wear traditional highland dress. The afternoon has been left free to enjoy more time at the springs and to explore the surrounding area. It is possilble to take an optional nature walk to try to spot the Quetzal bird, or try an exhilarating zip line course flying over the forest. Accommodation: Fuentes Georgina or similar

  • 12

    Short walk to Cerro Quemado Volcano (3197m).

    We have a 50 minute drive to where we start our 1 hour hike up the 3197m Cerro Quemado ('Burnt Peak'), a jagged volcanic rock formation. The craggy summit is very interesting to explore and there are great views of the town of Quetzaltenango, or Xela as it is known locally. We will have a 2 hour walk at the top of the peak through the “Mar de Piedra” or Stone Sea, an area full of dry lava rocks. You may find gloves useful as you will need to scramble over rocks and these will offer protection for your hands. We will have time after our descent in the late afternoon to explore the colonial town. Walk: Distance 18km Ascent 900m Descent 900m Max Altitude 3200m Time: 3 or 4 hours Accommodation: Modelo Hotel or similar

  • 13

    Hike Santa Maria Volcano (3772m); transfer to Antigua.

    We start early this morning to transfer about 40 minutes to the entrance of Volcan Santa Maria. Symmetrical, forest-covered Santa María volcano is one of the most prominent of a chain of large stratovolcanoes that rises dramatically above the Pacific coastal plain of Guatemala. Santa Maria erupted catastrophically in 1902 destroying its former summit. Since then, a complex of new lava domes has been growing inside the scar left by the 1902 eruption. We begin our 3 or 4 hour hike up to the summit of the volcano. The path is quite steep, and we will be walking mainly on loose dirt and ashes. As we approach the summit of the volcano, we will pass through a forest which has been burned by old eruptions. The views from the summit are impressive - on a clear day we can up to nine volcanoes. The summit (3773m) also offers spectacular views onto erupting Santiaguito. The descent takes around 2-3 hours to where we meet the vehicle. A 3-4 hour transfer takes us back to colourful Antigua. Walk: Distance 21km Ascent 1800m Descent 2300m Max Altitude 3800m Time: 5 or 7 hours Accommodation: Los Bucaros Hotel or similar

  • 14

    Free day in Antigua; optional visit to Finca El Pilar Reserve.

    Today has been left free to wander the colonial streets of Antigua and pick up some last-minute souvenirs from the well-stocked local markets, or to visit a coffee farm located in a small town just outsite Antigua. There is also an opportunity to visit Finca El Pilar, a private cloud forest reserve located on the outskirts of Antigua. When there, a hike to the Cucurucho Mountain is possible, offering spectacular views towards Guatemala City. Accommodation: Los Bucaros Hotel or similar

  • 15

    End Antigua.

    The trip ends after breakfast today. Those on group flights will be transferred to Guatemala City airport for the return journey to London.

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