Heart of Guatemala

6 days
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Small Group Tour
From gorgeous Antigua, take a trip to the Guatemalan Highlands, away from the tourist crowds of Central America and experience authentic modern Mayan culture. With a mix of colonial influences, Catholicism and traditional Mayan practices, this place is a feast for the senses. Experience small, regional markets then hit the likes of Almolonga – famed for its g...
26%
$1,553
From$1,150
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Overview

Trip type
Small Group Tour
Lodging level
Standard - 3 star
Physical level
Easy

Highlights

    • Visit San Andres Itzapa and see the shamanic ceremonies devoted to San Simon, a popular chain-smoking saint that has stolen the hearts of the Mayan people.
    • Soak the day away in the volcanic hot springs in Xela, surrounded by lush, green ferns, volcanic landscape and rainforest trails.
    • Take an elaborately decorated chicken bus to a local market and witness the larger-than-life vegetables this region’s known for – decide for yourself whether it’s the result of the fertilizer or the blessings from God.
    • Visit Chichicastenango market – known as Chichi for short – and pick up your very own huipils (a traditional Mayan garment worn by women and girls) or some handmade jade jewellery.
    • Take a scenic boat ride on Lake Atitlan to Santiago Atitlan, with 95% of the population of Mayan descent, and meet the shamanic keepers of Maximon and share a bottle of local spirits with them as they tell you stories of local life.
    • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, Eden Reforestation Projects. Donations help them provide local employment opportunities and tackle climate change one tree at a time as they restore forests across 10 different countries.

What's this trip about?

    From gorgeous Antigua, take a trip to the Guatemalan Highlands, away from the tourist crowds of Central America and experience authentic modern Mayan culture. With a mix of colonial influences, Catholicism and traditional Mayan practices, this place is a feast for the senses. Experience small, regional markets then hit the likes of Almolonga – famed for its giant vegetables – and Chichicastenango – the country's most popular and colourful market full of homemade wares and medicinal plants. Depart the highlands and head for Lake Atitlan, surrounded by mountainous volcanoes. Take a scenic boat road to the shamans that guard the shrine of Maximon and share in some spirits while they tell you stories of local life and why this culture holds the chain-smoking deity in such high regard.

Details

Itinerary focusOperator does not provide
Group sizeSmall Group - max of 16 people
Age range15 years and up
Flights and transportAll internal ground transport included
Start CityAntigua
End CityAntigua

Travel Themes

  • High Adventure

Destinations

  • Central America
  • Guatemala

Attractions

  • Antigua
  • Lake Atitlan

Trip includes

    • Xela - Las Fuentes Georginas Hotsprings
    • San Andres Itzapa - San Simon shamanic ceremonies
    • Western Highlands - Almolonga vegetable market
    • Quetzaltenango - Chicken Bus Experience
    • Chichicastenango market visit
    • Santiago Atitlan - Shamanic Keepers of the Shrine of Maximon
    • Lake Atitlan - Boat to Santiago Atitlan

Itinerary

Travel Map

Day 1 Antigua

Welcome to Guatemala! Your trip starts in the colonial city of Antigua – surrounded by volcanos, the views from this city are all you need to make the trip. Antigua is known for its Spanish buildings, many restored after the 1773 earthquake that ended Antigua’s status as Guatemala’s capital. Your trip starts with a welcome meeting at 6 pm, followed by an optional group dinner.

Day 2 San Andres Itzapa / Quetzaltenango

This morning after breakfast, travel to San Andres Itzapa in Chimaltenango. The Guatemalan Highlands are the best place to see the result of Mayan culture and Catholic religion coming together. Witness the unique culture firsthand with a shamanic ceremony at the Templ...

Day 3 Quetzaltenango

Early this morning before breakfast, you’ll hop on a chicken bus – a truly local experience, chicken buses are a source of national and personal pride. This popular transport option unique to Guatemala has little to do with actual chickens – they are old American scho...

Day 4 Chichicastenango Market / Panajachel

As Guatemala is home to many markets, today’s adventure is a great contrast to yesterday’s Almolonga. After breakfast, you’ll head to Chichicastenango market (nicknamed Chichi), home to textiles, wooden handicrafts and jade jewellery. This is one of the largest outdoo...

Day 5 Santiago Atitlan / Antigua

This morning after breakfast, head for hop on a boat (called a lancha) on Lake Atitlan – surrounded by volcanoes, rolling hills and Mayan villages, this is definitely one of the most beautiful lakes in the world (as said by Aldous Huxley). Take the scenic ride to Sant...

Day 6 Antigua

Your trip comes to an end today. If you’d like to stay in Antigua for longer, there are many volcano hikes on offer, just speak to your trip leader before you leave. If you need to book extra accommodation, just speak to your booking agent.

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Dates & Availability

Price From $1,150
Price per day$192
Last Updated: 6/7/2024
Departure Date
Finish Date
Base Price
Availability
19 Aug 2024
24 Aug 2024
$1,102
14 Oct 2024
19 Oct 2024
$1,180
11 Nov 2024
16 Nov 2024
$1,155
25 Nov 2024
30 Nov 2024
$1,330
09 Dec 2024
14 Dec 2024
$1,155
23 Dec 2024
28 Dec 2024
$1,330
30 Dec 2024
04 Jan 2025
$1,180
20 Jan 2025
25 Jan 2025
$1,435
03 Feb 2025
08 Feb 2025
$1,475
24 Feb 2025
01 Mar 2025
$1,385

Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Intrepid Travel.

The total tour cost includes the tour price (regular or promotional) and the compulsory local payment. The promotional price is subject to change. Check directly with the operator for the latest price offer. The tour operator requires you to pay only the tour price to purchase your travel. The compulsory local payment will be paid when you join the trip. All prices are based on double, twin or triple share occupancy. Solo passengers will be accommodated in a double, twin or triple room according to availability with a passenger(s) of the same gender. Single supplement only needs to be paid if the passenger does not want to share and requests their own room. Discounts can only be applied at the time of booking and cannot be added at a later date, regardless of any changes made to the original booking.

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

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Tour Operator

Intrepid Travel

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The Intrepid Travel Experience

If you’re looking for adventure, you’ve come to the right place. For the past 25 years, we’ve been taking small groups of travelers on unforgettable trips around the world. What makes them unforgettable? Take a look for yourself and discover the Intrepid experience.

Our travelers have three styles of tour to choose from: Basix, Original and Comfort. Each has a different level of inclusions and accommodation, but all have unforgettable real life experiences as part of the package. Travellers can also choose themed trips, such as Family, Sailing or Food, to suit their interests.

Our group size has an average of just ten travellers, which allows us to get off the beaten track, use local accommodation and transport, and really get to know the culture. It also ensures we are contributing to the local economy; by choosing local suppliers we were able to keep AUD 60 million in local economies in 2012. We’re also working hard to reduce our carbon footprint and were the first in our sector to introduce carbon offset trips. This, along with our many corporate sustainability activities, has meant we’re one of the travel industry’s leaders in responsible travel.

Why Intrepid?

  •   Small groups - average of 10 people per trip
  •   Sustainability - pioneers for the industry
  •   Local leaders - authentic perspectives
  •   Local transport - get close and personal
  •   Local accommodation - experience real living
  •   Intrepid travelers - like-minded companions 

History

Intrepid Travel has come a long way since its beginnings in 1989. From two university friends, a typewriter and a kitchen desk, it is now a proud member of The Intrepid Group, taking over 100,000 travelers every year.

Intrepid Travel is part of The Intrepid Group of companies, alongside leading small group adventure companies Peregrine, Urban Adventures and PEAK DMC.

Despite growing into a global business with over 1,000 staff based all over the world and over 800 different trips across every continent, we’ve remained devoted to the same grassroots values and responsible travel philosophies that we had at the very beginning.

 

Values

On every trip we operate and in every interaction we have with a client, supplier or local, we live our core values everyday:

  • Integrity – Doing the right thing
  • Responsible – Think global, act local
  • Growth – Stakeholders in our own success
  • Innovation – Thriving on new ideas and embracing change
  • Fun – It’s engrained into who we are and what we do
  • Passion – We are inspired by the work we do and the trips we offer

 

Why we love this operator
They're highly committed to sustainable tourism and contribute to crucial initiatives like climate action, focusing on local cultures and more.
What they’re known for
Small group tours for all types of travelers at a range of different price points and trips to off-the-beaten-path destinations.

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Logistics

Accommodation

Hotel (5 nights),

Transportation & Flights

Private vehicle,Shared boat,

Transportation & flights

Private vehicle,Shared boat
Guides
All group trips are accompanied by one of our group leader or local representative. The aim of the group leader or local representative is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced group leader or local representative however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your group leader or local representative is new to a particular region or training other group leader or local representative. Your group leader or local representative will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you are interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your group leader or local representative can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is compulsory on all our trips for those travelling internationally. We require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. If you are travelling within your home country or region please confirm before travel that you are entitled to access the public medical system easily should an accident occur. We strongly recommend all travellers have a policy that also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage or personal effects. For international trips, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24-hour emergency contact number has been sighted by your group leader or local representative. If you have credit card insurance your group leader or local representative will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number, and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and your credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. For travellers who reside within the European Union, Switzerland or USA the requirement to purchase travel insurance cannot be compulsory. However the purchase of travel insurance is still highly recommended, and travellers from these regions who decline travel insurance when travelling outside of their home region must sign a Travel Insurance Waiver Form at the Group Meeting, recognizing personal responsibility for emergency medical and repatriation costs should they arise. For assistance with travel insurance or other services, please visit the link below: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/booking-resources/our-services
Visa requirements
PASSPORT You’ll need a valid passport to travel internationally and most countries require your passport to have a minimum of 6 months validity, so remember to check the expiry date. We need your passport information to get everything ready for your trip so it’s important that the information on your booking matches your passport exactly. Please take care to provide the correct details. We recommend carrying a copy of the photo page of your passport while travelling and leaving a copy at home with family or friends. VISAS & ENTRY REQUIREMENTS Many countries require a visa and obtaining the correct visa for your trip and any countries you may transit through is your responsibility. We recommend you check your visa requirements as soon as you have booked your trip. This will ensure you have time to prepare your documents and for your visa application to be processed. You can check the entry requirements for your nationality on your government's foreign travel advisories, consular websites or on our page here:  www.intrepidtravel.com/visa-entry-requirements
Health & Safety
Most national governments provide regularly updated foreign travel advice on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all destinations and activities on your trip. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trips here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/travel-alerts We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, flight tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your group leader or local representative will accompany you on all included activities, however, during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests or relax and take it easy. While your group leader or local representative will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader or local representative has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Intrepid's operational safety policies can be viewed on our website at the link below. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how safety is being managed on our trips. https://www.intrepidtravel.com/safety-guidelines PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing. MONEY WITHDRAWAL: In order to avoid fraud and theft, it is advisable that you withdraw money from ATMs located inside banks or guarded shops during business hours only. SEAT BELTS: Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts. LOCAL LODGINGS: On this trip you will be staying in some restored houses and local lodges - these are one of the charms of this journey, but their staircases, balconies and passages etc may not always comply with western safety standards. Please do not expect elevators in these properties as they are preserved to their original state. FIRE PRECAUTIONS: Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.
Age Requirements
15 years and up
Additional Information

Finish point

  • Posada Los Bucaros
  • #94, 7a North Avenue
  • Antigua
  • 03001
  • GUATEMALA
  • Phone: +502 78322346

Alternate Finish point

  • For trips departing on the following dates, use this finish point.
  • 25 Nov 2024 (QBSG241125), 09 Dec 2024 (QBSG241209), 20 Jan 2025 (QBSG250120), 03 Feb 2025 (QBSG250203), 24 Feb 2025 (QBSG250224), 17 Mar 2025 (QBSG250317), 21 Apr 2025 (QBSG250421), 19 May 2025 (QBSG250519), 14 Jul 2025 (QBSG250714), 18 Aug 2025 (QBSG250818), 06 Oct 2025 (QBSG251006), 10 Nov 2025 (QBSG251110), 24 Nov 2025 (QBSG251124), 08 Dec 2025 (QBSG251208), 22 Dec 2025 (QBSG251222)
  • Casa Florencia Hotel
  • 7A Avendia North #100
  • Antigua
  • GUATEMALA
  • Phone: +502 78320261
Trip ID
intrepid-QBSG

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