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Guatemala Independent Vacation 2023/2024

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Guatemala Travel Guide

Guatemala is truly the best place to visit if you want to explore temples, ruins, and rainforests all in the same area! In addition to ancient ruins and rainforests, there are also impressive volcanoes and other natural sights that you honestly won't want to miss out on. With tour operator volume buys plus our low everyday prices you can save up to 40% versus assembling the same itinerary on your own! Book your Guatemala tour today with AffordableTours.com, your discounted tour headquarters. View Guatemala Tour Deals and Discounts

Guatemala Travel Guide
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Guatemala Travel Guide

Guatemala Tours Highlights

  • Shop for souvenirs at Chichicastenango Market.
  • Take a trip to Semuc Champey pools.
  • Surf and catch waves in El Paredon.
  • Go on a hike up near one of the active volcanoes.
  • Try excellent Guatemalan Coffee.
  • Trek through Mayan Ruins like Tikal.
  • Kayak in Lake Atitlan on a volcanic crater.
  • Explore the city of Antigua.
  • Visit Rio Dulce for sailing.
  • Go on a ride on a chicken bus.
  • Visit Yaxha to see ancient city ruins.
  • Hike up Indian Nose for a fantastic view.

Guatemala Tours Travel Tips

  • Don't forget to take out some money in the local currency. Sometimes, it can be challenging to use a debit or credit card because not all places will accept it.
  • Keep in mind that Guatemala is not the safest place to explore alone, so you are already taking the most excellent precaution by going on a Guatemala tour. If you're a solo traveler, going on a tour is the safest way to visit!
  • Learn a few phrases in the local language. The locals will appreciate it even though a lot of them speak English and will still be able to have a conversation with you.
  • Take the time to discuss with locals. Oftentimes, they will have advice on the best places to visit nearby and might even be able to give you some knowledge that you wouldn't have had otherwise.
  • Ensure that you wear strong walking shoes because you will be walking a lot while exploring all that Guatemala has to offer.

Guatemala Tours Things To Do

  • Shop at Chichicastenango Market
    Shop at Chichicastenango Market

    The Chichicastenango Market is one of the biggest outdoor markets in all of Guatemala. It's also arguably the best market in Guatemala, so it absolutely must be on your trip's itinerary! This market is filled with tons of locals selling their crafts, including decor, clothing, home pieces, and more. You honestly could find any souvenir you could think of at this market. Even if you don't plan on purchasing anything, be sure to visit the market and just shop around with your eyes!

    Best Time To Visit

    You should visit right when the market opens if you'd like to skip out on the crowds later in the day.  

  • Take a trip to Semuc Champey Pools
    Take a trip to Semuc Champey Pools

    This is one of the hidden gems in Guatemala that you genuinely won't want to miss out on. This area is filled with gorgeous outdoor pools surrounding by waterfalls and cliff faces. It truly looks just like paradise on Earth! The easiest way to get here is by car. There's a parking lot located directly here, but you can also hike up if you'd prefer. Be sure to wear strong walking shoes if you choose the walking route. On the hike, you will be able to pass by different street vendors and amazing views that you'll miss out on if you take the other route by car!

    You Should Know

    Because this is a natural location, there aren't any lifeguards on duty. Be careful while swimming.

  • Surf at El Paredon
    Surf at El Paredon

    El Paredon is a beautiful beach town located only a few hours away from Antigua, which is very popularly visited. This is one of the best places to go in all of Guatemala if you want to catch some waves, surf, and swim! This village is a lot cheaper than the more touristic places to visit in Guatemala. Be sure to stay at a bed and breakfast or a tiny villa hotel instead of one of the more massive places to stay to get more of a local feel when visiting.

    Best Time To Visit

    The easiest way to get here is by car or bus if you'd like to save money. Have you never surfed before? Don't worry! There are surf schools here that are perfect for beginners.

  • Hike near an active volcano
    Hike near an active volcano

    Many different volcanoes in Guatemala, believe it or not, but many of them are active! What better way to explore these active volcanoes than by going on hikes nearby to see them? The central active volcano in Guatemala is Volcan Fuego. It's located right near Antigua. There are also many other active volcanoes found by a quick search online or by asking locals when you visit or even your tour guide!

    You Should Know

    When visiting active volcanoes, there is always a small chance that things can go awry. 

  • Try Guatemalan Coffee
    Try Guatemalan Coffee

    Guatemala is home to many different coffee regions, including Coban, Nuevo Oriente, San Marcos, Acatenango, and Antigua. So, as you can imagine, you absolutely must try Guatemalan coffee when visiting the country if you're a coffee fiend. This type of coffee can be purchased from almost every cafe in Guatemala, so you shouldn't have trouble finding it. You could also find bags of the beans in many of the local grocery and convenience stores. Try going on a roastery tour for an even more exciting experience!

    You Should Know

    In the 19th century, around 85% of the exports from Guatemala were just coffee!

  • Trek through Tikal
    Trek through Tikal

    Tikal is a Mayan temple located inside a park situated right in Tikal, Guatemala. This ancient site is located amidst many rainforests, and historians believe that it dates back to around the 1st century, maybe even earlier! Tikal National Park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was one of the wealthier Mayan sites in Guatemala. It's absolutely a must-visit when you're visiting the country, but make sure that you bring sunscreen because a lot of it is heavily exposed to the sun if you visit later in the day.

    Best Time To Visit

    If you'd like to avoid crowds, visit earlier in the morning!

  • Kayak in Lake Atitlan
    Kayak in Lake Atitlan

    Lake Atitlan is a lake located inside a volcanic crater! How much cooler (or hotter) can you get than that? Many gorgeous mountains surround this lake, and it almost looks like Switzerland right in the middle of Guatemala. One of the best activities to do here to experience Lake Atitlan is kayaking or canoeing. There are places in nearby towns, like Panajachel, where you can rent boats to go out and have fun on the water. You could also trek around the outside of the lake if you're up for it!

    You Should Know

    You'll want to make sure to bring bug spray and sunscreen because this whole adventure is outdoors.

  • Explore Antigua
    Explore Antigua

    You can't visit Guatemala without at least visiting the city of Antigua. Though relatively small, this city dates back to the 16th century and was even the capital of Guatemala back in colonial times. The city is very colorful, and there are brightly painted buildings everywhere. The architecture is what it's most well known for because everything is built in the Spanish colonial style. Some of the must-visit spots include Iglesia de la Merced, Santa Catalina Arch, and Cerro de la Cruz.

    You Should Know

    One of the best ways to explore Antigua is on a walking tour, introducing you to the city.

  • Visit Yaxha
    Visit Yaxha

    Yaxha is another ancient ruin in Guatemala. It dates back to pre-Mayan civilizations in the country and is one was one of the largest cities in the area. It truly is one of the best temples to visit in all of Guatemala if you have the time! Yaxha is filled with unique wildlife and had around 35 buildings when it was first built. A lot of them are still here today for you to walk around and explore. However, keep in mind that this is a bustling spot to visit in Guatemala when visiting the country. Plan this part of your trip ahead if you want to visit!

    You Should Know

    Like the other temple on this list, make sure you wear strong walking shoes and bring sunscreen.

Guatemala Tour Packages

Quick Facts

Guatemala is a great time to visit no matter what time of year because it's so gorgeous, and the weather tends always to be unique. However, you can plan your trip around the wet or dry season if you'd like to!

  • Spring and Fall - September to November and March to May - Shoulder Season

    The spring and fall seasons are the shoulder seasons in Guatemala. This is arguably a great time to visit because the weather is good, but it's not as busy as the high season! During the spring, the average temperature is 77°F, while the fall has 73°F temperatures.

  • Winter - June to August - Low Season

    In the winter months, Guatemala gets the most rain, so this is arguably the year's wettest time. Because of the rain, not many people visit during this time, so that accommodations will be at their lowest. The average temperature during this time is approximately 74°F.

  • Summer - December to February - High Season

    The summer is the most popular time to visit because the weather is the driest. Prices for accommodations will be at their highest during this time because of the influx of visitors. The average temperature during this time is a cool 72°F.

Guatemala Tours Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are Guatemala Tours?

    Guatemala tours are a great way to get introduced to Guatemala if you've never been there before. It's also an excellent way to travel if you're not a big fan of planning out all the little details while you're traveling. All you have to do is get ready and be ready to explore each and every day of your adventure! You'll also have a tour director and a lovely tour group with you the whole way.

  • What’s included on a Guatemala Tour?

    Guatemala tours include a tour director, which is the true highlight of going on one. You'll have access to this tour director throughout your journey, and they will help you stay on your itinerary and bring you from place to place. You'll also have most of your accommodations, meals, and transportation included as well on your Guatemala tour. Sometimes, your tour director may even give you access to different local tour guides to enhance your tour experience even more!

  • What’s the best Guatemala Tour?

    Each Guatemala tour is so different, so there isn't necessarily better than the other. Each one stops at different places, has different lengths, and varies in price. So, you'll want to research all the tours on our website to make sure you find the one that meets all your needs and is, therefore, the best tour for you!

  • How much do Guatemala Tours cost?

    Guatemala tours vary in price, so there isn't a set price across all of them. Some cost very little, around $65 a day, while others cost about $130 a day. It depends on the length, the places stopped on the itinerary, what's included, and even the tour operator! This is why the research component is so important. However, you can save up to 40% off the brochure price by booking through Affordable Tours versus elsewhere.

Reviews for Guatemala Tours and Vacations

Was a good budget trip.

Brenda M

Very well organized and executed trip.

Sergey B

We had a great time on the 10 day Guatemala and Honduras tour with Gate 1 Travels

Mookash S

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