Tour operator MAYAEXPLOR - Guatemala

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Meet with the men and the women of Guatemala in the course of their daily life
13 days/12 nights tour

         Ethnological Tour: "Faces of Guatemala" ( click here)

Ethnological Tour: "Faces of Guatemala"
13 days/12 nights

You are a group or individuals , you are looking for a trip mixing relaxation and comfort with ethnological discovery : here is a tour for you !


Guatemala, its population a virtual mosaic of ethnic groups , remains the country where the Mayan culture is the best preserved.

The Mayan People have been withstood centuries, preserving traditions and beliefs inherited from their pre-Columbian ancestors. Today, the Mayan People continue fighting for respect and recognition of their cultural identity..

Our tour "Faces of Guatemala" , allows you to meet with the men and the women of Guatemala in the course of their daily life. It will introduce you to the heart of the people of this amazing country, and will allow you to discover the authenticity of their daily life , it will introduce you into the heart of the people of this fabulous country, and will allow you to discover the traditional rituals, the rites, the savoir-faire and the history of Guatemalan people.

From the highlands , populated by Indian villages, where colored markets and richly embroidered clothing mix, to the jungle of Petén and the ancient ceremonial center of Tikal is located, and passing by the quiet and friendly Caribbean region , without forgetting the old majestic colonial capital of Antigua , we offer you an original and complete tour .

D1 sat Arrival
D2 sun Market of Chichicastenango
D3 mon Lake Atitlán: villages of Santiago and San Juan (stay with local people)
D4 tue Lake Atitlán: villages of San Antonio and Santa Catarina
D5 wed Market of Almolonga – highlands - Mayan association
D6 thu Region of Quetzaltenango (stay with local people)
D7 fri Market of San Francisco El Alto
D8 sat Archeological site of Quiriguá and Caribbean
D9 sun Excursion on the Río Dulce - Mayan Kekchi association
D10 mon Archeological site of Yaxhá
D11 tue Archeological site of Tikal
D12 wed Colonial city of Antigua
D13 thu Return flight

You can make this trip all year round

Wish a different itinerary ? Let us design it together. Contact us at :

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Day 1 
You will be welcomed by your driver at the airport of Ciudad de Guatemala. Transfer to the hotel (fifteen minute drive). Overnight in the capital.
Day 2
Market and city of Chichicastenango (professional English speaking guide all the day)
Appointment with your guide. Travel to Chichicastenango (Mayan ethnic group: Quichés) to discover the city on a market day, the most colorful and animated market in Guatemala,. The religious syncretism can be clearly seen in the village. Besides the market, we will visit a mask workshop/exhibition. Afterwards, we will walk around in the colorful cemetery. For the people of Chichicastenango, this cemetery is the preferred place for communicating with the supernatural entities. You will see old Mayan altars and you may have the chance to discover a traditional Mayan ceremony. Transfer to Panajachel (Mayan ethnic group: Kaqchikel), a village located on the banks of Lake Atitlán, surrounded by majestic volcanoes.
Day 3
Lake Atitlán: villages of Santiago and San Juan (professional English speaking guide all day)
Crossing the lake by boat, North to South, we reach Santiago Atitlán, a Mayan Tzutujil village, rich in handicraft and traditional fabrics. During the visit, we will have the pleasure of meeting Maximon, a contemporary Mayan god. Then, transfer by boat to the little village of San Juan Atitlán, one of the most beautiful places on the lake. Visit to a natural dye workshop and discovery of other traditional activities of the inhabitants of San Juan. (Depending of the dates of your trip: coffee plantation or painting workshop). Stay with the locals, dinner included (Tzutujil ethnic group) to experience the daily live of the inhabitants.
Day 4
Atitlán Lake: Mayan Kaqchikel. Villages of San Antonio and Santa Catarina (professional English speaking guide all day)
Crossing of the lake by boat, north to San Antonio Palopó (Cakchiqueli Mayan ethnic group). Walk in this beautiful village where male inhabitants still wear the traditional loincloth. Visit to weaving workshop (pedal loom, like the Spanish ones). Lunch in Santa Catarina Palopó prepared by Mayan friends. Transfer in the afternoon to Quetzaltenango, Guatemala’s second biggest city,, considered the capital of the high ground of Guatemala.
Day 5
Market of Almolonga and Mayan communitarian organization in the region of Quetzaltenango (professional English speaking guide all day)
In the morning, visit to the authentic market (flowers, fruits and vegetables). Then we will visit a Mayan association in order to deepen our knowledge of contemporary Mayan people (socio-economical life, traditions and cultures, ancestral weaving techniques etc.) During the afternoon, swim in the Georginas, natural hot thermal springs located on the banks of the Zunil volcano in the middle of the luxuriant jungle.
Day 6
Region of Quetzaltenango, Mayan villages and old colonial churches (professional English speaking guide all day)
Walk in the Quichés Mayan villages of the region: Zunil with its cemetery looking out over the volcano Santa Maria (3770 meters) and San Andrés Xecul with its church of Salcajá, the oldest in central America (1524) with its wonderful façade. At midday, transfer to Totonicapan. Arrival in a Quiché Mayan family for a presentation of their textiles and/or pottery and the daily life of the family. Stay with the locals, dinner included.
Day 7
Market of San Francisco El Alto (professional English speaking guide all day)
After a typical Quiché Mayan breakfast, transfer to the village of San Francisco El Alto. Visit of the biggest Indian market of central America (animals, multicolored cloth, spices from all regions of Guatemala). Nearby the market, you will enjoy Mayan ceremonies in amazing surroundings. In the afternoon, transfer to the capital and overnight in Ciudad de Guatemala.
Day 8
Archeological site of Quiriguá and Caribbean.
Transfer to the eastern regions. On the road, we will visit the archeological site of Quiriguá, well known for its steles (the highest known in the Mayan world). Afterwards, boat from Puerto Barrios to Livingston, a little multi-ethnic Caribbean town where you will have the pleasure of meeting Garifunas black people and Kekchi Mayan. Overnight in Livingston, facing the Atlantic Ocean.
Day 9
Excursion on the Rio Dulce
You will enjoy the excursion by motor boat on the calm river, Rio Dulce, surrounded by magnificent tropical vegetation. You may have the chance to observe many bird species (herons, pelicans, frigates etc.) During the excursion, you will visit a kekchi Mayan association in the middle of the rainforest which produces original craftwork. Visit of the Spanish castle San Felipe, which used to defend the region from pirates attacks. Night in a hotel with view over the lake, nearby the village of Rio Dulce.
Day 10
Archeological site of Yaxhá
Transfer to the archeological site of Yaxhá. Guided visit with a professional English speaker. This wonderful site is, after Tikal, the best restored in the region. From the main pyramid, you will enjoy a panoramic view of the region and the Lake Yaxhà. Overnight in an authentic lodge in a natural park in the middle of the rain forest.
Day 11
Archeological site of Tikal
Early in the morning, transfer to Guatemala city and flight to Flores (1 hour flight). From there, transfer to Tikal (transfer time: 1 hour 15 minutes). Visit to this incredible ceremonial centre located in the heart of the tropical forest. Of all the Mayan sites, Tikal is certainly the most impressive, the verticality of its structures, the peaks emerging through the crown of the jungle. Thanks to your guide, you will not only discover the impressive Mayan structures but also the treasures of the fauna and flora hidden in the site. At the end of the afternoon, transfer to Flores airport and flight to Ciudad de Guatemala. Transfer and overnight in Antigua.
Day 12
Colonial city of Antigua
Visit (without guide) of this splendid colonial jewel, former capital of Guatemala There during the Spanish era. In this once-flourishing capital, although victim of devastating earthquakes, one can feel the ambiance of its colonial architecture. Side-streets are enlivened by the interaction of Indians, "Ladinos" and tourists. Overnight in Antigua.
Día 13
Transfer to the international airport of Ciudad de Guatemala - Return flight
Depending on your flight schedule, possibility to visit museums: Cultural Centre La Azotea, Lake Atitlán Next to Antigua, in the village of Jocotenango, you may have the opportunity to visit the cultural centre of La Azotea located in the middle of a wonderful coffee plantation. Exhibition of coffee and old coffee-making machines, and the native museum (pre-Columbian and contempory music). or the Ciudad de Guatemala Museum (national museum of archeology and ethnology)

This program can be modified at your request (adding excursions to active volcanoes as Pacaya volcano, or excursions to beaches, etc.)

For your convenience, this tour can be adapted in accordance with current traditional festivals

Prices in US $, per person, double room accommodation, for groups of :

2 people
3 people
4 people
5 people
6 people
7 people

N.B : prices are established for adults. Discounts for children under 12.

Prices includes :
  • nights in double rooms with American breakfast and the stays with local people on day 3 and day 6, dinner and breakfast included;
  • all transport with private vehicles;
  • private boats on Lake Atitlán for Puerto Barrios - Lívingston and Lívingston - Rio Dulce on day 8 and day 9;
  • the internal flight Flores - Ciudad de Guatemala;
  • English speaking guide services in the highlands from Day 2 to Day 7;
  • English speaking guide for the visits to archeological sites Yaxhá on day 10 and Tikal on day 11.
Price does not include:
  • international flights;
  • airport taxes;
  • non indicated meals;
  • beverages, personal expenses and tips;
  • sites and museums entrance fees in Guatemala;
  • insurance;
  • hotel surcharges for peak periods (e.g. Easter week or New Year).


Extras / Reductions (price US $ per person) :

Single room supplement
Reduction triple
+ US $ 340
- US $ 90

  Download the tour's PDF

Tour operator Mayaexplor - Guatemala © Mayaexplor 2011
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Tour operator Mayaexplor
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