Start an amazing journey to Guatemala along with this travel guide that has all ins and outs, from the best destinations, things to do, how to get there, and safety precautions.
Guatemala is a country that sits in the heart of Central America and is famous for its extreme diversity and breathtaking landscapes. First-timers will find it colorful and a peaceful destination to rest and relax.
However, the land is historical too and has traces of the truth and the legacy of the Mayans who were the indigenous people of Central America.
If your heart craves to unearth more about them then Guatemala is the best place to start.
Travel Guide For a Trip to Guatemala
Before we begin (actually you begin a trip to Guatemala), learning about this country of volcanoes is essential. Just for a great start!
It is one of the best destinations in Central America with the highest population and land full of hilly valleys. In fact, the entire land is mountainous except the north and south region.
Lakes, lagoons, rivers, and swamps are in abundance here giving a suitable habitat for more than 1000 wildlife species.
For nature lovers, Guatemala is a paradise.
How many days are enough in Guatemala?
A week is sufficient to get the most out of your journey during which you can experience all the best things in Guatemala.
However, you need the right travel guide to Guatemala for cutting your time asking and searching for the best destinations, staying places, and eating places from locals.
We will tell you what to do in Guatemala on this 7-day itinerary to save you time and money as well.
Thank us Later!
7 Days Itinerary Guide For Guatemala Trip
#1. Explore Chichi’s Market (Chichicastenango) on Day 1
If you arrive on Thursday or Sunday, one of the first things to do in Guatemala is to visit Chichi Market.
The place opens only on these days and is famous for the handcrafted goods inspired by Mayan culture.
In fact, the place is the hub of descendants of the Mayan people.
Travel Time- 3 hours from Guatemala City
If you are left with some time and not feeling tired at all, pay a visit to Catholic Church located within the market.
The church is 400 years old and a good place to learn about the tradition of Guatemala and the rituals of the Mayans.
#2. Spend Day 2 Hiking Indian Nose Point
The next best thing to do as per our travel guide to Guatemala is hiking. Indian Nose point and San Pedro Volcano are the preferred trekking places among adventurists.
They give the best view of sunrise alongside the refreshing vibes of Lake Atitlan. However, you have to start very early for this adventure.
Book a sunrise tour for a hassle-free trekking experience.
Hiking Time- 30 to 45 Minutes
Sunrise Tour Cost– Between 80 and 100Q ($10-$12)
What to Do After Hiking?
More adventure awaits you in Atitlan, so don’t return back to your hotel rather spend time doing:
- Paddleboarding on Lake Atitlan
- Paragliding over the blue water of the lake
- Cliff jumping or swimming in a lake of Reserva Natural del Cerro Tzankujil
- Get along with locals and other travelers during the cacao ceremony
- Try organic chocolate in San Marcos’ Dalileo
- Enjoy nightlife in San Pedro La Laguna
Did You Know?
Guatemala’s name has different meanings as per the different sources of origin. It means ‘land of trees or mountain of vomiting water.’
#3. Explore Antigua on Days 3, 4, 5
Old but most beautiful!
Antigua was once the capital of Guatemala. You will witness the traces of the past in the colonial streets, churches, and buildings of Antigua.
A 3-day trip to Antigua Guatemala is not enough but gives you a glimpse of this city.
Travel Time– Antigua is only 2 hours away from Santiago Atitlan.
Things to do in Antigua
There are actually lots of places to visit, explore them one by one if you have more days to stay:
- Hike Pacaya volcano and enjoy marshmallows roasted on the volcano’s ashes
- Pay a religious visit to San Francisco Chruch
- Visit the 5-star hotel cum museum Hotel Casa Domingo
- Take a 2-day trip to Acatenango volcano to get a close-up of Volcano Fuego Lava
- Swimming and camping at Florencia Ecological Park
- See the ‘Museo de Arte Colonial’
- Ruins and architecture of the Convent of La Merced
Places to visit in Antigua are more than those mentioned in our travel guide to Guatemala. 3 days are not enough for that.
You can move on to the next destination in case you are looking for a peaceful place to relax.
#4. Rest and Relax at Monterrico Beach on Day 6
Do you know where locals go on weekends? Its Monterrico.
This is the best place in Guatemala to rejuvenate yourself and enjoy the sandy beaches at the same time.
Monterrico is famous because of its black sand and sea turtles. Spend your day lazing on the beach under the shade of the sun, playing with waves, or boating through the mangroves.
Travel Time- Approx 2 hours from Antigua depending upon the traffic
#5. End Your Trip in Tikal on Day 7
One of the best places to visit in Guatemala that we cannot skip in our travel guide is Tikal. Though it’s far from Antigua, Tikal is worth visiting.
This UNESCO site has several ruined Mayan pyramids and temples telling the culture of Mayan civilization.
When bored, visit the nearby island of Flores. Wildlife spotting, hiking, and swimming are the best thing to do there.
Travel Time– 10 to 11 hours
All the tourist places to visit in Guatemala listed in this travel guide will fill you with an indescribable experience.
But that’s not the only thing you should have come for. This country is also recognized for its yummy food.
Delicious Foods to Try in Guatemala
- Tostadas- Deep fried corn tortillas
- Tamales- Spicy but delicious traditional Guatemalan tamales
- Caldo de Res– Beef broth soup
- Jocon de Pollo– Chicken stew soup with green sauce
- Kak’ik- Turkey soup cooked in spicy red broth
- Atol de Elote– Creamy corn drink
- Mole de Platano– Chocolate dessert
Accommodation Places in Guatemala
Travelers who are exploring Guatemala as per our travel guide need not book a hotel for a whole 7-day trip.
As you’ll be switching between several places to visit in Guatemala, you can switch between accommodations too.
- Hotel Antiqueno in Antigua- $10 per night
- Hotel El Conquistador in Antigua- $25 per night
- La Lguana Perdidi in Panajachel- $21 per night
- Eco Hotel Uxlabil Atitlan- $33 per night
- Mariana’s Petit Hotel in Guatemala City- $39 per night
- Hotel Ixbalanque in Guatemala City- $30 per night
- Vilas Santander- Deluxe Stay- $28 per night
Commonly Asked Questions by Travelers Visiting Guatemala
Q1. Which is the best time to visit Guatemala?
Traveling to Guatemala during the peak season i.e. November to April or July to August is the best idea.
The weather is really nice during these months but all the tourist destinations in Guatemala are crowded a bit.
Thus, we recommend you make bookings in shoulder season. May is the right time to visit Guatemala.
The place has fewer tourists then and also the weather is not very warm or humid. Though it rains sometimes that is not a big problem.
[Tip – Visit during festive months- March, April, and July, if the crowd is not a big deal for you. It’s when Guatemala is painted in festive colors. ]
Q2. How to Travel to Guatemala?
Traveling to Guatemala is easy for those coming from outside Central America. Take a flight to the La Aurora International Airport and land in Guatemala City.
Those arriving from Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, and Belize can book a bus to save money on traveling.
Q3. What should be the budget?
Though Guatemala is more expensive than Mexico, travelers can save big on their budget.
- Estimate a daily expense to go up to $250 if you are on a backpacking journey.
- Mid-range travelers to Guatemala can spend around $250 on accommodation taking their travel cost to $600-$650.
- For luxury seekers, a Guatemala trip will cost no more than $2000.
Q4. Is it safe to travel to Guatemala?
One must reconsider traveling to Guatemala because there are a few places that are not the safest for tourists.
San Marcos, Huehuetenango, the City of Villa Nueva, and Zone 18 are a few areas not recommended for travelers as per the Guatemala travel advisory.
So, avoid visiting these areas. That’s all one need to know during their trip.
Hope our travel guide to Guatemala will make your journey meaningful, less stressful, and more economical.