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Best of Guatemala (8-Day Adventure)

Explore the raw beauty of Guatemala by mountain bike, kayak, and foot. Climb two volcanoes, explore magnificent Lake Atitlan, pedal through colorful villages, and stroll on the cobblestone streets of colonial Antigua. Escape for a perfect week away to reclaim your adventurous side and explore a country steeped in culture and beauty.


Day 1: Welcome to Guatemala – airport pickup

Our shuttle will pick you up from the airport today. Our driver will meet you outside of customs as you exit the building, with your name on a card.

From the airport, it's a 1.5hr transfer to your hotel in Antigua. For those who arrive earlier during the day, your Guide will meet you at the hotel at 5:00 PM to welcome the group, give suggestions for dinner that night, and answer any questions.

LODGING: Hotel Casa Antigua (or similar)


We’ll meet at the Old Town Outfitters shop and walk over to where the bikes are stored for sizing and quick gear explanations.

Riding to the south, we’ll head out of Antigua and onto the base of Agua Volcano. The focus of the ride will be to explore and experience the various towns and villages of the Almolonga Valley.

Your guide will make plenty of stops along the way to show off the magnificent churches and Spanish colonial ruins. We’ll also visit an experimental macadamia farm and go through local textile markets.

ACTIVITY DETAILS: Beginner-level ride, mostly paved route / LODGING: Hotel Casa Antigua (or similar) / MEALS: Breakfast


In the morning, we’ll drive out of the Panchoy Valley and through the lowlands of Guatemala’s Pacific slope. A 1.5hr drive will take us to the base of Pacaya Volcano, where we begin a warm-up hike for the rest of the volcanoes to follow.

Pacaya has been one of Guatemala’s most active volcanoes since its recorded history began. It has erupted over twenty times since the Spanish arrived and has a constant smoking crater.

Arriving below the crater, we can explore the vast dried lava fields and lunar-like landscape. We’ll even toast marshmallows in active heat vents!

Returning to Antigua, the evening is free to stroll through the streets and enjoy the many markets, cafes, restaurants, and bars that make it such a great city.

ACTIVITY DETAILS: Beginner to moderate hike, 1.5-2hr climb, 400m elevation gain / LODGING: Hotel Casa Antigua (or similar) / MEALS: Breakfast & lunch (picnic)


After meeting your guide and checking your gear, we load bags and bodies into our vehicle and set out for a 2.5hr road trip up into the highlands towards Lake Atitlán. We’ll stop on the road for a coffee and bathroom break at a quaint rest stop outside the mountain town of Tecpán (breakfast not included).

Upon arrival at the Lake Highlands area, we unload bikes and cyclists and fit group members to their mountain bikes and gear. We give instructions on bicycle operation, safety tips, and a brief orientation of the surrounding terrain. Everyone has a chance to ask any questions they may have, apply sunscreen, and adjust clothing layers.

We start down a steep country road traversing the high tableland above Lake Atitlán. This mostly downhill ride takes you through several small villages and towns before rounding a final ridgeline and joining the road up from the Pacific coast bound for Panajachel.

At the first vista overlooking Lake Atitlán, your guide will stop and prepare a picnic lunch (included) and orient you to the lakeside towns and geographic features of Lake Atitlán.

After lunch, we’ll continue breezing down the quick and windy road to the lakeside town of Panajachel. From here, we will catch a boat to Jaibalito, and the beautiful cliffside hotel Casa del Mundo.

ACTIVITY DETAILS: All paved roads today, mostly downhill / LODGING: Hotel La Casa del Mundo (or similar) / MEALS: Breakfast, lunch (picnic) & dinner


After waking up to gorgeous views of the lake and its towering volcanoes, we’ll begin our morning with the adventure of open-water kayaking on Lake Atitlan’s deep blue-green volcanic waters.

Our paddle will take us along the northern shore and beneath the towering hills. After a couple of hours on the water, we’ll switch our paddles for our hiking shoes and walk along the cliffside trails high above the lake.

The hike will take us through local towns and complete the spectacular trilogy of viewpoints by bike, kayak, and foot.

After a nice lunch at Casa del Mundo, we grab our belongings and jump on a boat to catch our private transfer back to Antigua.

ACTIVITY DETAILS: Beginner to moderate kayak/hike ~1.5-2hrs each way / LODGING: Hotel Casa Antigua (or similar) / MEALS: Breakfast & lunch


Our morning begins with scenic transport up Acatenango’s slopes and into the small, sleepy mountain village of La Soledad (2,390m). Then, a 5hr hike takes us through changing microclimates and provides many scenic views of the surrounding countryside.

We spend the night at our private campsite, a bench cut into the side of Acatenango, and overlooking the nearby Fuego Volcano, just 4km away.

Fuego is the most constantly erupting volcano in recorded history, and during our night in camp, we will have plenty of time to appreciate the incredible sights and sounds of its eruptions.

ACTIVITY DETAILS: Moderate level hike, 4–6hr climb, 1,200m elevation gain / LODGING: Acatenango campsite / MEALS: Breakfast, lunch & dinner


After an early rise to enjoy the sunrise over the Antigua Valley, we start our last push to Acatenango’s summit (3,975m). We ascend on a sand and gravel scree trail dotted with dwarf pines, taking in incredible views the whole way up.

Atop the impressively large summit, we enjoy unparalleled 360-degree views of the entirety of the Guatemalan Highlands, including the peaks that make up the volcanic spine of Guatemala, stretching all the way to Mexico.

Then, we hike 3hrs down to the local community of La Soledad, where we meet our transport and drive back to Antigua.

You’ll have the whole afternoon to explore Antigua, do some last-minute shopping, or just relax back at the hotel. Enjoy the many dining options in Antigua for your last night.

ACTIVITY DETAILS: Moderate level hike, 1hr climb, 400m gain & 1,600m descent / LODGING: Hotel Casa Antigua (or similar) / MEALS: Breakfast


Our shuttle will meet you at your hotel in the morning or afternoon depending on your departure flight for your transfer back to the airport.

MEALS: n/a


What's Included

  • Bilingual, First-Aid certified guide.
  • Private transportation for all transfers and tours.
  • Meals: 6 breakfasts, 4 picnic lunches, 2 dinners.
  • Accommodation: 7 nights (6 nights in a hotel, 1 night camping).
  • Bikes, kayaks & camping gear.
Not Included
  • Meals not mentioned in itinerary or extras such as desserts or alcoholic drinks.
  • Personal gear, including clothing, headlamps, trekking poles & footwear.
  • Personal toiletries & medications.
  • Travel insurance & repatriation insurance.
  • Optional excursions, activities & optional tours.
Have a question?

If you have any questions about this trip or want to speak with an expert, get in touch.

We're ready to help.

Team Images
Team Images
Team Images


Before you go

This is the perfect itinerary for travelers looking for a trip with a balance between culture, beginner-friendly kayaking, basic mountain biking, and gentle hikes. The Acatenango Volcano may be a little more difficult for some. The height that we reach in one day can be a factor that makes it slightly difficult. But, the help of your expert guides and previous days' activities will help you prepare for the challenge. Having an active life walking or running would be a significant help but having a bit more experience hiking would make it even easier.

We recommend the minimum age for this trip at 15 years old. If you are a family with adventure experience, feel free to reach out to discuss.

Yes, as long as you cover the temperature requirement for sleeping bags. At the Acatenango campsite, it can reach from 0 down to -5 Celsius during the night. Some clients prefer to bring their own sleeping bag and/or sleeping pad.

• Boots • Camp shoes or athletic shoes • 3 pairs of hiking socks • Synthetic trekking/hiking trousers • Rain pants • Underwear • Base-layer shirts • Fleece jacket or warm jumper • Rain jacket • Sun hat • Warm hat/beanie Sunglasses • Warm gloves • 30L or bigger hiking pack • Medium dry bag or pack liner • Headlamp and spare batteries • Sunscreen • 2 1L water bottles/camelback • Toiletries • Swimwear • Small towel • Basic First Aid Kit

Most visitors to Guatemala do not need a visa ahead of time. Rather, you receive a 90-day tourist visa upon arrival at immigration control. Please be sure to check the requirements with your local consulate traveling to be sure.

You can bring your own trekking poles, or we also provide wooden poles upon request.

On your trip

As an outdoor provider, we take care of getting the equipment ready at the camp, including your tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad. During your hikes/treks, we offer storage space at our office while on the trail. Porters: Old Town Outfitters supplies porter(s) to carry the group's camping gear, kitchen gear, and food. Participants will be expected to carry their personal effects and water on the treks. If you're interested in porter services, your local Host can book a porter to carry your load. Porters can carry up to 30lbs, or 18kg, and cost US$45 roundtrip. To book this extra service, message your Host from your Skyhook dashboard after booking.

Antigua has many restaurants serving both local and international cuisines. Your Guide will happily show you the best spots to dine at. During camping nights, you will have a cooked meal prepared from fresh local ingredients. Our picnic lunches during tours are freshly prepared by your local guide and all dietary restrictions can be accommodated as long as we know ahead of time. It is not recommended to drink untreated water from the tap. Filtered water is usually available at your accommodation to fill up your individual bottles. We do not encourage the purchase of single-use plastic bottles.

Accommodation for this trip is in the mid-range comfortable tier with a double occupancy configuration. You'll share with solo travelers of the same sex. Every room has a private restroom with hot water showers. Electricity plugs are American standards. Make sure to bring an adapter if needed. **If a different accommodation configuration is needed, please reach your travel specialist/host for further details and extra cost**

This is an open group trip with a maximum of 12 participants.

Being a small country we only have one international airport. So is very straightforward. The pick-up and drop-off transfers are worked based on your arrival and departure flights. We accommodate transfers as suitable.

6 x breakfasts, 4 x picnic lunches, and 2 x dinner are included on your trip. Breakfast: Expect to have continental American options Lunch: Picnic lunch prepared by your guide Dinner: Meals out at restaurants or hotels. For other meals not included, your Host or Guide will be more than happy to provide recommendations around the areas.

Other FAQs

Guatemala has two main seasons throughout the year that are fairly predictable. Mid-October to late April is the dry season where you can expect blue skies and clear starry nights. Late April through the beginning of October is the rainy season where you can expect afternoon showers and evening rain. Temperatures will vary greatly depending on the various regions of Guatemala but are comfortable year-round. In Antigua, the temperature typically varies from the low 50’s°F to low 80’s°F. The high season in Guatemala is the North American winter, typically mid-October through the end of April. This coincides with the dry season here in Guatemala where blue skies and clear starry nights are almost guaranteed. The rest of the year sees a bit more rain and brings out the lush forests and flowers along the trails and can also be a great time of the year to be in Guatemala. Summer months are popular as well for this reason.

We have spent years developing adventure tours in all regions of Guatemala. Because of our commitment to supporting the local economies where we develop and operate our tours, we feel confident taking our guests out into the Guatemalan backcountry. Your safety is our priority, and we always keep that in mind when choosing destinations, accommodations, and activities. Antigua is a very safe town and with your typical traveler’s common sense, you will feel extremely comfortable.

Yes, the areas we suggest to extend your visit are: At least 1 more day, - El Paredon: El Paredón is a small coastal city located on the Pacific coast of Guatemala. Unlike the most popular beaches in Guatemala, El Paradón is a relatively unknown tourist destination. However, this place is known for its beautiful beaches and stunning landscapes, combined with a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. At least 2 more days, - Tikal National Park: Tikal is an ancient Mayan citadel in the tropical forests of northern Guatemala. It is believed to date from the 1st century AD. C. Tikal flourished between 200 and 850 AD. C. and then it was abandoned. Its iconic temple and palace ruins include the giant Mundo Perdido ceremonial pyramid and the Temple of the Great Jaguar. At least 3 more days, - Lanquín, which in Q'eqchi means "Town surrounded by straw", is a small town located in Alta Verapaz in the center of the country, right next to the caves of the Cahabón River, one of the largest in Guatemala. - Semuc Champey, which in Q'eqchi, a native Mayan language, means "where the river hides under the earth." This special place preserves a natural reserve of turquoise water surrounded by tropical jungle Besides the caves and grottoes of this amazing natural place, you can enjoy a viewpoint located 700m from where you can see at least 350m of natural pools with waterfalls of up to 40m. **Please contact your Host for more details**

The local currency is the Quetzal (named after the national bird). It is not necessary to obtain local currency ahead of your visit, as you can change money when you arrive or withdraw from a local ATM. US dollars are accepted as payment in most restaurants and shops in Antigua but not necessarily outside town. It is possible to use credit and debit cards with most businesses or to withdraw money from ATMs in Antigua and other larger towns. This is usually at the best available exchange rate, but you may be charged by your local bank or card company.

Yes of course, just let us know of any special dietary restrictions ahead of time. You can do this by filling out your Guest Trip Form in your Skyhook dashboard.

Your head guides are Alexander and Chris

All trips on Skyhook are run by small, hand-picked local guiding companies. For this trip your guides run Old Town Outfitters, based in Antigua Guatemala.

By booking through Skyhook you'll be joining a small-group trip. This can make it nice and sociable (you'll be added to a group chat after booking), and guarantees great value for money!