Private Journeys

Signature Guatemala: Mountains, markets and Mayan ruins

12 days from £2,290pp

Guatemala

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Essentials

Transport

2 flights (longest 1hr); 4 scenic road journeys (longest 6hrs).

Accommodation

This tour uses small or medium-sized properties with plenty of local colour and special features, and a couple of more functional ones in the less tourist-oriented towns.

Meals

Breakfast daily, dinner day 9, half board day 10.

Guides

We carefully select our local partners, some of whom we have worked with for over 25 years. Their English-speaking guides understand the expectations of our clients very well, and are consistently singled out for praise by clients on their return.

Summary Of Nights

12 days, 11 nights: Antigua 3; Lake Atitlán 2; Quetzaltenango 1; Huehuetenango 1; Guatemala City 1; Tikal 2; Guatemala City 1.

Optional Excursions

There are a number of half-day, full-day or longer excursions or activities you may wish to consider in order to customise your holiday to cater for your interests. Please contact us to discuss these further or to add them to your itinerary before you depart. A selection of these:

• Biking or hiking close to Antigua..
• Visit to a coffee farm near Antigua. 
• Cookery lesson in Antigua.
• Biking and kayaking, Tikal. 
• Boat trip on Lake Peten Itzá, visit Flores, Tikal.

Currency

The unit of currency in Guatemala is the quetzal.

How To Take It

Cash machines are available in all major cities and towns, and so taking a debit or credit card with a PIN number is the most convenient way of withdrawing money while on your trip, and in most shops and restaurants you can also pay by card. However, since cards can get lost, damaged, withheld or blocked, you should not rely exclusively on a card to access funds.

We recommend that additionally you take a reasonable quantity of US dollars cash (no more than is covered by your insurance), which you can exchange into local currency Dollar bills should be in good condition, soiled or torn bills may be refused. You can take sterling, but the exchange rate is not always competitive or even available, restricting the number of places where you can change money.

Daily Spend

It is very difficult to give a guideline for essential expenses but a budget of around US$35-45 per day should cover the cost of meals not included in the holiday itinerary, drinks and the odd souvenir. Eat at the best restaurants and you will pay considerably more.

Tipping

Tips are expected and local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income. 

Most service industry workers will expect a tip of some kind and so it is useful to have spare change for hotel porters, taxi drivers and the like. It is common to leave 10 – 12% in restaurants.

Tipping guidelines can be found in our Briefing Dossier.

Insurance

Travel insurance is essential.

Details of our recommended policy can be found on our Travel Insurance page. 

Airport Taxes

If you have purchased your flights through Journey Latin America, the international departure tax is usually included in the ticket.

Journey Grade

There are no long days of travel on this trip. This holiday is suitable for all, including families. However, if you have a disability we should be aware of, or other special requirements, please call us. In the summer the weather can be extremely hot and humid, you might bear this in mind if travelling with small children.

Visas

Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins. Anyone with a different nationality should enquire with us or check with the relevant consulate.

If flying to the US, or via the US you will need to fill in your online ESTA application.

Climate

Travellers on May to October should encounter high temperatures (around 35°C) and high humidity in the lowlands. There are likely to be some short bursts of heavy rainfall during these months. From December to April visitors will still encounter high temperatures in the lowlands, but cool evenings in the Guatemalan highlands, with temperatures falling to around 5°C. Rainfall and humidity will be lower at this time.

Clothing And Special Equipment

Bring plenty of light cotton clothing and good, comfortable walking shoes. Some warm items and good waterproof jackets are also necessary. We suggest that you plan to ‘layer’ your clothing; it is easier and more efficient to put on a couple of light layers than one thick jumper, and sensible to have long sleeves for areas where mosquitoes may be hovering around. 

Protection against the sun (sun-block, sun hat) and mosquito repellant are essential.  A daypack is useful for carrying sun block, guidebook, water and any extra layers.

Please get in touch with the office before departure if you have any doubts. Good equipment is very important and hard to come by in Central America.

Vaccinations

Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following: typhoid; polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. You should consult your GP for specific requirements, including advice on yellow fever and malaria tablets (unlikely for this holiday). For specific requirements you must consult your GP.

You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health website. 

Water To Go

We’ve partnered with Water To Go to offer Journey Latin America clients a 50% discount on 7cl filtered, reusable water bottles with every booking. The bottle can be refilled at any water outlet and has a filter that eliminates 99.9% of bacteria and viruses, allowing the water to be safe to drink.
Contact your Travel Consultant for more information and to include the purchase in your booking.

Country info

When is the best time to visit Guatemala?

The best weather conditions in the upland areas are during the dry season Dec - May. It can be cold in the highlands in winter, while the jungle areas are hot and humid all year round. Culture lovers may opt to spend Easter in Antigua.

What is the official language of Guatemala?

Spanish and indigenous indian languages mainly derived from Maya.

What's the official currency of Guatemala?

Quetzal. Notes can be withdrawn using a UK credit or debit card from the many ATMs. There’s at least one in most main towns. You may have ask your bank to authorise withdrawals before you leave the UK and each transaction is limited to about £100.

What's the time difference between the UK and Guatemala?

GMT -6 hours.  

Which other countries combine well with Guatemala?

A visit to neighbouring Belize, where there are luxury eco-lodges, superb diving and snorkelling all embraced in British Caribbean cultural heritage; Copán, the ruined Mayan City of northern Honduras with its intricate carvings, accessible from Guatemala by road.

What are the festivals, cultural and sporting events in Guatemala?

Semana Santa, Easter. Celebrations throughout the country; especially impressive in Antigua.
Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead, 1-2 Nov. Celebrated throughout the country.
Traditional fiestas:  There are many festivals in Guatemala from giant kite flying near Antigua to wild horse racing in remote Todo Los Santos.

 

What's included in the price

  • Services of our team of experts in our London office
  • Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides
  • All land and air transport within Latin America
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified
  • Excursions as specified, including entrance fees

Included Excursions

  • Walking tour of Antigua
  • Boat excursion to Santiago de Atitlán and San Antonio Palapó
  • Chichicastenango market
  • Zunil and Almalongo market towns
  • Visit to Todos Santos Cuchumatán
  • Guided tour of Tikal ruins

What's not included in the price

  • Tips and gratuities
  • Meals other than specified
  • International flights to Latin America
  • Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket
  • Optional excursions

What's included in the price

  • Services of our team of experts in our London office
  • Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides
  • All land and air transport within Latin America
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified
  • Excursions as specified, including entrance fees

Included Excursions

  • Walking tour of Antigua
  • Boat excursion to Santiago de Atitlán and San Antonio Palapó
  • Chichicastenango market
  • Zunil and Almalongo market towns
  • Visit to Todos Santos Cuchumatán
  • Guided tour of Tikal ruins

What's not included in the price

  • Tips and gratuities
  • Meals other than specified
  • International flights to Latin America
  • Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket
  • Optional excursions

Inspired by this trip

Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

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Real Latin America Experts

  • Sophie Barber
    Sophie Barber - Travel Consultant

    Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia.

  • Mary Anne Nelson
    Mary Anne Nelson - Travel Consultant

    Born in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, Mary’s insider knowledge and dry sense of humour make her a highly valued member of the Tailor-made team.

  • Ben Line
    Ben Line - Travel Consultant

    Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Manager of the Tailor-made Department.

  • Hannah Donaldson
    Hannah Donaldson - Travel Consultant

    Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is an invaluable part of our Group Tours team.

  • JimAshworth
    Jim Ashworth - Travel Consultant

    Jim first caught the Latin American travel bug in 2001 when he decided at the last minute to join a friend travelling around Central America – he hasn't looked back since.

  • Lina Fuller
    Lina Fuller - Travel Consultant

    Lina's passion for the continent where she was born really took off when she moved to Córdoba to study, spending the holidays travelling between Argentina and her native Colombia.

Meet the team