Guatemala City
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Guatemala City Culture & History

Lake Atitlán Boat Tour

1. Lake Atitlán Boat Tour

Start the day with a trip from Antigua or Guatemala City to the Maya town of Panajachel. During the drive there will be a brief stop in Katok, a very famous restaurant where you can indulge in a hot drink. Once at Panajachel, it's time for a boat trip to cross Lake Atitlán and visit the Tzutuhil Village of Santiago de Atitlán. In this village you will visit the confraternity of the local saint named Maximon or Ri Laj Mam, visited by people all over the world who come to ask for health and prosperity in their lives. The lake itself owes its grandeur to its enormous size and spectacular volcanic setting. Three large volcanoes, Atitlán Tolimán and San Pedro, rise gracefully from its southern shore, creating breathtaking views around the area. You will experience these views and the traditional practices still carried out by the Maya-Tzutujil and Cakchiquel women who live around the lake. After a short transfer, we will have lunch at one of the most exquisite restaurants of Panajachel. While in town, guestes will also Santander Street and experience its vast, bustling handicraft market.

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Guatemala City: Tikal Full-Day Tour by Air

2. Guatemala City: Tikal Full-Day Tour by Air

Travel from Guatemala City to Tikal on a full-day tour. Enjoy an early morning flight from Guatemala International Airport to Mundo Maya Airport in Flores, at which point you will then be transferred to Tikal archaeological site. While in Tikal National Park, you will have the opportunity to walk through the jungle and admire the many species of local flora and fauna. The park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, includes untamed nature, as well as many main temples, plazas, and altars. As you tour the site, your guide will share with you the history of the site and share insights about the Mayan culture. At the end of the tour a traditional lunch will be served. In the afternoon, return to the airport for your flight back to Guatemala City. Upon arrival in Guatemala City, you will then be transferred back to your hotel.

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Chichicastenango and Panajachel One Day Tour

3. Chichicastenango and Panajachel One Day Tour

This day-long tour of Guatemala, beginning from Antigua or Guatemala City, covers market villages to picturesque lakes and is sure to give you a bar-none introduction to some of the country's loveliest sights! Start your day at the open market of Chichicastenango. Here, you can explore the indigenous market and witness the incessant exchange of fruits, vegetables and handicrafts between local people and foreigners. This charming local market really does offer just about everything—you can even shop for wood products, ceramics and the sorts of gifts that the Mayan priests offer on their pre-hispanic altars. We will then move on to visit Santo Tomás church, where the Popol Vuh (The sacred book of the Maya) was found. For the perfect end to the day we will spend the remainder of our time overlooking one of the world's most beautiful lakes.

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Antigua Guatemala: Morning Tour from Guatemala City

4. Antigua Guatemala: Morning Tour from Guatemala City

Antigua Guatemala, once the third largest city in all of Spanish Colonial America and for 200 years the capital of Guatemala, is today a peaceful, beautiful, and partially restored colonial city. Cobblestone streets wind through the city of majestic churches and monasteries. After pickup in Guatemala City, transfer to Antigua Guatemala to meet your local guide and begin your gentle 3-hour walking tour. Visit the Jade Factory and Museum to admire ancient Guatemalan carving traditions. Continue to the ruins of El Carmen church and browse for souvenirs at the craft market beside the ruined building. You will see La Merced Church of Guatemalan, which features an ultra-baroque style, as well as two bell towers. On the facade of the church in its upper part is a sculpture of San Pedro Nolasco, founder of the Mercedarian Order. You will also see Santa Catalina Arch, built to connect the nuns between cloisters to avoid being seen. After the earthquakes of 1773, the arch became important due to the alterations that were made. These alterations included the construction of a turret and the inclusion of a Lamy Amp Lacroix clock of French origin. You will then see Central Park, which is situated in the traditional grid pattern used frequently in urban planning in the Spanish colonies. The park is surrounded by the Palace of the General Captains, the Town Hall, the Cathedral of San Jose, and the Trade Portal. Here in the park, you will also find the Las Sirenas fountain. This fountain has a traditional folk story where the Count of La Gomera ordered the fountain to be built in memory of his daughters, who after giving birth, did not want to breastfeed their children. The count then ordered his daughters to be tied to a trunk in the center of a waterhole, where they died of thirst and hunger. Continue your way you will visit the La Unión tank, which is one of the most iconic laundries in this city (only the big houses had proper washing facilities). For this reason, most of the inhabitants (housewives) went to public laundries. This was inaugurated on February 3, 1853. At the end of the tour you’ll be transferred back to your hotel in Guatemala City.

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3-Day Tour of Lake Atitlan & Chichicastenango Market

5. 3-Day Tour of Lake Atitlan & Chichicastenango Market

Experience two of Guatemala's most celebrated points of interest: sparkling Lake Atitlan and the Chichicastenango Market on this 3-day tour from Antigua. Visit the highland town of Chichicastenango, world-famous for its open-air market. Here you'll find amazing handicrafts created by the indigenous Maya people as you witness an incessant exchange of fruits and vegetables. Next to the market stands the Church of Santo Tomas, a 16th-century church where you can observe age-old Mayan rituals being performed. Filling an enormous caldera and surrounded by volcanoes and traditional Mayan villages, Lake Atitlan has become renowned for its indescribable beauty and unique cultural history. Spend a day on a guided boat tour of the lake and surrounding towns, then experience the nightlife of Panajachel. Detailed Itinerary Day 1: Antigua ̶ Chichicastenango – Panajachel Travel from Antigua to Chichicastenango. Explore the open-air market, where a wide array of produce, finely woven textiles, and intricate handicrafts are for sale. Afterward, visit the Church of Santo Tomas. Evening transfer to Panajachel for overnight. Day 2: Lake Atitlan Boat Trip Board a private boat for a scenic trip across Lake Atitlan. Visit two traditional Maya villages that line the shores of the lake and admire views of the nearby volcanoes. Afterward, enjoy free time in Panajachel on your own. Day 3: Panajachel ̶ Antigua Have free time to further explore Panajachel. In the afternoon, transfer to Antigua Colonial City.

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From Antigua or Guatemala : Coffee & Culture Full-Day Tour

6. From Antigua or Guatemala : Coffee & Culture Full-Day Tour

Enjoy a day discovering the sights and sounds of Antigua. This program is part of Guatemala’s Traditional One Day Tours. You will have the chance to see some of the most important cultural and historic sights of Antigua on this full-day tour. The tour can begin from Antigua Guatemala or Guatemala City depending on where you are staying. You will begin your day with a visit to el Cerro de La Cruz where you will experience magnificent views of Antigua. Next you can enjoy Guatemala's rich culture by visiting some Antigua's cultural highlights. You will travel to the Plaza Central to see The Cathedral, San Francisco Church, La Merced, Calle del Arco, Museo del Jade, and Casa Santo Domingo. In the afternoon you will get the chance to see the coffeemaking process of one of the best coffee plantations in the world and even have the opportunity to taste this world renowned coffee. Detailed Itinerary 08:00: Transfer from Guatemala City to Antigua Guatemala. 09:00: Upon arrival, visit Cerro de la Cruz, where you can appreciate the beauty of this colonial city. Transfer to the main plaza of Antigua Guatemala. 10:15: Visit the most important and significant attractions of the city including Antigua’s most beautiful churches, monasteries and important monuments. 13:00: Have lunch in one of the exquisite restaurants of the city. 14:15: Coffee Tour where guests can learn about coffee processing and taste a cup of Guatemalan coffee. 17:00: Transfers back to your Hotel in Antigua or Guatemala City.

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From Guatemala City: 2 Day Tour of Copan and Quirigua

7. From Guatemala City: 2 Day Tour of Copan and Quirigua

Enjoy 2 full days learning about the ancient Mayan civilization through visits to 2 important archeological sites in Copan and Quirigua. During your 2 days, you will drive across the countries of Guatemala and Honduras and see the scenery and landscapes of these countries. Spend time walking among these well-preserved ruins and learning about the histories and beliefs of the Maya people, as well as the connection between Copan and Quirigua. Detailed Itinerary Day 1: Guatemala City – Copan 7:00: Depart from Guatemala City and make your way to Copan. 11:00: Arrive in Copan and visit the Mayan site of Copan, or the "Kingdom of the Sun," dating back to 300 to 900 AD. See the stone sculptures and ceremonial temples, as well as the residential areas. 16:00: Overnight accommodation at a selected hotel in Copán. Day 2: Copan – Quirigua – Guatemala City 8:00: After breakfast, transfer from Copan, in Honduras, to Quirigua, in Guatemalan territory 11:30: Visit the archaeological site of Quirigua, known for the tallest stelae in the Mayan world. The character that stands out is Kak Chan Tiliw Yopa, also known as Heaven Kawak. Learn about the histories and beliefs of the people, and the Mayan Calendar that predicts the end of the world on 21 December 2012. 14:00: Transfer to Guatemala City or Antigua for overnight accommodations (not included).

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From Guatemala City: Chichicastenango and Lake Atitlan

8. From Guatemala City: Chichicastenango and Lake Atitlan

Explore the Western Highlands, the region of Guatemala that most travelers familiar with Guatemala think about when daydreaming about a trip to this country. The region is home to quaint and colorful mountain villages, highland lakes, pine forests, and the majority of Guatemala’s indigenous peoples. Arrive at Chichicastenango Market and begin your walking tour inside the market. It is the center of the town and heart of commercial life for the maxeños. The merchants go down to the central plaza every Thursday and Sunday to sell their products in this impressive indigenous market that has changed very little throughout the centuries. Explore the pathways of the market and view the colorful handicrafts and produce offered by the local people of the region. In Chichicastenango, we will also visit Santo Tomás Church, built in 1540 over the base of an archaeological pre-Hispanic temple. This church is a splendid example of colonial architecture, as the Mayan and Latino influence is mixed throughout both the interior and exterior of the building. You will have some free time for lunch (not included). Then, continue to the town of Panajachel, which sits on Lake Atitlan, where you will have time to explore. Visit Santander Street and enjoy a spectacular view of Lake Atitlan, considered one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Three spectacular volcanoes, Tolimán, Atitlán and San Pedro form the natural frame of the lake itself. It has a surface of 125 square kilometers and sits 1,560 meters above sea level.

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Guatemala: City Highlights Walking Tour

9. Guatemala: City Highlights Walking Tour

Experience Guatemala from a different perspective on this city highlights walking tour with a professional local guide. Visit iconic sights while learning interesting facts about Guatemala City. Following alongside a local, visit the Cathedral of Guatemala City, National Palace of Culture, Central Park, Central Market, and the National History Museum. Enter the National History Museum to learn about the history of Guatemala’s economy, society, and culture since its independence in 1821. Continue down lively streets lined with colorful shops, cafes, relaxing areas, and markets. Get to know Guatemala like a local as you learn insider facts and stories about the city from your guide. End your tour having experienced some of the true essence of Guatemala City.

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Half-Day Guatemala City Explorer Tour

10. Half-Day Guatemala City Explorer Tour

Visit Guatemala City (its official name is La Nueva Guatemala de la Asunción), the cultural, religious, and business center of Guatemala. On this day you will appreciate the panoramic view of the colonial architecture combined with modern buildings, important museums, and historical monuments. You will be picked up in your hotel in Guatemala City by your tour guide to start your sightseeing through the city. Below a brief summary of what to expect on your way. Start at Las Americas Avenue, named after the reform that led to the formation of the Organization of American States in 1948. Continue to Berlin Plaza for a view of part of the city and the landscape of the Pacaya volcano. You will also see La Reforma. This was inspired by the avenues of France and for this reason, various statues carved in stone, bronze, and marble were brought from Italy. You will also see Yurrita Church, which is a private chapel of mixed Baroque style, with Romanesque and Byzantine elements. The church was built as a votive offering by Felipe Yurrita, a native of Arevalo, Castilla, Spain, to the Virgin of Our Lady of Sorrows (patron of that town). This was in return for favors received — in particular, for the saving of her life during the eruption of the volcano Santa Maria. Continue onwards to the city's civic center, a mishmash of state buildings constructed in the middle of the 20th century, including the Supreme Court, City Hall, and the Bank of Guatemala; decorated with impressive high relief murals by Dagoberto Vasquez which detail's the country's history. You will then arrive at the Major Plaza of the Constitution, surrounded by important monuments such as the beautiful National Palace, the Metropolitan Cathedral, and Centenarian Park. Nearby is the abstractly adorned National Library and the General Archive of Central America. Finally, you will visit the Central Market, which is located behind the Metropolitan Cathedral, in the basement of the Tabernacle Plaza. At the end of this sightseeing tour you will be transferred back to your hotel.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Guatemala City

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What people are saying about Guatemala City

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 61 reviews

Excellent I’m from Guatemala and he took us to places I had never been it was great! Very knowledgeable and friendly guide I got to see and learn pretty exiting details of our beautiful colonial town Antigua.

My tour guide was Aldolfo he was very very knowledgable about mayan culture, history, etc. His english was perfect and he was easy to understand. He was also funny and made the trip enjoyable.

Me and my sister love this tour so much! Very informational and we learn alot. Thanks to our best tour guide Miguel Cardona. We would recommend this tour to other tourists.

Throughout the services the drivers and guides are very welcoming, the day becomes light. Note: There were women doing the same ride alone, it's safe!

incredible experience Juan Pablo an excellent guide I highly recommend him