Guatemala’s Western Highlands

Guatemala's Western Highlands tour | 9 days | Private tour

Guatemala’s Western Highlands is the region from Antigua stretching to the south-west boarder with Mexico. On this highlands tour you will visit the beautiful colonial town of Antigua, the Lake Atitlan, Quetzaltenango with it´s traditional villages, and the bustling Chichicastenango market.

Places you will visit

Antigua – Lake Atitlan – Quetzaltenango – Momostenango – Chicabal – Chichicastenango

Private tour characteristics

Departures can be any day of the year

Transportation between places is included and in private minivan.

Independent trip. During excursions and visiting sites, normally a bilingual guide is included. Not during transfers and leisure time. However on request a guide throughout can be arranged.

Hotel accommodation is included and price range discussed with client. You can also arrange this yourself if you prefer.

The itinerary can be changed according to your wishes. The itinerary on this page is a suggestion and starting point.

Day to day itinerary

Day 1 | Arrival – Antigua Guatemala
Welcome to Guatemala! We will take you to your hotel in Antigua. Relax the rest of the day or evening and explore the city. Antigua is rightfully considered one of the most beautiful colonial cities in Central America. It is close to the current capital, just 1 hour away, and is connected by a good road. This allows you to travel directly to Antigua upon arrival in Guatemala.  Antigua is characterized by its cobbled streets, many beautiful buildings, churches from the colonial era and the special view of 3 volcanoes, Agua, Fuego, and Acatenango.

Day 2 | Antigua Guatemala
After a good night’s sleep get ready to go with a local bus to a village south of Antigua, where you will experience a unique coffee tour.  A local farmer (and translator) will take you to their coffee farm and explain about the coffee plant cultivation. You will visit the local farmer’s house where you help grinding and roasting the coffee according to the traditional practices. Afterward, enjoy the fresh-roasted coffee you helped make.

Day 3 | From Antigua to Lake Atitlan
Set of from to the Western Highlands. Take an early morning drive from Antigua to Lake Atitlan. On the way, you can stop to take in the views. In the afternoon enjoy a local cooking class.

Day 4 | Boat tour lake Atitlan
Today you’ll explore the lake by boat! Lake Atitlan is a deep and wide lake that is surrounded by volcanoes. Around the lake, there are many villages, where the local Maya population still wear their traditional dress.

Day 5 | From Lake Atitlan to Quetzaltenango
Drive through mountainous terrain and dramatic scenery on your way to Quetzaltenango. In the afternoon relax at the hot water springs of Fuentes Georginas.

Day 6 | Villages tour
Take a day trip to the highland village of Momostenango. Visit a local family making the traditional woolen blankets. 

Day 7 | Laguna Chicabal
Climb the Chicabal volcano with a guide and hike through one of the last cloud forests of this region. During the climb to the top you will be surrounded by unique flora and fauna and encounter various special bird species along the way. Of all the volcanoes in Guatemala, only two have a crater lake, Chicabal and Ipala. The Mayans regard the lagoon as a holy place, the fog in particular, which often hangs over the crater, gives it a mystical atmosphere. It’s not allowed to swim in this lake.

Day 8 |Back to Antigua via Chichicastenango
Drive back to Antigua. On the way visit the local market of Chichicastenango. Some last-minute shopping maybe? Your luggage will be safely stored in the bus while you visit the market (unguided). Market days are only on Thursdays and Sundays, so this visit has to fit your schedule. We can suggest alternatives if it doesn’t.

Day 9 | Antigua to Guatemala City airport
It’s time to say goodbye to this beautiful country. You will be picked up by a private taxi that will take you to the airport for your flight home.

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