2023 Friends of Guatemala Tour – Donate Here!

Each year, we offer an adult/family trip to Guatemala that gives travelers a peak into our youth experience – with some added surprises. The 8-day tour was created especially for GV by the people that bring you the famed “Rick Steves’ Europe” tours.

2024 Trip Information

Tour Guide: Steve Smith, recently with Rick Steves’ Europe Through the Backdoor
Dates: 2024 dates TBD
Tour Price: estimated $2500* (adults)

*Price includes all accommodations, breakfasts and half of your lunches and half of your dinners. All tips, sightseeing, and transportation within Guatemala are also included.

Tour Contact:  For more information on booking and dates, contact Steve Smith at steve@ricksteves.com

Itinerary Highlights:

Day 1: Welcome to Guatemala
It’s an easy and cheap, 60 minute taxi or shuttle trip from the airport in Guatemala City to our hotel in Antigua. We’ll meet at our hotel in the afternoon, go for an orientation walk and have dinner together. Sleep in Antigua three nights.

Day 2: All day in Antigua
We’ll devote our day to exploring beautiful Antigua, a UNESCO world heritage site of pastel colored buildings where volcanoes loom in the distance around every corner. Our day begins with a guided walking tour during which we’ll explore the town’s Spanish colonial architecture and learn about Antigua’s tragic history and unlikely rebirth. You’ll be free this afternoon and evening to explore on your own.

Day 3: Mayan Market Day, Volcanoes and Coffee
Our day starts with a visit to Antigua’s sprawling crafts and farmers markets where you’ll have free time to do a little shopping. From there, we’ll take a very local “chicken bus” to a nearby village where we’ll meet with coffee farmers and learn about the fascinating process of coffee farming and production. We’ll have lunch with those farmers, then track the coffee production process at a family run business and taste their final product. Dinner will be at the nearby home of a Guatemalan family this evening.

Day 4: Drive into the Highlands and to Lake Atitlan
We’ll start today by driving up to picture perfect views over Antigua, then stop at a nearby rural school where we’ll share a snack and conversation with the village’s mayor and understand the critical importance of education to ending the cycle of poverty in countries like Guatemala. We’ll then bid farewell to the Antigua area and set out for Guatemala’s highlands where Mayan culture rules. You’ll arrive at your lakefront hotel with time to relax poolside before having dinner together and learning first-hand about the 35 year long Civil War from an official who worked for the United Nations during some of this time. Sleep on Lake Atitlan two nights.

Day 5: All day on Lake Atitlan
Let’s devote this day to exploring the magnificent lake and lakefront villages of Lake Atitlan. We’ll cruise across the lake to the picturesque village of San Juan la Laguna and visit a woman’s weaving cooperative while learning about this importance of this art form to Mayan culture and in particular to Mayan women. We’ll also learn about the art of chocolate production from local producer, then have free time to shop and have lunch on your own. We’ll return to or hotel with time to savor its view pool, view terrace and hiking options. Dinner is on your own this evening. The nearby town of Panajachel offers a full palate of dining options, as does our view hotel.

Day 6: From Lake Atitlan to Flores
Today we’ll drive over the hills and through valleys to Guatemala City’s airport where we’ll catch a flight to the island city of Flores in northern Guatemala and get settled in our hotel. We’ll take an orientation walk through the town, tour its grand cathedral then take a boat trip around our island if time permits. We’ll have dinner together at our hotel this evening. Sleep in Flores two nights.

Day 7: All Day for Tikal
Today is devoted to exploring the magnificent ruins of Tikal. A local guide will join us as we drive into the jungle to Tikal, home to the most revered Mayan temples in the Americas. Our guide will explain the howler monkey and other noises you’ll hear on our walk to the astonishing site of Tikal, once the most important city in the two thousand year old Mayan civilization. After a guided walk among the ruins, you’ll have ample free time to explore on your own. We’ll drive back to the gentle town of Flores this afternoon and enjoy a peaceful late afternoon and evening. You’ll be free for dinner tonight.

Day 8: Fly back to Guatemala City
It’s an early day today catch an early flight back to Guatemala City. We’ll visit the city’s infamous garbage dump off of which thousands of people make a living by scavenging. Here you’ll witness some of Central America’s worst poverty, then be inspired with a visit to a school for the children of those who making a living from the dump. We’ll have a late lunch together then return to our hotel for some free time before celebrating a final dinner together. Sleep in Guatemala City one night.

Day 9: Tour over after Breakfast