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Highlights
  • Explore central Guatemala
  • Explore ancient ruins and modern sacred sites
  • Explore the caves and crystal-clear pools at Semuc Champey

Explore central Guatemala's culturally diverse and naturally abundant highlands on this in-depth 10-day adventure. Actively explore ancient ruins and modern sacred sites with an expert local guide. At colonial Antigua step back into the past and experience Guatemala's natural beauty at Lake Atitlan. Visit the famed Chichicastenango market and explore the caves and crystal-clear pools at Semuc Champey. Each day enjoy hikes with your guide who weaves a tapestry of history covering over 1000 years and illustrate the region's natural diversity. Explore beyond the main streets and trails to witness modern ritual and cultural tradition.

Many guests complement the Guatemala Highlands Explorer with a visit to the ancient Kingdom of Tikal National Park or Copan. Contact the experts at Adventure Smith to learn more about this trip and other Guatemala adventure travel.

4
AdventureSmith Travel Reviews & Ratings
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Value
5.0 Guide
5.0 Activities
5.0 Lodging
5.0 Transportation
5.0 Meals
5.0
Guatemala Highlands Explorer

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M

Recommends

A fun trip! August 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
The folks at Adventuresmith make planning a trip almost as much fun as the trip itself. They enthusiastically and efficiently helped us create two different adventures that I felt they would be thrilled to go on themselves. It is always very satisfying to find people who love what they do and are eager to provide the best possible service for their customers.
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LG

Recommends

Incredible trip to the Costa Rican jungle! August 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
My family and I just returned from an incredible trip to the Costa Rican jungle with AdventureSmith. Our trip was well planned, flawless and felt very personalized. We stayed first at the Tortugero Lodge in Tortuguero and had a great experience seeing the jungle there. Our guides were very knowledgable and welcoming. The lodge was beautifully laid out, had amazing food and was situated nestled in the jungle so we could enjoy the sounds of the jungle while we slept in luxurious open air bungalows. We took boat tours of the jungle and got to kayak up small waterways so we had the crocodile eye view! Next we transferred to the Oso peninsula via a thrilling Cessna ride through clouds to stay at Lapa Ríos, another jungle lodge surrounded by monkeys. The guides here were also fun, knowledgable and great with the kids. Best hike was the waterfall hike. So much adventure on this vacation, we all slept great each night! This was our second trip with AdventureSmith and I can't wait to book our next. They really know how to set you up for exactly what you want, even if you don't know exactly what you want. Can't recommend them enough!
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Operator AdventureSmith

D

Recommends

Very happy with AdvetureSmith. August 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We've booked two trips through AdventureSmith and wouldn't consider any other company for our trips. The service we've received and the ease of the process have been great. I can't recommend the company highly enough.
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Operator AdventureSmith

SF

Recommends

HIGHLY, HIGHLY RECOMMEND! August 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I just got back from one of the easiest hassle-free vacations I’ve ever taken and it all started with a single call to Adventuresmith. They exceeded all of my expectations and a would use them again in a heartbeat. I had only a few weeks to plan a trip to the Galapagos that I’d promised my wife. I was pretty certain I’d procrastinated to the point that a trip – especially during Spring Break/Easter week wouldn’t even be possible without settling on quality or paying through the nose. I searched on line for “Galapagos tours” and came up with three companies that seemed to be able to do what I needed. It was after business hours but I needed to get things going so I called anyway, planning to leave a voicemail messages to start the process. One company never did call me back. Another called me back the next day and said “I don’t know if we can find anything for you but we’ll see what’s available and get back to you in a few days.” The third was Adventuresmith. About 10 minutes later, again, after business hours, I got a call from Andrew, one of Adventuresmith’s travel specialists. He asked me for the dates I could travel, the type of boat (luxury, moderate or economy) I was looking for and my budget. The next morning, which was a Saturday, I got an e-mail with a detailed list of available cruises. I used the Adventuresmith website to research the details of each ship – including deck plans and detailed photographs, itineraries and reviews. I didn’t find any other website that was as comprehensive or as easy to use. The following Monday, Andrew and I spoke by phone and he answered all of my questions about the different boats, the different itineraries, the anticipated weather and sea conditions, and much more. We narrowed the list to a couple of cruises and he went to work – callin g each company directly to check on availability rather than relying on e-mail or web-based reservation systems due to the last-minute nature of the trip. On Tuesday morning, he’d found an available cabin that met all of our expectations – the last available cabin – so he booked it for me and negotiated a 24-hour hold to be sure the price was okay with me and that I could get air reservations. He told me exactly how to arrange the travel days and times so I would have virtually no risk of problems from delayed or cancelled flights. On Wednesday, I e-mailed him that I’d found suitable air reservations and he had my trip confirmed within an hour or so. He reassured me that I’d chosen one of the few boats he could enthusiastically recommend which I found very comforting, given the expense of the trip. He told me he’d be the one coordinating all of my trip details from that point forward and that he would be available to me for any questions or problems, by phone or e-mail throughout the entire trip, right up to my return. He e-mailed me a bunch of articles about the Galapagos and how to get the most out of a trip there, and he sent very clearly and well-organized information about what to pack, what to expect, how to tip, and much more. He offered a very well priced land package that included hotel rooms for all over-night stop overs, transfers to and from hotels and airports with a private Spanish-speaking guide who would help us navigate immigration services, the airport, and hotel check-in, a guided tour of our stop-over city, buffet breakfasts, and round-trip airfare to and from the Galapagos islands from mainland Ecuador. He explained in detail the relative advantages and disadvantages of using Guayaquil vs. Quito as our stopover city in Ecuador. I could not possibly have matched the price of that package by arranging everything myself and I expended exactly zero effort to make it all happen. The trip ran like clockwork. We were perfectly prepared based on Adventuresmith’s expert write-ups for pre-trip planning, and had an extraordinary trip. It was, by far, the easiest trip I’ve ever arranged – basically two phone calls and an e-mail or two to Adventuresmith and the rest was done. We didn’t have a single issue or problem but it was very nice to know Adventuresmith provided 24/7 support if we did. I’ve never had a travel company offer that before.
After that very first contact I had with Adventuresmith, I started researching them online to be sure they were “real.” It all sounded a little too good to be true and I’d never heard of them before. It was surprising to find only a handful of reviews on line but all of them were positive. I assumed they were a pretty new venture but after asking Andrew about it, he told me about their many, many years in the specialty travel business and explained that their marketing presence is still limited on line but that they have always had a significant presence in travel magazines and travel publications. So let me tell you here and now that they are quite real, incredibly knowledgeable and professional, courteous and service-oriented. I will absolutely look to them again to help with travel in the future.
Bottom line: No need to look anywhere else. Just use these guys. I was thrilled to find them and you will be too!
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Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Guatemala City

Accommodation: Panamerican Hotel

Upon arrival at the international airport in Guatemala City you are met by our local representative and transferred to a charming hotel from the 1920s in downtown Guatemala City.

Day 2: Guatemala City & Coban

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Accommodation: Casa Duranta Hotel

In the morning, visit Guatemala City’s outstanding National Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology to gain a better understanding of what is coming during your trip. In the afternoon take a scenic drive to Coban. The road goes through contrasting landscapes, from the Motagua River Valley's cacti to lush tropical cloud forest in Coban, a city where there are still some buildings from Spanish Colonial days. Your hotel will be one such building, located right in downtown.

Day 3: Semuch Champey

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Accommodation: Casa Duranta Hotel

This is the region of the Maya-Kekchi People, and Coban is its larger city. At 4,000 feet above sea level, weather is a little bit warmer than in the “higher” Highlands. Today’s highlight is Semuch Champey Natural Monument. Getting there is half the fun. The road there travels through coffee and cardamom plantations in “karstic” landscapes. Semuc Champey is where the Cahabon River sinks into a cave of about 1 mile long, leaving on top a series of crystal clear pools to swim in - deep enough to even dive! All if this is surrounded by a tropical lush forest. Those with energy may climb up to a lookout for a breathtaking view. The day ends back to Coban.

Day 4: Coban to Nebaj

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Hacienda San Antonio

Today is a day of landscapes in scenic routes. Still in the outskirts of Coban, visit a traditional coffee plantation and mill as well as an orchid nursery. The road then runs through mountains and valleys, and Maya villages like Uspantan and Cunen. At the Chixoy River Valley, before its name changes to Usumacinta and becomes the border between Guatemala and Mexico, a portion of the road is not paved and the ride gets a bit bumpier. Arrive at the end of the day to the area of another Maya people, the Ixil. Overnight in Nebaj's village of Acul at a dairy farm.

Day 5: Nebaj

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Hacienda San Antonio

Wake up in rural Acul, listening to the roosters and the village's church bell. After breakfast, take a scenic 2-hour mountain hike to Nebaj where the town’s “Culture House” organizes a full day of sharing their way of life. The Maya Ixil People lives in Nebaj, Chajul and Cotzal. These 3 towns were called the “Ixil Triangle” during Guatemala’s Civil War (1961-1996) and they were deeply hurt. Isolated by history and nature, they heartedly welcome visitors. Lunch will be in a local home. If in the afternoon you're up for another hike to a waterfall, it will be included.

Day 6: Chichicastenango

Meals: Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Uxlabil Hotel

Located 2 hours from Nebaj and enroute to Lake Atitlan, a visit Chichicastenango for one of its market days (Thursdays and Sundays) is a must. It is the largest and most colorful handicrafts market in the Americas, and even though it is an area inhabited by the Maya Kiche, here you will see people and products from all over the country. The Saint Tomas Roman-Catholic Church is a very good example of Guatemala's religious syncretism. It was built on top of a pre-Columbian temple and it is still considered sacred for the Maya that come to the stairway in front to burn incense and pray to their ancient Gods. In the afternoon transfer to Lake Atitlan, arriving by boat to today's final destination: San Juan La Laguna town.

Day 7: Lake Atitlan & San Juan La Laguna

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Uxlabil Hotel

Today is a day dedicated to Lake Atitlan, which is a caldera lake formed by an explosion of a volcano that geologists estimate happened 80,000 years ago. It is almost circular, with a 10-mile diameter, 1,000 feet deep and surrounded by 3 imposing volcanoes. A scenic boat ride to San Juan (its full name is San Juan La Laguna, or San Juan-by-the-lake) will bring you to visit the Maya Tzutuhil People. Your day here actively involves the local “Community Tourism Committee,” whose organization we respect and support. Spend a very active day visiting a natural dyes workshop and learning about the town's organic coffee and handwoven textiles; the Tzutuhil women embroider their tops with colorful birds and flowers. Hike to a nearby lookout with stunning views of the lake.

Day 8: Iximche & Xetonox

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Accommodation: Posada Don Rodrigo Hotel

Today's drive from Lake Atitlan to Antigua goes through the beautiful landscapes of Maya villages and their plantations of vegetables. Leaving Atitlan behind, the first Maya People is the Cackchiquel. More than half a million Guatemalans are Maya-Cackchiquel, and the first stop is to visit Iximche Archaeological Site, which was the capital of the Cackchiquel Kingdom, built in 1470 and destroyed by the Spanish conquistadores in 1524. It was never lost or forgotten like happened with many sites in the rainforest, and it is still a sacred place for the Cackchiquels. The second stop is at Xetonox, a small village where a local family gladly shows you their way of life, their crops and their weavings. Lunch is served at their home. Visiting the village’s Grade School is a good way to learn more about the local life.

Day 9: Antigua

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Accommodation: Posada Don Rodrigo Hotel

Antigua is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and considered one of the best examples of how was life during the Spanish Colonial days. Built in 1542 and destroyed by an earthquake in 1773, Antigua's name was once Guatemala City and was for over two centuries the capital of Central America, including what is today the State of Chiapas in Mexico and the countries of Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. During that time, it was the third largest city in the Americas, after Lima, Peru, and Mexico City. A guided tour takes you through the city's best palaces, churches, convents, monasteries and plazas, in a picturesque walk down cobbled stones and with sights of the nearby volcanoes. Antigua's perfect spring-like weather all year round, has made this an attractive city of residence for artists and writers, among them Antoine Saint-Exupery, who wrote “The Little Prince,” and Gore Vidal. The afternoon is free to enjoy the city at your own pace, and your guide will advise on how to make good use of it.

Day 10: Depart Guatemala City

This morning a transfer to the Guatemala City International Airport is included. Depart for home or continue your explorations with AdventureSmith.

Dates & Pricing

Price From

$ 1,495

Price Per Day:

$ 150 per person
 
  • Single Supplement (Single Occupancy): $ 400
Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.
Details
Trip Includes
  • Each itinerary includes all lodging as listed on the itinerary or similar
  • Meals as indicated
  • All airport/hotel transfers when arriving and departing the stated arrival and departure dates of the trip
  • All land, air and water transportation within destination
  • Entrance fees to national parks and reserves as specified
  • And guide services as specified
Trip Excludes
  • International airfare to/from the destination
  • Excess baggage fees; the cost of obtaining passports
  • Visas or tourist cards
  • Airport arrival and departure taxes
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Personal expenses such as room service
  • Beverages and laundry
  • Personal communication charges
  • And gratuities to tour escort, guides or drivers
Optional Activities

During your stay in Guatemala Highlands Explorer, Tours offers you a variety of optional tours some of tours that you would like to extend are available while in-

  • Guatemala Adventure From: $1650; 9 days
  • Belize Island Adventure From: $1540; 5 days
  • Cuba People to People Cruise From: $4899; 8 days
Meals Included:

8 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches and  4 Dinners

Flights & Transport
Internal airfare and ground transport
Group Size:
Standard Group
Accomodations

Posada Don Rodrigo, Antigua

41 Rooms Private bathrooms Cable TV Wireless internet Telephone access Room service

Relax in the colonial setting of Antigua, one of the most beautiful cities in the Americas. Hotel Posada De Don Rodrigo is an authentic 315 year old property, renovated to offer you all the facilities expected of a first class hostelry, providing excellent quality, food and services for the discerning traveler. Posada De Don Rodrigo is not only colonial style inn but also has the most typical atmosphere in Antigua. Unique and distinct rooms, nothing which exists in one, will you find in another only the same air and the same peace. Awakening in this hotel in la Antigua has it's magic, very early the burnished bell of it's manifold churches begin to ring and the flow of the crystalline waters in it's fountains, will wet your appetite for a succulent breakfast. Authentic printings baroque carvings furniture’s carved by genuine craftsmen of Antigua, ashes fireplaces, silent ceilings, are some of the surprises which await you in the rooms.

Crowne Plaza Hotel

Guatemala City Hotel's "The Place to Meet" Wake up to brilliant, golden sunrises peeking over volcanic hills each morning you stay at our hotel's property in Guatemala City. The Crowne Plaza Guatemala hotel, located in beautiful Zona 13 and just two miles from La Aurora International Airport (GUA), offers both comfort and convenience.While in Guatemala City, guests find plenty of exciting attractions nearby, including the Central Market, Civic Center and Oakland Mall. Find out more about our culture by visiting the National Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, or take a day-trip to the charming city of Antigua. We're just minutes from "Zona Viva," too, where all the excitement happens!When you choose to stay with us in Guatemala City, our hotel provides perks like free high-speed, wireless Internet access, so you can keep in touch with the office. To help you relax, we also offer a wonderful spa with services like steambaths, saunas and massages, as well as the Crowne Plaza Sleep Advantage® Program amenity kit. Make your reservations today!  Come and enjoy the comfort of our rooms and feel at home

Start City
Guatemala
End City
Guatemala
Cancellation Policy:

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of $500 is required at the time of booking. A Reservation Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Cancellations are subject to the following fees, based on number of days prior to departure:

Up to 91 days - 50% of deposit

90 to 31 days - 50% of total trip cost

30 to 0 days - 100% of total trip cost

Age Notes

Families & Children

Child rate posted is for children 11 years old and under sharing a room with two parents.

Min. Age: 11

Additional Information:

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 21 days of booking your trip for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions.

Reservations

All persons wishing to make a reservation, and all persons who will be traveling, must complete and sign the Traveller Information Form. All reservations are made with Adventure Smith Travel Services Inc., d/b/a Adventure Smith Explorations. No person has any authority on Adventure Smith Explorations’ behalf to vary these terms and conditions.

Unused services & personal expenses

Regardless of any other term in this agreement, partial refunds are not available for unused services including but not limited to hotel rooms, meals, air or land transportation, activity days or other sightseeing excursions. You will not be reimbursed for any personal expenses such as airfare, hotel or other travel expenses due to changes in itineraries or cancellations. If a portion of the services of your tour are cancelled by us or our third party supplier because of an event within our control or the control of our third party supplier, and you are not offered a replacement or alternative, we will refund the cost of that portion of the services.

Travel Documents

The client must obtain and have possession of a valid passport, all visas, permits and certificates, and vaccination certificates, required for the entire tour. The client accepts responsibility for obtaining these documents and any other necessary documents. It is the client’s responsibility to assure that the name on your airline ticket, cruise tickets, or any other travel documents matches your name as printed in your passport (or domestic identification, where applicable) by providing the exact name as it appears on your passport (or domestic identification, where applicable) to AdventureSmith Explorations before tickets are issued.

Trip ID#: GuaHigAdv

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