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Things to do in

Guatemala City

Our most recommended things to do in Guatemala City

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.

Combo Tour: Colonial Antigua & Guatemala City Explorer Tour

2. Combo Tour: Colonial Antigua & Guatemala City Explorer Tour

You will be picked up at your hotel in Guatemala City before transferring to Antigua Guatemala to meet your local guide and begin your soft walking of approximately 3 hours. Below is a brief summary of the attractions you will see on your way: La Merced Church of Guatemalan Ultrabaroque style. This temple has two bell towers and on the facade of the church in its upper part is a sculpture of San Pedro Nolasco, founder of the Mercedarian Order.Santa Catalina Arch. Built to connect the nuns between cloisters to avoid being seen due to the votes that the religious order took. 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.Central Park. 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 in 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. You will continue your tour with a visit the La Unión tank, which is one of the most iconic laundries in this city (only the big houses possessed laundry facilities). For this reason, most of the inhabitants (housewives) went to public laundries. This was inaugurated on February 3, 1853. You will then be given time for lunch (not included).  You will then transfer to Guatemala City to start your sightseeing tour through this city. First you will visit Las Americas avenue. The road in its central garden has several Plazas and monuments in honor of the countries of the American continent.  Continue to Berlin Plaza where there are three pieces of concrete brought from Germany. These are original sections of the Berlin Wall and from here, you can view part of the city and the landscape of the volcanoes.  Next you will visit La Reforma. It was built inspired by the avenues of France and for this reason, various statues carved in stone, bronze, and marble were brought from Italy. The next attraction is Yurrita Church. This 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, for favors received (in particular, for saving her life during the eruption of the volcano Santa Maria). At the Civic Center of the City, you will see a set of buildings constructed between the 50s and 60s: The Supreme Court of Justice, the Ministry of Public Finance, City Hall, the Social Security, the Bank of Guatemala, the National Mortgage Bank, and the Guatemalan Tourism Commission.  You will then arrive at the Major Plaza of the Constitution. This Plaza is the heart of the Historic Center of the city. It is surrounded by important monuments such as the National, the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Portal of Commerce and Centenarian Park. The tour includes a visit to the Central Market, which is located behind the Metropolitan Cathedral, in the basement of the Tabernacle Plaza. There, visitors can buy a variety of art and handicrafts from all over the country; ceramics, textiles, leather, wood, and silver. At the end of the walking tour, head back to your hotel in Guatemala City.

Lake Atitlan Full-Day Tour from Guatemala City

3. Lake Atitlan Full-Day Tour from Guatemala City

Spend a day on Lake Atitlán, the deepest lake in Central America, on a full-day trip from Guatemala City. Enjoy a cruise along the waters, and visit nearby villages. Departing from Guatemala City in the morning, travel to Panajachel. Then take a public boat across Atitlán and visit Santiago Atitlán, where you will learn about the local saint; Maximon. Enjoy the vibrant colors and local flavor of this village as you experience the traditional Tz’utujil Mayan lifestyle. Santiago is the most popular lakeside settlement outside Panajachel, and many atitecos (as its people are known) cling to a traditional Tz’utujil Mayan lifestyle. Women weave and wear huipiles (tunics) embroidered with brilliantly-colored birds and flowers, and the cofradías towns maintain the ceremonies and rituals of tradition — the syncretic traditions and practices of Mayan Catholicism. There’s also a large arts and crafts scene here as well.  You'll then be given free time for lunch, after which you’ll be returned to Guatemala City via Antigua Guatemala.

Antigua City Tour Full Day From Guatemala City

4. Antigua City Tour Full Day From Guatemala City

Visit Antigua, Guatemala, a town where time stands still. Once the third largest city in all of Spanish Colonial America and for 200 years the capital of Guatemala, it is today a peaceful, beautiful and partially restored colonial city. Cobblestone streets wind through the city of majestic churches and monasteries. You will be picked up at your hotel in Guatemala City before transferring to Antigua Guatemala to meet your local guide and begin your soft walking of approximately 3 hours. During your tour, visit the La Merced Church of Guatemalan with its ultra-baroque style. This temple has two bell towers and on the facade of the church in its upper part is a sculpture of San Pedro Nolasco, founder of the Mercedarian Order. Here, you will also see the Santa Catalina Arch. This was built to connect the nuns between cloisters to avoid being seen due to the votes that the religious order took. 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. Next up on the tour is Central Park. 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 in 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. You will continue your tour with a visit the La Unión tank, which is one of the most iconic laundries in this city (only the big houses possessed laundry facilities). For this reason, most of the inhabitants (housewives) went to public laundries. This was inaugurated on February 3, 1853. You will then be given time for lunch (not included).  Then, you will continue on your tour to visit the surrounding villages, San Antonio, and the town of Aguas Calientes. This town is characterized by its elaborate weavings made in waist looms by women of the community. In your visit to the market you can see how they make these textiles, and you will continue with a visit to Ciudad Vieja to learn about its history. To end your tour, you will visit a Macadamia farm where you will learn about the cultivation of macadamia nuts, their agro-industrial process, and the reforestation project, before relaxing with a facial massage with macadamia oil. At end of the tour, you’ll be transferred back to your hotel in Guatemala City

Guatemala: City Layover Tour

5. Guatemala: City Layover Tour

Your tour begins with the pick-up at the Guatemala City airport. First, visit Las Americas Avenue, a famous area of the city named after major reforms made in the late nineteenth century.  Continue to Berlin Plaza, here are three pieces of concrete brought from Germany, these are original sections of the Berlin Wall and from here you can view part of the city and the landscape of the volcanoes. Pass by La Reforma avenues, built inspired by the avenues of France. See also the Yurrita Church, a private chapel of mixed Baroque style, with Romanesque and Byzantine elements, built as a votive offering by Felipe Yurrita to the Virgin of Our Lady of Sorrows, patron of his native town. Continue to the Civic Center of the city, a set of buildings constructed between the 50s and 60s that includes: the Supreme Court of Justice, the Ministry of Public Finance, City Hall, the Social Security, the Bank of Guatemala, the National Mortgage Bank, and the Guatemalan Tourism Commission. The Bank of Guatemala is a particularly special sight as it is decorated with murals by Dagoberto Vasquez describing the history of the country, and also includes a mosaic by Carlos Mérida. Next, continue to the Major Plaza of the Constitution. This plaza is the heart of the historic center of the city. It is surrounded by important monuments such as the National Palace (now the Cultural National Palace and Museum), the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Portal of Commerce and Centenarian Park. A few steps away are the National Library and the General Archive of Central America. The tour includes a visit to the Central Market, which is located behind the Metropolitan Cathedral, in the basement of the Tabernacle Plaza. Visitors can buy a variety of art and handicrafts from all over the country here including ceramics, textiles, leather, wood, and silver. At the end of the tour transfer back to Guatemala City airport.

Kanba Cave & Semuc Champey Park Tour Including Entrance Fees

6. Kanba Cave & Semuc Champey Park Tour Including Entrance Fees

In the morning after meeting in Lanquin village, you will then head out by safety truck on this full-day adventure to Kanba Cave and Semuc Champey Park. At Kanba your guide will take you inside the underground river caves for around 1,000 meters. You’ll scramble over rocks, wade through pools, climb up waterfalls, and swim through narrow channels. Next you’ll go on a half-hour tubing experience on the Kahabon River. Afterwards, you’ll go on a walk in Semuc Champey National Park. The monument comprises a natural stone bridge that’s 300 meters long. Natural pools of different sizes have formed above the bridge, where you can relax and soak in the turquoise pools.

Guatemala: 10-Day Mayan Explorer Adventure

7. Guatemala: 10-Day Mayan Explorer Adventure

Spend 10 days in Guatemala exploring the country’s stunning landscape of volcanoes and mountain lakes. Learn about the Mayan lifestyle, shop at traditional markets, visit ancient ruins, and hike up a volcanic peak. Transfers and first-class public bus service are included, as is basic hotel accommodation with private bath. Detailed Itinerary Day 1: Guatemala City – Antigua Your driver will meet you at Guatemala City’s Aurora Airport for the transfer to your Hotel in Antigua. Day 2: Antigua – Lake Atitlan Today you’ll travel from Antigua to Panajachel, where you’ll stay overnight with a Mayan Family in San Jorge village. Experience the local Mayan lifestyle. Day 3: Lake Atitlan by Boat Take a boat tour to visit Mayan communities along the lake, including San Pedro, Santiago, and San Antonio. Day 4: Panajachel – Chichicastenango – Antigua (Thursday and Sunday only) Travel from Panajachel to the Chichicastenango Market, the largest market in Guatemala, where vendors offer colorful clothing and souvenirs. You’ll have time to bargain and do a lot of shopping and interacting with Mayan sellers. Day 5: Antigua – Pacaya Volcano Active Trek Your driver/guide will pick you up at your hostel for the transfer to the bus station. You’ll have a 1-hour ride to the Pacaya Volcano base, and then hike for 2 hours to the volcano’s peak. Day 6: Antigua – Lanquin – Semuc Champey You will be transferred from your Antigua hotel to Lanquin, travelling for the whole day. Day 7: Lanquin – Kanba (Kanba Caves and Semuc Champey Day Tour) A local guide will meet you at your hotel to begin this day tour. Experience the pristine KanBa Caves and relax by the crystal clear waters of the Semuc Champey pools. Day 8: Lanquin – Semuc Champey – Flores Your will be transferred from Lanquin to Flores by shared van, travelling for the whole day. Day 9: Flores – Tikal The driver will meet you at your hotel for your transfer to Tikal park. Arriving early in the morning, you’ll be among the first visitors and have a chance to see monkeys in the jungle area. Explore the ancient Mayan ruins. Day 10: Flores – Guatemala City You have a free day in Flores to relax on the amazing beach of Lake Peten Itza. That night you'll be transferred by first-class public bus on the overnight service to Guatemala City for your departure.

From Guatemala City: 2 Day Tour of Copan and Quirigua

8. 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).

Antigua Guatemala: Morning Tour from Guatemala City

9. 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.

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.

Other Sightseeing Options in Guatemala City

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What people are saying about Guatemala City

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 138 reviews

Carmen was my guide on this solo tour. She is a great story teller and gave me all kinds of historical information! Iximche was truly stunning, and we went there first before the rain started and saw a Mayan ceremony, too. Antigua was beautiful and all the locations we stopped in were very interesting! It was pouring by that time, so Carmen drove between stops and I truly appreciated that. Had a nice lunch and she gave me a couple souvenirs, which was so sweet! The magnet is on my refrigerator Carmen! Muchisimas gracias por todo!

It was amazing. Experiencing the organic macadamia farm, the entire process to include a face massage with their oil was great. Enjoyed the chocolate class, it too was exciting. I'm glad I brought a credit card...The history and architecture of the area was fascinating. Highly recommend this tour, we found it had the best value in tours.

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.

The driver was neatly waiting for me at the exit of the airport and immediately taken to his car. Very nice chat during the ride and immediately learned more about Guatemala.

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.