Guatemala City
Meet the Locals

Enter your dates to find available activities

Our most recommended Guatemala City Meet the Locals

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.

3-Day Tour of Lake Atitlan & Chichicastenango Market

2. 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.

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.

Explore the Heart of the Mayan World - 10 Day Adventure

4. Explore the Heart of the Mayan World - 10 Day Adventure

Day 1   >>> Arrival in Guatemala & world-Famous Antigua Enjoy two days in Antigua - one of the world’s oldest & most beautiful colonial cities. Antigua, Guatemalais an exquisite Spanish Colonial town with elegant 16th & 17th Century architecture, cobblestone streets, a tranquil central square, stylish hotels, luxurious shops and superb international cuisine. The town enjoys a unique and impressive setting nestled beneath three towering volcanoes and surrounded by lush evergreen forests. Day 2  >>> Antigua & Travel to Chichicastenango Meet for a leisurely and informative Walking Tour of Antigua. The tour will focus on Antigua’s architecture, history, restoration and cultural trends. Your tour will include a visit to the Jade Museum and also the museums at Paseo de los Museos at Casa Santo Domingo.  In the afternoon you will take a private shuttle from Antigua to Chichicastenango. Day 3   >>> Amazing Chichicastenango In the morning, you will have time to enjoy the spectacular outdoor market of Chichicastenango – one of the world’s most famous outdoor markets! People watch in this very Mayan village, and also ‘shop until you drop’ or until 1pm when the market closes. Walk through the cemetery and sacred Shaman Hill, Pascal Abaj where you are likely to see Mayan fire cleansing ceremonies.  Day 4  >>> Lake Atitlan– 3 village boat tour of San Marcos, San Juan, and Santiago This spectacular full day trip will take you from one end of the lake to the other. You will visit the villages of San Marcos, San Juan and Santiago, with time to explore each village. Easy walking is involved and the trip is approximately 5-6 hours.Your Itinerary may vary from the following, but just tell Lee what you are most interested in seeing or doing and he will do his best to accommodate:  Sample Itinerary: The day begins in Santa Cruz where you depart for the west end of the lake. You get to see the villages of El Jaibalito, Tzununa, San Marcos, and San Pablo as you make your way along the north shore. Your first stop isSan Marcos, where you stop for breakfast and optional cliff jumping. Then you will depart the north shore for San Juan, the “Swiss village” of Lake Atitlan. You will spend approximately 2 hours on a guided walking tour and visit art galleries, two woman's weaving cooperatives, a medicinal and curative plant garden, or you can learn about fishing and paddle a traditional cayuka (canoe).   Several famous painters are from San Juan so you will also visit their galleries to see them at work. Women Weavers and Nuestra Artesania includes demonstrations showing how the beautiful fabrics are made; from harvesting the cotton, to spinning it into yarn, dying the yarn, and then creating one of-a-kind fabrics with the back strap loom. The Qomaneel center is a medicinal and curative herb garden operated by the midwives of San Juan.  You are guided through the garden and given samples of each plant along with a description of its curative powers.There are no entrance fees at the cooperatives. Your gift purchases or donations are how these centers function.  Your third stop is Santiago. The bay of Santiago is a photographer’s dream. We take a tour along the shore of the bay before we start our walking tour. Your first stop is a visitor center that offers insight into the life of the Tzutujile Maya. There are interpretive displays on the history of the traje (traditional clothing), spiritual beliefs and Maximon. We have lunch before we tour the local church and visit Maximon. The Mayan visit Maximon to ask for healthy crops, to help cure illness, to find love, or to cast a spell on a neighbor. Be sure to buy some candles, cigarettes, or liquor to make your own offering!!!A small fee is required for admittance. The Catholic church was first constructed in 1547, however the original structure has been destroyed several times over.  The church has two wooden alter pieces from the original 1500's, as well as other ancient artifacts.  This was the sight of many incidents during the 30 year civil conflict, and ultimately lead to the murder of Father Stanley "Alpa" Rother in 1981.  We visit Father Rather's personal living quarters, learn about his efforts to help the villagers during the war, and discuss the history of the war. Day 5  >>> Hiking the Upper Mayan Trail at Lake Atitlan (or driving tour).  Some of your family or group may choose the hike, while the others would meet us at the market. On this day you will be hiking the Upper Mayan Trail affording you some truly amazing lake views! At the hikes’s conclusion you will spend some time at the colorful market of Solola. Your hike takes you along ancient paths that have been used by the Kaqchikel Maya for centuries. You will view villagers going about their daily life, encounter farmers tending their maiz and coffee fields, and see some of the most magnificent scenery in the world. This rugged and remote area has barely been touched by the outside world. The hike takes you 2,500 feet above the waters of Atitlán for breath taking views and pristine scenery. It is a difficult walk/climb, but is not overly challenging for those in good health. The walk is approximately three hours through magnificent scenery. Enjoy a picnic lunch along the way. You walk through a remote Mayan village high in the mountains where we find the road. There we take a collectivo (shared van/pick-up) the last few miles into Solola. In Solola you visit the second largest market in Guatemala, then return via chicken bus or pick up into Panajachel.  We have the opportunity to observe a Mayan ceremony at the sacred caves of San Jorge.  We are able to              observe the Fire Cleansing Ceremony on most occasions, but it is not guaranteed. Day 6    >>> Lake Atitlan– Kayak and Hike Mulit-Sport  Full-day trip begins and ends in Santa Cruz. This full day includes a kayak tour along the rugged north shore, and a hike back thru San Marcos, Tzununa,  El Jaibalito and Santa Cruz la Laguna.   Meet at the hotel dock to gear up for a day of adventure. It is best to wear your swimsuit or other appropriate boating atire as you will get wet along the way.  We supply dry sacks for your backpacks and other gear for the second part of the day. Be sure to bring your camera, drinking water, and some sunscreen.   We paddle for 1 ½ -2 hours along the shores of Santa Cruz la Laguna, El Jaibalito, and Tzununa, ending in San Marcos.  You will have many up close encounters with Mayan men who fish from hand hewn cayukas as they have for centuries.  You will feel privileged to share the lake with these proud fishermen who make Lake Atitlan so unique. You paddle along rugged cliff faces filled with exotic plant and bird life.  You have the opportunity to soak in the hot springs and cliff- jump into the crystal clear waters, or just enjoy a swim and sun. We pull into the Bay of San Marcos and gear up for the next part of our adventure. The  north shore of Lake Atitlan has no true road access, so you will be hiking along ancient paths that have been used by the Maya for centuries. You will view villagers going about their daily life, encounter farmers tending their maiz and coffee fields, and see some  of the most magnificent scenery in the world.  This rugged and remote section of Lake Atitlan has barely been touched by the outside world.  Our hike takes us several hundred feet above the ever changing waters of Atitlan for breath taking views of the famous volcanos.  We end our hike in Santa Cruz la Laguna at the end of our day of adventure. Day 7  >>> Guatemala City tour The capital city has many sights to enjoy, and most visitors miss this opportunity. You can let me show you my favorites, or you can choose from the options described below.   There are several museums that offer the visitor an in site to the Maya. The Popol Vuh Archaeological Museum and the Ixcchle Museum. Free evening to explore the Zona Viva area. It is safe and has many restaurants to enjoy. I will escort you if you wish, and this may be preferable.  I know the area well and am comfortable with its safety. Overnight Guatemala City For your Guatemala Hotel (2 nights, Day 7 & Day 9) we recommend that you book directly with one of the many hotels which are near the airport. Day 8   >>> the world famous mayan ruins of Tikal 4:30 am Shuttle from your Guatemala City Hotel (near the airport) to the TAG Hangar at the GUA airport 5 am Check-in at the TAG (18 calle & Avenida Hincapie zona 13 Hangar 16) (passport required) 6:30am Flight TG 01 with TAG from the TAG Hangar at the GUA Airport to FRS 7:30am Go to the Tikal Inn personnel at the FRS airport. Shuttle from Flores airport to Tikal National Park (park admission included). There may be a wait for the next flight (have breakfast) 9am English tour: Complex Q, North and Central Acropolis, Mundo Perdido Complex & Temple IV. Lunch at Hotel Tikal Inn (beverages and tips not included) Visit to museum on your own. Admission not included Overnight at Tikal Inn (double occupancy) Day 9   >>> the world famous mayan ruins of Tikal Breakfast/Free morning (US$20 park admission not included) 2 pm Shuttle fromHotel Tikal Innto Flores airport 3 pm Check-in at the TAG counter (passport required) 5 pm Flight TG 02 with TAG from FRS airport to the TAG Hangar at the GUA airport 6 pm Shuttle from the TAG Hangar at the GUA airport back to your Guatemala City Hotel Day 10     >>> Departure day Check out of your Guatemala City Hotel in time to catch your flight home. 

Private Tour: Chichicastenango Market and Lake Atitlan

5. Private Tour: Chichicastenango Market and Lake Atitlan

Take time to journey beyond Guatemala City to take in the beauty of the surrounding region and learn about local culture and history. Explore the Chichicastenango Maya Market, and the scenic Lake Atitlan with your guide and make lasting memories of your time in Guatemala.  You will be picked up from your hotel in Guatemala City then journey to the Western Highlands to arrive at your first location of the day, Chichicastenango. You will be mesmerized by this region of Guatemala an area most travellers would daydream about. The region is home to quaint and colorful mountain villages, highland lakes, forests and the majority of Guatemala’s indigenous people. Once you arrive at Chichicastenango Market you will begin your walking tour of the market. The market is the heart of commercial life for “maxeños”, having changed very little throughout the centuries. With your guide explore the pathways of the market and view the colorful handicrafts and produce offered by the local people of the region. Before departing Chichicastenango for the town of Panajachel you 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. Your tour will then continue to Panajachel which sits on Lake Atitlan. 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. The lake is truly a natural beauty to marvel at. In the afternoon, enjoy a relaxing return transfer back to Guatemala City.

Frequently asked questions about Guatemala City Meet the Locals

What are other things to do than Meet the Locals that are worth visiting in Guatemala City?

The other unmissable things to do in Guatemala City are:

Which Guatemala City Meet the Locals are taking additional COVID-19 precautions?

Other Sightseeing Options in Guatemala City

Want to discover all there is to do in Guatemala City? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Guatemala City

Overall rating

4.0 / 5

based on 6 reviews

I like the options they present for trips, and I loved the tours to the towns of Lake Atitlán. Although it would be advisable in each place to give about 2 hours to stay. It is also recommended from the beginning to put the options with the price of different hotels, so that the client can choose from the beginning. And it is also recommended that with the transport the seats of each traveler be reserved, because in the minibuses the small seats are uncomfortable and if you change the minibus, they sit where it is available.

Very neat and accomplished

Everything offered was fulfilled. Comfortable transport. Very friendly in the chosen hotel. Good location and willing to collaborate. The guide in the Lake very attentive to his work. A very pleasant experience. Thank you

Perfectly organised! The ride on the lake was quite long, but with a great view. The tour through San Pedro was quite short in turn, would have loved to spend more time in the villages but it was fun

Excellent!

We were extremely pleased with Mr. Mirco's attention, it was excellent! Very beautiful place and an incredible culture!