President’s Pick Guatemala Returns

President's Picks | Big Five Tours

“When I think of Guatemala, I start with Mayan history, however,  I always gravitate to active volcanoes. With over 30 volcanoes, three active, two of which are in Antigua alone, the opportunities lead to something everyone can love… Pizza cooked over lava!”

Ashish Sanghrajka


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President’s Picks




Price starts at 450.00 Land per person, per day, double occupancy.



Tour Highlights/Full Description

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  • Discover Antigua, one of the country’s most breathtaking cities with Spanish colonial monuments and churches
  • Enjoy a delightful visit to small chocolate factory still producing traditional hand-crafted chocolate
  • Explore the remarkable Mirador Archeological site, a pre-Classic Mayan city that flourished as a trade center and take in the fabled Tikal National Park with its temple ruins and architecture
  • Hike up the Pacaya Volcano, and enjoy an artisanal pizza cooked over the hot lava at sunset
  • Take in the fabled Tikal National Park, with its temple ruins, architecture and rich history


Day 1: Guatemala City / Antigua, Guatemala
Upon arrival at Guatemala International Airport, you proceed through customs and immigration before collecting your bags. As you exit the airport, look for a Big Five representative who will be waiting to welcome you and assist you with a private transfer to the airstrip for your helicopter flight to Antigua. Immediately after takeoff, you head towards Magdalena Milpas Altas, Agua volcano, Ciudad Vieja, Acatenango and Fuego volcanoes, Palin, Pacaya Volcano and Lake Amatitlán. Then you land in the beautiful colonial city of Antigua, where you are transferred to your hotel. This colonial gem has it all. You feel as if you have traveled back in time, fall in love as you walk the cobblestone roads. Experience all the harmony of the cultural exchange in the jewel of Guatemala’s most cosmopolitan city. Take a walk in nature, drink a cup of unique Antigua coffee while gazing at Agua Volcano. Later, enjoy the uniqueness of Las Cruces Boutique Hotel and its state-of-the-art comfort, with 11 luxurious and generous suites embellished with original silver pieces from 17th century. Relax in the beautiful interior patio, sitting room and a charming veranda with amazing views of the city and the volcanoes. Las Cruces Boutique Hotel – Suite

Day 2: Antigua
After breakfast, set out on a guided walking tour of Antigua. Visit the breathtaking colonial monuments and discover why this city was the bustling center of the region for the Spaniards. Starting at central plaza, your guide gives you an overview about the colonization, Guatemala’s history and some of the contemporary issues. View the outside of the main buildings – Palacio de Capitanes, City Hall and El Portal, and visit the cathedral, cathedral ruins and San Francisco church. Stop to savor lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch, a private transfer takes you to a small chocolate factory in San Juan El Obispo, where a family still produces hand-crafted chocolate. This small family business focuses on preserving the taste and process of artisanal chocolate-making just like the Mayans have done for centuries. End the day, with a hike up the Pacaya Volcano, one of three active volcanoes in Guatemala, for an amazing sunset. About an hour drive from Antigua, you find the Pacaya National Park and the trailhead in the small village of San Francisco de Sales. The roughly two-mile trail is relatively steep but well maintained and climbs steadily through farmland and pine forest before arriving on an exposed ridge offering panoramic views of Pacaya’s smoking black cone, miles of old blackened lava flows and the volcanoes to the north around Antigua and Lake Atitlan. As a treat after trekking the volcano, you enjoy an artisanal pizza cooked over the hot lava as you take in the sunset. Return to Antigua for your evening. Las Cruces Boutique Hotel – Suite (B)

Day 3: Antigua
Early this morning, take a transfer to a private coffee farm for a 4×4 experience up the Acatenango Volcano, climbing about 11,500 feet, where you cross to the south side of the volcano. At the precise location, you can appreciate the spectacular sunrise and the active eruptions of Fuego Volcano as you enjoy a classic Guatemalan breakfast on the volcano. After breakfast, you have the option to hike to the summit for bird’s eye views of the Fuego Volcano. The peak is about 13,000 feet from where you had breakfast and the trek takes about two to three hours. Later, you head back down to the 4×4 and return to Antigua to refresh before you set out to savor a Zacapa rum tasting. Zacapa Centenario is a first-class Guatemalan rum made from virgin sugar cane honey. It received 97 points from the Beverage Tasting Institute and a Gold Medal at the 2007 International Cane Spirits Festival. In this rum tasting, you sample three different rums, including one of the best, Zacapa Centenario. Las Cruces Boutique Hotel – Suite (B)

Day 4: Antigua / Flores (Peten)
This morning, you journey to one of the many Mayan local towns around Antigua called San Antonio Aguas Calientes. Here you have the chance to work closely with ceramic artisans. The ceramics are specifically made for the Ecofilter Water purification system. After this visit, you go to the Ecofilter plant to learn more about how the system works, who it benefits, and the rewards to Guatemalan families of having fresh, clean drinking water.  At the plant, you learn more about the “Ecofiltro School Program” and the “Water for Life Program” in benefits the children and their families who now have access to safe drinkable water.  In the afternoon, you are transferred to Guatemala City for your local flight to Flores. On arrival, you take a private transfer to your hotel. Located in the heart of the Maya world, Las Lagunas Boutique Hotel lets you experience the richness of the jungle at its best. Its private reserve blends a breeding facility for indigenous wildlife with eco-adventure activities such as trekking, bird watching hikes, kayaking and 4×4 ATV rides in an area exceeding 200 acres.  Las Lagunas Hotel – Waterfront Room (B)

Day 5: Flores
After breakfast, you are transferred to the hotel’s helipad for your helicopter transfer to Mirador Archeological site. El Mirador is a pre-Classic Mayan city that flourished as a trade center from around 300 BCE to 150 CE. The site was discovered in 1930 by a group expedition of the Washington Carniege Institute. Its main attractions are the two large pyramid complexes that face each other, El Tigre and La Danta. La Danta Complex is technically lower than El Tigre, however, because it is located on a hillside, it is the tallest structure in the Mayan World. This ancient Mayan city features ruins that are more compelling than most Mayan sites. The Tiger Pyramid is 18 stories high and it bases covers the area of three football fields. Enjoy a delicious picnic lunch on site before returning to your hotel. Las Lagunas Hotel – Waterfront Room (B)

Day 6: Flores
After breakfast, enjoy a monkey river tour at your lodge. Your hotel is located on a property that features five lagoons; the largest is called Laguna Quexil. In this lagoon has two islands, one of which is home to monkeys that are bred and cared for by the hotel. Every morning the staff prepares fresh fruit and vegetables to feed them. You can watch the monkeys come down from the top of the trees to eat their food. You might have a chance to feed these charming and friendly monkeys. After the tour, your guide and driver transfer you to fabled Tikal National Park. On arrival, your guide helps you explore the layout of the temples, architecture, history, and some theories of why the Mayans disappeared. If you are lucky, you may encounter a few monkeys, parrots, macaws and toucans. You will almost certainly hear them. Later, enjoy lunch at a restaurant in the middle of the jungle before you are transferred back to your hotel. Las Lagunas Hotel – Waterfront Room (B)

Day 7: Flores / Guatemala City / Depart
After breakfast, a private transfer takes you to Flores airport for local flight back to Guatemala City, where you connect your international flight home (B)

Per Diem: USD 450.00  per person per day


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