Guatemala Tours

Guatemala Tours

The southernmost country in Central America, and bordered by Mexico, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador, Guatemala was once home to perhaps the western hemisphere's greatest ancient civilization, the Maya.

The Mayan empire of old has long been revered for its sophistication, all though the country itself was not the origin of the advanced conceptions of writing and the calendar, these ancient people did develop them to an astounding extent and at times were using multiple calendars simultaneously.

Dominating the entire region and increasing their territory to cover Guatemala, Belize and Mexico, the Mayans left their indelible mark on the continents landscape and the surrounding cultures; evidence of...   Read More
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Escape the beaten path
Visit the must-see highlights then discover little-known attractions most tourists never hear about.

All-inclusive comfort
Get more value with all-inclusive trips featuring top-rated restaurants and hotels.

Expert local guides
Discover the country's true culture with the help of experienced local guides
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Our specialists can take away the stress and create a custom trip tailored to your exact interests and budget.
Escape the beaten path
Visit the must-see highlights then discover little-known attractions most tourists never hear about.
All-inclusive comfort
Get more value with all-inclusive trips featuring top-rated restaurants and hotels.
Expert local guides
Discover the country's true culture with the help of experienced local guides

 

 

This Is What You Could See

 

Our Guatemala Tour Leaders


Some of our tour leaders who have led these tours.

Martin Charlton
"Don't pack anything that you would be upset to lose, that needs to be ironed, or is encased in glass." - words to live by.
Read More about Martin Charlton
Jonathan Hodgson
Jonathan has lived much of his life dedicated to the idea that he would rather have a wealth of experiences than a wealth of riches. Having taken up a…
Read More about Jonathan Hodgson
Victor Romagnoli
I love the excitement of getting up each morning on a tour and not knowing exactly how a day will unfold. It keeps me on my toes so to speak, and adds a…
Read More about Victor Romagnoli
Chris Tripodi
I travel because it is the most interesting thing I can think of doing between meals. The magic and the challenge of this job is seeing the world itself…
Read More about Chris Tripodi

 

Name:
Martin Charlton

EDUCATION:
Bachelor's Degree in Geography; further studies in Archaeology & Anthropology. Life's real education happens outside the classroom.

LANGUAGE:
English and some French & Spanish.

TOURS LED:
Having led tours for Adventures Abroad for almost 25 years, there are few corners of the globe where Martin’s left a stone unturned: everywhere from North Korea to Nauru, Saudi Arabia to Sudan, Guinea-Bissau to French Guiana. With over 200 tours through over 125 countries under his belt, it might be faster to list the regions where he hasn’t led a tour.

FAVOURITE DESTINATION:
"My love of travel and infectious enthusiasm for different cultures has taken me to over 155 countries. The further off the beaten path, the better. For a favourite place: perhaps South Georgia Island, the Canadian Arctic, or Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic. World's best city = Istanbul!"

ABOUT:
"Don't pack anything that you would be upset to lose, that needs to be ironed, or is encased in glass." - words to live by.

Name:
Jonathan Hodgson

EDUCATION:
BA in Psychology at McGill University; MBA at the University of British Columbia; self-educated passion for history and culture.

LANGUAGE:
English; conversational French; improving Spanish and Russian. And a decent Scottish accent.

TOURS LED:
I have led tours in over 100 countries over the last 14 years of working for Adventures Abroad on all of the continents except for Antarctica.

FAVOURITE DESTINATION:
Where to begin? Each place has something that makes it a special destination. A few that spring to mind: Kaieteur Falls in Guyana; the snow-covered mountains of Ladakh, India; sipping tea in a chaikhana of the old town of Bukhara, Uzbekistan; and watching the changing colours of Uluru (Ayers Rock) at sunset.

ABOUT:
Jonathan has lived much of his life dedicated to the idea that he would rather have a wealth of experiences than a wealth of riches. Having taken up a nomadic lifestyle shortly after finishing his undergraduate degree, he has been on the move on and off over the last 25+ years. The wanderlust has taken him to basing himself in places such as Scotland, Australia and Uzbekistan, and to visiting many more locations around our planet. Now (sort of) settled in Vancouver with his wonderful (and patient) family, he still loves the idea of having the world as his office and always enjoys trying to capture the essence of the locations he travels and tours in with his photography.

Name:
Victor Romagnoli

EDUCATION:
HBA English BA History

LANGUAGE:
Being able to speak several languages has made travelling an enriching experience; the conversations one can so easily slip into with locals - who come from all walks of life - adds greatly to my feel for a place.

TOURS LED:
Over a span of almost 30 years, I have lead tours virtually all over the globe.

FAVOURITE DESTINATION:
Some of my favourite tours just come into being suddenly as a result of a request; someone will ask me to put together an itinerary that will include the highlights of several countries and the next thing you know we have, for example, a tour to Uruguay, Paraguay & Bolivia, or Lesotho, Namibia & Botswana. Sometimes I will be asked to arrange a detailed itinerary to just one region within a country - like a close up look at Sicily or Crete or the Basque Country or Newfoundland. Without the keen curiosity that so many of you travellers have, none of these "spontaneous" tours would come into being. But they do.

ABOUT:
I love the excitement of getting up each morning on a tour and not knowing exactly how a day will unfold. It keeps me on my toes so to speak, and adds a breath of excitement to each day on tour. With almost 30 years of tour leading under my belt, I thank all of you for being a part of this exciting journey.

Name:
Chris Tripodi

EDUCATION:
University for Mathematics. College for Music. But the greatest education I've received has come from Earth while travelling. "Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled."

LANGUAGE:
I can ask 'Where is the toilet?' in 57 languages.

COUNTRIES VISITED:
80%. I need a new passport every 20 months.

TOURS LED:
West Africa to South Africa, El Salvador to Argentina, Samoa to Seychelles, Portugal to Romania, Jordan to Japan.

FAVOURITE DESTINATION:
Departures hall.

ABOUT:
I travel because it is the most interesting thing I can think of doing between meals. The magic and the challenge of this job is seeing the world itself as the tour with several smaller journeys along the way. I enjoy that time at the end of one trip, before the start of a new one, where the sadness of leaving one place mixes with the excitement of approaching another.

The southernmost country in Central America, and bordered by Mexico, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador, Guatemala was once home to perhaps the western hemisphere's greatest ancient civilization, the Maya.

The Mayan empire of old has long been revered for its sophistication, all though the country itself was not the origin of the advanced conceptions of writing and the calendar, these ancient people did develop them to an astounding extent and at times were using multiple calendars simultaneously.

Dominating the entire region and increasing their territory to cover Guatemala, Belize and Mexico, the Mayans left their indelible mark on the continents landscape and the surrounding cultures; evidence of which is in abundance today in the forms of ruins and sculptures, some of which were discovered up to a staggering 1,000km from the Mayan homeland.

Tikal, located in the Northern Peten Province, is perhaps the most important Mayan complex according to UNESCO. A major Pre-Columbian political, economic and military centre, many of the original decorations including stone carvings, murals and hieroglyphics are still visible.

Set in the magnificent Maya Forest, big cats such as jaguar and puma, along with monkeys, anteaters and 300 types of birds are found within the lush rainforest.

No more is the Mayan legacy more evident, however, than in the Guatemalan people, their way of life and their traditions.

Our Guatemala tours include visits to villages such as Chichicastenango (locally known as Chichi), with a bustling market that is reputedly the largest in Central America, as well as local 400-year old church of Santo Tomas. Built atop a Pre-Columbian platform, the steps originally leading to a temple of the pre-Hispanic Mayan civilization remain venerated. Shamans still use the church for their rituals, burning incense and candles. Each of the 18 stairs that lead up to the church stands for one month of the Mayan calendar year.

Villages in Guatemala are often surrounded by scenic settings such as the quaint town of Panajachel, on the shores of Lake Atitlan with three volcanoes rising gracefully from its southern shore.

Across Lake Atitlan, villages such as Santiago, the former Tzutuhil Indian nation capital that turned into an important missionary and trading outpost after the Spanish conquest. Today Santiago is one of the most traditional Indian villages in Guatemala, with a purely Indian population that lives much as it did hundreds of years ago.

In terms of a Spanish legacy, none of our Guatemala tours are complete without a visit to Antigua. The city is a colonial masterpiece in terms of charm with restored pastel facades over cobblestone streets leading to a plaza complete with fountains, monuments and a cathedral dominating the skyline along with the three volcanoes that encircle the city.

The city, founded in 1543, was the seat of Spanish colonial government for the Kingdom of Guatemala. Throughout its history the city was repeatedly damaged by earthquakes, and always rebuilt, bigger and better. The crumbling ruins that spread throughout the city are a stark reminder of the power of mother nature.

One of our Guatemala tours is not just a tour to view the relics of a long-gone ancient civilization, but is rather a tour that brings you face-to-face with an ancient civilization in a modern and picturesque setting.