12 days in Guatemala Itinerary

12 days in Guatemala Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Central America trip itinerary planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Antigua
— 1 night
Shuttle
2
Santa Catarina Palopo
— 1 night
Taxi
3
Panajachel
— 3 nights
Shuttle
4
Chichicastenango
— 3 nights
Drive
5
Santa Lucia Cotzumalguapa
— 2 nights
Drive to La Aurora Airport, Fly to Montreal / Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport

S M T W T F S
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Antigua

— 1 night
The former capital of Guatemala and a World Heritage Site, Antigua retains its colonial charm and remains one of the most visited destinations in the country.
Kick off your visit on the 27th (Fri): contemplate the geological forces at Volcán Pacaya and then make a trip to The Plaza Central Park. On your second day here, delve into the distant past at Arco de Santa Catalina, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia de La Merced, then explore the world behind art at Casa Santo Domingo Museums, then look for gifts at Joyeria C'Santos Antigua, and finally make a trip to Cerro de la Cruz.

To find maps, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, read Antigua trip maker website.

Montreal, Canada to Antigua is an approximately 12-hour flight. You can also drive. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Central Standard Time (CST) is minus 1 hour. Traveling from Montreal in December, things will get much warmer in Antigua: highs are around 27°C and lows about 15°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sat) so you can catch the shuttle to Santa Catarina Palopo.

Things to do in Antigua

Nature · Parks · Historic Sites · Museums

Santa Catarina Palopo

— 1 night
Santa Catarina Palopó is a municipality in the Sololá department of Guatemala. On the 29th (Sun), contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Santa Catarina Palopo Church.

For more things to do, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Santa Catarina Palopo vacation planning website.

Take a shuttle from Antigua to Santa Catarina Palopo in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive. In December in Santa Catarina Palopo, expect temperatures between 27°C during the day and 15°C at night. You will have some time to spend on the 29th (Sun) before leaving for Panajachel.

Things to do in Santa Catarina Palopo

Historic Sites
Highlights from your trip

Panajachel

— 3 nights
A little town with a thriving tourism industry, Panajachel sits on the northern shore of scenic Atitlan Lake, one of Guatemala's major vacation destinations.
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Mon): explore the ancient world of Iximche, then buy something for everyone on your list at Mayanke, Ceramica Pintada a Mano, then take in nature's colorful creations at Hotel Atitlan Gardens, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at Church of St Francis. Keep things going the next day: take in the awesome beauty at Indian Nose, stop by Thirteen Threads Fair Trade Store and Maya Women's Center, and then see the interesting displays at Hotel Posada de Don Rodrigo Museum.

For more things to do, where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, use the Panajachel sightseeing planner.

Panajachel is just a stone's throw from Santa Catarina Palopo. In December, daily temperatures in Panajachel can reach 27°C, while at night they dip to 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 1st (Wed) to allow time for the shuttle ride to Chichicastenango.

Things to do in Panajachel

Parks · Museums · Shopping · Nature

Side Trip

Chichicastenango

— 3 nights

Chichi

Sitting in a scenic spot among towering mountains, Chichicastenango has a large indigenous population and displays its cultural heritage in a burst of color when hosting its long-established market.
Explore Chichicastenango's surroundings by going to Q'umarkaj (in Santa Cruz del Quiche) and Quetzaltenango (Ketzali Accessories & Santa Maria Volcano). There's much more to do: pause for some serene contemplation at Santo Tomas Church, see the interesting displays at Museo de Mascaras Ceremoniales, get to know the fascinating history of Laguna Lemoa, and contemplate the long history of Pascual Abaj.

To see photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Chichicastenango trip planner.

Take a shuttle from Panajachel to Chichicastenango in an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Panajachel in January, expect slightly colder with lows of 5°C in Chichicastenango. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Santa Lucia Cotzumalguapa.

Things to do in Chichicastenango

Historic Sites · Nature · Parks · Shopping

Side Trips

Santa Lucia Cotzumalguapa

— 2 nights
Your day by day itinerary now includes La Choza Chula. Start off your visit on the 5th (Sun): deepen your appreciation for local ecosystems through La Choza Chula.

To find photos, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Santa Lucia Cotzumalguapa trip itinerary tool.

Getting from Chichicastenango to Santa Lucia Cotzumalguapa by car takes about 3.5 hours. In January, Santa Lucia Cotzumalguapa is much warmer than Chichicastenango - with highs of 38°C and lows of 21°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 6th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Santa Lucia Cotzumalguapa

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Parks

Side Trip

Highlights from your trip

Guatemala travel guide

4.5
Landmarks · Volcanos · Ruins
Land of Eternal Spring
Offering a chance to discover a rich history, remarkable landscapes, and a vibrant culture, a holiday in Guatemala remains a great choice for a wide range of travelers. The heart of the Maya civilization, Guatemala boasts stunning ancient ruins and traditional villages that blend with the Spanish heritage of the colonial-era and its stately cathedrals and town halls. While the cities boast splendid architecture and cultural heritage, they make up a small percentage of the mountainous Guatemalan landscape. Adventurous travelers and nature lovers will have plenty of things to do in Guatemala, from boating on the rushing rivers and scenic lakes, to exploring caves, picturesque beaches, and lush national parks.

Lake Atitlan travel guide

4.4
Wildlife Areas · Bodies of Water · Ruins
Lake Atitlan, a large volcanic lake, provides the setting for a wealth of interesting Mayan towns and villages. Surrounded by imposing and scenic mountains, the lake forms part of a sprawling national park, rich in wildlife and cultural attractions. The main towns and villages range from touristy gateways to authentic realms of tradition and culture, with charming local markets, rustic architecture, and a laid-back feel. Many of the towns can only be reached by boat, with trips on the lake high on most visitors' Lake Atitlan itineraries.