I Love Adventures - Guatemalan Highlands & Volcanoes

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Guatemalan Highlands & Volcanoes

In the central highlands of Guatemala, lofty volcanoes are commonplace. We hike through traditional Indian villages, coffee plantations and cloud forest as we climb peaks which offer staggering views. Although most of the volcanoes are now dormant, we walk to the lava fields of active Pacaya and to the steaming crater of Cerro Quemado. As well as the fantastic walking on offer, there is plenty of time to delve into the local culture and find out more about the Mayan Indians who live in the highlands.

Quick Facts

  • Walking & Trekking
  • Point-to-Point

Whats Included

All accommodation, All listed activities, All transport, Tour leader (on guided trips), Some meals (details available on request)

What to expect

* 8 nights standard hotels with en suite rooms, 4 nights full-service camping, 2 nights in basic cabins with en suite rooms * 10 days walking  * Full porterage throughout * Altitude maximum 3500m, average 2400m * Group normally 4 to 16, plus leader. Min age 18 yrs

Hiking amongst the mountains and lakes of Guatemala.

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Days : 15

Price : From AED 8,492*
*Per person twin sharing and excluding flights

Trip Style : Camping

Trip Type : Individuals

Physical Grading : 5

Trip Map

Itinerary Land Only

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6
Day 7
Day 8
Day 9
Day 10
Day 11
Day 12
Day 13
Day 14
Day 15

Reviews

Title : Fantastic Trip
Summary : This was one the most rewarding walking/hiking trips I have been on. Excellent on all levels and quite challenging as well.
Rating : 5

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Question : What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
Answer : There were so many, its very difficult to choose one. The view of Santiaguito erupting while standing on the summit of Santa Maria was amazing, as were the views from the top of Zunil. I also found the trek through the Mayan villages and the camping quite rewarding. The evening spent with the women's weaving coop in San Juan and the visit to Iximche and the Almolonga market were great. Lastly, the Fuentes Georginas hot springs, particularly after a long difficult day of hiking, were unforgettable.
Question : What did you think of your group leader?
Answer : The guides, Rafael, Mario, and Miguel, were what really made this trip special. I have never had such rapport with leaders during my travels. Their humor and good natured personalities were very refreshing, but they also made me feel very comfortable and safe at all times. Their enjoyment in working with each other was very refreshing. Their pride in their country showed greatly. Juan Carlos was also a highlight of the trip, and the consistently great meals he provided, cooked in somewhat or entirely primitive settings, were amazing.
Question : Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
Answer : This is a difficult trip, primarily because of the steep ascents/descents, so be prepared. The evenings and mornings are cold in the Highlands, dress appropriately. Also, the camping is in villages or quite close to villages, and the dogs and roosters can make sleeping difficult. I would recommend bringing earplugs. Take advantage of everything, including the temazcals while in the villages. What an experience! Also, if you have any obsessive concerns regarding cleanliness, you must shed them. All of the trails are extremely dusty from the volcanic soil.
Question : Is there anything else you would like to add?
Answer : I have been on numerous hiking/trekking trips over the years, and I must say that I found this to be the best. The strenuous walking and sights, but especially the leaders, made this trip great. Make sure you are up for it, because it definitely deserves its "challenging" rating.

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Title : Guatemala Highlands and Volcanoes
Summary : The trip was amazing. Every detail was well planned; all hikes and a destinations were excellent; the tour guides were amazing; and, the chef was outstanding. I would definitely recommend this trip to anyone physically fit enough to handle it.
Rating : 5

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Question : What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
Answer : Day 9 or 10, which was the longest hiking day, ended at the hot springs, which were amazing.
Question : What did you think of your group leader?
Answer : Rafael, Mario and Miguel were excellent tour guides.
Question : Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
Answer : Be prepared to do quite a lot of walking/hiking; be prepared to be dusty; but, be prepared to have your expectations exceeded.

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Title : Tough but worthwhile
Summary : Stunning views, tough climbs great guides
Rating : 4

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Question : What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
Answer : The last day - an early start with a procession of head torches to climb Santa Maria. You spend the previous week climbing volcanos around Santa Maria, and the view from the top is absolutely amazing
Question : What did you think of your group leader?
Answer : Very good, there were two - Juan and Raf. We always had one leading at the front, one at the back. We also had a Miguel join for a week or so, and 2 tourist police. We were well escorted.
Question : Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
Answer : Half the group got sick - be so careful with hygiene. Do all the optional stuff. It's cold at night, and often you'll sit outside to have supper on the camping days, but warm when you are walking in the days
Question : Is there anything else you would like to add?
Answer : The trip notes were out of date - distances and climbs / descents, but every day was clearly described by the guides. Camping at the schools was a mixed bag - the first was awful, the second great. you could take pens / books for the schools if that is your thing

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Title : Guatemala
Summary : Truly challenging trip that lived up to its billing. The final walking day was tremendous
Rating : 4

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Question : What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
Answer : Reaching the top of the volcano on the final walking day and seeing the neighbouring volcano erupt.
Question : What did you think of your group leader?
Answer : Both leaders were very good.
Question : Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
Answer : It is challenging. Because of the nature of volcano's there is a lot of up and down and no ridge walks. Be prepared.K

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Title : Guatemalan Highlands & Vocanoes
Summary : This trip was a bit different from the normal point to point trekking. It was much more varied and I very much enjoyed it. As an example, there is an optional ascent of Volcan San Pedro which has great views from the summit over Lake Atitlan. It's a fairly hard 1,200 metres of ascent. We took tuk-tuks to an early start around 07.00, were at the top by 10.30, enjoyed the views and instead of the normal packed lunch we were back down for lunch in a restaurant, after which we had a free afternoon. It was shorts and T-shirts by day but could be quite cold and windy at night ( most camping nights were spent on school playgrounds and we sometimes ate in a classroom on little children's chairs). I'd be happy to recommend this trip.
Rating : 5

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Question : What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
Answer : There were some great views, especially of Lake Atitlan. However, a special moment came just after a group photograph had been taken at the highest point of the trip, the summit of Volcan Santa Maria, when we were treated to an eruption of ash and smoke from nearby Santiaguito.
Question : What did you think of your group leader?
Answer : We had three local guides, Juan, Rafael and Miguel. The first two spoke excellent English whilst Miguel would try to teach us Spanish in return for us helping him improve his English. All three were extremely helpful and each had a good sense of humour. I greatly enjoyed their company and had full confidence in them. Everything went to plan and they even laid on excellent weather.
Question : Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
Answer : If you fly via the USA remember you'll need an ESTA and to queue up to go through immigration, even just for transit.
Question : Is there anything else you would like to add?
Answer : The only downside to this trip was the use of United Airlines. Across the Atlantic you only have to pay extra for alcoholic drinks but to Guatemala you only get a free soft drink and you have to pay for everything else, food and entertainment. They also may change your return flight whilst you are in Guatemala and they always seem to overbook.

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Title : Amazing Guatemala!
Summary : Just returned from an amazing 2 weeks in Guatemala. The trekking was tough but beautiful and only one day was thwarted by an erupting volcano!
Rating : 5

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Question : What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
Answer : Highlights including enjoying leisurely beer in the natural hot springs buried deep in the jungle, zip lining over the forest canopy, a boat trip across Lake Atitlan and trekking to the top of several amazing volcanoes.
Question : What did you think of your group leader?
Answer : Juan and Rafa were brilliant. Lovely characters who were keen to show the best of their beautiful country as well as ensuring everyone had a great time.
Question : Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
Answer : Take quick drying clothes, things can get quite damp on the camping nights due to the natural climate of the rainforest. Also it gets very chilly in the evenings so make sure you have a warm fleece and hat.
Question : Is there anything else you would like to add?
Answer : This is a great trip - if you are thinking of doing it don't hesitate - book it!

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Title : GUATEMALAN HIGHLANDS & VOLCANOES
Summary : The sheer diversity of the trip is wonderful!  From exploring the vast and colourful vegetable market,  zip wiring, exploring Mayan ruins, boat trips, highland villages, bird watching,  soaking in glorious hot spring tubs, meeting friendly local people, including Miguel's lovely family, the whole trip was superb and that is before we start on the fabulous walking up five volcanoes............. 
Rating : 5

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Question : What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
Answer : Reaching the top of glorious Santa Maria, with volcanoes galore all around, some of which we had climbed. 
Question : What did you think of your group leader?
Answer : All three group leaders were superb; special mention goes to Juan who was responsible, friendly, competent, flexible and good fun throughout.  We were particularly impressed with the way he responded to the group and made things happen even if they weren't on the 'trip notes'!
Question : Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
Answer : Don't be obsessed with 'trip notes'!  Flexibility is good - the 'off piste' activities that Juan and his team offered were some of the BEST bits!
Question : Is there anything else you would like to add?
Answer : The weather was superb throughout (sorry that the previous group were not so lucky)  with blue skies and sunshine every day.  The dry season had just started and we reaped the benefits.  Juan at the very beginning mentioned that life is not hurried in Guatemala and that we would enjoy it best if we relaxed and enjoyed the leisurely tempo of Guatemalan life.  He was right! The food that Juan Carlos and his ace team prepared in difficult conditions was superb.  Most of us found our way to his restaurant in Antigua on our free day there, just to savour the delights one more time!We visited the Filadelfia coffee plantation on our day in Antigua and found it fascinating - and you get to travel in a WW2 Unimog truck!

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Title : GUATEMALAN HIGHLANDS & VOLCANOES
Summary : Very impressive trip: stunning scenery, fabulous hiking, and a fascinating insight into Mayan history and Guatemalan life. We had a great group, and a lot of fun.
Rating : 5

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Question : What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
Answer : A real highlight was seeing two erupting volcanoes, and watching the sun rise over Lake Atitlan. I really enjoyed getting off the beaten track, and experiencing local hospitality.
Question : What did you think of your group leader?
Answer : Leaders, Pedro and Esteban, were excellent. Their enthusiasm, professionalism and insight made our trip great fun and extremely rewarding. They worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make everything run smoothly -- and to offer us a range of interesting options during our time in Antigua and Lake Atitlan. A special mention too for our local guide, Miguel, who made us so welcome, and helped make our trip so sociable.
Question : Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
Answer : Unquestionably a serious hiking trip. A fabulous choice if, like me, you want some challenging mountain trekking. Expect the itinerary to vary slightly, to meet changing conditions. Enjoy going with the flow -- the tour leaders never failed to deliver!
Question : Is there anything else you would like to add?
Answer : Keen walkers, who want something different, will love this trip. I enjoyed everything from the food, to the fun, to the fabulous views. I've been given a fascinating insight into Guatemala's history, culture, and coffee production. The saunas and hot springs were pretty good too. A great experience all round. Many thanks.

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Title : GUATEMALAN HIGHLANDS & VOLCANOES
Summary : Very impressive trip: stunning scenery, fabulous hiking, and a fascinating insight into Mayan history and Guatemalan life. We had a great group, and a lot of fun.
Rating : 5

See more.

Question : What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
Answer : A real highlight was seeing two erupting volcanoes, and watching the sun rise over Lake Atitlan. I really enjoyed getting off the beaten track, and experiencing local hospitality.
Question : What did you think of your group leader?
Answer : Leaders, Pedro and Esteban, were excellent. Their enthusiasm, professionalism and insight made our trip great fun and extremely rewarding. They worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make everything run smoothly -- and to offer us a range of interesting options during our time in Antigua and Lake Atitlan. A special mention too for our local guide, Miguel, who made us so welcome, and helped make our trip so sociable.
Question : Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
Answer : Unquestionably a serious hiking trip. A fabulous choice if, like me, you want some challenging mountain trekking. Expect the itinerary to vary slightly, to meet changing conditions. Enjoy going with the flow -- the tour leaders never failed to deliver!
Question : Is there anything else you would like to add?
Answer : Keen walkers, who want something different, will love this trip. I enjoyed everything from the food, to the fun, to the fabulous views. I've been given a fascinating insight into Guatemala's history, culture, and coffee production. The saunas and hot springs were pretty good too. A great experience all round. Many thanks. 

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Title : GUATEMALAN HIGHLANDS & VOLCANOES
Summary : Volcanoes, beautiful scenery, incredible guides, wonderful local people, a great group and fantastic times - one of the best trips I have ever been on!  I would recommend this holiday to anyone.
Rating : 5

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Question : What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
Answer : A few too many to mention: reaching the tops of the many volcanoes, swimming in Lake Atitlan, partying the night away with our guides, doing an Italian Job impression in a Bob Marley tuk tuk (you had to be there), boats, pick-ups and camping out in the highlands.  Sunrise over Lake Atitlan was probably one the real highlights, together with seeing Fuego erupting.  This trip really has something for everyone and only the most petty-minded could find anything to fault in it.
Question : What did you think of your group leader?
Answer : Leadership on this holiday was outstanding.  We had two main guides: Pedro and Esteban, who were committed and fantastic company.  They made the holiday.  Also Miguelito, our local guide for a week of the trip was brilliant, not to mention hilarious - we even went to his house for dinner and met his family.  Some of the best guides I have ever come across.  They made guiding look easy, which it certainly isn't, and everything worked like clockwork.  Brilliant.
Question : Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
Answer : Understand the flight arrangements - we flew back trhough Miami which was horrendous - I would suggest ensuring your flight goes through a different airport!  Also, I wish I had known that your things are never carried by animals/people so it is OK to pack that extra pair of shoes and a couple of extra items of clothing, unlike other trips I have been on.
Question : Is there anything else you would like to add?
Answer : Key to enjoying this trip is going with the flow - it was a very lively, fun group and we had a wonderful time with the guides - if you like a quiet solitary walk this might annoy you but we loved it!  Do all the optional activities.  Guatemala is an amazing country and this is a fantastic holiday.

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Start Date - End DateAvailabilityPrice
*Per person twin sharing and excluding flights
2018-11-17 - 2018-12-014 AED 8,492