Tailormade Tours - Guatemala

Antigua, Guatemala

Specialist operator who can create customised itineraries to cater to your personal travel dreams
Guatemala is a diverse and fascinating country. It has Spanish colonial cities, a strong Maya culture full of ancient traditions, stunning volcanic scenery, and rainforests brimming with lost Maya temples. In fact there's so much to do, it pays to arrange a tailor-made trip to make the most of your time there - and it need not be that expensive.

We've chosen to work with ViaVenture, an Antigua-based tour operator that was founded by an enterprising trio from the US, UK and Switzerland. They've has been operating customised tours in Guatemala, Belize and Honduras since 2001, and after these took off, they branched out in Costa Rica, too.

Besides suggesting the best itineraries to cover the country's highlights, and selecting the most lovely and unusual accommodation, they can arrange private transfers and book adventurous guided tours. These range from hiking up volcanoes to learning about Shamanism or archaeology to bird watching, multi-sports and diving.

Why we chose this partner

  • They have an excellent reputation in the travel industry, and deservedly so; i-escape guest feedback has always been very good
  • As they are based in Antigua, they can offer first-hand, on-the-ground knowledge and expertise
  • Honest, professional answers to all booking enquiries
  • Multilingual staff
  • We admire their environmental and social commitments

Please be aware

  • i-escape can only vouch for those properties which are featured and reviewed on our website. For other areas and accommodations, while we do trust our operator to provide the best available, you should make sure that you are happy with it before confirming
  • These tours cannot be booked in conjunction with La Lancha Lodge, because all Coppola-owned properties operate their own tours exclusively

Best time to go

Known as 'the land of eternal spring', Guatemala is blessed with balmy stable temperatures year round. Most of the country enjoys warm or hot days with mild or cool evenings year round. The altitude determines local climate: the highlands between 1300 and 1600 metres have a temperature range of 18-24C (Guatemala City, Antigua, Atitlan); the lowlands, between 70 and 125 metres range between 22-34C (Peten), and can be very humid.

Dry and warm between November and May, December to March is the busiest in terms of tourists. The rainy season starts in May and ends in November but this mostly entails sunny mornings with rain at teatime. However, June and July are often dry and clear and are also a popular time to visit; September and October are the wettest months.

Our top tips

Time your tour to coincide with a festival. Easter week (Semana Santa) is the biggest, and its religious processions along Antigua’s cobblestone streets are spectacular. Early November sees a Kite Festival, and small villages have patron saint days throughout the year with traditional dances and celebrations.

Great for...

Family
Great Outdoors
Honeymoon
Spa
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
Room: Casa Palopa

Lodging

Accommodation in Guatemala includes colonial mansions, rustic haciendas, simple homestays and luxury villas. You can be right on a lakeside or hidden deep in the jungle. We've reviewed the pick of the crop in extensive detail, so check our recommendations and ask ViaVenture to include any you like in your itinerary. Otherwise, ask for their advice; they can tailor hotels to suit your budget and preferences.

Guatemalan food is typical of Central America, with corn, rice, tomatoes, peppers and black beans acting as staples, and tamales on every other street stall. There's an abundance of tropical fruit (bananas, papayas, mangoes), and the coffee is terrific.

Activities

Things we loved...

  • Trekking through the jungle to remote Mayan ruins
  • Kayaking on crystal-clear Lake Atitlan
  • Mountain biking across the Altiplano between massive volcanoes
  • Shopping for colourful textiles at Chichi market
  • Whitewater rafting down tropical rivers
  • The magnificent Unesco temples at Tikal
  • Scuba diving along the world's second-largest barrier reef

    Activities include:

    • Birdwatching
    • Cooking classes
    • Cycling
    • Fishing
    • Golf
    • Hiking
    • Historical sites
    • Horse-riding
    • Kayaking
    • Language courses
    • Museums / galleries
    • Plantlife / flora
    • Private guided tours
    • Rafting
    • Sailing
    • Scuba diving
    • Scuba diving courses
    • Shopping / markets
    • Swimming
    • Traditional cultures
    • Trekking
    • Well being
    • Wildlife
    • Yoga
  • Activity:
    Kid Friendly:

    With Kids

    ViaVenture are great at organising family trips, whether you want something educational, adventurous, relaxing or a mix of the 3. They can recommend family friendly hotels and are always on-hand should you need them during your trip

    Best for:

    Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

    Family friendly accommodation:

    Family Rooms

    Transport

    Overland travel will be in a car with a driver, or a minibus if you opt for group travel.

    Transport:

    Our guests' ratings...

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    Service
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    Value
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    Itineraries