The Mayan Trading Route in Guatemala

Study Environmental Sciences in Guatemala

Tikal National Park has incredible biodiversity, including wetlands, savannah, and tropical jungle surrounding ancient Mayan temples. As important as tourism to the economy here, humans can adversely affect the very beauty the seek. Add an impact by volunteering for a trail clean-up day or to otherwise assist park rangers here.

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Sojourn – Gain a better understanding of the community you’re visiting. Learn about different religions or spiritual practices. How do these impact the communities? How does religion or spirituality influence local traditions?

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Savor – Will you choose sweet or savory? Take the time to visit local markets and discover unique local ingredients. Learn how to prepare traditional meals & local favorites.

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Tip of the Tongue – Each morning, take the time to learn a few basic greetings and phrases in the local language. Learn how to write greetings & your name in the local script.

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A Wrinkle in Time – History influences our present. Discover the history of the country you visit. Hear the stories of your guides & their family history. Where do they come from?

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Journal Journeys – Take some time to reflect on the day’s events and document your journey. Spend a moment journaling about the day had & day ahead. These are memories for a lifetime!

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Culture – From local dances, festivals, or simple gestures to communicate – all of these make up a country’s culture. Learn and practice cultural norms & how to show respect in the culture you visit.

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Upon arrival at the Guatemala City airport, you will be greeted by your local guide and transferred to your hotel to freshen up before going out for some tasty local cuisine with your guide.

Your guide will be with you for the duration of your visit to study environmental sciences and will share with you important local cultural customs as well as safety tips. If you arrive early in the day, you will have time to explore the city at your leisure before embarking on an overseas adventure you will long remember.

In the morning, you will take a panoramic tour of Guatemala City before traveling by bus to the small city of Antigua. Surrounded by volcanoes, two of them still active, this city is known for its Spanish colonial buildings and churches. Must-sees are La Merced, Church of San Francisco, and the Church and Convent of Las Capuchins.

After settling into your hotel, you will take a walking tour through the historical center of the city.

This morning the adventurous will hike along the hot lava beds of the Volcan Fuego (volcano of fire). Locals pay little attention to the frequent puffs of steam from this volcano, but visitors get a chill being so close to an active volcano.

In the countryside surrounding Antigua, there are many plantations known for their coffee and macadamia nuts. You will have the opportunity to visit one of these in the afternoon to see the production process up close. Or, you may elect to have free time to relax or wander the historical center on your own.

This morning you continue our journey north to the shores of beautiful Lake Atitlan and Panajachel. Lake Atitlan is a freshwater lake in a huge volcanic crater in the mountainous part of Guatemala. Surrounded by steep green hills and several small Mayan villages, the lake provides a lifeline to local families and businesses. 

In the busy town of Panajachel, artisans sell traditional textiles, handmade leather goods and other crafts. Panajachel is also the primary access to the lake itself. Nearby, an old coffee plantation has been converted into the Atitlan Nature Reserve where you can hike trails, swim beneath waterfalls, access a zip line into the valley below, or see colorful butterflies in their natural habitat. You may also elect to try the local transportation of the tuk-tuk.

You will explore the town on foot before a quiet dinner on the waterfront while watching the sunset.

This morning you will set off in one of the many ferries on the lake to explore the other surrounding settlements. You will start in the sleepy village of Santiago, at the foot of the Toliman and Santiago volcanoes. The city is known for the sculpted figures of the Mayan pre-Columbian god Maximón. The colonial church of Santiago Apóstol houses a figure of Santiago wearing the traditional Mayan dress of Santiago Atitlán. The village of San Marcos La Laguna is well-known as a center of natural therapies and medicine. Here you will visit the nature reserve Cerro Tzankujil to see various plants and practices using natural medicine founded in the Mayan culture.Our final stop will be the village of San Juan La Laguna, home of the women’s textile co-op. You will have a demonstration of the hand weaving processes still used by these women today to support their families.

In the afternoon you will be free to wander the town, to shop in one of the many shops supporting local families, or relax at the hotel.

You will depart early this morning by bus to see the largest open market in Guatemala, the Chichicastenango Market. After a short orientation tour, you will have free time to shop in the market or partake of some local cuisine offered by the vendors.

After visiting the market, you will continue your travel north to the small town of Flores, your home base for visiting Tikal as there are no hotels near the park.

Departing early this morning, you will travel 40 miles to the north to the entrance of Tikal National Park. You will spend the day in the park.

After a short introduction to the area history and layout of the park, you will walk 15 minutes to the first of many ruins, the Temple of the Great Jaguar. You will continue your walk through the park to see Temples I, II, III, and IV. You may ascend many of these temples for great views of the jungle if you like. For those not wishing to climb, you may remain at the base of the temples.

Temple IV is the most well known of the temples as it was featured in the “Star Wars IV” movie. While it is a strenuous climb to the top, the view is well worth the effort.

Bring your hiking shoes, water, and sunscreen as well as rain gear. The weather can change quickly within the park.

This morning you will return by airplane to Guatemala City and your connecting flights home. Hopefully,  you have enjoyed your travels through Guatemala and return soon.

Explore the ancient Mayan trading routes through the beautiful countryside of Guatemala. Experience the local culture and see how the people live in rural areas. Spanning over 60,000 hectares in an incredibly bio-diverse area, Tikal National Park is the highlight of this amazing trip, and home to over 3,000 Mayan structures.

This trip to Guatemala and Tikal is one of the best overseas adventures to experience the Mayan culture. While visiting you will also have the opportunity to support the education and opportunities of rural women and children. We hope you will join us on this journey through ancient history and the Mayan culture.


3-6 Day
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7-14 Day
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Interested in adding or modifying activities? No problem! All Worldwide Navigator itineraries can be customized to your liking!

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