Guatemala: 8 Adventures You Have To Try

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For many travelers, a visit to  Guatemala means checking out Antigua, staying at a hotel next to Atitlan Lake and looking at some Mayan ruins. But there are adventures to be discovered in Guatemala.

While I’m not against doing any of those things, each of those destinations offers a lot more adventure that showcases the beauty of Guatemala. 

Keep reading to find my recommendations on adventures in Guatemala.

1. Mayan Ruins of Tikal: Full-Day Tour from Guatemala City

As I said before. You could just visit this amazing archaeological site and get tons of Instagram-worthy photos in this part of Latin America. But to get the true idea of what the place and Mayan culture is all about and to explore its secrets you need a guide. Visiting this part of Guatemala City is such an unforgettable experience.

Tikal_tour one of the advedntures that Guatemala offers
Photo courtesy of GetYourGuide

A guide is great not only for explaining Tikal’s history but also for finding animals to observe. They’ll also be able to show you the secret entrance to the underground passages that ancient Mayas once used.

The ancient ruins of Tikal is also a great place to observe spider and howler monkeys. The latter of which you may hear before you see – if they’re not sleeping! Unsurprisingly, observing the monkeys was one of the highlights for Laurel.

Related Reading: Guatemala 12-Day Itinerary for Adventure Seekers

2. Guatemala Volcano Trilogy: 

If you like active volcanoes, hiking, and challenges this is the adventure for you. This is a guided tour that takes you to the top of three of the most iconic volcanoes of Guatemala, Agua, Volcan Fuego (active) and Acatenango, in 35 hours or less. These are the three volcanoes that you see surrounding Antigua Guatemala.


You will start this adventure by ascending Agua Volcano with nothing more than a day pack that way you can make it to the top by sunrise. Then the long 6-hour descent through the other face of the volcano starts. Once you are done with it you get some rest and lunch at Alotenango town. Then it is time for the hard part.

You pick up your large, camping backpack and start the ascent to Fuego Volcano to reach the camping area at around 9 pm. On the last day the hike starts at 5 am to reach Fuego’s summit, go down to the point where it meets Acatenango Volcano and do the last ascent towards its crater.

Can you just imagine how it feels to dip into the hot springs nearby? This trip is sure to be a natural wonder!

Related Reading: Your Travel Guide to Antigua, Guatemala

3. Lake Atitlán 5-Hour Kayaking & Trekking from Panajachel: 

Kayaking and paddle boarding is a great option for those looking for something fun to do at the lake as a day trip! It provides a much more immersive experience than just walking around and buying handicrafts.

It will also give you a different perspective than the one most tourists see. Lake Atitlan offers many outdoor adventures for tourists in Guatemala.

Atitlan_kayaking , adventures in Guatemala
Photo courtesy of GetYourGuide

During this tour, you will do a two-hour easy downhill walk with spectacular views of Lake Atitlan. Then go kayaking on the deepest lake in Central America.

You’ve no doubt worked up an appetite by now, so it’s time for a traditional Guatemalan lunch with a Mayan family while enjoying incredible views and getting to know more of the indigenous culture.

Make sure you get a bit of the amazing chocolate and the in season array of fruit available. This is the highlight of the tour for many travelers wanting to learn of the beautiful culture of the Mayans. 

Have I mentioned they have the best hot chocolate there too?

4. Guatemala Zip-Line Half-Day Tour of the Natural Reserve: 

The Natural Reserve of Guatemala also offers zip lining! This is a great option for adventure seekers who want a birds-eye view of the forest.

Photo courtesy of GetYourGuide

The adventure starts when you enter the nature reserve with stunning views. You will be fitted with equipment and given instructions so that you feel safe.

It’s actually easier than it looks. The trickiest part, which isn’t that tricky is arriving at each platform. Then it’s time for the exciting part – descending down the mountain from suspended steel cables!

Related Reading: 5 Trails in Central America That Should Be On Every Hiker’s Bucket List

5. Panajachel: Families and Beginners 3-Hour Rock Climb: 

Many travelers may be surprised to learn that Lake Atitlan is famous for its rock climbing. This is one of the best active adventures in Guatemala.

There are some natural walls that offer great opportunities for adventurers of all skill levels. In this particular tour, you will be taught how to climb, so no experience is necessary.

Enjoy a family-friendly and safe rock climbing adventure in Lake Atitlan from Panajachel. The vertical walls are 15 meters tall.

Photo courtesy of GetYourGuide

For three hours you will learn and practice climbing a 50-meter natural rock wall as many times as you want. Adventure seekers can rappel down for additional excitement!

Related Reading: Best Places to Visit in the World for Adventure Travel

6. Kanba Cave & Semuc Champey Park Tour: 

Guatemala is home to many caves and cave rivers. The most popular one being Lanquin, a natural beauty. However there are some others with less touristic infrastructure, but that will still have you exploring a river cave. Kanba is one of those.

Photo courtesy of GetYourGuide

You’ll wade through a river cave, then emerge for some tubing on the Kahabon river. Then it’s off to check out the gorgeous turquoise pools of Semuc Champey.

Related Reading: Why You Should Send a Custom Postcard on Your Next Vacation – And the Easiest Way to Do It

7. Indian Nose Hiking Adventure:

If you are a nature lover, this tour around Lake Atitlan is a must. Looking down over the lake and surrounding volcanoes from the top of the Indian Nose Mountain is an amazing experience. It’s one of my favorite adventure activities in Guatemala.

Photo courtesy of GetYourGuide

The hike to the top takes from 1.5 to 2 hours starting from San Juan la Laguna.

8. Fishing in the Pacific from Guatemala City: 

Not a lot of travelers know this, but the Pacific coast of Guatemala is filled with healthy fish populations. You’ll have a chance to try to catch species such as sailfish, mahi-mahi, and tuna.

Photo courtesy of GetYourGuide

This tour lasts 8 hours. If you do it between November and February you might even get to see dolphins and humpback whales swimming along with your boat.

Which of these adventures in Guatemala would you like to try? Let me know in the comments below.

adventures in Guatemala to experience

Lourdes Profile

Lourdes is a soon to be lawyer from Guatemala with the mission to explore each corner of the country. Her favorite activity is hiking along with exploring all mountains, forests, caves, volcanoes and all that the region has to offer. Her goal is to reach as many summits around the world as she can. You can also find her on facebook, twitter, and Instagram.

This post has been updated and republished.