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.
As I said before. You could just visit this amazing archaeological site and get tons of Instagram-worthy photos. But to get the true idea of what the place is all about and to explore its secrets you need a guide.
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. Tikal is 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
If you like 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, 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.
Related Reading: Your Travel Guide to Antigua, Guatemala
This is a great option for those looking for something fun to do at the lake. 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 adventures for tourists in Guatemala.
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. This is the highlight of the tour for many travelers.
Related Reading: The Guatemalan People: One Of The Best Reasons To Visit Guatemala
This is a great option for adventure seekers who want a birds-eye view of the forest.
The adventure starts when you enter the nature reserve. 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!
Many travelers may be surprised to learn that Lake Atitlan is famous for its rock climbing. This is one of the best 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.
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
Guatemala is home to many caves and cave rivers. The most popular one being Lanquin. However there are some others with less touristic infrastructure, but that will still have you exploring a river cave. Kanba is one of those.
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.
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 adventures in Guatemala.
The hike to the top takes from 1.5 to 2 hours starting from San Juan la Laguna.
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.
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.
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.