Drive into the mountains to beautiful old Antigua, once the country's colonial capital, and discover its lovely bougainvillea-draped buildings and breathtaking views of emerald volcanoes. Travel to famed Lake Atitlan and step back in time as you encounter the indigenous people in all their finery still living along the lakeshore. Whether you opt to explore the ancient Mayan history of the region or it’s more-recent colonial past, its architecture, culture and locals are sure to inspire.
British Virgin Islands
Most Active or Strenuous
Minimal Activity Required
PRICE is per vehicle
This exclusive arrangement is designed to allow you the chance to customize your time ashore and discover the most interesting sights in the comfort and privacy of your own vehicle. With your private car and the personalized attention of your driver and English-speaking guide, you will have the flexibility and independence to design your itinerary ashore according to your own interests and sightsee at your own pace. See the most famous sights or go beyond to create your own intimate connections and unique cultural encounters.
The Executive Collection is recommended for the single/solo traveler, couples, family, friends, and special interest groups traveling together. It can also be an excellent choice for physically challenged guests.
Capacity: 2 guests
PLEASE NOTE: Private cars/vans/minibuses are ordered per vehicle (not per person), and only one person in the party need order the vehicle. The price shown is the total cost for the vehicle, driver and English-speaking guide. Kindly note, however, that in certain ports only a driver/guide will be assigned (one person), due to limited availability. Entrance fees are not included in this price, in order to provide you with the most flexibility. In many ports, the number of vehicles available is extremely limited; therefore guests are encouraged to make their reservation as early as possible.
Half-day private tours must depart between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 am, or after 1:00 p.m.
Upon embarkation, please consult the Destination Manager onboard to personally discuss your itinerary requirements and set your departure time.
Starting off from the pier you will enjoy a scenic drive through the beautiful forest and along the Pacific coast as you pass several sugarcane fields and take in views of the majestic volcanoes that dominate the distant horizon.
Arriving at Auto Safari Chapin, you will receive a brief orientation and printed guide of the zoological park before embarking on your journey through this open air zoo. Your visit to the park offers you the chance to see lions, giraffes, jaguars, parrots, various kinds of monkeys and of course, exotic birds and many other exotic animals which you are able to view in their natural habitat from the comfort of your tour bus.
Following your tour of the park by coach, you will have a walking tour of the more traditional zoo area where you will be able to see additional exhibits of animals and reptiles from around the world as well as those indigenous to Guatemala. Before rejoining your coach for the return transfer to the pier, relax with a snack and refreshing soft drink or beer in the Park's pavilion.
Please note: This tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of ability and stamina. There is some uneven terrain and cobblestone surfaces to negotiate within the Park. Light-weight clothing with long sleeves, flat comfortable walking shoes, sun caps and sunglasses are recommended. There will be insect repellant available on the coach.
Spend a thoroughly relaxing day at a seaside hotel in nearby Monterrico, a beautiful setting with black volcanic beaches shaded by swaying coconut palms.
After departing from the pier, you will drive to Montericco, a former fishing village known for extraordinary beaches and for being a favorite nesting site for leatherback and olive ridley sea turtles. Life here revolves around the sea, and you will enjoy a front-row seat upon arriving at the Dos Mundos Hotel.
You will have complete access to the amenities, so make yourself at home. The hotel is a complex of thatched-roof cabanas constructed in a traditional coastal style, lending it a wonderfully authentic and relaxed atmosphere. Hundreds of tall coconut palms shade the grounds and gardens of indigenous succulents, so it couldn’t be more inviting.
You might bask in the sun poolside or take a refreshing dip in one of the freshwater swimming pools. If you prefer saltwater, the Pacific Ocean is just steps away. The hotel’s exclusive beach is wide, powdery and ideal for strolling along the water’s edge. You will notice that the color of the sand is black, the result of its volcanic origin.
Feel free to take advantage of all the amenities of Dos Mundos, including the restaurants (food & beverage not included in tour). Because the hotel is on the ocean, seafood is a favorite, although traditional Guatemalan fare is always a fine choice.
Note: Bring a towel.
Enjoy this opportunity to discover La Antigua, the jewel of the Guatemalan colonial urban development and architecture. This marvelous city served as the capital to all of Central America from 1543 to 1773 until it was destroyed by an earthquake and the capital was moved to its present location of Guatemala City. Amazingly, this historical city has preserved its original features as though time has stood still.
Boarding your coach it's a 90-minute drive to this UNESCO World Heritage site, so named in 1979 because of its immense historical and cultural value. Draped in bright bougainvillea and having breathtaking views of emerald volcanoes in the background, the ruins provide inspiration for artists and tourists alike.
Upon arrival, you'll make your way directly to the Jade Museum and Factory, where you'll learn about the intricate relationship between the Maya and this precious stone. Touring the factory, you'll be able to observe native artisans as they cut and polish this green stone, following the carving traditions of their ancestors. Afterwards, you'll have time to peruse the exquisite jade pieces that are available for purchase.
Next, you'll make the short transfer to the beautifully landscaped Plaza Mayor. Numerous landmarks surround the plaza, including the Fountain of the Sirens, the majestic Cathedral, the Palace of the Captains and the Palacio del Noble Ayuntamiento which houses municipal offices and two museums. After a thirty minute stop in which you are free to stroll about and take in the sights, you'll re-board your coach for a panoramic drive through the city that takes you along cobblestone streets and past vibrant colonial architecture and beautifully restored 17th-century churches and mansions. Following this, you'll retrace your route back to the pier in Puerto Quetzal.
Please note: This tour includes just over 1-hour of moderate walking that includes some uneven surfaces and cobblestone streets. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Casual clothing to include a light jacket; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
See the highlights of Antigua Guatemala with a “Hop On, Hop Off” bus pass that allows you to linger in favorite attractions before hopping on another bus to a different highlight.
After departing from the pier, you will settle in for a wonderfully scenic drive through the mountainous inland terrain and on to Antigua Guatemala. The city was the country’s capital until a series of earthquakes forced it to be moved to Guatemala City in the late 1770s.
Antiqua Guatemala was subsequently rebuilt, and the beautiful architecture that stands today spurred UNESCO to declare it a World Heritage site, as few Latin American cities feature so many intact colonial buildings. Be sure to notice the Italian Renaissance-inspired grid layout of cobblestone streets, another reason for the UNESCO recognition.
While touring with a complimentary “Hop On, Hop Off” bus pass, you can see the attractions that interest you to most. Architecture buffs might browse the many earthquake-resistant buildings constructed with decorative stucco in the regional barroco antigueño style.
Religious sites are also abundant with two of the most impressive being the Baroque-style La Merced Church and the 18th-century Convent of Capuchinas. The latter has been thoroughly restored and features a round tower surrounded by the nuns’ sparse quarters.
Shoppers will find a wide variety of excellent merchandise throughout town, including traditional textiles, eco-friendly house decorations and fine leather goods. A good place to start is the Casa de los Gigantos mall.
Discover the cosmopolitan Guatemala City after an approximate 2 hour transfer from the pier.
Visit the Central Plaza with the majestic Government Palace and Cathedral, the giant relief map of the country located nearby and travel through the tree-line Reform Avenue towards one of the major city museums before heading to the local restaurant for a typical buffet lunch to enjoy the local gastronomy. Your fully guided experience will also give you some free time for souvenir shopping before starting the return trip back to the pier.
Note: Wear comfortable shoes & clothing; bring a hat & light jacket. This tour is not suitable for guests with mobility concerns. The meal will be served at the Arrin Cuan Restaurant in Guatemala City. The menu will consists: Strips of meat, grilled chicken breasts, rice, fried plantains, refried beans, local salsa, tortillas, dessert, coffee or tea.
Travel for an hour to the outskirts of the town of Monterrico situated on the volcanic black sand beaches of the Pacific. You will visit the newly renovated Cayman Suites resort where you will be greeted with a refreshing cold coconut. Relax at their facilities, enjoy the pool and discover the very different black sand beach.
Your day pass also includes unlimited local beer and soft drinks, plus a Surf & Turf lunch complete with dessert. Between the months of September through December you can sponsor and release a baby turtle into the ocean!
Note: This tour is not suitable for guests with mobility concerns. The Pacific Ocean in Guatemala is rough and there is no lifeguard on duty, guests enter the beach and ocean at their own risk and discretion. Bring change of clothes, hat/cap, bug repellent, sunscreen and swimsuit.
The menu consists of cold coconut, open beer and soft drinks, fresh salad, steak and shrimp with fries and coconut custard for dessert.
Leaving the pier, you will head north through the Pacific Coastal lowlands of Guatemala. Your route takes you through the midst of three volcanoes, Acatenango, Agua and Fuego and provides you with amazing views that will leave lasting impressions of this dramatic landscape.
After approximately 75 minutes, you will arrive at the Valhalla Organic Macadamia Nut Farm. The Farm is a "sustainable agriculture development project" and sustainable Ecological Tourism destination which provides a source of employment, food and fuel for the farmer's families. This remarkable project was even honored with the prestigious Golden Fete D'Excellence (Geneve 2002) award.
Macadamia nuts have become one of the country's most important export products and its production helps thousands of people and has put Guatemala amongst the seven largest producers in the world. During your visit you will have a guided tour of the Farm in which you will learn about Macadamia nut production and its impact on the Guatemalan economy.
Following your walking tour, you'll be treated to a light snack and have free time to purchase some macadamian goods that are produced on the farm before it's time to travel back to Puerto Quetzal.
Please note: This tour is not available to guests who utilize a wheelchair and those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of ability and stamina. There is uneven terrain to negotiate at the farm, consisting of grass, dirt pathways and natural trails. Casual clothing, flat comfortable walking shoes, sun cap, sunscreen, insect repellant and sunglasses are recommended.
This tour that is geared for nature lovers and coffee afficionados begins with a scenic 90-minute drive through lowland pastures filled with sugar-cane plantations and cattle farms. Along the way you will be treated to spectacular views of impressive volcanoes and unique landscapes.
Upon arrival at Finca El Barretal, you will participate in a truly educational and ecological adventure at this beautiful finca that is located on a mountain range close to the Pacaya Volcano, which is active all-year-round. During your visit you will learn how high-quality Guatemalan coffee is cultivated, harvested and processed for export and local consumption. The harvest time is October through March.
Before re-boarding your mini-coach to return to the pier, a refreshment and light snack will be served.
Please note: This tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of ability and stamina. There is uneven terrain to negotiate at Finca El Barretal consisting of grass, dirt pathways and natural trails. Casual clothing, flat comfortable walking shoes, sun caps, sunscreen, insect repellant and sunglasses are recommended.
Today you will travel through the lowlands into the highlands of Guatemala to visit the Maya site of Iximche. You will meet your friendly and knowledgeable guide at the pier and board your air-conditioned transportation for the guided 2.5 hour drive through the scenic countryside in Guatemala towards the Maya site of Iximche, a late post-classic archaeological site in the western highlands.
Iximche was the capital of the Kaqchikel Maya from 1470 until 1524 when it was abandoned after the Spanish Conquistadores defeated them. Upon arrival you will tour the site as your guide provides you with relevant information about the structures and the importance of the Mayan Calendar and the so called 2012 "end of the world" phenomenon. You might also be able to witness, from a distance, a real Maya ritual since they are performed regularly on the site and are not part of a tourist attraction. Local Maya Shamans say that Iximche is a site of great universal energy.
After the tour you will continue to a nearby local restaurant for a much-deserved lunch before heading back to the pier. The meal will be served at Hacienda Real Restaurant and the menu consists of grilled chicken breasts, rice, refried beans, local fresh cheese, local dessert, tortillas and coffee or tea.
Note: This tour is not suitable for guests with mobility concerns. Wear comfortable walking shoes; bring sunglasses, a hat sunscreen, bug spray and your camera. This tour goes over 7,000 feet above sea level. Guests are recommended to have a healthy breakfast before the tour and bring a light jacket for colder weather and/or rain.
This full day tour takes you to the heart of the Maya World - the fascinating Highlands of Guatemala. Your day begins with a two and one-half hour drive through the spectacular scenery of Western Guatemala as you make your way from the lowlands to the highlands. As you travel along, you will be treated to colorful vistas of majestic volcanic mountains, fertile farmlands and small coastal villages.
Arriving at the small village of San Lucas Toliman, you will board a boat that takes you on an unforgettable cruise that sails along Atitlan Lake. There are two main groups of indigenous people residing around the banks of the lake: the Caqchikel to the northwest and the Tzutujil to the southeast. The breathtaking landscape of the lake and surrounding volcanoes are attributed to a cataclysmic volcanic eruption that occurred some 85,000 years ago with the entire area of Atitlan actually within the crater formed by this eruption, thus accounting for the lake's incredible depth of more than 300 meters.
After your sail you will arrive at Panajachel, one of the largest towns in the Atitlan Lake area that hosts many international meetings and has a wide variety of restaurants, hotels, theaters and other things of interest for visitors. A relaxing lunch at one of the local hotels is followed by some free time to experience on your own this vibrant city. Throughout the town you will also find local crafts people displaying their colorful wares, making this an attractive shopping area as well.
Re-joining your group, you will re-board your boat and retrace your route back to San Lucas Toliman where your coach awaits to transfer you back to the pier.
Please note: This tour is not available to guests who utilize a wheelchair and those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of ability and stamina. There are some uneven surfaces and cobblestone streets to negotiate in Panajachel. Casual clothing, a light jacket, flat comfortable walking shoes, sun caps, insect repellant and sunglasses are recommended.
Visit the colonial city of Antigua Guatemala and discover how two of the country’s signature products—exceptional rum and exquisite jade jewelry—are manufactured.
After departing from the pier, you will settle in for a wonderfully scenic drive through the mountainous inland terrain and on to Antigua Guatemala. The former capital of Guatemala, this UNESCO World Heritage site contains an abundance of beautifully restored colonial architecture that you will see while driving through town to the House of Rum.
Here in the cellar, you will sample a number of Guatemalan rums, each with its own characteristics. You might try Zacapa 23, a complex blend of variously aged rums, or perhaps Botran Solera 1893, a deep mahogany rum with notes of candied fruits and spices.
During the tasting, the cellar’s rum connoisseur will explain how the local conditions, especially altitude, influence the rum’s flavor. You will also discover which rums pair best with certain foods, information that you might find useful for the lunch that follows.
Antigua Guatemala is also known for its exquisite jade jewelry, and you will have the opportunity to observe its production at a local factory. Early civilizations in Mesoamerica prized jade mined in this part of Guatemala, and the stone is still cut and polished using traditional methods similar to those developed thousands of years ago.
Before returning to the pier, you will have time to shop for jade necklaces, earrings, bangles and even watchbands with jade clasps.
Delve into the cultural heritage of Guatemala by browsing an ancient textiles museum, admiring Antigua Guatemala’s colonial architecture, and watching how jade jewelry is made.
After departing from the pier, you will settle in for a wonderfully scenic drive through the mountainous inland terrain and on to Antigua Guatemala. The former capital of Guatemala, this UNESCO World Heritage site contains an abundance of beautifully restored colonial architecture that you will see while driving through town.
Upon arriving at the Ancient Textiles Museum, you will learn about Guatemala’s cultural heritage of weaving and how the ancient Maya wove naturally dyed cotton. In some of the exhibits, mannequins will be seen wearing historical traditional costumes in a household setting with typical furnishings and even foods, which will add realism and relevance.
You will have a chance to purchase textiles in the museum gift shop before continuing on to the glorious La Merced Church. While pausing outside the Baroque-style church for photos, take note that the building is rather low and stout to better withstand earthquakes.
Following lunch at the Porta Del Lagos Hotel, you will proceed to one of the city’s premier jade factories. Early civilizations in Mesoamerica prized jade mined in this part of Guatemala, and the stone is still cut and polished using traditional methods similar to those developed thousands of years ago.
Before returning to the pier, you will have time to shop for jade necklaces, earrings, bangles and even watchbands with jade clasps.
Spend the day discovering the jewel of the Guatemalan colonial urban development and architecture, La Antigua. This marvelous city served as the capital to all of Central America from 1543 to 1773 until it was destroyed by an earthquake and the capital was moved to its present location of Guatemala City. Amazingly, this historical city has preserved its original features as though time has stood still.
Boarding your coach it is a 90-minute drive to this UNESCO World Heritage Site, so named in 1979 because of its immense historical and cultural value. Draped in bright bougainvillea and having breathtaking views of emerald volcanoes in the background, the ruins provide inspiration for artists and tourists alike.
Some of the important sites here are: the University of San Carlos, the third university in the Americas founded in 1676, the central park with a mermaid fountain in its center bound by the Palacio de los Capitanes built in 1549 and reconstructed in 1735, the Municipal building which dates to 1743, and the Cathedral, constructed from 1543 to 1680.
Following a delightful walking tour that allows you to witness up close the charm of this former capital, you will be treated to lunch at the Porta del Lago Hotel. After lunch, your tour will continue on for a visit to the Jade House. There is no other stone as resistant to breakage and chipping as jade. Its inherent toughness made it a superior weapon and tool for the ancient Maya. To the Mayans, it signified survival and its colors were reminiscent of nature. At the Jade House, you will have the opportunity to learn how jade is transformed from heavy rock to reproductions of outstanding Mayan fine jewelry. Time allowing, you will have some free time for shopping before re-joining your coach for the return to Puerto Quetzal and your waiting ship.
Please note: This tour is not available to guests who utilize a wheelchair and those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of ability and stamina. There are some uneven surfaces and cobble stone streets to negotiate in La Antigua. Casual clothing, a light jacket, flat comfortable walking shoes, sun cap, sunscreen and sunglasses are recommended.
This full day tour gives you a look into Guatemala's history by visiting some of its most important cultural sites. Starting off from the pier, you will embark on a scenic 90-minute drive to La Antigua Guatemala, taking in the picturesque landscape of the surrounding countryside and back-drop of dramatic volcanoes.
Upon arrival, you will visit Casa Santo Domingo, whose development started to take form in 1989. The main goal of the project here is to rescue what remains of the ancient convent and temple that were buried under tons of debris. To reach this goal, it was necessary to sign an agreement with the National Council for the Protection of Antigua Guatemala that included the archaeological history of the monumental complex. In this way, Hotel Casa Santo Domingo has emerged, a fortunate example of rescue and preservation of patrimony unprecedented locally, that allows the world to see and appreciate Guatemalan architecture.
One of the sites you will visit here is the Cultural Center where work is continuing to organize and promote a large cultural center that will house a chamber theater, a main room for multiple uses that will seat more than one thousand people, the Carlos Merida Museum-Gallery of Modern Art, the Colonial Art Museum, a Handicraft Museum and a research laboratory dedicated to studying architectural, pictoric, ceramic, glass and funerary findings.
Following lunch at the Hotel Casa Santo Domingo, you will continue on to the Capuchinas Convent. Built in the mid-1800's, the ruins include a small museum, gardens, bathhouse and restored nun's cells.
Before traveling back to the pier, you will also have the opportunity for a glimpse of the city of Santiago de los Caballeros, known today as La Antigua Guatemala, which was founded in the Valley of Panchoy in 1543. In 1979 UNESCO declared it a World Cultural Heritage Site. Cobblestone streets, colorful facades and tiled roofs, as well as restored and un-restored ruins of churches, palaces, convents and mansions covered with colorful bougainvillea, make this Spanish colonial city a favorite with visitors from all over the world. Time permitting, you will have a visit at the Jade House, where you can learn how jade is transformed from heavy rock to reproductions of outstanding Mayan fine jewelry and shop for some pieces of your own.
Please note: This tour is not available to guests who utilize a wheelchair and those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of ability and stamina. There are some uneven surfaces and cobblestone streets to negotiate as well as tiled surfaces. Casual clothing, a light jacket, flat comfortable walking shoes, sun cap, sunscreen, insect repellant and sunglasses are recommended.
Travel through the lowlands into the mountainous highlands of Guatemala and discover a hidden place called Comalapa, a town flourishing with local art, culture and gastronomy. Your transfer from the pier will take about 2.5 hours to a town very few tourists have visited before, where you will interact with the community and learn about their traditions, customs, textiles, food and art.
Upon arrival you will be greeted by a giant 185-meter long mural and stories about the man who wrote the music for the National Anthem and the famous Naif painter born here in 1930. Today the town’s main economy is their Maya Contemporary Art and even boasts the nickname of “Florence of the Americas”. Lunch will be served at the Gabriel Art Gallery and will consist of Pepian which is a 2 meat stew (chicken & turkey) with rice & vegetables and coffee or tea. This is a local traditional food for you to experience a complete cultural immersion.
Afterwards, return to the pier where your tour will come to an end.
Note: This tour goes to over 7,000 feet above sea level. Guests are recommended to have a healthy breakfast before the tour. Wear comfortable shoes & clothing; bring a hat & light jacket, sunscreen, insect repellent, sunglasses. This tour is not suitable for guests with mobility concerns.
Discover the Colonial Jewel of the Americas and taste the amazing local craft beers in town.
After your 90 minute transfer you will stop briefly at the Jade Museum and then continue through the streets of Antigua for a one-hour walking tour that will take you through the charming streets, Main Plaza, Arch of Santa Catalina and will end right at the Antigua Brewing Company. The Master Brewer will greet you and explain his process with each brew as you taste at least 4 samples with complimentary local snack foods that pair well with each one. Once done with the tasting, feel free to head upstairs for the terrace with amazing views of the city's rooftops, or stay down in the first floor. All flavors tasted and maybe others will be available for purchase after the tasting should you desire a couple more!
Note: This tour is not suitable for guests with mobility concerns. The altitude in Antigua is 5,000 feet above sea level and all of the streets are cobblestone. Wear comfortable walking shoes and clothing, hat & light jacket.
Guests under the age of 21 will not be served alcohol.