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In this post we’ll take a look at our Guatemala Mayan ruins tours including the Tikal ruins and the ancient Mayan archaeological site of Quiriguá.

As far as we can tell from what has been recovered (and from ancient folklore) Mayan culture is really a diffusion of cultures that evolved through trade exchange. The Mayan culture of Guatemala is also famous for its sophisticated written language, art, architecture, and astronomy.

Caravan also includes additional stopovers at a number of less visited authentic Mayan villages where Caravan travelers can experience today’s Mayan culture firsthand.

Our itinerary for Caravan Guatemala Mayan ruins tours include the following Mayan locations:

National Museum of Archaeology

Guatemala’s National Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology is full of ancient Mayan artifacts and is located in Guatemala City. Caravan vacationers will enjoy an immersive tour through ancient Mayan history and how Guatemala’s civilizations existed prior to Columbian cultures entering the country. At the museum, Caravan guests can view an extensive collection of Mayan pottery and jewelry, which is sure to tweak the interest of the artist and historian in all of us.

Mayan Villages along Lake Atitlán

While many visit Lake Atitlán in Guatemala simply because of its reputation as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, most Guatemala visitors also get to experience Mayan culture as it exists today. Many Indian villages surround Lake Atitlán and Mayan residents still wear traditional Mayan clothing. Our Guatemala Mayan ruins tours offer a glimpse into pure Guatemala Mayan culture; one can even visit a colorful artisan market!

Tikal Ruins of Guatemala

The Tikal ruins are a major part of our Caravan Guatemala Mayan ruins tours. Tikal was once the most powerful kingdom in the entire ancient Mayan empire.

One of the best places to stay when up north in Tikal National Park is the Villa Maya, a near 70-acre nature preserve. From here, Guatemala vacationers can set out to explore the ancient Mayan civilizations among the ruins of Tikal.

Dating back to 700 B.C., Tikal is one of the most magnificent Mayan cities of all time. Set in a backdrop of tropical rainforests, complete with spider monkeys and tropical birds, Tikal allows Guatemala vacationers the chance to explore all the famous points in Tikal’s great plaza, including Mayan temples, ball courts, pyramids, and more.

Quiriguá Mayan Site

Perhaps a little less visited but just as intriguing is Quiriguá, an ancient Mayan archaeological site. The Archaeological Park and Ruins of Quirigua have undergone amazing preservation and is now a Unesco World Heritage Site. Here visitors can see some of the world’s largest stone monoliths complete with carvings from ancient Mayan citizens. The carved Staelae and the ruins of Quiriguá act as a historical record of Guatemala’s ancient past dating back to the 8th century.

Book Your All Inclusive Mayan Tour Today

Caravan Tours is an all inclusive Guatemala Tour Operator that offers fully escorted travel through Central America’s Mayan ruins. This means that virtually every cost incurred during your Guatemala vacation – including hotels, transportation, activities, and meals – is included in the one all-inclusive price.

Because of this, Caravan’s Guatemala Tours are ideal for senior vacation travel or as all inclusive family vacations.

Call 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826) for information about Guatemala group vacations as well as special travel requirements, or to reserve your spot today.

Read what others are saying about Caravan’s All Inclusive Guatemala Tours on our tour reviews page.

Caravan Tour’s all-inclusive Guatemala Vacation includes some of the best Guatemala hotels and resorts as well as your meals, ground transportation, and tour activities.

When you do the math, it often works out that the price you pay for the entire tour is less than what you would otherwise pay to stay in the selected Guatemala hotels for the length of your visit.

Caravan Tours prides itself on selecting the very best Guatemala hotels and resorts at each destination point along its Guatemala Tour. We want to provide ultimate comfort and security for all our guests. Below is an outline of the current hotels included in our All Inclusive Guatemala vacation packages.

Barcelo Guatemala City Hotel

Caravan tour guests spend two nights at the start of their vacation and one night at the end of their vacation at Barcelo Hotel in Guatemala City, which is near the airport. The close proximity to Guatemala’s airport makes for easy hotel transfers.

Guatemala’s Barcelo Hotel has spacious modern rooms, which are a welcomed transition into Guatemalan culture. From here, our Guatemala tour guests leave the city to explore Antigua, Tikal, Quiriguá, and Lake Atitlán in Guatemala.

Barcelo Hotel Guatemala features:

  • Outdoor swimming pool
  • High speed Internet access
  • Local shops and restaurants within walking distance

Lake Atitlan Guatemala Hotel

Guatemala hotels and resorts located in Panajachel include Lake Atitlan Guatemala Hotel. This hotel was built on the shores of one of the world’s most beautiful lakes, Lake Atitlán, which is also the deepest lake in Central America.

At nearly 1560 meters above sea level and covering 50 square miles of land, Lake Atitlán is one of Guatemala’s most prized natural treasures. As an ongoing recipient of Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence, Atitlan Guatemala hotel is a hidden hotel that offers a unique Guatemalan vacation experience with its:

  • Spanish colonial-hacienda decor
  • Rainforest surroundings
  • Endless bird watching opportunities
  • Close proximity to the Atitlán Natura Reserve featuring butterfly gardens, herb gardens and suspension bridges

Porta Hotel Antigua Guatemala Hotel

Located in the “Land of Eternal Spring”, Porta Hotel is one of the more renowned  Guatemala hotels and resorts. Porta hotel welcomes guests with its personalized service and modern amenities.

Guests find the central location of Porta Hotel Antigua (only two blocks from Antigua’s Main Plaza) great for exploration and experiencing the culture of Guatemala’s old capital city. Porta Hotel Antigua has also been awarded Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence. It was chosen by Condé Nast Traveler magazine as a Top 5 hotel in Central America. At Porta Hotel, Caravan tour guests can enjoy:

  • Two solar heated pools
  • Natural trees, plants, flowers and tropical birds including macaws and parrots
  • Warm reading room
  • Ceiba Porta Spa offering relaxation, exfoliation and hot stone massages

Villa Maya Tikal Guatemala Hotel (Petenchel)

Located at the heart of a true Guatemalan nature reserve and surrounded by lavish tropical landscape Villa Maya Hotel is a grand Tikal Guatemala hotel. This is one of the most popular Guatemala hotels and resorts booked by tourists visiting Tikal.

Situated between two lagoons feeding into nearby Lake Peten, this Tikal Guatemala hotel offers a true Guatemalan wildlife experience with toucans, macaws and monkeys visible from your hotel room balcony.

Guests of Villa Maya can enjoy:

  • Swimming in the pool that features a magnificent waterfall
  • Dining in the open air restaurant
  • Breathtaking views of the Tikal, Guatemala region

Caravan Vacations Include Guatemala Hotels and Resorts

This Caravan all inclusive tour includes some of the best Guatemala attractions like Tikal and other Mayan ruins. Caravan guests have the opportunity throughout the 10-day tour to relax and enjoy at minimum 2-night consecutive stay at each of these Guatemala locations.

Visit Caravan’s Guatemala FAQ page for more details about this Guatemala Central American tour or visit our Guatemala Tour description page for an up to date detailed list of Guatemala hotels and resorts featured on this exciting Caravan tour.

To book your Guatemala Tour call toll-free at 1-800-227-2826

The growth in Guatemala tourism, which now makes up 25% of the country’s GDP, has been essential to the success of their economy as nearly two million travelers from around the globe descend upon this tiny Central American country annually.

Curious tourists come here to explore a mixture of ancient Mayan treasures and archaeological sites like Quirigua and Tikal, along with unique Colonial cities and culture found in places like Guatemala City and Antigua.

Guatemalans have embraced Guatemala tourism by establishing world-class hotel accommodations and professionally guided tours, as well as selling authentic Guatemalan foods, handicrafts and other indigenous artwork.

Mayan Tourism Guatemala

Mayan culture and the Mayan influence can be found throughout Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador and almost all of Guatemala. Ancient Mayan people built giant plazas, temples and pyramids, with ancient carvings recording their unique history and culture.

Quirigua Tourism  – Quirigua Archaeological Park, is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in the Izabel region of Guatemala and features the ruins and monuments of an ancient royal Mayan city that dates back to between 400 and 800 AD. Quirigua’s huge stone monuments called Stelae, feature fascinating hieroglyphic text chronicling the historical record of the city’s ancient Mayan mythology, calendars, and events. Quirigua’s archaeological ruins also include amazing pyramidal structures like the Great Plaza, Plaza of the Temple, and the Ceremonial Plaza.

Tikal Tourism – Perhaps the greatest architectural feat of the Mayan people can be found in the remote ancient Maya ruins of Tikal Guatemala, in the Northern part of this Central American country. Despite its greatness and its unique place in our world history, the cause of the collapse of the Mayan civilization in Tikal remains a mystery to this day. Perhaps the mysterious or unknown is what makes exploring the Tikal ruins so intriguing.

Tikal (also known as Place of Tongues or Place of Voices) is now a national park and UNESCO world heritage site. At its peak, Tikal was home to nearly 100,000 people complete with palaces, terraces, causeways, aqueducts and even ball courts. Why a city so large was completely abandoned by 900AD and then consumed by the rainforest jungle remains a mystery. Tourists that visit Tikal are discovering an ancient Mayan city that is still pretty much as it always was 1200 years ago.

Guatemala City Tourism

As the capital of Guatemala since 1773, and the country’s largest city, Guatemala City is a mix of old Colonial heritage and contemporary modern culture, and home to the Metropolitan Cathedral plus the country’s largest, and best archaeological museum, the National Archaeology and Ethnology Museum. All Caravan Guatemala tours begin and end in Guatemala City.

Antigua Tourism Guatemala

Surrounded by volcanoes, the Spanish influenced city of Antiqua is considered to be home to Central America’s oldest and best-preserved Colonial heritage, complete with cobblestone streets and beautiful Colonial architecture. Antiqua was the capital of Guatemala for 200 years but an earthquake in 1773 prompted government officials to move the capital to Guatemala city. Today, tourists flock to Antiqua to visit such architectural landmarks as the city’s Cathedral, the Main Plaza, and the Fountain of the Sirens.

Guatemala in the 21st Century

Today over half of Guatemala’s population is considered to be descendants of the old Maya and are commonly referred to as the Indigenous peoples by the locals.

Many woman and children still wear traditional clothing that highlight the Mayan ability to create colorful and vibrant weaving. Many locals create weave baskets, make pottery and carve wooden animals and toys and sell the items at local Mayan markets. Guatemala tourism continues to help support the local economy as tourist purchase these colorful souvenirs to bring home.

With over 12.7 million people living in Guatemala nearly 60% speak Spanish while the remaining percentage of the population speaks one of 23 officially recognized Amerindian languages such as Guiche, Mam and Xinca.

Top Guatemala Tourism Destinations

Regardless of the language that you speak, Guatemala tourist guides are ready to interpret and take you through some of the most popular tourist destinations in Guatemala, including:

  • Guatemala City
  • Lake Atitlán
  • Antigua (a UNESCO World Heritage site)
  • Lake Peten Itza
  • Tikal Ruins (a UNESCO World Heritage site)
  • Quiriguá
  • Rio Dulce
  • Petenchel
  • Panajachel

Guatemala’s Biodiversity

In addition to its cultural and historical significance, Guatemala is a beautiful country to explore in terms of its biodiversity. With nearly one third of Guatemala covered in forests, the country is home to:

  • 14 different eco-regions
  • 28 volcanoes – active, dormant and extinct
  • 7 wetlands
  • Over 1,245 known species of amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles
  • 123 protected areas

Guatemala Climate and Temperature

Guatemala has a tropical climate favorable for tourism; for those who enjoy warmer weather the lowlands can be quite warm and humid and or those who enjoy cooler weather the highlands offers a much more cooler climate.

The coastal and northeast regions of Guatemala maintain a warm temperature year round, averaging around 68°F with occasional spikes up to 99°F. Clear nights are a common occurrence in Guatemala especially during the rainy season from May to September, after the typical afternoon/ evening rainfall.

Guatemala Tours by Caravan

Caravan Tours all inclusive and fully guided Guatemala tours take tourists on a captivating Central American vacation into a country rich in culture and Spanish heritage, highlighting the ancient civilizations at Tikal, Antigua and Atitlán.

Contact us and ask about our all inclusive Guatemala Tikal Tour, a 10-day tour of Guatemala’s ancient civilizations and Colonial cities including Tikal and Antigua.

Visit Caravan’s Guatemala Tour Reviews page to read what others have said about this all inclusive tour of Guatemala.

Call 1-800-227-2826 to check tour availability or book your spot today!

In this post, Caravan Tours offers some helpful Guatemala facts and information about our all inclusive tours.

Guatemala, the land of eternal spring and heart of the ancient Mayan world, is a Central American country rich in heritage. You can spend days exploring everything from ancient Mayan ruins and archaeological sites like Tikal (which doubled as the rebel base in the 1977 Star Wars movie), to Colonial towns like Antigua, or volcanic lakes like Lake Atitlan.

Explore Guatemala facts and information abou tthe Mayan culture, which is over 4,000 years old. Guatemala’s Colonial heritage dates back to as early as the 16th century. Guatemala’s Colonial and cultural heritage evolved from a combination of Spanish and native Mayan peoples, ensuring that you will be captivated by the locals you meet during your Guatemalan tour.

In recent years, many eco adventure tour companies like Caravan Tours have begun offering guided vacation package tours through Guatemala. Guided by experienced tour guides familiar with Guatemala and its people, guests of Caravan Tours enjoy Guatemala facts and information firsthand.

These are very safe, all-inclusive Guatemala vacations, which are a great alternative to visiting Guatemala on your own.

Guatemala & Tourism

Even though Guatemala is smaller than the US State of Louisiana (108,890 sq km), this tiny country attracts hundreds of thousands of American tourists each year. Tourism is important to Guatemala and each day of Caravan’s Guatemala tour brings you to brand new surroundings with delightful surprises.

Guatemala is known as the “Land of the Eternal Spring” with coastal lowlands that are tropical and more temperate highlands where most Guatemalans live.

Bordered by the Pacific Ocean, Mexico, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador and the Caribbean Sea, Guatemala is a preferred destination for many cruise lines. From beautiful sandy beaches one can enjoy an amazing country that boasts heavily forested lowlands and the volcanic Sierra Madre Mountains.

Guatemala is also classified as a biodiversity hotspot thanks to diverse and unique ecosystems and rainforests, much of which engulfed the ancient Mayan ruins over the centuries. In fact, most of Guatemala’s Mayan ruins have yet to be excavated.

With economic growth and recent democratic elections, Guatemala is a maturing and growing tourism destination in Central America.

In fact, Guatemala boasts over 700 bird species and some of the world’s best sailfish fishing areas, attracting tourists from around the globe to this little Central American country.

Caravan Guatemala Tour Highlights

Guatemala City, the capital of Guatemala, is considered the hub of the country and where Caravan Guatemala tours begin and end.

Upon landing at the International airport, Caravan Tour guests spend two nights in Guatemala City while becoming acquainted with the new culture. Here guests have the opportunity to visit the National Museum of Archaeology and take a sightseeing drive of the historic center.

From Guatemala City, travellers get to explore the best of this tiny country, visiting the Mayan city of Quirigua, then Rio Dulce, Tikal National Park, and the colonial city of Antiqua. Other Caravan tour highlights include a visit to a Guatemalan coffee plantation and a boat cruise on Lake Atitlan, a spectacular volcanic lake, before returning to Guatemala City.

Caravan’s fully escorted Guatemala tour is virtually a treasure trove of Guatemala facts and information about this beautiful country and its people!

Visit Caravan’s Guatemala Tour Reviews page to hear what others are saying about this popular Central American tour.

Call Carava Tours at 1-800-227-2826 to book your spot today or check on availability!

In addition to the natural beauty and landscape of the country, the historical Mayan ruins of Guatemala are the focus of the all-inclusive Guatemala travel packages by Caravan Tours.

Guatemala is a magical place that attracts adventure, nature, and history enthusiasts alike. With outdoor adventure activities, World Heritage sites and top attractions like Mayan ruins and natural nature reserves, there is something for everyone in Caravan’s Guatemala travel packages.

Here are some of what we consider to be the top destinations and highlights on Caravan’s fully escorted Guatemala tours.

Guatemala City

Travel to Guatemala City, home to over 2.3 million people of diverse ethnic origins such as Spanish and Mestizo (mixed race). During a two-night stay in Guatemala City at the Barcelo Guatemala City Hotel, Caravan travelers experience what Guatemala was like prior to Columbian cultures with a visit to the National Museum of Archaeology. A sightseeing tour of the historical downtown center passes the Metropolitan Cathedral and National Palace.

Lake Atitlán Guatemala

The fact that Lake Atitlán is surrounded by three dormant volcanoes makes it a must see while traveling in Guatemala. The lake is the deepest lake in all of Central America, having been formed over 84,000 years ago. Mayan villages and extensive coffee plantations surround the shores of Lake Atitlán. After your two-day stay at Hotel Atitlán you will understand why this body of water, surrounded by dormant volcanoes, is known worldwide as one of Central America’s most beautiful lakes.

Antigua Guatemala

A two-night stay in Antigua at the Porta Hotel Antigua gives travelers the opportunity to stay just two blocks from Antigua’s main plaza. Travelers have ample time to explore the cobblestone streets of Antigua and capture photographs of colonial buildings or purchase exotic native art souvenirs. An official walking tour of Antigua’s Main Plaza, as guided by a knowledgeable tour guide, provides a live Guatemalan history lesson.

Tikal Guatemala Tours

Virtually every traveler who makes a visit to the Tikal ruins in Guatemala says it is an unforgettable experience. Once the greatest of all Mayan Cities, Tikal is now protected as a UNESCO World Heritage site, giving vacationers the opportunity to explore ancient Mayan history. The highlights of the Tikal tour include the Temple of the Grand Jaguar, Temple II, and the Plaza of the Seven Temples.

Other Mayan Ruins Tours

In addition to Tikal ruins, other Mayan historical sites are visited, such as Quiriguá. Quiriguá Guatemala has preserved some of the largest stone monoliths in the world known as Stele (or Stelae). Mayan history is inscribed in many of these Stele telling the stories of Guatemala’s past.

Guatemala Travel Packages Suitable for All Ages!

Caravan’s Guatemala vacation packages are designed for travelers of all ages. Even the most discerning traveler will be satisfied with the added touches Caravan provides in its Guatemala travel packages. These tours include free bottled water, air conditioned luxury coach buses, and all itinerary activities for one low tour price.

The 10 day vacation tour of Guatemala is set at a comfortable pace allowing for plenty of stops throughout Guatemala and the opportunity to relax and rest along the way.

Caravan chooses only the best resorts and hotels in Guatemala such as the 67-acre Villa Maya resort near Antigua. Guatemala vacation guests are invited relax and enjoy each hotel with a minimum two-night stay in each location – there is no need to pack up your belongings each morning!

These Guatemala travel packages are especially suitable for seniors and families with children over the age of 6. For more information or to book a Guatemala travel package for yourself, your family or a large group please call 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826).

Budget Friendly Guatemala Travel Packages

Caravan Tours’ tour operators offer very affordable all inclusive Guatemala travel packages that highlight the very best of Guatemala. In general, Guatemala is known to be a “cheap” country to travel in but as a Caravan Tour guest you can always feel assured of safe, comfortable travel during your entire 10-day stay in Guatemala.

Caravan’s all inclusive and fully escorted Guatemala tours include all itinerary meals, accommodations, activities and ground transportation while on the tour. Even guide and restaurant gratuities are covered in the low all-inclusive cost. These Guatemala vacations fall well within the budget of even the most cost-conscious traveler.

Visit the official Guatemala tour reviews page to read what others are saying about Caravan’s all-inclusive Guatemala travel packages.

The history behind the great Tikal Ruins in Guatemala has its humble beginnings back in 800 B.C. when settlers came to the area and began building on top of a small mound.

Today, the Mayan temples and ceremonial centers are still highly impressive even compared to modern-day structures and very popular on Tikal Guatemala tours. The historic plazas and temples of Tikal are well preserved natural and cultural treasures and were cause for declaring Guatemala’s Tikal Ruins a UNESCO Heritage site in 1979 and then in 1986, a World Monument.

In this blog post, learn about Tikal Ruins National Park and all of its can’t miss attractions, wildlife, and other interesting facts.

Tikal Ruins National Park

A visit to Tikal National Park while on vacation in Guatemala is a must. Located in the northern province of Peten Guatemala, Tikal was the first official National Park in Central America, declared back in 1955. Later in 1970 Tikal was also named a National Monument.

At its height of existence around 500 AD, Tikal was home to 50,000 – 100,000 Mayan people. The growth and construction of this great Mayan city began to slow around 870 AD and Tikal was eventually any mysteriously deserted by the end of 900 AD for unknown reasons.

The Mayan ruins at Tikal are the largest excavated site in the Americas giving glimpses into Mayan practices pertaining to art, religion, economics, agriculture, mathematics, and hieroglyphics.

Tikal Ruins’ Points of Interest

Tour Tikal’s Great Plaza

The Great Plaza of Tikal rests at the heart of Tikal and is one of the most studied Mayan architectural groups. Brochures, pictures, and maps cannot do justice to the sheer size of Tikal’s Great Plaza. Within a 20 minute walk from the gate entrance, many people put the Great Plaza at the top of their “to see” list on their Tikal Guatemala tour.

Temple of the Grand Jaguar

Also known as Tikal Temple I, the Grand Jaguar is one of the major structures at Tikal. Built in a typical Peten style with a limestone stepped pyramid dating back to 730 AD. The lintel at the top of the temple is said to represent a king sitting on a jaguar throne. Temple I deviates from the traditional Mayan culture of building funerary temples for burials north of the Great Plaza.

Tikal Temple II 

lso known as Masks Temple, Temple II was built by Jasaw Chan K’awiil in tribute to his wife. The single wooden sculpture is of a woman who some speculate was Kawaiil’s wife.

Plaza of the Seven Temples

Many regard the Plaza of Seven Temples as the most attractive sites in all of Tikal. It is quiet, secluded, and renowned for excellent bird watching. There are also three Tikal ball fields to see which are unique to the Mayan World. Other must-see attractions include stela with glyphic inscriptions, altars, and stucco human heads.

El Mundo Perdido (The Lost World)

Tikal’s Lost World is made up of 38 different Tikal structures covering 60,000 square meters of the jungle. The main feature point in the Lost World is the Great Pyramid which is a four-sided structure with stairways leading up 30 meters. The structure, for whatever reason, never leads to a temple at the summit. The Lost World is also home to building 5C-49, the oldest structure in Tikal with a unique architectural design.

Tikal Wildlife

A visit to Tikal National Park on any Tikal Guatemala tour offers much more than just exploring Guatemala’s ancient Mayan ruins; the National Park spreads out over more than 200 square miles. The lush tropical jungles of this northern Guatemalan area are home to some 285 species of wildlife including:

  • Exotic birds
  • Monkeys
  • Jaguars
  • Pumas
  • Tapirs
  • Deer

While enjoying Tikal Guatemala tours it is useful to note that many of the wildlife in the area is endangered – giving rare glimpses of animals and birds that many people may never have the opportunity to see. Also, Tikal is a bird watcher’s paradise and considered one of the best spots to bird watch in all of Central America.

Additional Facts About Tikal National Park

Once inside Tikal National Park, tourists will be amazed at the grand size of Tikal’s ruins. Keep in mind that:

  • Only 40% of Tikal Ruins in Tikal National Park are mapped.
  • 80% of the structures are still unexcavated sitting as mounds of rock covered by trees.
  • 220 sq miles of Guatemalan jungle surround Tikal.
  • Access to the Tikal Ruins is restricted to foot.
  • There are an estimated 3000 structures in the ruins of Tikal.

When visiting Guatemala’s Tikal ruins it is highly recommended by Caravan Tours to come prepared. Comfortable walking shoes, a hat, sun protection, and mosquito repellant can make your visit much more enjoyable. Binoculars and cameras (with extra batteries) will help you fully take in the setting and capture it for years to come.

All-Inclusive Tikal Guatemala Tours Include Tikal Ruins

A Caravan Tour all-inclusive Guatemala Vacation includes a visit to the Tikal ruins at Tikal National Park. The Tikal visit is fully escorted and fully guided so that Caravan travelers get the most out of their ancient Tikal experience.

Contact Caravan Tours by calling 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826) to learn more about our Guatemala Mayan ruins tours or browse the reviews page to read what others have to say about this all-inclusive tour.