Guatemala family holidays
The morning mist drifts off the still waters of Lake Atitlan, fringed by perfect conical volcanoes. Local markets come alive as villagers descend, traditionally dressed in beautifully embroidered tunics. In Antigua the church bells toll over immaculately tended plazas, dripping with scented frangipani trees and purple bougainvillea. And further east, the teeming jungle is full of the otherworldly roar of howler monkeys exploring ancient Mayan ruins.
This is a land of astonishing contrasts and Guatemala family holidays will be packed with variety and adventure. It’s still deeply traditional, with local customs running deep and many people still wearing Mayan dress. It’s also home to the vast ruins of Tikal, one of Central America’s most iconic sites, draped in lush jungle and alive with the sound of thousands of birds and animals.
Why take the kids?
Our top activities on family holidays to Guatemala include:
- Kayaking on Lake Atitlan
- Haggling for souvenirs at Chichicastenango
- Enjoying café culture in Antigua
- Spotting howler monkeys in the jungle
- Exploring Mayan ruins at Tikal
- Climbing Pacaya Volcano
- Catch the surf on a Pacific beach
- Dive into the crystalline waters of Sempuc Champey
- Cruise the Rio Dulce to the Atlantic Coast
- Snorkel with turtles from the Caribbean town of Livingston
There’s history, culture, adventure, and spectacular scenery, making this relatively little-visited country one of our favourites.
A Guatemala family holiday can be adapted for all ages but in our view, this is a destination ideally suited to slightly older children, perhaps 8 and above. This is the perfect age to be able to enjoy all of the adventurous activities but without finding the travelling too challenging.
They will love heading out onto Lake Atitlan by kayak and then stopping to climb up the rocks and ‘cliff jump’ in. Who wouldn’t enjoy climbing up Pacaya Volcano and then being rewarded with marshmallows freshly cooked over a steam vent followed by pizza? And, back in Antigua, teens will enjoy the backpacker vibe, with plentiful cafes, bars, and rooftop restaurants to pick from, where you can people-watch and soak up the volcano views.
If you are travelling with younger children, we can, of course, tailor the itinerary to accommodate you. For example, we can hire horses for you to carry little ones up Pacaya volcano (they can still enjoy the marshmallows at the top!). In Lake Atitlan, we can hire SUPs instead of kayaks and just spend time jumping on and off them in the shallows.
Example Guatemala family itineraries
All of our Guatemala family holidays are bespoke which means that they are tailor-made for your own specific family, taking into account the ages of your children, your interests, your budget, and so on.
Head to our sample Guatemala itineraries to see the kind of thing that you could be doing with your family here: Best of Guatemala and Highlights of Guatemala & Belize. You can also check out our pages on When to Go to Guatemala and Places to Visit in Guatemala.
If you think you’d like to combine a trip to Guatemala with time on the beach in Belize, you can take a look at our Belize with Kids photo blog for more inspiration.
Call us and we will be happy to provide you with a free-of-charge no obligation itinerary and quotation designed for you.
Guatemala in pictures
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From our blog
“We really loved Guatemala, its history, culture, adventure and beautiful scenery. Definitely feels like you’re in Central America”