We just got back from our trip and it was excellent, whoever organized and designed this trip did an excellent job, we got to see some of the most beautiful places in the country. When I first found this trip I was a little nervous because Viator doesn't have the best reviews so I did my research, called them a couple times to understand everything, and once I booked it I contacted the tour guides in Guatemala to be sure everything was arranged as planned and it was, everything went just as planned and we couldn't be happier. The hotels were way beyond what we expected, they were beautiful, romantic, had good food and great service. The tours were wonderful, we saw amazing things way beyond our imagination and it was nice not to have to worry about transportation. Our guides were wonderful, the one we had the most in Antigua was always on time, had a great personality, and was easy to work with. My only disappointment was the day in Tikal, it just wasn't enough time to explore and our guide talked way too much, he would stop us and give us a 5-10 minute lecture and then breeze by the structures when all I really wanted to do was see and explore as much as I could, I didn't want to feel like I was in school, so that was my only complaint. If you are interested in visiting Guatemala definitely book this trip, it was well worth it!!!
The itinerary is well designed. Every place is worth visiting. All the drivers and guilds always showed up on time. We didn't feel unsafe at all throughout the trip. Camino Real Antigua and Hotel Atitlan are very good accommodation choices. But there are some problems with their trip quality assurance:
1) Our guide didn't take us to Santo Domingo Monastery in Antigua. We spent more time in Azotea Coffee Farm watching video.
2) Our guide didn't take us to Santiago de Atitlan. He took us to Santa Catarina and Santa Antonio.
3) Our guide didn't take to Iximché.
4) Our local guide at Tikal explained a lot about other acropolis, temples...but didn't explain anything at the most seen Grand Plaza.
5) Hotel Peten Esplendido was not as nice as other accommodations.
6) Not agency's issue...it's a nice hike onto the top of Pacaya Volcano, but we didn't get to see any lava flowing.
And I want to say our local guide at Yaxha did a great job. Too bad I forgot his name.
This tour was a big disappointment. I have seen the ruins of Mexico including the Sun and Moon pyramids, Palenque, Uxma and Chitza-Itza. Those ruins are fairly well preserved and restored, many with some of the original colorings and reliefs intact. Tikal was ok, but had none of the original colors and reliefs. Our guide there spoke great English but he didn't tell us anything about the traditions and rituals of the Mayan people who lived there. Yaxha was not interesting and Ixhimche wasn't worth going to at all. The only thing I enjoyed was our hotel in Antigua, its proximity to the market place, the boat ride across the lake and the Pacaya Volcano. Our tour guide that we had for the first 4 days was only 50% intelligible. We had to work very hard to understand him, unfortunately. I have taken many trips and have never felt like I wasted my money until now. It just was not worth the cost.
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