From the natural beauty of Lake Atitlán and the country's colorful markets to the perfectly preserved architecture of Tikal and the thundering drums and dances of the Garífuna people, there's something for everyone in Guatemala.

By far the safest and easiest way to get around Guatemala is by small tourist shuttles and minivans. Several major shuttle companies and local tour agencies offer daily transfers between the country's major destinations. Atitrans (tel. 502/7832-3371 for 24-hr. reservation number; and Turansa (tel. 502/2437-8182; are the best and most extensive shuttle services. Most fares run between Q75 and Q113 ($10-$30/£5-£15). Alternatively, you can take the local bus lines, particularly those that offer deluxe or luxury-class service. Despite the deluxe and luxury designations, this is a very economical means of travel, with fares averaging between Q30 and Q75 ($4-$10/£2-£5). The only major destination in Guatemala served by regular commuter airline service is Tikal. Those in a time crunch should fly, but if you can, I suggest traveling to Tikal by land, stopping in Cobán, Copán, and Lago Izabal along the way.

The following itineraries are designed to show you the best the country has to offer, with specific routes depending on your interests and travel companions. You can follow them to the letter or use them as basic guidelines, mixing and matching destinations, activities, and attractions from the rest of this guide.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.