Photography Tours in Guatemala

Lux Photography Tikal Pyramids in the Jungle

Photograph the amazing beauty of Guatemala, its land, its people and its history.  Photograph nature, culture and the mystery of the past and present Mayan world. 

 

Guatemala holds most of the archeological sites of the Mayan culture which are surrounded by and impressive flora and fauna, and are considered true lungs of the humanity. The magic and mystery of the Mayan world subsist in millenary cities like Tikal, Yaxhá, Mirador, Iximche, and Q´uma´rkaj among others.  

 

Our tour will visit two of these amazing cities and many other sites (see Itenerary below).  Be ready to be mesmerized by the grandiose of Tikal.  Its temples and pyramids are testimony of the most advanced ancient civilizations of the Americas.  Here we will photograph the impressive architecture of the Mayan world, along with the incredible flora and fauna of the tropical forrest.

Itinerary

Day 1

Colonial Architecture of Antigua Guatemala

Arrive in Guatemala city, capital of the country known as the Land of the Eternal Spring.  You will be picked at the airport by our driver and driven to Antigua Guatemala, a Spanish Colonial City founded in 1548.  Antigua has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  You will be surrounded by three magnificent volcanoes, some of which are dormant and active.  Find yourself walking these ancient streets along with indigenous people dressed in their colorful traditional costumes. After a delicious traditional dinner, we'll take a night photography walk around the main plaza and visit a few of the amazing colonial churches and monuments.

Need more information on Antigua Guatemala? Find all the information you need from TripAdvisor

Day 2

Colonial Arch in Antigua

In the morning we will start by taking a photography tour around Antigua, and will visit some of the ancient colonial ruins which have been destroyed by several earthquakes of the last four centuries.  Be ready to walk for a couple of hours as we cover the most impressive sites of the city.  Take the afternoon off!  Take adavantage of some free time to visit Finca Filadelfia for a coffee plantation tour with a choice of various activities including, canopy riding, bicycle, or horse riding in the mountains around Antigua. Or simply stay in town and discover all the wonderful sights and entertainment that this spectacular city offers.  In the evening we can stroll freely around the city and eat at some of the many international restaurants and bars.

Day 3

Ring of Fire

Today we will be climbing Pacaya, an active volcano.  Put on your hiking boots, grab your backpack, camera, and be ready to be amazed! Don’t feel like spending too much energy? No worries… there will be a mule to bring you as close to the crater as possible.  From there we can photograph the Guatemalan volcanic landscape, part of the Pacific Ring of Fire.  We will spend the morning ascending and descending this furious volcano.  In the afternoon, we will visit and photograph the Mayan ruins of Iximche and will spend the rest of the afternoon in the eclectic city of Panajachel, surrounded by the majestic Lake Atitlan and its three volcanoes.  We will photograph the landscape at sunset as we chase and capture the Milky Way.

Day 4

Lake Atitlan

Will board a lancha (small boat) and cross the lake and travel to the indigenous town of Santiago Atitlan.  Santiago is the largest of the lake communities with a strong Tz'utujil indigenous populations.  We will photograph the lake fishermen in their carved canoes, the beauty of their town, and its people in their  colorful traditional attire.  In the evening we will take the lancha back to Panajachel, take a stroll around town, and enjoy some of the local fish and other delicacies.

Day 5

Market Day in Chichicastenango

Travel through the mountains to Chichicastenango and be ready to be amazed by the sight of the Indigenous Market Day in the main plaza.  Be sure to have a spare flashcard when we visit the local cemetery and the surroundings of this amazing town.  In the afternoon we will transfer back to Guatemala city.  If the climate conditions are right, we will visit a few of the capital’s iconic monuments.

Day 6

Gran Jaguar Pyramid

Head to the jungle and the majestic mayan city of Tikal! Be ready to photograph the impressive Mayan pyramids and temples, flora and fauna, and the tropical jungle that surrounds this magical and ancient city.  The entire day will be spent in Tikal.  We will take a guided tour in the evening to photograph the sunset in Tikal’s ceremonious plaza.

Day 7

Guatemala City

Arrive to Guatemala city so you can catch your flight out and back to the USA.

The Details

Getting to Guatemala

Climate

Weather in Guatemala

 

Climate -- Guatemala is a tropical country and has distinct wet and dry seasons. However, some regions are rainy all year, and others are very dry and sunny for most of the year. Temperatures vary primarily with elevations, not with seasons: On the coasts it's hot all year, while up in the mountains and highlands, it can be quite cool at night and in the early morning, before the sun heats things up, any time of year. At the highest elevations (3,500-4,000m/11,500-13,120 ft.), frost is common.

Generally, the rainy season (or invierno, winter) is May through October. The dry season (or verano, summer) runs from November to April. Along the Pacific Coast, the dry season lasts several weeks longer than in other places. Even in the rainy season, days often start sunny, with rain falling in the afternoon and evening. On the Atlantic coast, the weather is less predictable, and you can get rain year-round, though this area gets less rain in July and August than the rest of the country. The rainforests of the Petén get the heaviest rainfall, and the rainy season here lasts at least until mid-November. The chart above is for Guatemala City, which has similar temperatures to Antigua, Lake Atitlán, and Chichicastenango. Conditions are different in the Petén, Central Highlands, and both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.

 

More information at: Frommer's

Map of Guatemala

U.S. citizens do not need a visa for a stay of 90 days or less.  A valid U.S. passport is required for all U.S. citizens to enter Guatemala and return to the United States, regardless of age. Even if dual nationals are permitted to enter Guatemala on a second nationality passport, U.S. citizens returning to the United States from Guatemala are not allowed to board their flights without a valid U.S. passport. Certificates of Naturalization, birth certificates, driver's licenses, and photocopies are not accepted by Guatemalan authorities as alternative travel documents. While in Guatemala, U.S. citizens should carry a photocopy of their passports with them at all times due to the high rate of passport theft and leave the original passport in a safe place.  

More information at: US Department of State

Find more about Weather in Guatemala, GU
Click for weather forecast

What to wear

Our Guide Manolo

Many a traveller has fallen into the hot and sunny frame of mind when preparing for their trip, when in fact, the country can be downright cold. You'll want at least a sweater flashlight light jacket to keep out the chill of the highland evenings and a pair of fairly warm pants, something like to denim will prove comfortable. If you are visiting during the rainy season or plan to spend time in the mountains, bring a heavier jacket - fleece works particularly well here and dress in layers.

On the topic of shorts, tank tops and other hot weather wear, bring a change or two and leave it at that - you won't need more. If you're heading to the hot jungle region of Peten and Las Verapaces, long, light clothing is preferable to anything that exposes your skin to sun and insects. In the region always wear a hat, sunglasses and sun block cream.

Visitors going to Guatemala during the rainy season should bring a heavy blanket or similar rain gear and have a strategy for keeping their pack dry: Buy or fashion a pack cover, carry an umbrella, line the inside with plastic bags or get a heavy blanket big enough to cover you and your pack. As for shoes, you'll want something water resistant if it`s the rainy season.

 

More information at: Explore Guatemala

Price and other details (March 2016)

Milky Way Over Atitlan

March 2016 will be our very first official photography and adventure tour! No worries about our experience, we have traveled these same roads with friends and family for years!  We have climbed the volcanoes, traveled to all the sites, and experienced and lived all the amazing sights, including the culture and its people.  Lux Photography is based in Houston, and our tour main guide Manolo goes on photography walks around the Houston area pretty often, in case you would like to meet with him to talk about the details of the trip, or just to simply go on a photography walk and talk about taking pictures, he is available mostly on weekends. Our resident guide, Lester works and lives in Guatemala.

 

Capacity:

For this initial tour, we are hoping to bring 5 to 6 adventurous photographers.  Five being the minimun numbers of photographers needed to get the tour going.  Six being the maximum, in order to have a small group, in which we can provide a more personal service for everyone.  Our tour ratio will consist of 3 photographers per guide

 

Price: 

Our first photography tour to Guatemala will have a discount of $300.  Our regular price after that will be $2,500 USD.  The investment of $2,200 USD will include: all ground transportation, all hotels and 3 meals per day.  It will also include all fees at the National Parks (Tikal, Pacaya Volcano, and Iximche and colonial ruins).  This rate does not include: alcoholic beverages, entertainment events, and activities such as horse rides, zip lines, etc.  

 

A $500 down payment is needed to reserve your place in the tour, which is fully refundable if you cancel by February 15th.  A final payment of $1800 must be paid by February 21st.  More information will be available if you are interested.  Contact by clicking the  comment link at the bottom of the page or email us at: manolo.luxphoto@gmail.com

 

Photography Skills:

All levels are welcome! You do not need to be a pro or a seasoned photographer to participate.  If you are a pro, then this will be an incredible opportunity to test your abilities in different types of photography: nature, night, scenary, macro, street, and so on.  If you are new to photography, then you will be taught and trained by one of our guides on the different skills and the basics of photography! All you need is your camera, a tripod, and lots and lots of memory storage.

 

Photography Equipment:

  • A DSLR Camera (our tour guides use Nikon)
  • Lenses (recommendation): A 14-24 mm, or any wide angle lens, 24-70 mm, or any other mid-range lens, a 35 mm fixed lens, and a 40 mm macro lens.  I do not recommend bring a telephoto lens, due to its weight and very little use of it.  How ever if you have a 24-200 or a 24-300 as your main lens, that is just fine.
  • A GoPro or action video camera with at least 2 batteries.
  • A tripod (preferable one that converts into a monopod).
  • A flash unit (however, must night photography will be done without one).
  • A rain cover if your camera is not waterproof.
  • Spare batteries
  • Several SD/CF/QXD cards
  • A confortable Sling (you will be carrying your camera for long periods of time).
  • A laptop (if you want to edit your pictures during spare time). 

 

Accomodations:

Information on accomodations is coming soon! We are still working out details with our hotels partners. Information Constantly!!! Information will be added constantly! Stay Tuned!!!

 

Further Questions:

Contact Manolo Grajeda - manolo-luxphoto@gmail.com

 

Tour Reservation and Payment:

Payments

Tour Guides

Manolo Grajeda
Photographer/Tour Guide
281-235-7725
Manolo was born and raised in Guatemala, but emigrated to US in the early 80's. There he earned a BS in Biology and a Master in Education from Houston Baptist University.
Manolo is passionate about night photography, travel, wildlife and adventure photography. He spends several weeks a year exploring and photographing Guatemala and its people.
Currently Manolo works as Professor at the University of Saint Thomas and the Alief ISD.
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