Panajachel Tours
Lake Atitlan: Mayan Ceremony at the Sacred Caves
4.5

Lake Atitlan: Mayan Ceremony at the Sacred Caves

By Los Elementos Adventure Center
Recommended by 93% of travelers
93% of reviewers gave this product a bubble rating of 4 or higher.
About
from
$105.00
per adult (price varies by group size)
Lowest price guaranteeReserve now & pay laterFree cancellation

Ages 8-99, max of 10 per group
Duration: 2h
Start time: Check availability
Mobile ticket
Live guide: English, Spanish
More


  • Local guide
What's not included
  • Gratuities
  • Materials for your own ceremony are available for an additional fee


Start:
  • Ferry, Panajachel, Guatemala
    Xocomil Tour office, Calle Embarcadero, Panajachel
End:This activity ends back at the meeting point.

    • Not wheelchair accessible
    • Service animals allowed
    If you have questions about accessibility, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 7747P2

    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
    • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 10 travelers

    • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

    If you have questions about this tour or need help making your booking, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 7747P2

    Reserve your spot

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    About the operator
    Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator:
    • Los Elementos Adventure Center
      462
      Guatemala
      Joined in May 2009
    • Jake S
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Truly unique experience at the lake
      What a fun and unique experience. Comfortable, nice, friendly, and of course wonderful food. Would recommend this to anyone who is looking for a unique experience, especially in such a beautiful location like Santa Cruz.
      Written June 12, 2024
    • Wander15819416852
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Our best day in Guatemala!
      This is a must if you’re at Lake Atitlan! Alex, our guide was the best! He is friends with everybody, encourage him to become the next El Presidente of the Republic! We kayaked and went hiking, jumped off a small cliff into the water, went shopping, eating, went to a honey bee farm. Clearly one of our best days in Guatemala! Also concluded the day with a really wonderful Mayan Cooking class. We cooked our dinner and learned a ton along the way. Winner, winner, winner!!!
      Written May 6, 2024
    • Janine P
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Best Paddle with nicest host!
      Phenomenal paddle board location! WhatsApp the owner the night before to do a sunrise paddle. Fair prices about $70Q/hr. The paddle boards are in great shape. Not a far paddle to Casa Del Mundo. Bring water shoes, quick dry towel and a waterproof case for your phone. Oh and sunscreen!!
      Written April 7, 2024
    • R1387JOpauls
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Great Trip, Great Guide!
      A great trip with Fernando, who was an awesome guide! The lake in the morning is placid and you can kayak at your own pace and the hiking back is challenging but doable. I would highly recommend to anyone who is active and wants to explore different areas of the lake.
      Written March 24, 2024
    • westond2014
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Great adventure day
      We had an awesome day with our guide who helped us kayak along the lakeshore, swim, and hike up to a delicious lunch in Santa Cruz. He made it personalized and flexible, and we had plenty of time to do what we wanted!
      Written March 22, 2024
    • westond2014
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      A heart-y cultural experience
      The cooking class with Alicia and her family was a wonderful way to experience the heart of her community and culture via food and cooking together. We learned a lot and had a delicious meal together at the end. Highly recommend!
      Written March 22, 2024
    • BAT1968
      0 contributions
      2.0 of 5 bubbles
      So promising but ultimately so disappointing.
      The location is beautiful. The accommodation is basic but acceptable. The hosts hearts just don’t appear to be in it. There were numerous failings during our short stay which left us with a bitter taste. They may as well just have left us a key … then at least we wouldn’t have had all of the disturbances from their day to day living and we wouldn’t have relied on them for all of the things they promise. It should be said, however, that external guides recommended were all excellent.
      Written March 17, 2024
    • Camper33846987010
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      The best tour, amazing
      Fernando was the best part of the tour, he is so kind, knowledgeable and flexible with time. The group was fun, and he made a point to talk to everyone and make sure every felt included and safe. We loved the kayaking <3 loved our time in Atitlan.
      Written February 25, 2024
    • Brett G
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      What a fun day!
      My wife and I took this tour because all the other tours to lake Atitlan we’re canceled. Luckily for us, we found this tour and our guide was Edvin . Luckily my wife and i had him to ourselves. We had such a fun day and it was great to spend one on one time with a local guide. He introduced us to local foods and customs. We rode a chicken bus and saw a Mayan shaman ritual. Thanks Edvin for a wonderful day!!!!!!
      Written February 11, 2024
    • 44erikg
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Wonderful day in Atitlan!
      Such a fun day! Kayaking was gorgeous, the hiking was very doable with amazing views, our guide was really nice and helpful. Highly recommend.
      Written January 10, 2024
    • pabloandresbui
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Amazing Atitlán immersive tour Santiago and San Juan
      We did the Santiago and San Juan Tour, we had an amazing experience!! Mario was our guide, he was fantastic!! Our goal was to have an immersive experience and get to know the communities and some of the Mayan traditions and practices. Mario's knowledge of the community made the tour a success. It seemed that everyone in both towns knew him and everyone was super friendly with us. The best parts of the tour were visiting Maximon, and being part of the ceremony. In San Juan the best parts were visiting the cooperatives. Will definitely recommend this tour and Mario as a guide.
      Written December 29, 2023
    • monteb768
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Amazing Adventures
      We had 2 days of amazing experiences with this tour company. Our first day was with Mario kayaking and exploring the villages of Santa Cruz, San Marcos and San Juan. The kayaking was a blast and Mario made sure we stayed safe from the very beginning. The second day we did a hike with Alex before going to a cave high above the lake to have a Mayan blessing ceremony of our recent marriage. As beautiful the scenery was, we were most moved by the kindness of Mario and Alex. They both did a wonderful job at making sure our experience was special to us. The owners Lee and Elaine were great hosts and organizers and gave us lots of invaluable insight into the Lake villages. We can’t wait to return.
      Written November 26, 2023
    • Dak S
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      A total blast!!!
      We had a great lunch. I recommend starting at the earliest time possible. The boat ride was nice. The views are breathtaking even if you do nothing else. Our guide was phenomenal and informative. We jumped off the cliff. It was exhilarating. We explored three different locations. Definitely save time for a bit of shopping.
      Written October 10, 2023
    • 902mirajh
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Incredible experience
      Absolutely wonderful, our tour guide Alex was the highlight right next to the views. We loved his energy and enthusiasm. He helped motivate us throughout the kayak and hike and helped us take beautiful pictures of the scenery and a lot of local information about the area. Could not recommend Los Elementos enough!
      Written September 12, 2023
    • Tour395621
      0 contributions
      3.0 of 5 bubbles
      Interesting hike but a bit overpriced
      Hike took in scenic countryside & Mayan culture, but felt a bit overpriced for what we did. Hike was very steep. Market was really interesting & fun to go on the back of a pick-up into town.
      Written August 14, 2023
    See all 462 reviews
    These reviews are the subjective opinions of Tripadvisor members and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

    Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

    Popular mentions

    4.5
    4.5 of 5 bubbles15 reviews
    Excellent
    10
    Very good
    4
    Average
    0
    Poor
    1
    Terrible
    0

    laura m
    10 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Aug 2023 • Solo
    This was a beautiful sacred experience. There was great communication with the company and the translator who picked me up at my hotel, the car was comfortable. We drove a bit and then took a small hike down to the beautiful cave. The Shaman was a woman and she created a beautiful experience, prayed for me and build an altar and fire. She also relayed information she received from the Mayan God and gave me some advice. As others said, it was powerful to hear my name being spoken as she prayed. The cave is very interesting as many people come to hold ceremony here every day and there are remnants of their ceremonies (there was a dead chicken left behind from a separate ceremony earlier in the day - for those who are squeamish) No chickens are used in this ceremony though!
    I found it to be one of my favorite experiences in Guatemala and I'm so grateful for the company making this connection for us travelers. I wish they shared what ratio of the price goes to the Shaman and guide, just to know the ethics about the company. The hike out is a bit challenging but it's brief and you can go slow. Highly recommend!
    Written August 27, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Zoe N
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Feb 2023 • Solo
    This experience was a highlight of my trip! Our guide was so kind and taught us so much about the mayan culture and what this experience would be like. We opted for the shaman and he did not disappoint! It started with a ride on a chicken bus, then a short hike to take us to a black cave with an incredible view. Our shaman asked for our intentions and he blessed us for protection, good luck, and then answered our intentions. He told us according to the mayan calendar what our birthdate means and the positive and negative attributes of this meaning and much more, including ancestoral readings and slight future expectations and how to work on things you may struggle with. PREPARE TO GET DIRTY! As the shaman did the fire the ash would often fall on us (not painful, just black and dirty).
    Written February 26, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    cdieleman
    Las Vegas, NV2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Jun 2024 • Couples
    What a treat to get to see and learn about such a fascinating and beautiful culture. From the moment we met our shaman we could tell he was a special person. He explained the significance of where and why they perform these ceremonies. We did a cleansing ceremony and it was beautiful. It was a truly unique experience. The walk to the caves was a little steep. We took a chicken bus to and from town. We highly recommend to get off the regular tourist route and try something like this.
    Written June 15, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    ciaohermosa
    3 contributions
    2.0 of 5 bubbles
    Aug 2023
    I did the private Mayan shaman ceremony in a sacred cave. It's advertised that you take a chicken bus up to the cave and your guide will explain the ceremony and the caves as well as the Mayan calendar and you will receive your Mayan horoscope.hen a shaman will do a ceremony based on one of 5 topics: healing, protection, safe travels, cleansing of bad energy, or insight into challenges in your life.

    I will start by saying the location and the cave itself were amazing and the shaman was great. He was professional and and I felt a powerful energy during and after the experience.

    My 3 stars is for the guide and what I feel is a misleading description of the tour. First off, I was given a location to meet my guide, who was not there at the time. I asked someone nearby who brought me to him (he was sitting in his car). We then drove to the cave (no chicken bus, which might be a pro for you but I was looking forward to it).

    The ceremony is done completely in a local language and Spanish. If you do not speak fluent Spanish, do not do this tour. My Spanish is intermediate and I had difficulty understanding the shaman, when I asked the guide to help translate, he completely mistranslated what was said. He also wasn't able to answer any of my questions (in Spanish or English) about the cave, horoscope, or ceremony. It felt more like he was a driver than a guide.

    The owner was very responsive when booking/taking my money, but when I had a follow-up question about the horoscope reading, she became unresponsive. I then received a Whatsapp message that was copied from google about my sign. For $150 private tour, this seemed like I was ripped off a bit.

    If you're interested in this experience, book with another company or ask around for a local shaman and book yourself.
    Written August 10, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    ShannonLyn
    Houston, TX6 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Mar 2023 • Friends
    This was an incredibly sacred experience that goes beyond words. The whole process was deep, thoughtful, and powerful. Our guide, Alex, was so kind and informative. His part in the ceremony truly made this memory one I will not soon forget. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and one that I cannot recommend this trip highly enough.
    Written March 20, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    kyeshaf692
    Bronx, New York3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Jun 2024 • Solo
    Today I did this amazing experience on my birthday and it was everything and more! It was a great way to start my new year of life! Alex was my guide and he really made sure I experienced Guatemala the right way. The ceremony itself was amazing. I didn't take any picture out of respect for my personal spiritual experience, I highly this recommend experience and Alex too!
    Written June 10, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Sherit3
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Firstly- we had THE best guide!! Samuel!! I couldn’t have imagined having anyone better suited to take us on this journey. Myself and 6 friends embarked on this journey together.. none of us hikers- nyc walkers, but not legit mountain hikers- it was a little precarious at moments, but Samuel was very patient with us old not in top notch shape travelers. It is also 5000 ft up, so know that going in as well... it what we saw and experienced was beautiful. Highly recommend!! And thank you lee for accommodating our group despite our timing issue.
    Written April 8, 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    rfaith3
    Oconomowoc, WI11 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Sep 2018 • Family
    This was the third time I have had Alex take me and a group of people to the Sacred Caves outside of San Jorge. A couple of the times there have been actual ceremonies going on. This trip my family and I went with Alex on the Day of Water; a very important day for the Mayans. The cave was packed and there was at least 6 ceremonies happening at the same time. After observing for a while, we went out on to the rock known as the Drangon's Head for our own ceremony that was performed by our guide Alex. It was a truly amazing experience!
    Written September 14, 2018
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Katherine A
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    May 2023 • Family
    I would like to start off and mention what an incredible tour guy we had!! Mario exceeded my expectation in every sort of way possible. One hour prior to my tour i had a car accident on may down to Panajachel. he accommodated my entire family with rescheduling our trip picking us and dropping us off. In the mist of all issues he was a helping hand!!!
    As far as the actual tour it was definitely a once in a lifetime experience, i would recommend this trip if your into spirituality if your a believer and if you fully immerse yourself in the experience. I shed a few tears because i felt a strong connection with his reading/ cleanse. I traveled with 2 teenage children and they also felt this was a memorable experience something different. Some of the other adventures in Panajachel we had already done in other places so we were definitely interested in this type of tour. the readings were spot on !!!! 10 out ten
    I can not give enough credit to my tour guide .......exceptional
    Written June 5, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Maria P
    Guatemala City, Guatemala6 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Dec 2022 • Couples
    Great experience. Once in a life time opportunity to see so many amazing sights. The ceremony was sooooo cool and I am so glad we went!
    Written April 14, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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