Nebaj to Todos Santos Hut-to-Hotel Trek
5 full days of hiking across the remote regions of Quiche and Huehuetenango including areas only accessible by foot
Spend two nights in community hostels and two nights in boutique hotels
Explore small seemingly forgotten rural Mayan villages and break bread with local families
Hike Guatemala’s top trekking route and experience community-based tourism at its finest.
The Nebaj to Todos Santos Trek offers 5 full days of hiking across the remote regions of Quiche and Huehuetenango including areas only accessible by foot. Explore small seemingly forgotten rural Mayan villages and break bread with local families. Much of the route traverses the Guatemala altiplano, Spanish for high plains, which regularly reaches heights above 10,000 feet (3,048 meters).
We offer 2 tours to experience this classic route: Hut-to-Hotel and Hut-to-Hut. If you’re interested in trading hotels for community hostels and more time with locals, consider the Hut-to-Hut tour.
The trek begins in the Ixil Mayan stronghold of Nebaj and finishes in the remote mountain village of Todos Santos, famous for its Day of the Dead festivities. Evening accommodations during the trek range from rustic huts to boutique hotels. Spend two nights in community hostels and two nights in beautiful unique hotels that feature an artisanal cheese farm and a horseback riding center.
The Nebaj to Todos Santos trek of Guatemala sees far less tourism than most areas and offers unparalleled community-based tourism experiences full of nature, adventure, and local culture.
$599 - $850 per person, depending on group size
6 Days, 5 Nights
Elevation Gain / Loss
+4000 mts. / -4000 mts.
Intermediate to Advanced
- Round trip transportation from Old Town Outfitters office in Antigua
- All food and lodging
- Hiking boots or trekking shoes (no sandals)
- Daypack with rain cover
- One warm layer and/or windbreaker
- Rain jacket (May thru October)
- Personal Toiletries and/or medications
- Camera, Hat, Sunglasses & Sunscreen
- Two liters of water (minimum)
- TIP for great service from your Old Town Guide!
What to Expect
DAY 1: Transfer to Nebaj & hike to Acul
Today is a long day as we start with an early morning 6-hour drive out to Nebaj. Nebaj, the main town of the Ixil Triangle is rich in culture and history. This region of the country was the hot seat of the rebellion during the country’s nearly 35-year civil war.
Our trek today is to the neighboring village of Acul, the first of Guatemala’s model villages. As a way to undermine the strength of the Mayan peasant farmers, the Guatemalan military rounded up various Mayan groups of different ethnic backgrounds and forced them to live together under the watchful eye of the Government. Settlements like this were thus called model villages. Although a relatively short hike distance-wise at roughly 3.7 miles (6 kilometers), it is still tough as we’ll have a big push up the ridge separating the two villages. Tonight’s lodging is at an active cheese farm, where we will enjoy rustic cabins and an old farm ambiance.
DAY 2: Acul to Pajuil Pais
We’ll start with a short pick-up truck ride to the next trailhead just 4.3 miles (7 kilometers) up the road from Acul in the village of Xexocom. Today’s hike will start with a long climb of 2 hrs covering 2,625 feet (800 meters) up to a high plateau in the Cuchumatanes. Once on the plateau, we will enjoy beautiful cross country walking through farm fields, forests, and local towns. We’ll trek through the remote Mayan settlement of Chortiz, a town completely isolated from the world with no connections by road or power. The town is a pure picture of life for the local Maya in these highlands and a very unique place to visit. Continuing across the altiplano at nearly 10,826 feet (3,300 meters), we’ll finally start our descent to the mountainside community of Pajuil Pais where we’ll overnight in a community hostel.
DAY 3: Pajuil Pais to Chancol
Today’s objective will be to cross the Aguacatan Ravine- we’ll hike across the plateau and down into the valley before climbing back out, beginning our 8-mile (13-kilometer) push. Our day’s objective is to reach one of the most unique lodgings in Guatemala, the Unicornio Azul. This lodge is a rustic horse farm in the middle of the highlands, with picturesque views and rolling hills on all sides.
DAY 4: Chabal to Tuicoyg
Today will again start with a short pick-up truck ride across the densely populated Paquix plateau to the community of Chabal where a stunning piece of the trail climbs up to the high ridge home to the highest two non-volcanic peaks of Guatemala: La Torre at ~12,467 feet (~3,800 meters) and Cerro Los Cuervos at ~12,631 feet (~3,850 meters). Once on the plateau the hike is mostly flat as we traverse the open expanse known as the Devil's Flats on our way to the village of Tuicoyg.
DAY 5: Tuicoyg Todos Santos
Our final walk in this range will drop us off the high plateau and down into the town of Todos Santos, a cowboy town and one of the few remaining villages where men wear the traditional village garb. This rocky trail is virtually all downhill, snaking its way out of the mountains down through the thick pine forests that characterize the region. We will explore this colorful and vibrant village in the afternoon and spend the night here before our transfer to Antigua the following morning.
*DAY 6: Transfer Todos Santos to Antigua
*For a more expedited trip, you could shuttle back from Todos Santos to Antigua on Day 5 upon arrival into town. This makes for a long day and does not allow for much time in Todos Santos, but does make the trip a bit less expensive.
What Our Travelers Are Saying…
My boyfriend and I did this 5 day hike with Pepien and had an absolute blast. The hike was amazing, and the access to these remote areas was a very wonderful experience.
Our guide was awesome and the trip itself was well planned and very interesting. Can't recommend this tour enough!