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Guatemala

Guatemala

Tour Dates:
July 15 - 23, 2017

3,595 (per person)


Future Dates:

This country is a visual paradise of breathtaking color that pleases the eye of any visitor. Guatemala has an amazing diversity of culture, landscapes and architecture. Only 4 1⁄2 hours flying time from Washington, DC brings you to ancient Mayan pyramids, impressive volcanoes, tropical rainforests, and indigenous highland villages.

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Come join us for a small group custom escorted tour, featuring 5 days in the beautiful old colonial city of Antigua, 3 days at Lake Atitlan, surrounded by volcanoes and charming market villages, and 1 day at Tikal, site of the spiritual and stunning Maya ruins!

Day 1: Depart US!

Arrive at La Aurora airport in Guatemala City Guatemala, transfer to Antigua and Hotel Posada del Angel

Free afternoon depending on flight arrivals.

Antigua is among the world’s best-conserved colonial cities. Its Spanish colonial architecture, central park and charming cobblestone streets offer a glimpse of ancient splendor! Offering something for all travel tastes, Antigua combines colonial history with an astounding array of ongoing cultural activities, including art galleries and exhibits, performing arts, popular arts, fine restaurants, jade galleries, and native textiles and crafts. We’ll stay at a charming ‘boutique hotel’ beautifully decorated with antiques and woven fabric. Antigua, the capital, is one of the loveliest small cities in the world, and also an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Only about 4 and a half hours flying time from the Washington DC area, Antigua is a very accessible city filled with delightful ambiance! Its setting is majestic, nestled between three dramatic volcanoes: Agua, Fuego and Acatenango.

Day 2:

Breakfast at hotel

9:00AM: Half day walking tour of Antigua including La Merced, Antigua Cathedral and San Francisco Church. Includes guide for half day and entrance fees.

Free afternoon

  • Hotel Posada del Angel

Day 3:

Breakfast at hotel

9:00 am half day driving tour on Antigua villages: Drive to Cerro de la Cruz lookout point. Continue to the local village of Santa Maria de Jesus on Agua volcano for their colorful local market and the women still wear their traditional Maya dress and back-strap weavers.

Free afternoon

2:30 PM afternoon Presentation in Casa de Artes; textiles (with local weaver), masks and a Maya dance performance.

  • Hotel Posada del Angel

Day 4:

Day trip to the famous Maya ruins at Tikal. Includes transport, English-speaking guide in Tikal, entry fees, and lunch at the site.

Tikal is one of the largest archaeological sites and urban centers of the Pre-Columbian Maya Civilization. The site is part of Tikal’s vast National Park and in 1979 was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. Here you can enjoy a private guided tour of this fabulous site with huge temples rising up through the jungle canopy, and a variety of colorful tropical animals, birds and over 2000 plant species on show. The park totals 576 square kilometers, but the city itself comprises approximately 31 square kilometers with 4000 structures, many still not totally excavated. The Gran Plaza formed the initial axis that defines Tikal.

Breakfast at hotel

  • Hotel Posada del Angel

Day 5:

Breakfast at hotel

9:00 transfer to Lake Atitlan

Option en route include San Simon & cleaning ritual; San Juan Comalapa market; Solola market – can decide on the day. Includes guide and transportation. Lunch not included.

  • Hotel Atitlan

Lake Atitlan is a deep blue gem, a spiritual mecca, encircled by impressive volcanoes and indigenous highland villages. Our hotel sits magnificently on the lakeshore, surrounded by lovely tropical gardens and hiking trails. This area has many market towns like Comalapa, known for their local painters and handcrafts such as weaving and jade jewelry. Our private guide accompanies us on a scenic boat ride across the lake past the three impressive volcanoes of Toliman, Atitlan & San Pedro. We can visit the local church and learn about the history of this very traditional town, and visit the market to shop or learn about the distinctive textiles and primitive art that this area is famous for. (The locals are known for their back strap weaving and fine beadwork!)

Day 6:

Breakfast at hotel, served 7:00 – 9:30am.

Visit to Chichicatenango market. Includes transportation and guide for the day. Lunch Not included.

  • Hotel Atitlan

Day 7:

Breakfast at hotel

Enjoy a boat visit to San Juan La Laguna and Santiago Atitlan, and with stops in the villages of San Juan La Laguna and Santiago. Visit a co-operative where local women grow their own cotton, spin it by hand, and then using natural dyes, color it and weave into fabric on a back-strap loom – demonstration/explanations given of this remarkable native art! Optional visits to an artist’s gallery and/or a charming local school, for a glimpse of this diverse culture.

  • Includes boat transfers, guide for the day, entrance fees/donations for visits. Lunch NOT included.
  • Hotel Atitlan

Day 8:

Breakfast at Hotel

Tansfer to Antigua. Options en route: Solola market, San Simon. San Juan Comalapa, but this would need a slightly earlier start

14:00 Presentation at Cas de Artes, dancing, music, and fireworks.

Option for coffee farm and music museum visit at La Azotea.

Free time

  • Hotel Posada del Angel

Day 9:

Breakfast at hotel: Transfer to La Aurora airport for international departures.

Hotel Posada del Angel: Established in 1993, Posada del Angel is Antigua Guatemala’s pioneer Boutique Hotel offering authentic local experiences where every detail and moment has been curated by local connoisseurs who want to share Antigua’s Maya and Spanish heritages. Posada del Angel is an intimate hotel in a world-class cultural destination. Located on a cobblestone quiet street, a few blocks from the main plaza, Posada del Angel occupies an original Spanish colonial casona where everything happens behind closed doors, only for guests who stay in its seven rooms around a central patio, a small lap pool, a romantic garden and a dramatic roof terrace overlooking VolcánAgua.

Hotel Atitlan: With 60 rooms total, each room is personally decorated by a member of the family, and has its own private balcony and breathtaking view. Reflecting the native culture, the décor is a unique blend of hand-woven fabrics, handcrafted furniture, paintings and other art from the many indigenous villages in the region. The floors are traditional tile and covered by area rugs that are also hand-made. The restaurant features regional and international dishes of delectable taste and flavor. Most of the fruits and vegetables are organically grown in farms adjacent to the hotel grounds. Savor your meal while enjoying a breathtaking view of Lake Atitlan and the surrounding volcanoes.

The tourist attractions in Guatemala range from picturesque Mayan ruins and steaming volcanoes, to lush jungles and under crowded beaches.You will never find yourself at a loss for things to do in Guatemala, as this developing tourist destination is full of exciting activities. Though the largest country in Central America, the fact that Guatemala is no bigger than Tennessee means that you can effectively see the best of what the country has to offer in one vacation. However, with its warm indigenous culture and its range of breathtaking settings, you might find yourself coming back for seconds, even thirds. Consider the following recommendations for things to do in Guatemala to help you maximize your vacation experience.

    • Explore Some Mayan Ruins – Throughout what is known as Guatemala today, the ancient Mayans erected some of their greatest cities. Tikal and El Mirador are among the greatest pre-Columbian cities built anywhere in the Americas, and visiting one or both is among the more memorable Guatemala things to do.
    • Chichicastenango Market – This is easily among the more popular Guatemala attractions. Every Thursday and Sunday, the Chichicastenango market is a colorful, often chaotic affair that brings in the Quiché Maya and other vendors from around the country who come to sell their immaculate hand-made products. Besides the array of high-quality items you will find here, the atmosphere itself is enough to make the trip worthwhile. All sorts of textiles make the grade here, among the most popular being the women’s blouses made by the Maya women.
    • Hike a Volcano – The Pacaya Volcano is one of the most, if not the most climbed volcanoes in Guatemala. Rising to an altitude of 8,371 feet, the Pacaya volcano has been continually active since 1965. Found near Lake Atitlan, you can hike the volcano by yourself, but for safety reasons and for the sake of information, it is a good idea to use a guide. One of the biggest thrills to climbing Pacaya, besides the panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, is the chance you will have to peer inside its cone.
    • Set Your Eyes on Lake Atitlan – Perhaps the most scenic of Guatemala attractions, visiting Lake Atitlan and taking advantage of all the area has to offer is surely one of the more popular things to do in Guatemala for tourists. Surrounded by volcanoes and found at an elevation of over 5,000 feet above sea level, Lake Atitlan is absolutely beautiful. Mountain lakes, indigenous villages and volcanoes are just some of the other destinations you can explore on a Guatemala tour. Eco-tourism is on the rise, not only in Guatemala, and Guatemala’s lush jungles, mountainous terrain and steamy lowlands provide plenty of options for an adventurous tour.

 

  • Antigua – an UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for it’s Spanish colonial architecture. Beyond the Mayans, Guatemala also became witness to the rise of European dominance. Colonial history that is always present combines with an array of cultural activities that include art galleries and exhibits, performing arts, popular arts, fine resturants, jade galleries, textiles and cultural tourism in general. There is plenty to be had when you are in Guatemala.

When we travel in Guatemala we see color, a visual paradise! The enthusiasm of the people and a strong sense of another time are felt throughout this beautiful place. Our guided tour embraces both Guatemala’s vast culture and expansive environment. The name Guatemala, meaning “land of forests,” and was derived from one of the Maya dialects spoken by the indigenous people at the time of the Spanish conquest in 1523. Guatemala by far is the most diverse of all the Central American countries and has a strong and active indigenous Maya population unlike anywhere in Latin America. While traditional native dress has disappeared in many parts of the world, Guatemala remains a place where a high percentage of the indigenous people still proudly wear their traditional dress called traje. This is a spectacular destination with amazing diversity of cultural heritage, landscapes, flora and architecture.

Antigua is among the world’s best-conserved colonial cities. From its colonial architecture, central park and cobblestone streets, the visitor experiences the splendors of ancient times! Antigua Guatemala offers something for all travel tastes. Colonial history that is always present combines with an array of cultural activities that include art galleries and exhibits, performing arts, popular arts, fine restaurants, jade galleries, textiles and cultural tourism in general. Our accommodations are small hotels beautifully decorated with antiques and woven fabric. Antigua, the colonial capital, is one of the loveliest small cities in the world and an UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for it’s Spanish colonial architecture. Only approximately 41/2 hours flying time from the Washington DC area, Antigua is a very accessible city filled with delightful ambiance! Its setting is majestic, nestled between three dramatic volcanoes: Agua, Fuego and Acatenango.

Tikal is one of the largest archaeological sites and urban centers of the Pre-Columbian Maya Civilization. The site is part of Tikal’s vast National Park and in 1979 was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. Here you can enjoy a private guided tour of this fabulous site with huge temples rising up through the jungle canopy and a variety of tropical animals, birds and over 2000 plant species on show. The park totals 576 square kilometers but the city itself comprises approximately 31 square kilometers with 4000 structures, many still not totally excavated.The Gran Plaza formed the initial axis that defines Tikal.

Lake Atitlan is a deep blue gem encircled by spiritual impressive volcanoes and indigenous highland villages. This area has many market towns like Comalapa, known for their local painters and handcrafts such as weaving and jade jewelry. Our hotel sits magnificently on the lake shore with lovely tropical gardens and hiking trails. Our private guide accompanies us on a scenic boat ride across the lake past the three impressive volcanoes of Toliman, Atitlan & San Pedro. Upon arrival across the lake to the village of Santiago guests will walk with their guide to find the house where the Maya God Maximon is living. Each year a different “brotherhood” has the privilege of taking care of their God so his location changes. Once with Maximon you may see local shaman performing rituals for local people. After visiting Maximon guests can visit the local church and learn about the history of this very traditional town and also see the market and learn about the distinctive textiles and primitive art that is famous from this area. The locals are know for their back strap weaving and fine bead work. Shopping opportunities are available.


Includes
  • Inner-Country Air Travel to Tikal Ruins
  • All Excellent Accommodations
  • Ground Transportation
  • Local English Speaking Guide – call for separate quote on internal and international air
  • 10 People Maximum
  • International Air Travel Booked Separately; Call for Quote

Travel

Travel with tour guide Sunny Reynolds, who has been showing the world to travelers since 1992. While this is not exclusively a photo tour, Sunny Reynolds as a professional photographer is happy to help all levels of photographers take better photos of their adventures.

  • Rates Based on Double Occupancy
  • Single Supplement Applies
  • Subject to Availability
  • All Prices subject to change