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Guatemala

Guatemala

Tour Dates:
July 12 - 21, 2019

3,895 (per person)


Future Dates:

Our custom small group tour includes colonial Antigua, Lake Atitlán and its villages, and the ancient Mayan ruins of Tikal. Guatemala is a visual paradise of breathtaking color with an amazing diversity of culture, scenery and architecture. Only a short flight away, you'll discover a landscape filled with impressive volcanoes, tropical rain forests, spectacular pyramids and indigenous highland villages. We connect with the best local guides to add extra experiences, ensuring that your trip will be truly memorable.

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Join us for a small group custom escorted tour, featuring 5 days in the beautiful old colonial city of Antigua, 4 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 in Guatemala City – Transfer to Antigua

Arrive at La Aurora airport in Guatemala City, transfer to Antigua and our hotel. 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! Antigua combines colonial history with an astounding array of cultural activities, including art galleries and exhibits, performing arts, popular arts, fine restaurants, jade galleries, and native textiles and crafts. Our charming ‘boutique hotel’ is beautifully decorated with antiques and locally woven fabrics. Antigua, the capital, is one of the loveliest small cities in the world, and also an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Only a short flight from the US, but with a wonderful away-from-it-all ambience, Antigua is majestic. It is nestled between three dramatic volcanoes: Agua, Fuego, and Acatenango.

Overnight at Hotel Posada del Angel

Day 2: Antigua

Breakfast at hotel. Starting at 9:00 a.m. enjoy a half day walking tour of Antigua including La Merced, Antigua Cathedral and San Francisco Church. Includes guide, private transportation and entrance fees to some monuments. Free afternoon. (B)

Overnight at Hotel Posada del Angel

Day 3: Antigua Villages

Breakfast at hotel. At 9:00 a.m. embark on a half-day driving tour of the villages near Antigua. Stop at  Cerro de la Cruz lookout point. Continue to the local village of Santa Maria de Jesus on Agua volcano for their colorful local market where the women still wear their traditional Maya dress. Includes guide for half day, private transportation and entrance fees/ donations. Free afternoon. (B)

Overnight at Hotel Posada del Angel

Day 4: Fly to Tikal – Return to Antigua

Breakfast at hotel and free day for those not going to Tikal.

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

4 a.m. transfer to airport for 6:30 a.m. TAG flight to Flores (1-hour flight). Return flight at 6:30 p.m.

Tikal is one of the largest archaeological sites and urban centers of the Pre-Columbian Maya Civilization. It is part of a vast National Park and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979. Enjoy a private guided tour of the site with its huge temples rising up through the jungle canopy, and a variety of colorful animals, birds and over 2000 tropical plant species. The park totals 576 square kilometers, but the city itself comprises approx. 31 km with 4000 structures, many still not totally excavated. The Grand Plaza forms the initial axis that defines Tikal. (B or L)

Overnight at Hotel Posada del Angel

Day 5: Antigua / Lake Atitlán

Breakfast at hotel. 9:00 a.m. transfer to Lake Atitlán

Private transportation to Lake Atitlán with optional visits en route: Cerro de la Cruz and San Simon with its cleaning ritual. Market day in San Juan Comalapa (mornings only). Also market day in Solola (all day). Stops to be decided by the group on the day. We will be accompanied by our guide the whole day. Lunch not included.

Lake Atitlán is a deep blue gem, 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 will accompany us on a scenic boat ride across the lake past the three impressive volcanoes of Tolimán, Atitlán & San Pedro. We can visit the local church and learn about the history of this traditional town. At the market see the distinctive textiles and primitive art that this area is famous for. The women of Comalapa are known for their back-strap weaving and fine beadwork. Shop for that perfect gift. (B)

Overnight at Hotel Atitlan

Day 6: Lake Atitlán: San Juan La Laguna & Santiago

Breakfast at hotel. Enjoy a visit to San Juan La Laguna and Santiago Atitlán by boat, with stops in the villages. Visit a co-operative where local women grow their own cotton, spin it by hand, and then use natural dyes to color it before weaving it into fabric on a back-strap loom. We will have a demonstration with explanations given to us 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. (B)

Overnight at Hotel Atitlan

Day 7: Lake Atitlán: Chichicastenango

Breakfast at hotel. Day trip to Chichicastenango with its bustling market. Private transportation and guide for the day. (B)

Overnight at Hotel Atitlan

Day 8: Lake Atitlán: Santa Catarina Palopo & San Antonio Palopo

Breakfast at hotel. Half day trip to the villages of Santa Catarina Palopo and San Antonio Palopo. Option for shopping time in Panajachel. Afternoon at leisure. (B)

Overnight at Hotel Atitlan

Day 9: Lake Atitlán / Antigua

Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to Antigua. Options en route: Solola market, San Simon, and/ or San Juan Comalapa. Optional visit to coffee farm and music museum at La Azotea. Free time in Antigua.

Overnight at Hotel Posada del Angel

Day 10: Return to US

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

Hotel Posada del Angel: Established in 1993, Posada del Angel is Antigua'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 which surround a central patio,  a small lap pool, a romantic garden and a dramatic roof terrace overlooking Volcán Agua.

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.

Guatemala "land of forests"

The name Guatemala, meaning land of forests, was derived from one of the Maya dialects spoken at the time of the Spanish conquest in 1523. Guatemala is the most diverse of all the Central American countries and has a strong and active indigenous Maya population. 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.

Attractions range from picturesque Mayan ruins and steaming volcanoes, to lush jungles with exotic flora and uncrowded beaches. You will never find yourself at a loss for things to do. Though the largest country in Central America, Guatemala is no bigger than Tennessee. This means that you can effectively see the best of what the country has to offer in one vacation. But with its warm indigenous culture and its range of breathtaking settings, you might find yourself coming back for seconds, even thirds!

Antigua

Among the world’s best-conserved colonial cities, Antigua is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has churches and cathedrals, inviting plazas, and a lakefront location. Its setting is majestic, nestled between three dramatic volcanoes: Agua, Fuego and Acatenango. Several historic buildings frame the central square: the Ayuntamiento, or City Hall, and the Captain General Palace are known for their lovely arches. Antigua is one of the most inviting small cities in the world. Its colonial history combines with an array of cultural activities including art galleries, performing arts, fine restaurants, jade galleries, and hand-made textiles.

Lake Atitlan

One of the most scenic attraction in Guatemala, Lake Atitlán is a deep blue gem. Located at an elevation of over 5,000 feet above sea level, it is surrounded by volcanoes and indigenous highland villages. The area has many market towns like Comalapa, known for their painters and handicrafts such as weaving and jade jewelry. It's a pleasure to meet the people who proudly sell their wares at the many markets. Our hotel sits magnificently on the lakeshore with lovely tropical gardens and hiking trails.

  • 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 Atitlán, 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 of climbing Pacaya, besides the panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, is the opportunity to peer inside its cone.
  • Chichicastenango Market – This is easily among the more popular Guatemala attractions. Every Thursday and Sunday, the Chichicastenango market is a colorful, often chaotic affair. The Quiché Maya and other vendors come from around the country who to sell their immaculate hand-made products. The atmosphere itself is enough to make the trip worthwhile. Of the various textiles available, the most popular are the blouses made by the Maya women.

Tikal

One of the largest archaeological sites and urban centers of the Pre-Columbian Maya Civilization, Tikal is part of a vast National Park and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979. Huge temples rise up through the jungle canopy, and a variety of animals, birds and over 2000 tropical plant species are on show.

  • 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 best pre-Columbian cities built anywhere in the Americas, and visiting one or both is among the more memorable things to do.

Includes
  • In-Country Air Travel to Tikal
  • All Excellent Accommodations
  • Meals as described in the itinerary
  • Ground Transportation
  • Local English Speaking Guide
  • 10 People Maximum
  • International Air Travel Booked Separately – Call for Quote
Exclusions
  • Meals other than those stated
  • Gratuities for porters, drivers and guides
  • Personal expenses

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