We are excited to show you some of the wonders of Guatemala. Our first night will be in the historic centre of Guatemala City, ready for the next day where we are going to be visiting the Botanical Gardens and exploring the “Centro Historico” or old part of Guatemala City. The next day of our journey takes us to the heart of the Mayan Civilization, Tikal and its surroundings. Then you will climb one of Guatemala’s active volcanoes, Pacaya, where you will be able to see the volcano activity. Then we will take you to one of the most beautiful lakes, Lake Atitlan, surrounded by volcanoes and inhabited by several indigenous Mayan communities, and see at first hand their traditional way of living, including back-strap weaving, in the village of San Juan La Laguna. Then the next leg of our tour takes us to Antigua Guatemala to participate in the processions of Good Friday, expect huge floats carried by 200 people, incense, sawdust carpets, music and the catholic demonstrations at its deepest. We will be finishing the tour with a visit to Sipacate-El Naranjo national park by the Pacific Coast where we should see plenty of birds around the mangrove forest and giant green turtles.
Arrive to La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City. Staying at Casa Carmel B and B.
During the morning, we will have a drive to the newest parts of the city, Avenida de la Reforma y Ave. de las Americas. Then we will visit the archaeological site of Kaminal Juju in the middle of a growing city and a visit to Museo Miraflores to see Mayan artefacts and ceramics. Late afternoon walks in Historic City Centre. Visit to bar. Stay at Casa Carmel B and B.
We will have an early start taking the plane from Guatemala City to Flores Airport (1 hrs flying time). Visit to Tikal archaeological site. This site towers above the tropical jungle with its huge temples and a wide range of wildlife to see and hear. We will be staying at Posada del Cerro otel, at the shores of lake Petén Itza and next to another nature reserve Cerro Cahui.
Visit to Yaxha archaeological site. This site is by the Yaxha lake, it is smaller than Tikal and because it gets less visitors you can experience the temples and the jungle in quietness. We will spend the whole day exploring the site and enjoying the wildlife inside the National. Stay the night at El Remate.
A day to explore the lake Petén Itza by car and then walking on the island of Flores. Lunch at Flores. Flying back to Guatemala City. Staying at Casa Carmel B and B.
Early start with trip from Guatemala City to Pacaya Volcano. A hike to the summit to see volcano activity, this is a 1-2-hour medium effort hike on a well-maintained trail. Hiring a horse is available and highly advisable (£10). After the hike, we will be heading towards Lake Atitlan and staying in the Tzutuhil town of Santiago Atitlan. We will be arriving to Posada Santiago late in the afternoon.
Trip to El Mirador to see views of Pacific Plains and Lake Atitlan and Volcanos. Walking tour of Santiago Atitlan with visit to Catholic Church and pagan saint Maximon. Visit to handcraft market. Lunch will be provided. Afternoon free for your enjoyment of Posada’s swimming pool, kayaking, walking or going for a run.
Boat trip from Santiago Atitlan to Tzutuhil village of San Juan la Laguna. This community uses traditional methods of dying and weaving to make unique clothing. Morning hike to Cerro de la Cruz. This is a medium trail, which may take up to 1 hrs. Views at the top are incredible. Lunch at local comedor “Elenita”. Afternoon visit to Women’s Association of Weavers and Naïve Painters and indigenous medicinal plants gardens. Back to Santiago Atitlan.
After breakfast, we will leave Santiago and head to Antigua Guatemala to witness the Holy Week traditions and walk around Antigua visiting museums and cultural sites. Antigua is a UNESCO wold heritage site.
Walk in Antigua Guatemala, watching sawdust carpets. Then we will watch La Merced Church procession in the morning, followed by lunch at La Merced Street Market (street food). After 4pm Santo Entierro procession in the evening.
Free day in Antigua Guatemala. Good option is a visit to Finca El Pilar with a trail that gives you opportunity to see birds and wildflowers or a visit to the village of San Cristobal El Alto, with local artisans, nature trails and traditional food.
From Antigua for approx. 2.5 hrs to the Pacific beach of El Paredon. The hotel is on the beach front with lovely traditional palm thatched cabins. El Paredon beach is a black sand beach with warm waters, where you can relax, unwind and watch the local surfers.
Early tour by boat through the fascinating mangrove swamp to see wildlife, and visit the artisan salt pans and see giant green Pacific turtles in the lagoon. Late breakfast. Afternoon free to enjoy the beach. Then back to Guatemala City.
All breakfasts are included in the tour price. Then the rest of the meals Julia will take the group to a restaurant or a place previously chosen and recommended and you will choose whatever you want to eat. Price of the meals will range between £5 to £10 per person.