Engaging Antigua and Atitlan

Taking time to go deep into Guatemala's arts and natural beauty
Overview

overview

Settle into the stunning environments of two specially-chosen small hotels in Guatemala's most precious locales -- Antigua and Lake Atitlan.  JOURNEYS provides the building blocks for your personally-tailored experience. We give you the background information, orientation, guides, and logistical support to allow you to follow your own interests at your own pace.  You may choose to focus on the markets and textiles, including visits with artisans. You may go deep into the history, traditions, archaeology, and current story of the Maya. You may choose to hike forest trails or climb a volcano. Note the bird, animal, and plant life. Take time for photography, sketching, painting, or writing. 

You may purposely time your trip during a week that is quiet, when there's little likelihood of many other tourists. Or, schedule on dates that include some of the western hemisphere's most extravagant festivals, most notably the floral carpets and processions of Semana Santa (Holy Week, leading up to Easter) and the kite-flying extravaganzas for Dia de Los Santos Difuntos (Day of the Dead, late Oct/early November.)  The beauty of this plan is that it places the best of Guatemala in your own hands.

itinerary

itinerary

  • Day 1: Guatemala City / Antigua
    From the center of colonial Antigua, the vistas and the detail are equally impressive.

    You will be met upon arrival at Guatemala City Airport by your guide and driver and transferred about an hour to the colonial town of Antigua. You will receive a welcome pack that includes trip notes and general information on the destinations in Guatemala, including restaurant and shopping recommendations. Once in Antigua, you can relax in a beautiful colonial boutique hotel. In the early evening, you will be met by your specialist guide, who will provide you with an informal lecture to explain some of the history of Guatemala, including the Mayan civilization and the Spanish colonization. She will help paint a picture of contemporary life in Guatemala and how it has evolved. Overnight in Antigua for three nights.

    Meals
    Dinner
    Lodging
    Panza Verde (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 2: Antigua Colonial Tour

    This morning, you’ll be met at your hotel by your guide to begin a half-day walking tour of Antigua. Enjoy the architectural and historical highlights of this colonial city with a behind-the-scenes look at some of the many churches, convents, and cathedrals, such as the Iglesia San Francisco, Antigua Cathedral, Central Park, and La Merced Church. As a flexible tour, you may choose to visit other monuments, museums, or attractions. Your guide will accompany you back to the hotel or take you to a recommended restaurant (additional cost). The rest of the day is free to explore on your own.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Panza Verde (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 3: Free Day in Antigua

    Today is yours, free for exploring Antigua in more depth.  Some of the sights you may want to see include the Church and Convent of Capuchins, and 18th century convent; La Recoleccion Architectural Complex, a former church and monastery with lovely grounds in the western part of the city; El Mercado, a great place for sights, sounds, and tastes; and the many local artisan shops in town. We can also help with arrangements (additional cost) for a visit to a nearby coffee farm, or perhaps a chocolate-making class.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Panza Verde (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 4: Iximche and Lake Atitlan

    After breakfast at your Antigua hotel, travel by van to Lake Atitlan, stopping along the way at Iximche for exploration on your own (or you can hire a local guide on-site if you prefer).  Alternatively, you may stop at a market town along the way, depending on the day of the week, as the various towns have different market days.  Typically, on any market day, you'll see the local people going about their daily life, buying produce and goods for the rest of the week. The locals are still dressed in the traditional textiles of the area. In the afternoon, you'll arrive at beautiful Lake Atitlan, which is surrounded by three imposing volcanoes. Overnight for three nights near Lake Atitlan at cozy, comfortable Hotel Atitlan (or similar).

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Hotel Atitlan (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 5: San Juan and Santiago Villages
    The exterior of house and shops in San Juan Atitlan are typically decorated with mural paintings.

    After breakfast you will be met by a local specialist of the Mayan people for a full day lake tour by boat to visit some villages and see contemporary Mayan life. In San Juan La Laguna, visit a women’s cooperative where they still dye with natural dyes and weave by using traditional methods. You will also visit the homes and studios of famous local naïf painters before boarding the boat to continue onto Posada Santiago for lunch. From here you will board local trucks for a bumpy, fun ride into town to see a statue of the Mayan God, Maximon, and perhaps have a chance to see local shaman performing a ritual. You then head back to the boat to visit Santa Catarina Palopo before returning to your hotel.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Hotel Atitlan (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 6: Free Day in Lake Atitlan
    Settle into the beauty and silence of the lake.

    Today is yours free to explore as you wish. Around and on Lake Atitlan, you have many options for activities such as hiking, volcano touring, bike touring, village visits, coffee farm explorations, birdwatching, trekking around the lake, kayak adventuring, and more.  You may make your own plans or ask us to make arrangements (additional cost) on your behalf.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Hotel Atitlan (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 7: Guatemala City / Onward
    Traditional blouses -- or huipilis -- are woven and embrodered with designs that are distinctive for different Mayan villages.

    Today you will be transferred to the Guatemala City Airport to catch your onward flight.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Show on a map
Price and Date Details

Price and Date Details

Privately on Request
Land Cost:
$2,250
The cost quoted is the Land Cost and is subject to change. This covers accommodations, transfers, activities, touring, guide services and meals as described in JOURNEYS' Trip Notes. The quoted Land Cost will apply when group size falls in the specified range and when travel is on the indicated dates.
Single Supplement:
$570
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Need to Know

Need to Know

Duration:
7 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost. The total number of days includes the time required to travel between the USA and the destination country.
Comfort Level:
3
delightful and superior hotels
Group Size:
2-12
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Activity Level:
1
delightful and superior hotels

Resources

Trip Extensions

Trip Extensions

There are currently no suggested extensions for this itinerary. Please ask the Destination Specialist if you'd like to customize one.

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