Nature and Mayan Legacyfrom
In depth interaction with the indigenous Maya. Adventure into the country’s “different Caribbean” and learn about the Garifuna culture. Explore 4 World Heritage Sites. Immerse into indigenous regions. Learn about the importance of caves on Mayan Cosmovision.
Reviews 0 Reviews0/5
Vacation Style Holiday TypeJungle
Activity Level Challenging
- In depth interaction with the indigenous Maya visiting traditional markets and participating on a weaving workshop
- Adventure into the country´s “different Caribbean” and learn about the Garifuna culture in Livingston
- Explore four UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Colonial Antigua; the most important city of the Maya World of Tikal; the site of Quiriguá with the tallest carved stelae and Copan with its rich background
- Immerse into the indigenous market of Chichicastenango
- Take a boat trip on Lake Atitlan, surrounded by 3 volcanoes
- Learn about the importance of caves on Mayan Cosmovision
go to “itinerary” above for the day by day description.
Welcome to Guatemala. Transfer to Antigua
Arrival to Guatemala City and transfer to Antigua. (x 2 nights)
Antigua Guatemala + Coffee Farm
Visit Antigua Guatemala, a colonial city declared by UNESCO “Cultural Heritage of Humankind”. We begin in Antigua’s Historic Centre, starting from the Main Plaza and visiting the main monuments of the city. Visit La Azotea Coffee Farm for a guided tour of the Estate and the Mayan Music Museum Casa K’ojom.
Chichicastenango/San Andrés Xecul/Quetzaltenango
Early in the morning departure to Chichicastenango, where you will see the most colorful and picturesque outdoor market in Guatemala. Lunch at the house of a local family and have the opportunity to interact and taste a typical plate. Time at leisure for shopping in the market. Afterwards we continue to Quetzaltenango, stopping on the way in San Andrés Xecul which is a small town home to a stunning church with yellow façade and technicolored saints, angels, flowers, tigers and monkeys. We continue to Quetzaltenango; Guatemala´s second largest city, at 2,335 metres high, surrounded by beautiful volcanic countryside. (x 2 nights)
Zunil/Almolonga/San Francisco el Alto (PM weaving workshop)
Today we visit Zunil, another of Guatemala’s prettiest and most colourful villages located in a lush valley framed by steep hills and dominated by a towering volcano; and Almolonga, an indigenous agricultural and market town in which you will see local crafts and gorgeous vegetables during market day. We continue to San Francisco El Alto Market, where indigenous people from the surrounding villages come to shop and exchange goods. This market is considered the largest market in the country where you see the typical life. Back in “Xela” you will have the opportunity to learn the traditional backstrap loom weaving techniques used by indigenous people, in a workshop at a local textile cooperative.
Quetzaltenango/Lake Atitlán (Boat to Santiago Atitlán & San Antonio Palopó
We start our day driving to Panajachel, a village on the shores of lovely Lake Atitlán, considered one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Departure by boat to the Maya-Tzutuhil village of Santiago Atitlán, famous for Maximón, a character that is widely worshiped by its inhabitants. Santiago also offers a variety of handicrafts, colorful textiles, woodcarvings and naïf paintings. Afterwards we continue by boat to San Antonio Palopó, known for its ceramic products.
Lake Atitlán/Iximché Archaeological site/Guatemala City
We head through the highlands to Iximché, an archaeological site located in the town of Tecpán. Iximché was the former capital of the Maya-Cakchiquel, place where in 1524 was founded Guatemala´s first capital by the Spanish conqueror Pedro de Alvarado. After the visit we continue to Guatemala City.
Drive to Honduras. After short border formalities, you will arrive to one of the most impressive archaeological sites in the Maya World: Copán, declared “World Heritage Site” by UNESCO. Copán presents a sophisticated architectural style and a unique art for stone carving. Visit the main plazas, complexes and monuments.
Departure in the morning, on the way to Puerto Barrios we will visit Quiriguá, a unique archaeological site surrounded by the largest banana plantation in Central America. Declared by UNESCO “Cultural Heritage of Humankind”, Quiriguá is famous for having the tallest stone-carved stelae in the Maya World. After the visit, continue to Puerto Barrios, where you will take a boat ride to the Garífuna town of Livingston, located where Río Dulce meets the Caribbean Sea. Livingston is the only town in Guatemala where the African Caribbean Culture has survived with all its traditions since the first settlers came at the end of the 15th Century, and today it is a peaceful, colorful and relaxed town.
Río Dulce (Panoramic view of Castillo de San Felipe and Ak Tenamit Cooperative)
River trip – a Río Dulce Cruise stopping to visit the local Mayan Cooperative Ak´Tenamit. Panoramic view from the river of Castillo de San Felipe, the ruins of a fortress built in 1652 to keep pirates from looting the villages. In the early 16th century the commercial activity between Guatemala and Spain flourished throughout the former Golfo Dulce, and this fortress was built to protect the merchandise from the pirates of the Gulf of Mexico. Continue to Flores, Petén. (x 3 nights)
Yaxhá Archaeological Site
The Northern part of Guatemala was the birthplace of the great Mayan Civilization. In the morning transfer to the archaeological site of Yaxhá (“Turquoise Water”), considered an important civic and ceremonial Mayan site. It is settled on a hill overlooking the beautiful Laguna de Yaxhá and Laguna Sacnab. Epigraphic evidence assures that it had important relationship with Tikal, as a “satellite” of Tikal during the Classic Period (300-950 A.D.). Yaxhá is the only site in Petén, besides Tikal, that has a “Twin Pyramid Complex”.
Tikal National Park
Visit to Tikal National Park. Declared “Cultural Heritage of Humankind” by UNESCO. This majestic Mayan city is considered the largest and most monumental of all of the sites discovered in the Mayan World. Guided walking visit to the most important plazas, complexes and temples, enjoying as well the tropical forest, nesting place of hundreds of exotic birds and the habitat of a wide variety of wildlife.
We depart by road to Sayaxché, where we take a boat through the La Pasión river, and continue to Ceibal. The archaeological site of Ceibal flourished from 200 A.D. to 900 A.D. and has an extraordinary number of Mayan stone carved monuments and temples. The stelae of Ceibal are one of the finest and best preserved which is why Ceibal is known as “The Gallery of Mayan Art”. After the visit we continue to Cuevas de Candelaria National Park in Alta Verapaz.
This morning we visit the Candelaria Caves, the largest complex found in Central America (30kms long) located at the foot of the Chamá Mountain Range. It is one of the most extraordinary underground systems on Earth. Afterwards we continue to the city of Cobán. We visit the Calvary Church where the Maya-Kekchí practice ceremonies to worship their pre-hispanic gods. Continue to the Quetzal Biotope.
The Quetzal Biotope/Guatemala City
Visit the lush cloud forest ecosystem of the Biotope “El Quetzal – Mario Dary Rivera,” natural habitat of the national bird, the Quetzal. After the visit we continue to Guatemala City passing through a varied topography, from the misty cloud forests in Alta Verapaz, to the hot, dry tropical climate of the Motagua river valley where dinosaurs once roamed, to a cooler climate of Guatemala City.
See you soon
At the specified time, transfer from the hotel to the airport for your flight back home.