Day 1, Arrival – Antigua
Guests are met & transferred to Antigua. (1hr) Casa Santo Domingo Hotel 2N
Day 2, Make Your Own Coffee, Tortillas & Textiles (B,L)
In the morning guests will enjoy an active and participating tour of small local coffee farms to learn about the coffee history and process and in the afternoon there will be a local, village traditional lunch followed by a community tour of a village textile and handicraft cooperative. As Green as it Gets (GAIG) is a charity working to support small independent coffee producers and promoting environmentally responsible agriculture in Guatemala. This tour takes guests to visit some of the families supported by this organization where they can work side-by-side with small coffee farmers in their daily coffee processing, pick, pulp, ferment, wash, dry, trilla, sort, and grade the coffee (depending on the season), roast coffee over an open fire and grind by hand on a grindstone before sampling their handiwork. Coffee Season is Nov to Mar. This tour includes a donation to GAIG and the Viaventure Foundation also supports this organization on an annual basis. With the help of Casasito Association the handicraft center of Santiago Zamora began in 2006 offering both tours but also serving as an education center where workshops and courses are offered to the local women to help the protection and growth of traditional Guatemalan weaving in the village. During the tour guests visit the village itself and the handicraft center and learn about the local history, language and traditional way of life as well as the difficulties faced by today’s rural Guatemala. The tour includes a walk through the village, demonstrations of traitional weaving methods and a family-style lunch where you can learn how to make “tortillas”. 100% of the entrance fee here goes directly to the villages and to a special fund used for social purposes such as education, medicine and emergency help. The price of this tour also includes a small donation to Casasito Association and the Viaventure Foundation also supports this organization on an annual basis
Day 3 Climb an active Volcano – Pacaya (B,L)
Guests are transferred to Pacaya National Park where we will begin our hiking ascent of this famous, active volcano! The hike takes around 2.5 hours and at the top you can see down into the crater to the lava as well as experience the energy of an active volcano. On the return to Antigua, you can enjoy the rest of the afternoon free to explore this beautiful city.
Day 4, Comalapa Market & Lake Atitlan (B,L) (Guide FD)
Guests will be transferred to visit the colorful authentic market at Comalpa (1hr) & enjoy a tour of the market, the famous local primitive painting galleries, a local bakery & the famous town mural painted by the town’s children at the signing of the peace accords depicting Guatemala’s history. Transfer on to Lake Atitlan (2.5hr) with lunch on the way at a local restaurant. Once at the lake there is time to relax or the guide can take you to visit the butterfly park just beside the hotel. Hotel Atitlan 2N
Day 5, Lake Tour & Visit to Villages (B,L)
This morning guests will take a scenic boat ride across Lake Atitlan (30min) to the village of San Juan Laguna where they visit the textile cooperative to see traditional natural dying and weaving process. Then onto a medicinal plants cooperative. Then we continue by boat to Santiago where they have lunch in a local hotel and tour the village visiting the Maya God Maximon and learn about the textiles, spiritualism and beliefs of the T’zutujil Maya. Return to hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 6, Chichi Market (B,L,D)
Today guests transfer approx. 1hr to the famous market at Chichi. Time for shopping in this fabulous craft market and an opportunity to see Maya rituals being performed in the Catholic Church before transferring on to on to Guatemala City Airport (3hr) in time to catch the early evening flight to Flores. (30min) In Flores you will be met & transferred to your lodge in the rainforest. Dinner at the hotel. Nitun 2N. • Upgrade with helicopter sightseeing flight • Upgrade with private charter flight to Flores
Day 7, Canopy & Yaxha Sunset (B,L,D)
In the morning we visit the Ixpanpajul canopy tour where guests can choose between the exhilarating zip line or the more tranquil canopy bridge walk. Then we transfer to Yaxha National Park for a picnic lunch and to explore this atmospheric lakeside site ending with refreshments & wonderful views at sunset over the rainforest canopy from atop the main temples. Transfer back to the lodge. Dinner at the lodge.
Day 8, Tikal – the Wild Side! (B,L)
Today guests transfer to Tikal National park (approx 1hr) to explore the amazing UNESCO protected Mayan Temple site of Tikal where huge Mayan temples rise above the jungle canopy and monkeys and tropical birds are abundant in the surrounding rainforest. Your guide is a wildlife expert so as well as seeing the main areas of the archaeology you’re your guide will look for tropical wildlife in the area to give guests some wildlife interaction. After lunch & time to relax and refresh guests will fly back to Guatemala City (30min) and transfer to their hotel. (10min) Westin Camino Real 1N • Upgrade with luxury picnic • Upgrade with private charter flight
Day 9, Transfer Out (B)
This morning our driver will transfer guests to the airport (approx 10mins) in plenty of time to catch their flight.