(Antigua, Lake Atitlan, Flores, Guatemala City)
This value tour of Guatemala features the Colonial gem, Antigua. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979, and is the focus of much curiosity, in its mysterious allure. Discover lakes and volcanoes in Atitlan while learning about ancient rituals and mysticism. Take a domestic flight to Flores and enjoy a tour of the Tikal ruins, set in the heart of the Guatemalan Jungle! Listen to the Howler Monkeys roar across the distance as you climb to the top of these ancient ruins. Tikal was an important Mayan settlement for over 1500 years, starting about 700 BC. During the Classic Period 300 - 900 AD, the city prospered through trade and military conquest when the population peaked at 100,000. Return to Guatemala City by domestic flight.
Upon arrival you will be met by our local representative who will help you locate your vehicle.
You will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to the airport in Guatemala city for your international or domestic flight.
Like many of the hotels in Antigua, the Spanish influence is still obvious in the Villa Colonial. An old, quaint ambiance surrounds this 50 room hotel, where traditional decor and modern necessities ensure a comfortable and pleasant stay. Enjoy an array of fresh fruits and juices at breakfast, along with other staples for a satisfying start to the day. Be sure to try the nearby restaurants to have a taste of the region's specialties firsthand. Lounge in the courtyard, mingle with other guests, or simply take in these beautiful surroundings. The center of town is a bit of a walk, and a short taxi ride away, but it is important to discover the history of these old walls and buildings when free time arises.
You will be met at your hotel by your private driver & guide. First you transfer to the village of Jocotenango - just on the outskirts of Antigua where you can visit the local workshops of the traditional woodcarvers of the area to see them work. You can also see the interesting pink & white façade of the Jocotenango church before you transfer across to the wonderful Azotea Coffee farm and museums. Here you can have a private guided tour of the Coffee Farm & the museums covering Mayan traditional music and costume. Learn about the importance of coffee in Guatemala's history and its impact today as well as hearing about the Maya way of life. Lunch is included for you and your guide. When you are ready you will continue on driving to some of the villages surrounding Antigua to see local life, textiles and architecture. Typically we visit San Juan del Obispo, pass Ciudad Vieja and then to San Antonio Aguas Calientes but guests can feel free to discuss with their guide and plan as they go.
Meet at your hotel by your private guide & driver for you 1hr transfer to the town of Comalapa. On arrival to the town you can see the famous painted mural that the school children of the town painted depicting major events in Guatemala’s history up to the signing of the peace accords in 1996. From here, you will visit some local painters who continue the tradition of naïve paintings that the town is so famous for, and visit a local bakery to see how they make the small, rock hard biscuits known as “Roscas” that sell by the thousands each day in Guatemala. Finally, you can visit the wonderful authentic market of Comalapa to see the local people go about their daily life buying produce and goods still dressed in the traditional textiles of the area. You can also visit the small museum dedicated to the composer who wrote Guatemala’s national anthem, who came from Comalapa. Lunch included for you & your guide.
Situated outside of Guatemala City, at the edge of Lake Atitlan in a hilly countryside getaway circling Catarina Palopo village, Casa Palopo is surrounded by a wealth of forest and volcanoes. The 8 rooms are adorned with the finest of linen and toiletries, and further equipped with to-die-for views. Sleeping in these impressive rooms is an experience like no other. Look forward to the height of hospitality, as the staff provides sincere and consistent service. Cuisine is enjoyable, though many opt for trying the restaurants in the nearby towns. Relax in the heated pool, and absorb the surrounding views. Or, plan a boating trip and get to know the lake which some consider the most beautiful in the world.
You will be picked up from the hotel & transfer to San Juan La Laguna Village where you visit a local textile cooperative to see the back strap loom in use and to see how they still dye with natural dyes. You will also visit the home and workshop of local naïf painters before boarding the boat onto Santiago Village for lunch. After lunch walk with your guide to find the house where the Maya God Maximon is living. Each year a different "brotherhood" has the privilege of taking care of their God so his location changes. Once with Maximon you may see local shaman performing rituals for local people and if you wish you can ask your guide to help you hire the services of a shaman for you to have a personal ceremony performed. After visiting Maximon guests can visit the local church and learn about the history of this very traditional town and also see the market and learn about the distinctive textiles and primitive art that is famous from this area. When guests are ready they will be transferred back to their hotel.
Transfer to the highland town of Chichicastenango (1 hr) with your driver. Observe local Maya people in their traditional dress going about their daily lives. Upon arrival at Chichicastenango, your guide will take you to the famous market where you can purchase local ceramics and crafts. This tour departs on Thursdays and Sundays only. Return to Guatemala City Airport (3hrs drive) after the end of the tour.
Enjoy a short flight from Guatemala City to Flores.
Airport transfer with private vehicle, and driver.
A Francis Ford Coppola Property
La Lancha is a warm, sun-soaked escape near Lake Peten Itza in Guatemala's Peten region, near the archaeological site of Tikal. The 10 rooms promise unhindered privacy, and a rustic approach to travel. Management has made it a point not to include televisions, phones, and internet, ensuring that all who visit will bask in the natural aura of La Lancha. Impeccable service and dining options make all meals an occasion, as guests tend to anticipate the fine cuisine prepared by chefs. Activities range from boat trips to hikes, so one may get in touch with both the land and the water in this stunning environment.
Pick up from your hotel and transfer with your driver and guide to Yaxha National Park.The tour begins with with a short boat ride on Lake Yaxha to the small island site at Topoxte. Next, explore the Mayan ceremonial site of Yaxha. Set atop a hill overlooking two scenic lakes, this is a picturesque site. Enjoy the sites and sounds of the howler and spider monkeys as well as many colorful tropical birds and other mammals in this wildlife area. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the beautiful shores of Lake Yaxha. Afterwards, you will head back to your hotel.
Pick up from your lodge and begin your privately guided tour of Tikal National Park. Tikal was one of the major cultural and population centers of the Maya civilization. Though monumental architecture at the site dates to the 4th century BC, Tikal reached its apogee during the Classic Period, ca. 200 AD to 900 AD. Some of these pyramids are over 60 meters high (200 feet). Enjoy some free time at the site and return to your hotel after lunch at a local restaurant.
Take a domestic flight from Flores to Guatemala City. Approximate duration is 30 minutes.
Not far from the most exciting sights and attractions of Guatemala City, the Westin Camino Real stands tall and grand. The hotel consists of 271 rooms, each cozy and equipped with all the necessities of home. European contemporary themes are utilized in the decor. Enjoy delicious cuisine offered at the restaurants, and cocktails that hit the spot on a warm evening in the city. Served in buffet style or a la carte, chefs work with influences from across the world. Take advantage of the range of facilities available at the hotel, which include a tennis court and spa, as well as a swimming pool and lounging space for interacting with other guests.
VISA/PASSPORTA valid U.S. passport is required for all U.S. and Canadian citizens, regardless of age, to enter Guatemala and to depart Guatemala. Even if dual nationals are permitted to enter Guatemala on a second nationality passport, U.S. citizens returning to the United States from Guatemala are not allowed to board their flights without a valid U.S. passport. An exit tax must be paid when departing Guatemala by air. The exit tax (currently $30) is generally included in an airline ticket price, but may be charged separately. There is an additional airport security fee (20 Quetzales, approximately $2.50) that all travelers must pay at the airport. Canadian citizens using Canadian passports do not require a visa to enter Guatemala for stays under ninety days. In June 2006, Guatemala entered a “Central America-4 (CA-4) Border Control Agreement” with El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Under the terms of the agreement, citizens of the four countries may travel freely across land borders from one of the countries to any of the others without completing entry and exit formalities at immigration checkpoints. U.S. citizens and other eligible foreign nationals, who legally enter any of the four countries, may similarly travel among the four without obtaining additional visas or tourist entry permits for the other three countries. Immigration officials at the first port of entry determine the length of stay, up to a maximum period of 90 days.
Please note obtaining a visa is your responsibility. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of Guatemala for the most up to date information.
HEALTHHealth insurance is required. Medical facilities are poor quality and not widespread. We recommend that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. The doctor or health-care provider will determine what vaccinations and medication you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. For more information on travel requirements, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/guatemala.aspx COUNTRY INFOCapital: Guatemala City. Government: Republic. Gained independence from Spain in 1821. Language: The official language is Spanish. There are also 22 indigenous languages. Religion: About 60% of the population are Catholic. Most of the remaining population are Protestant. Some indigenous communities hold services combining Catholicism with pre-Columbian rites. Time: GMT - 6. Electricity: 115-125 volts AC, 60Hz. There are some regional variations. Plugs are the flat two-pin American type. Telephone: Country code: 502. Most public phone booths accept phone cards. Mobile Telephone: Roaming agreements exist with some international mobile phone companies. Coverage is increasing. Internet: Internet cafes are available in the main tourist areas.
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