Begin your Guatemala travel adventure with a visit to the celebrated market of Chichicastenango. Bargain your way through the rows of vendors and emerge with local arts and crafts, and vegetables and fruits - a taste of Guatemala. Spend the next couple nights along the beautiful shores of volcano-fringed Lake Atitlan. Your last Guatemala travel days are spent back in historic Antigua to shop and explore this wonderful city, its decorative cathedrals, its lively markets, and the friendly people that make Guatemala such an exceptional place to travel.
Day 1 : Arrive Antigua Day 2 : Chichastenango Day 3 : Lake Atitlan Day 4 : Solola Market Day 5 : Explore Antigua Day 6 : Return Home
Today we rise early to visit the famous market of Chichicastenango. This beautiful town, surrounded by valleys and shadowed by mountains, has many shamanistic and ceremonial overtones. Its large market brings villagers from throughout the region, who often arrive the night before and sleep on blankets in the market square. Rising early, they set out their colorful fruits, vegetables and handicrafts. The market disperses in the early afternoon and we travel to the shores of beautiful Lake Atitlan, a deep caldera lake flanked by three majestic volcanoes. A passenger boat takes us across the azure-colored water to our charming lodge in the village of Santiago Atitlan.
This morning after admiring the placid waters of the lake, we set out about town on a walking tour. Scholars tell us that the ancient Maya disappeared mysteriously a thousand years ago, but anyone who has intimately explored this fascinating region knows that the Maya continue to thrive in the highlands of Guatemala. Villagers in Santiago Atitlan still adhere to the traditional lifestyle of the Tz'utuhil Maya and on our walk we'll see many people cloaked in brightly-colored, hand-woven clothing. Along Santiago's main street are art galleries filled with oil paintings depicting busy market scenes and typical life in the highlands. We may also visit Maximòn and leave an offering to this curious and revered deity.
We board the lancha this morning for our return trip across Lake Atitlan. A few miles down the curvy mountain road known as the Interamericana, we reach the town of Solola. The main plaza is home to one of the most authentic markets in the highlands, and we'll spend some time wandering through the stalls, admiring the palette of colors created by mounds of fruits, vegetables, meats, housewares and clothing. After our sensory feast, we return to colonial Antigua for the evening.
Volcan Fuego rises to the roof of the world above the streets of Antigua below. Once the capital of Guatemala and all Central America, Antigua resembles a living ruin. Mammoth churches and palaces tell the story of Antigua's past glory, and restored facades speak of a bright future for this wonderful city. This morning we tour the city and admire Antigua's gilded cathedrals. The afternoon is yours to rent mountain bikes to explore the countryside, visit a coffee finca or macadamia nut plantation, or just people watch in the main plaza before returning home in the morning.
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No Single Supplement Required.
Min 2, Max. 8
Alumni discounts apply. No other discounts apply for the solo traveler departures. We will notify you when min. group size has been met and international flights can be purchased. If for some reason we do not reach min. group size, deposit will be fully refunded or transferred to another trip and departure of your choice.
The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
When to Go
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
Chance for unpredictable weather but with fewer visitors.