Arrive to the airport in Guatemala City and transfer to La Antigua, your home during your Guatemala culinary tour. Enjoy a stay at Posada del Angel, a small boutique hotel that has recently been awarded the Andrew Harper's Hide Away award.
Recommended for dinner this evening is the famous Meson Panza Verde. Located around the corner from your hotel, the restaurant offers an array of international cuisine options.
Enjoy the morning free to stroll the cobblestone streets of Antigua. Acquaint yourself with this colonial city and its breathtaking ruins. Mid-day meet up with culinary specialist Juan Carlos, a well known restaurant owner and your guide for the day.
Start your tour with a visit to the bustling Antigua market. People come from surrounding villages each day to sell and buy produce, fish, meats, flowers and more. You can also find traditional textiles, handicrafts, pots, electronics and clothes here. Guatemala boasts a long and proud food culture and history and welcomes the opportunity to share their most beloved dishes with its visitors. Patas a la vinagretta, Pepian Revolcado (Brain stew) and Tamales are all well known choices in Guatemala.
Every weekend Guatemalans take to the streets to eat, since many traditional Guatemalan dishes have a long preparation time, they are typically only made on special occasions. Juan Carlos will take you on a traditional route a Guatemalan family might take, trying samples of dishes as you go from the street stands by San Francisco Church to the famous comedor of Doña Toñita to La merced, finally ending in Ciudad Vieja as night falls.
If you still have room for dinner, your recommended Guatemalan cuisine tonight is at the Fonda de la Calle Real restaurant.
Today venture one hour outside of Antigua with your driver and guide to the small town of Comalapa. Comalapa is home to many local painters who continue the tradition of naïve paintings. See the famous mural painted by school children in 1996 depicting Guatemala's recent civil war events. Explore the market today, a main shopping hub for many locals, and witness those still wearing the traditional Maya dress. Visit the small museum dedicated to the composer of Guatemala's national anthem and enjoy lunch before returning this afternoon to Antigua.
This evening try the french cuisine at ComoComo.
Today explore the indulgent art of chocolate making with a hands-on workshop of your own at Choco Museo. Learn first about the history of the Maya discovery of the cacao bean and how it led to the mass production of chocolate worldwide. Learn about various types of cacao and its health benefits before taking on the challenge of making your own chocolate treats. Start with the bean and work it into Cacao tea, Maya hot chocolate and European hot chocolate. Next use your creativity by adding ingredients such as almonds, coffee beans, ginger, sea salt and more to create your own chocolate bar invention. Enjoy some time early afternoon free in Antigua.
Late this afternoon drive about 10 minutes to just outside of nearby Jocotenango to the home of Hector, a locally famous chef. This evening Hector invites you in for a hands-on cooking class and demonstration. Choose how involved in the cooking you would like to be as Hector shows you his slightly contemporary version of Guatemalan cuisine. Hector is originally from Guatemala and received training as a chef in the U.S. He has returned to Antigua to open his own small bistro similar to the hidden gems you might find in an alleyway in New York. Finish the night with dinner in his French-fusion style and wine to top off the evening. Return with new friends and printed recipes to take home.
Guatemala's biggest contribution to the world-wide cuisine market is its coffee. Today you will explore the production process on a coffee tour in the local town of San Miguel Escobar, just outside of Antigua. As Green as it Gets (AGAIG) is a charity working to support small independent coffee producers and promotes sustainable agriculture practice in Guatemala. Visit some of the families support on the organization during the tour, and during coffee season (Nov-Mar) you may even work alongside the coffee farmers and help with various steps in the production process. See how the coffee is roasted over open fire and ground by hand before sampling the handiwork. End the tour by enjoying a traditional lunch at the home of a community member. The tour includes a small donation to AGAIG as well.
Return to Antigua this afternoon and enjoy the rest of the day free to explore at your leisure. Tonight you can test out Hector's restaurant, located in front of La Merced Church. Expect a wait, as it is packed almost every night of the week!
You are transferred back to Guatemala city in time for your return flight home.