Arrive at the Guatemala City airport and transfer to your hotel in Antigua. Spend a leisurely evening getting to know your surroundings.
Volcan Fuego rises to the roof of the world above the streets of Antigua. Once the capital of Guatemala and all of 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. In the morning, take a guided tour the city and admire Antigua's gilded cathedrals. The afternoon is yours to rent mountain bikes and explore the countryside, visit a coffee finca or macadamia nut plantation, or relax and people-watch in the main plaza. In the evening, return to your hotel.
Spend a cultural and leisurely day in the Comalapa Market. Enjoy greeting the locals and admire their beautiful handicrafts and artwork, occasionally stopping to barter and buy. The market is also a selling-point for mounds of fruits, vegetables, meats, and clothing. The market disperses in the early afternoon, and you travel to the shores of beautiful Lake Atitlan, a deep caldera lake flanked by three majestic volcanoes.
After admiring the placid waters of the lake, set out about town on a walking tour. Scholars claim that the ancient Maya mysteriously disappeared 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 you will 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. Weather depending, visit Maximòn and leave an offering to this curious and revered deity.
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. Return to colonial Antigua in the evening.
In the morning, transfer on your own to the airport for your continued travels.
$230 single supplement
Best to start on Saturdays, Sundays or Wednesdays to match up with market days near Lake Atitlan.