Explore Antigua on a locally-hosted Guatemala culinary tour. Spend 6 days in the former colonial capital of the Kingdom of Guatemala, whose architecture combines 17th and 18th century buildings and ruins with modern conveniences. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, Antigua exudes a unique atmosphere of history, intrigue, and local custom. Enjoy street eats and Antigua tours tasting local Guatemalan cuisine. Choose from amongst a wide array of international restaurants for dinner each evening.
Wander the cobblestone streets of colonial Antigua
Visit Antigua's bustling market to explore fresh ingredients
Learn about various types of cacao and make your own chocolate treats
Take a coffee tour and learn about the production process
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. The day starts 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 its 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. Later in the day your guide takes you on a tour of Antigua's street food hot spots, where you get to taste some of Guatemala's most authentic cuisine. These are the places where long lines of locals are a fixture and for good reason: the food served is delicious and well-prepared. Learn the cultural and historic significance of the eats on offer and also visit Antigua's bustling market to explore the colorful array of ingredients used in Guatemalan cuisine. (Please note that this tour is for more adventurous eaters.)
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.
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.
After your rest, you are transferred from your hotel to La Fonda de la Calle Real, a local restaurant well-known for its unique flavors of Guatemalan foods. This activity is fully participatory and after a brief introduction, your local chef starts by teaching you about the interesting mixture of Spanish and Mayan influences on Guatemalan flavors by using the best quality of meats, vegetables, herbs and spices handpicked from La Antigua’s local market. Experience cooking in an old- fashioned kitchen while enjoying the unique flavors of a complete Guatemalan meal you have prepared. When ready you are transferred back to your hotel.
Guatemala's biggest contribution to the world-wide cuisine market is its coffee. Today you can 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 supported by 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!
Day 6: Return Home
You are transferred back to Guatemala city in time for your return flight home.
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.