Combining the well respected travel experience of Rick Steves with Global Visionaries’ in-depth understanding of Guatemala, this tour is designed to blend the best of both worlds—exciting sightseeing and meaningful learning.
You will enjoy the sensational beauty of this tiny, overlooked country that touches the Caribbean and Pacific and is peppered with volcanoes, jungles, Indian villages and world-class Mayan ruins.
We also want to get your fingers dirty in order to understand the realities of life in Guatemala—so we will meet with survivors of the 36 year long Civil War, visit a women’s weaving cooperative, have lunch with children of parents who make their living scavenging from the city dump, pick beans at a coffee farm, and learn first-hand about Global Visionaries efforts to help.
Intrigued? See the detailed itinerary….
EXPERIENCE GUATEMALA IN 9 DAYS: THE ITINERARY
Day 1: Welcome to Guatemala
You’ll be greeted at the airport in Guatemala City and be shuttled 40 minutes to our hotel in lovely Antigua, where you’ll meet your guides and have a welcome meeting followed by an orientation talk and dinner together. We will sleep centrally in Antigua (4 nights).
Day 2: All day in Antigua
We’ll devote today to exploring beautiful Antigua, a UNESCO world heritage site of pastel colored buildings and volcanoes looming around every corner. Our day starts with a walking tour where we’ll see the town’s Spanish colonial architecture and learn about Antigua’s tragic history—and unlikely rebirth. You’ll have a free afternoon to explore more of the city’s intriguing museums and backstreets on your own.
Day 3: Reforestation and Coffee– From Nuts to Beans
We’ll spend our morning touring an experimental macadamia nut tree farm and learn about the trees’ value in providing a better livelihood for poor farmers and their potential to help with reforestation. Later, we’ll ride up the Volcán Agua to meet with coffee farmers and learn about the fascinating process of coffee farming and production. We’ll have a home cooked dinner at a private home this evening and learn about traditional Guatemalan cuisine.
Day 4: Guatemala City Dump and visit to the School in the Dump
We’ll leave first thing today to visit Guatemala City’s infamous garbage dump off of which thousands of people scavenge to make their living. We’ll meet with representatives of a remarkable organization that provides schooling for children of families living off of the dump, and share lunch with the children. Later, we’ll learn about their adult programs and see examples of jewelry these participants have made from dump rubbish. We’ll return to Antigua with the rest of the day to do more exploring on our own.
Day 5: Visit to a Rural School, then to Lake Atitlán
We’ll bid farewell to Antigua today and head north to visit a rural school built by GV. We’ll learn about the importance of education to ending the cycle of poverty and meet with village families whose children attend the school. We’ll continue to Lake Atitlan where we’ll glide past volcanoes on a ferry ride across the glassy waters of this stunningly beautiful lake to our hotel where we’ll have dinner together and sleep with views of the lake. Overnight stay at Lake Atitlan (2 nights).
Day 6: All day on Lake Atitlan
We’ll take this day to explore lakefront villages and meet with Tzutuhil Indians. You’ll hear first-hand accounts of the recently ended 36 year long Civil War and the devastation that this region experienced, as well as learn about the Tzutuhil’s fascinating blend of religious practices and how women are empowering one another with their traditional arts. We’ll return to our hotel mid afternoon with time to enjoy the view from our decks, swim in the pool, or hike on nearby trails.
Day 7: From Lake Atitlan to Tikal—Mayan Capital in the Jungle
Today begins with a drive over the hills and through many valleys to the airport in Guatemala City where we’ll take a 50 minute charter flight north to the lakeside city of Flores. We’ll meet our expert guide then drive to Tikal, home of the most revered Mayan temples in the Americas. Our hotel is isolated in the middle of the forest and is a short walk from the ruins. We’ll take a walk into the jungle late this afternoon and have time to relax by the poolside before having dinner together. You’ll fall asleep to sounds of the jungle tonight.
Day 8: Day at Tikal, late afternoon flight to Guatemala City
Today begins in the dark as we enter the jungle on foot to admire the sunrise from the top of a Mayan temple. After breakfast, our guide will lead us through the amazing ruins of Tikal, once the most important city of the 2,000-year-old Mayan civilization. You’ll have some free time to explore this magnificent complex before taking an afternoon flight to Guatemala City where we’ll check in to our hotel a few minutes from the airport. We’ll celebrate our spectacular trip with a group dinner at a restaurant near our hotel.
Day 9: Return to the United States
The Guatemala airport has convenient flights to the U.S. and easy connections to nearby countries. Wherever your next destination may be, your guides will help you get on the right track. Vaya con dios!
Small Groups (15 max), Expert Guides, Real Learning
$2290 for 9 days: $1290 for the tour, $1000 donation to Global Visionaries
All Proceeds Benefit the People of Guatemala
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