Day 1- Welcome to Guatemala
Arrival to Guatemala City you will be met by our local representative for the transfer to the hotel in Antigua.
Day 2-Antigua Guatemala + Surrounding Villages
Antigua, colonial city declared by UNESCO “Cultural Heritage of Humankind”. In the morning we will visit the main historic monuments of the city, starting from the Main Plaza. Afterwards we head to the village of San Antonio Aguas Calientes, famous for its textiles and handicrafts. Then we continue to the Indigenous village of Santiago Zamora. Here you will learn about the Maya Kaqchiquel culture and have the opportunity to interact with a group of women artisans called Ixoki’ aj Quiema’, who elaborate artisan products, mainly textiles using ancestral techniques. A typical lunch will be prepared by these women. Return to Antigua Guatemala.
Day 3: Iximché -Lake Atitlán
In the morning we head to the highlands. On the way to Lake Atitlán we will visit Iximché, an archaeological site located in the town of Tecpán. Iximché was the former capital of the MayaKaqchikel, place where in 1524 was founded Guatemala´s first capital by the Spanish conqueror Pedro de Alvarado. After the visit we continue to Lake Atitlán. Time at leisure to enjoy the town of Panajachel, before we continue to the town of Santa Catarina Palopó.
Day 4: Lake Atitlán
Today we will visit two villages. We take a boat ride to San Juan La Laguna where you will have the opportunity to enjoy first hand interaction with the locals, and learn about their daily life, customs and traditions. We will visit several associations who work with natural dyes, for the manufacturing of textiles using traditional techniques; as well as several artisan workshops. We will enjoy a special “Tree Planting Mayan Ceremony” at the top of “Cerro de la Cruz”. Afterwards we continue by boat to the town of Santiago Atitlán famous for Maximón, a character that is widely worshiped by its inhabitants. Santiago also offers a variety of handicrafts, colorful textiles, woodcarvings and naïf paintings.
Day 5-Chichicastenango Indigenous Market - Quetzaltenango
Departure to Chichicastenango, where you will see the most colorful and picturesque outdoor market in Guatemala, where locals from the region, gather to buy and sell fruits, vegetables, flowers, grains, animals, textiles and handicrafts. Relevant is the visit to the Santo Tomás Church, where the Maya-Quiché pray mixing ancient Maya traditions along with Catholic Religion. We will visit the Sacred Maya Altar of “Pascual Abaj” and enjoy a typical lunch at the nearby home of a local family.In the afternoon we continue to Quetzaltenango.
Day 6- Momostenango – Place of the Holy Altars.
Interview with a Mayan Spiritual Guide .According to the Sacred book of the Maya: Popol Vuh, the ancient name Cho Tz'ak translates as "altars in front of the hills". Here, the 260-day Maya Calendar is still in use. Today you will enjoy an interesting interview with a local Shaman or Mayan Spiritual Guide. Return to Quetzaltenango.
Day 7- Almolonga-Tak’alik Ab’aj-El Baul-GUA
After an interesting visit to the vegetable market in Almolonga, we will leave the highlands and head towards the pacific coast to the archaeological site of Tak’alik Ab’aj,A pre-Columbian site with both Olmec and Maya features; it is one of the largest sites with sculptured monuments on the Pacific Coastal plain and has one of the greatest concentrations of Olmec-style sculpture outside the Gulf of Mexico. Continue to Guatemala City.
Day 8- Guatemala City-Copan
Morning visit to the National Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology where you will find a vast collection of Maya artifacts. Afterwards we continue to the border with Honduras crossing the Motagua Valley, which was the region source of Jade for the Maya. After short border formalities, we will arrive to the town of Copán Ruinas.
Day 9-Copán- The Baroque City of the Maya
Visit to one of the most impressive archaeological sites in the Maya World: Copán, declared by UNESCO a “World Heritage Site”. Copán presents a sophisticated architectural style and a unique art for stone carving. Visit the main plazas, complexes and monuments, as well as the Sculpture Museum with a replica of the Rosalila Temple.
Day 10- Quiriguá- Flores
After leaving the Copan Valley we will drive back to Guatemala, and then continue to the Site of Quirigua. Declared by UNESCO “Cultural Heritage of Humankind”, in Quiriguá we will see the Stelae “E”, the highest carved by the Mayans, carved in 771 AD. After the visit we continue to Flores.
Day 11- Ceibal- One of the last Cities of the Classic Period
We depart by road to Sayaxché, where we take a boat through the La Pasión River, and continue to Ceibal. The archaeological site of Ceibal flourished from 200 A.D. to 900 A.D. and has an extraordinary number of Mayan stone carved monuments and temples. The stelae of Ceibal are one of the finest and best preserved. The site was discovered in 1985 and was one of the last cities of the Classic Period. It is considered one of the most important cities in the Petexbatún area
Day 12- Uaxactún- The First Astronomical Complex
Meaning “Born in Heaven”, Uaxactún is home to the First Astronomical Observatory in the Mayan Classic Period. Nowadays in this astronomical complex, the solstice and equinox are still observed. Among other, these events where very important in the Agricultural Calendar of the Maya
Day 13- Tikal- The Ancient Capital of the Maya
The majestic city of Tikal, considered the largest and most monumental of all sites discovered in the Mayan World, was declared by UNESCO as a “World Heritage Site”.Enjoy a guided walking tour to visit the most important plazas, complexes, temples, ball courts, palaces and stelae. Also enjoy the tropical forest, nesting place of hundreds of exotic birds and the habitat of a wide variety of wildlife. We will celebrate a special Mayan Ceremony by a local Spiritual Guide. In the afternoon return to Flores to board the flight back to Guatemala City
Day 14: See you.
At the time specified, transfer to Guatemala City International Airport