Update: Our March 18-25, 2017 “Glimpse of Guatemala” tour is full! However, we are working to open up a few more spaces. To sign up for the waiting list, use the “Register Online Now” button below.
The next unique, eye-opening week-long “Glimpse of Guatemala” tour is scheduled for March 18-25, 2017. The tour highlights visiting rural Mayan village partners coupled with the vibrant culture of colonial Antigua and Lake Atitlan. Please direct any questions to Wayne Gilbert (415-448-5000 / firstname.lastname@example.org) or Fabiola Secaira (703-329-5333 / email@example.com).
ALDEA offers a unique, eye-opening, 8-day/7-night tour of the western highlands of Guatemala, the “Land of Eternal Spring.” Participants visit rural Mayan partner communities and experience Guatemala’s incredible beauty, vibrant culture, colonial splendor, and breathtaking landscape around Antigua and Lake Atitlán.
The tour is full of opportunities to meet local Mayans in their villages and learn of their struggles, sacrifices, and dreams of a better life for themselves and their children. See first-hand the positive changes in these indigenous communities where ALDEA has partnered to create lasting solutions to the persistent problems of poverty and inequality in rural Guatemala. Delve into the history of a people with extraordinary artistic and architectural creativity and sophistication. Witness the impact of colonization and religion on Guatemalan culture.
Participants from various areas and professions travel with ALDEA, forming strong bonds and a shared commitment to reducing chronic malnutrition among rural Mayans.
- Learn about ALDEA’s community development projects with Mayan partner villages.
- Discover daily activities of rural Mayans in their homes, learn their stories first hand, and meet community leaders.
- Experience Guatemala’s thriving Mayan heritage and amazing legacy.
- Explore colonial Antigua and learn of its rich history.
- Experience one of Antigua’s famous Lenten processions.
- Relax surrounded by the mesmerizing beauty of volcano-ringed Lake Atitlán.
- See the Lake’s rich and fertile hills, fishermen, artists, colorful outfits, and daily activities, and learn about its formation.
- Walk the Mayan ruins of Iximché and witness a Mayan ritual.
- Enjoy delicious Guatemalan food and some of the best coffee in the world.
- Take advantage of shopping opportunities in Antigua, Santiago Atitlán, and San Juan La Laguna.
- Participate in optional activities, which include climbing an active volcano, touring a coffee plantation, or making chocolate truffles.
- Extensive pre-tour information, trip coordination assistance, welcome packet, souvenir gift.
- Pick-up and shuttle to/from La Aurora Airport (GUA) in Guatemala City.
- Four nights at the Hotel Aurora in Antigua, one night at San Ricardo Farm & Lodge in Tecpán and two nights at the Posada de Santiago at Lake Atitlán.
- Daily breakfasts plus five lunches and seven dinners (including a special farewell dinner) and a pre-dinner social.
- Air-conditioned, chauffeured coaster bus for in-country trips; water and some snacks included.
- Bilingual guides/available translators, all excursions and entrance fees except March 24 options (many are free).
- All gratuities for meals, chauffeurs, guides, and hotel service.
Price per Person (Land only): $1,280 double occupancy; $1,500 single occupancy
What’s Not Included:
- Roundtrip air transportation. (Please plan to arrive at La Aurora Int’l Airport (GUA) no later than 3:00 pm on Sat., Mar. 18)
- Items of a personal nature, e.g. souvenirs, laundry, extra snacks and drinks.
- Two lunches not mentioned above.
- Entrance or workshop fees for optional Friday, March 24 activities.
- Travel insurance.
- One-half the tour price is due at the time of registration: $640 for double occupancy and $750 for single occupancy. $150 is non-refundable. Space is limited with sign-up on a first-come, first-served basis. The remaining balance is due by Jan. 15, 2017. Use the form below for payment and registration, or register and pay online here.
- A refund of tour payments made less the non-refundable $150 will be issued for a cancellation made by March 1, 2017, if the vacancy is filled by another participant with equivalent occupancy. No refunds will be made for cancellations after March 1, 2017 or if the vacancy caused by the cancellation cannot be filled.
Participation Details: Tour is limited to 14 participants; minimum age of 21; moderate difficulty-includes walking on cobblestones, unpaved paths, up/down slopes, uneven surfaces. Participants should consider trip insurance & will be asked to sign a liability waiver on arrival.
Identification/Vaccinations: A current U.S. passport is required. No vaccinations are necessary (good to have up-to-date tetanus shot).
Climate: March weather in the Guatemalan Highlands is sunny, no rain, daytime temperatures in 70s F, nights in the 50s.
Brief Day-by-Day Itinerary:
Saturday, March 18: (Arrive at Guatemala City airport [GUA] no later than 3:00 pm.) Shuttle to colonial Antigua, hotel check-in, tour orientation, and welcome dinner with “Behind the Walls” slide show and discussion.
Sunday, March 19: Antigua walking tour, experience Guatemalan Lenten procession, typical lunch/cooking & weaving demo/product display at local family home in San Antonio Aguas Calientes, discuss Guatemala’s social/political/economic situation over dinner with former U.S. Consul General/ALDEA board member.
Monday, March 20: ALDEA update in Chimaltenango by onsite executive director, travel to two rural Mayan villages?one village with ALDEA-sponsored environmental and empowerment projects completed and one without projects. Overnight stay at San Ricardo Farm & Lodge in Tecpán.
Tuesday, March 21: Guided visit the pre-Columbian ruins of Iximché en-route to Lake Atitlán, check in hotel, historic Peace Park briefing and “backyard” walk to pastoral stole weaver home with Diego Chavez.
Wednesday, March 22: AM boat rides-visit a San Pedro museum on the Lake’s geology, witness the natural dye process at local weaver’s home in San Juan La Laguna, ride tuc-tucs to Santiago Atitlan for discussion and tour of the cathedral and town with Don Diego. Possible “Maximón” encounter, shop, as you wish, relax at the Posada-pool, spa, canoe, or massage.
Thursday, March 23: AM boat ride to San Antonio Palopó, walk to ceramic studio, optional continued walk up the hill thru the colorful lakeside village, short boat launch to Panajachel for bus pick-up & return to Antigua. Visit another rural ALDEA village en-route-this time villagers teach us typical daily activities. Enjoy a private home social, followed by dinner in Antigua.
Friday, March 24: AM to mid-afternoon time to relax, shop, stroll in fascinating, colonial Antigua. Possible activity options: “worry doll” demo, coffee plantation or jade factory visit, chocolate truffles workshop, visit museum(s), Pacaya Volcano hike, handicrafts market, more shopping, or just relax in a patio restaurant. Late afternoon guided tour of the historic Casa Santo Domingo monastery, followed by special dinner finale at the hotel’s exquisite restaurant.
Saturday, March 25: Shuttle to Guatemala City airport for flight departures OR plan additional post-tour activity, e.g. famous Chichicastenango market, overnight to Tikal or Copan, Spanish language school, cooking class, or visit more of Antigua.