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GUATEMALA EXPLORER

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Guatemala City
Chichicastenango
Lake Atitlan
Antigua
Tikal

10 Days

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Locally Hosted Independent Tour

Suggested Departure Day:
Friday

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ITINERARY (Subject to change without notice):

Day 1 - Friday - USA - Guatemala: Depart your USA gateway for flight to Guatemala. Upon arrival, meeting and transfer to the Hotel Camino Real.

Day 2 - Saturday – Guatemala-Chichicastenango: Today, before heading into the highlands, you host will provide a guided tour of the present day capital, a mix of the new and traditional, in architecture, culture and ambiance. Highlights will include, the major downtown sites of the Parque Central (main plaza) which as colonial Spanish tradition would dictate, the plaza is flanked by the Cathedral, National Palace and the Archbishop’s Palace. You will also have a guided tour of the major museums: Archaeology & Ethnology Museum with its very good collection of Maya artifacts, including a scale model of Tikal and interesting displays of Indian culture; the Ixchel Museum features an excellent collection of thousands of samples of hand-woven textiles, there are some painting and jewelry displays as well; the Popol Vuh Museum has a large exquisite collection of pre-Columbian jewelry, artifacts, colonial art, religious art, ceramics and antiques, most of the items came from a private collection. Enjoy a relaxing lunch before leaving the capital to “Chichi” and the Hotel Santo Tomas. (B/L)

Day 3 - Sunday   – Chichicastenango-Lake Atitlan: The market awakens at the crack of dawn, with your guide, walk the main plaza now teeming with hundreds of stalls and merchants selling the wares from throughout the countryside. The churches of El Calvario and Santo Tomas flank either end of the square. Santo Tomas built in 1540 on the site of a Maya temple is revered to this day. Only the Maya are allowed to walk up and sit t on the steps leading in. Non-Indians enter the church through a side door. Across the plaza at El Calvario smaller and used exclusively by the Indians for prayers and services, both Christian and otherwise. Throughout the market area the aroma of copal incense pervades. In the afternoon, drive about 1.5 hours to Lake Atitlan, often referred to as the “Switzerland of Central America,” the 50-square mile Lake Atitlan (“abundance of waters”) is dominated by three towering volcanoes (Toliman, San Pedro, Atitlan), sheer granite cliffs and dotted with twelve Indian villages (named after the Apostles) around the lake. Your hotel for the next two nights will be the charming Casa Palopo-Atitlan.  (B)

Day 4 - Monday – Lake Atitlan: Full day visiting some of the villages dotting the lake; among them Santa Catarina and San Antonio, not nearly as “gringotized” as Panajachel and have a more “indigenous” feel about them, the former noted for it’s fine textiles, the later for its pottery works and whose hillside terraces harvest onions, anise, corn, and beans. Traditional dress for women in San Antonio is red shirts, wool skirts with a turban-style hat. The largest of these villages is Santiago de Atitlan, across the lake, reached by boat. As other villages in the country, Santiago  also has a traditional dress, color scheme; for men it is white and purpled striped pants and the women wear intricately embroidered blouses (“huipiles”) and a tightly wound halo of red cloth on their heads; the market here is rather authentic too. Lunch will be included at a charming “posada” prior to returning back to the other side of the lake and your hotel.  (B/L)

Day 5 - Tuesday – Lake Atitlan-Antigua:  Today you will leave for the former colonial capital, Antigua. On the way stop at the quaint hillside town of Solola. Perched along the mountainside half-way down towards the lake, some consider the twice weekly market here to be superior to others in the country. Continue to your hotel in Antigua, Posada del Angel. (B)

Day 6 - Wednesday – Antigua:  A full day with your guide, you'll enjoy a colonial walking tour of old capital of the Kingdom of Guatemala, one of three major centers of power during the Spanish era, Antigua is a treasure house of colonial architecture and charm. . Destroyed by a devastating earthquake in the 1700's, it has been declared a World Cultural Heritage site by UNESCO, a Historical Monument of the Americas and all present day construction must reflect the colonial era. Lunch will be included in one of the city’s most famed restaurants. (B/L)

Day 7 - Thursday – Antigua:  his morning your guide will take you to the outskirts of Antigua, the village of Jocotenango and it's interesting pink and white façade church. Then cross over to the Azotea Coffee Farm and museums. Here learn about the  importance of coffee in Guatemala's history. In addition, to the guided tour of the farm, visit the museums exhibiting traditional Maya music and costumes. Afternoon at leisure to explore at your own pace. (B)

Day 8 - Friday – Antigua-Guatemala City-Flores: Very early this morning, your host will transfer you to the domestic terminal in Guatemala City for the 1-hour flight into the heart of the Peten jungle. Upon arrival in Flores, you will met and driven some 45-minutes through one of the world’s largest remaining subtropical forests, to what many consider the greatest Maya ceremonial site found to date, TIKAL. In 1979 UNESCO named a “Monument of the World’s Heritage, Cultural Treasure of Humanity.”  Tikal National Park covers over 200-square miles with over 4000 mapped sites; however, the bulk of the excavations have centered around what was the center of the city some 16-square miles. The most magnificent structures are around the Great Plaza which has 2 of the temples facing each other (Temple I-Giant Jaguar; Temple II-Masks), flanked by the North and Central Acropolis. A short walking distance away you find the tallest structure yet discovered, the 212-foot Temple IV (Double-Headed Serpent), unexcavated at the bottom, there may be time for you to climb it! A visit to the nearby museum is included as well as picnic lunch on site before be taken to your hotel, La Lancha. (B/L)

Day 9 - Saturday – Flores-Guatemala City: This morning you will head towards the capital of the Peten region, Flores. Stop at the  Ixpanpajul Nature Reserve. This park has over 200 species of trees, over 150 species of birds and about 40 species of mammals. You can choose between a walk on hanging bridges (one suspension bridge is over 200 meters long) and winding paths, or a more adventurous swing line tour to explore this tropical paradise. The on to this charming island town for lunch before going to the airport for return flight to the capital, and your hotel, the Camino Real, for the night.   (B/L)

Day 10 - Sunday - Guatemala City - USA:  At the appropriate time, you will be transferred to the airport in Guatemala City international airport for your departure flight to your home city.  (B)


RATES and DETAILS:

SAMPLE LAND RATE PER PERSON: (Rates subject to change without notice)
YEAR Single Occupancy Twin Occupancy - P/P Triple Occupancy - P/P
2017 Request $4,970 to $6,700 Request
2018 Estimate 10% increase
Plus Air fares and USA Departure Taxes
PAYMENTS: By credit card; special form required & must carry Card Holder's signature
Deposit - Per Person 2nd deposit - Per Person Full Payment Due
$1000 in order to confirm To complete total deposit of 30%
upon confirmation of all space
65 days prior departure
CHANGES:
After reservations confirmed If new documents are required
$100 per change $100 per change + $100 re-issue documents
CANCELLATIONS: (Exact fees depend on room-cabin occupancy)
Cancelled Between Up to 91 days 89 to 61  days 60 to 31 days 30 to 00 days
Fees Per Person $1000 30% 50% 100%
TRIP CANCELLATION INSURANCE: Highly recommended
RATE INCLUDES:
  • Hotel accommodations with hotel taxes and service charges
  • Meals as indicated, table d'hôte basis
  • Transfers as indicated, with English speaking guide
  • Luggage handling at airports
  • Sightseeing as indicated, with English speaking guide
  • Surface and overland travel as indicated
RATE DOES NOT INCLUDE:
  • Air fares
  • USA and Foreign airport departure taxes
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Tips to drivers, guides, hotel bellboys, ship's personnel
  • Meals not specifically indicated as included
NOTE: Information was last updated January 2, 2017. Information & rates subject to change.
Responsibilities, Terms & Conditions