This is a journey that takes place around Guatemala based meals, both pre-Hispanic and colonial. On this trip you can visit famous tourist sites such as Antigua Guatemala and Tikal National Park, Semuc Champey, Lago Atitlan, among others. In addition, you can learn and taste the great and varied cuisine Guatemalan, which has unique and exquisite dishes.
Day 1 (Monday or Thursday) Arrive at La Aurora airport in Guatemala City and travel to to the Antigua city. Renowned for its well perserved colonial architecture and beautiful (but often ruined) churches, Antigua was named a world heritage site by Unesco in 1979. Welcome diner in restaurant la fonda de la Calle Real, tasting a delicious asado de lomito, a typical style with delicious chirmol (a tomato based salsa). Hotel options Plan A) Hotel Palacio de Doña Leonor. Plan B) Hotel Las Farolas. Plan C) Hotel Posada La Merced. Day 2 WALKING CULTURAL IN ANTIGUA GUATEMALA & TOUR OF THE SURROUNDING AREA We will take a morning walk though Antigua, learning the history, culture and layout of this colonial city, and visiting the Cathedral and the main square, with it’s cheeky fountain. From the second floor of City Hall you can take in a beautiful view of the main squares and the spectacular nearby Agua Volcano. We will see Capuchin cloister, a great example of colonial architecture. We will visit the Church of San Francisco El Grande, one of the best preserved churches of Antigua and the resting place of the first Saint of Central America, Brother Peter. We will then walk to the beautiful baroque church of Our Lady of Mercy. The tour ends in a jade factory where you can see how the Mayans worked jade in the past and how this compares to modern techniques (running time: 3 hours), then lunch in this town tasting the typical dish of the city: Chicha Gallo. In the afternoon we will visit the towns surrounding Antigua. Our first stop will be in San Juan del Obispo, where we visit the monastery of the first bishop of Guatemala, Francisco Marroquin. Afterwards, we will visit a coffee plantation. Here you can see the whole process of coffee bean, from collection to shipment. In “Old Town” we will explain the sad history of this city, which was the second city founded by the Spanish in Guatemala. Later we will visit an organic macadamia farm where we will learn about the many medical benefits of the macadamia nut. Finally, we will visit the town of San Antonio Aguas Calientes to visit the local cooperative market. We will spend the night in the same hotel as we did the night before. Day 3 ANTIGUA-IXIMCHE-CHICHICASTENANGO Morning departure to Iximche, a small archaeological site of an ancient pre-Hispanic Mayan city located an hour and a half away, in the department of Chimaltenango on the road to the west. At noon, after visiting this site, we will sample a delicious lunch at one of the typical Tecpan diners sprawl over the road. We will then continue our journey to the city of Chichicastenango in the department of Quiche, famous for its market which is considered one of the most colorful and impressive in Central America. Accomodate in Chichicastenango Plan a) Hotel Santo Tomas. Plan b) Hotel Maya Inn. Plan c) Hotel El Arco. Day 4 Morning tour of the colorful market where you can buy typical objects from the simple to the very valuable; for example, traditional paintings and jade jewelry. At noon, lunch, tasting one of the typical local dishes, such as Boxbol or Chojín In the evening we will head to Panajachel, a bigger town by the side of lake Atitlan. Accomodation in Panajachel. Plan a) Hotel Atitlán Plan b) Hotel Posada de Don Rodrigo. Plan c) Hotel Utz Jay.
Gallo en Chicha
Day 5: TOUR OF LAKE ATITLANMorning boat tour around Lake Atitlan, visiting four of the most colorful towns around the lake. At noon we will lunch, tasting Skate and Iguaxte, typical dishes of Solola department. In the evening we will travel to Quetzaltenango city (known to locals as Xela), the second city of Guatemala due to its size and historical importance. Xela is a fantastic mix of old and new architecture from the last of century, and is known as the cradle of modern Guatemalan culture, as many great Guatemalan artists have been from here. Accomodation in Quetzaltenango Plan a) Pensión Bonifaz. Plan b) Hotel Modelo. Plan c) Hotel Villa de Don Andrés Day 6 TOUR OF INDIGENOUS TOWNS & COLONIAL CHURCHES The tour starts with a visit to the Copavic Glass Blowing Factory in Cantel, where you can see hand-blown glass being shaped and made. Afterwards we will visit the indigenous cemetary in Zunil, the Santa Ana weaving cooperative, the local colonial church and the San Simon Mayan shrine. Then it’s time to relax a bit (1½ hours) at the Georginas sources natural volcanic hot springs, taking a hot water bath but surrounded by the beautiful cloud forest. We end our tour with a visit to Almolonga, one of the most productive agricultural villages in Guatemala and Central America, renowned for it’s rich land, giant vegetables and evangelical Christian community. We will lunch on a typical dish from this region called Quichón. In the afternoon we continue to San Andres Xecul whose yellow church is probably the most famous in Central America! We will also visit a place where you can see how the materials used in the preperation of local fabrics are painted. Together with a small chapel that is really interesting to see, we will visit a Mayan altar and then to San Simon (an importanr local Mayan saint). In Totonicapan, we will visit the church located next to the “Monastery” where indigenous women wash their clothes, standing with their feet in the water as fish swim between them. We end our tour in Salcajá, where we will visit a family that makes “fruit broth”, a local fermented drink. In the afternoon we will visit a very old chocolate factory, tasting its famous hot chocolate. In the evening, we dine on the famous paches (tamales) potatoes. Accomodation In the same hotel as the night before Day 7 “Departure in the morning for Huehuetenango, a town in western country, where along the way you will visit the ruins of another city Zaculeu pre Hispanic Mayan and lunch will be tasting the Chicken Jocom, saucer typical of this region, then in the afternoon to the Cuchumatan (one of the highest mountains in the country - suggest: the highest mountain in Central America - and then back to Huehuetenango. Accommodation in Huehuetenango Plan) Hotel Ruinas Resort Plan b) the Cuchumatan Hotel Plan c) Hotel Casa Blanca There is also the option to travel to one hour of the Cuchumatan to the farm The Blue Unicorn (recommend: .... travel to the top of the Cuchumatan towards Blue Unicorn Inn Bed, about an hour from the city of Huehuetenango). Which is located in a valley called Chancol, over 3,000 meters above sea level. Where can spend a very quiet night, and the next day to take a ride morning on horseback. “ Day 8 Morning drive to Coban, through towns like Aguacatan, where they grow lots of onion and garlic, and Sacapulas, where you can sample some delicious sweets. Then Uspantán, Chicamán and San Cristobal Verapaz, where we will enjoy Sacquic, a typical local dish. After lunch we will continue our journey to Coban. Accomodation in Coban Plan a) en Park Hotel Plan b) Hotel La Posada Plan c) Hotel Casa Duranta
Caldo de Frutas
Day 9 Full day tour of Semuc Champey. Meaning “where the river is hiding in the mountains”, this is a very mighty river but in this place is largely hidden beneath the rocks. The small surface flow feeds a host of extraudinary beautiful and colourful pools where you can swim with the local fis. For lunch we will try Kaq’ik, a spicey turkey stew, and drink Boj, a fermented sugar-cane drink. In the afternoon we will travel the short distance to Lanquin, a local town surrounded by a rich complex of caves. Accommodation is the same hotel as the night before. Day 10 Travel to Flores in the morning with one stop for lunch, tasting the empanadas of xiquinche. Accommodation in Isla de Flores (The Isle of Flowers). Plan a) Hotel Villa Maya Plan b) Hotel Casona de la Isla Plan c) Hotel Villa del Lago Day 11 In the morning we will depart from Flores to Tikal. Starting the tour in Tikal we will learn the incredible history of the Mayan world. This is one of the most impressive and important Mayan cities, with the emblematic 45 meter high temple “El Gran Jaguar”. Tikal National Park is located in the middle of the rainforest and was the first archaeological site to be declared Natural and Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Accommodation is in the same hotel as the night before. Tour of Tikal and lunch eating Frijoles negros (black beans) with ribs and Atol de Ixpasa, a drink made from fermented black corn. Day 12 Morning departure to Rio Dulce. Approximately half a day to take a boat to Livingston, crossing the Rio Dulce (Sweet River) and passing the beautiful Bird Island on the way. Walking along the river is an unforgettable experience, since the water is usually very calm and allows one to better appreciate the goodness of nature reflected in the number of aquatic and terrestrial life that surrounds it. In Livingston we will taste a delicious Caribbean dish, “Tapado”. Accomodation in Livingston Plan a) Villa Caribe Plan b) Hotel Gil Resort Plan c) Hotel Casa Rosada Day 13 Tour of Playa Blanca and the 7 Altars. Livingston combines pristine Caribbean beaches, palm trees, lush vegetation, white sand and forests! Lunch will be rice & beans. Accomadation is in the same hotel as the night before. Day 14 In the morning, take a boat to Rio Dulce, then transport to Zacapa, about 2 hours away, and will be eating lunch in Chicharron with Yuca, Quesadilla and Ron Zacapa Centenario (see inset below). In the afternoon we will visit the museum of Estanzuela and then departure to Copan in Honduras. Accommodation in Copan Plan a) Hotel Marina Copan Plan a & b) Hotel Plaza Copan Day 15 In the morning we will visit the archaeological site of the ancient Mayan civilization called Copan. After lunch, we will taste a typical dish of this country and region, the famous Honduran tripe. In the afternoon we will depart to Guatemala City where the tour ends and you can fly back home. With each of these meals you can choose from a wide variety of typical desserts to accompany your main dish. Includes: Private land transportation to all sites, water transport by bus, chosen hotel tours, entrance fees and meals as mentioned. Not included: Additional food and drinks , personals expenditure and tips. The recipe for all the meals you try on the trip will be given to you!