Day 1 > Arrival in Guatemala & world-Famous Antigua. An exquisite Spanish Colonial town with elegant 16th & 17th Century architecture, cobblestone streets, a tranquil central square, stylish hotels, luxurious shops and superb international cuisine. The town enjoys a unique and impressive setting nestled beneath three towering volcanoes and surrounded by lush evergreen forests.
Day 2 > Antigua. Walking Tour of Antigua. The tour will focus on Antigua’s architecture, history, restoration and cultural trends. Your tour can include a visit to the Jade Museum and also the museums at Paseo de los Museos at Casa Santo Domingo, the Chocolate Museum, the central plaza, Arch of Santa Catarina, and more.
Day 3 > Amazing Chichicastenango. You will have time to enjoy the spectacular outdoor market of Chichicastenango –one of the world’s most famous outdoor markets! People watch in thisvery Mayanvillage, and also‘shop until you drop’or until 1pm when the market closes. Walk through the cemetery and sacred Shaman Hill, Pascal Abaj where you are likely to see Mayan fire cleansing ceremonies. Located at 2500 meters above sea level, this town is famous amongst tourists for its market on Thursdays and Sundays, where spats of traditionally dressed villagers in a kaleidoscope of colors, come to sell their very colorful textiles, fruits, vegetables and flowers. Although seemingly very commercial, there is much mysticism in the air. You will be amazed by the religious blend that exists, where colonial Spanish Catholicism, modern evangelism and ancient Mayan tradition, blend in a uniquely harmonious fashion. There is something deeply moving about watching a Mayan Indian or shaman, engulfed by incense and surrounded by flowers, praying to a catholic God and at the same time practicing ancient Mayan rituals, all in an old Spanish colonial Cathedral.
Day 4 > Lake Atitlan– 3 village boat tour of San Marcos, San Juan, and Santiago. This spectacular full day trip will take you from one end of the lake to the other. You will visit the villages of San Marcos, San Juan and Santiago, with time to explore each village.
Your first stop is San Marcos, where you stop for a swim and optional cliff jumping. Then you will depart the north shore for San Juan, the “Swiss village” of Lake Atitlan. You will enjoy a guided walking tour and visit art galleries, woman's weaving cooperatives, a medicinal and curative plant garden, see a children's dance performance, and learn about the Mayan calendar. Your third stop is Santiago. The bay of Santiago is a photographer’s dream. We take a tour along the shore of the bay before we start our walking tour. Your first stop is a visitor center that offers insight into the life of the Tzutujile Maya. There are interpretive displays on the history of the traje (traditional clothing), spiritual beliefs and Maximon. Easy walking is involved.
Day 5 > Lake Atitlan– Hike (or Drive) the Upper Mayan Trail, Solola and mountain villages. This day affords you some truly amazing lake views! At the hikes’s conclusion you will spend some time at the colorful market of Solola.
Your hike takes you along ancient paths that have been used by the Kaqchikel Maya for centuries. You will view villagers going about their daily life, encounter farmers tending their maiz and coffee fields, and see some of the most magnificent scenery in the world. This rugged and remote area has barely been touched by the outside world. The hike takes you 2,500 feet above the waters of Atitlán for breath taking views and pristine scenery.
Day 6 > Lake Atitlan– Kayak and Hike Mulit-Sport. This full day includes a kayak tour along the rugged north shore, and a hike back thru San Marcos, Tzununa, El Jaibalito and Santa Cruz la Laguna.
We paddle for 1 ½ hours along the shores of Santa Cruz la Laguna, El Jaibalito, and Tzununa, ending in San Marcos. You will have many up close encounters with Mayan men who fish from hand hewn cayukas as they have for centuries. You will feel privileged to share the lake with these proud fishermen who make Lake Atitlan so unique. You paddle along rugged cliff faces filled with exotic plant and bird life. You have the opportunity to cliff- jump into the crystal clear waters, or just enjoy a swim and sun.
We pull into the Bay of San Marcos and gear up for the next part of our adventure. The north shore of Lake Atitlan has no true road access, so you will be hiking along ancient paths that have been used by the Maya for centuries. You will view villagers going about their daily life, encounter farmers tending their maiz and coffee fields, and see some of the most magnificent scenery in the world. This rugged and remote section of Lake Atitlan has barely been touched by the outside world. Our hike takes us over one thousand feet above the ever changing waters of Atitlan for breath taking views of the famous volcanos.
Day 7 > Departure Day - This days activities will depend on your departure time. We will insure you have the most time to enjoy the day, plus get you to the airport in time for your departure. We may travel to Antigua for a second night, or to Guatemala City to visit musuems and other sights. It is all up to you. Come enjoy the most popular sights of Guatemala in 7 days.