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 Guatemala Highlands - Maya Mystery & Magic

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7-Day Luxury Tour of the Guatemalan Highlands with the luxury boutique hotels of Palacio Dona Leonor (Antigua) and Laguna Lodge (Lake Atitlan)

 

ITINERARY OUTLINE

 

SUN - ARRIVAL & PRIVATE TRANSFER TO ANTIGUA

• Guests will be met at Guatemala City Airport by their bi-lingual Drive

• Private transfer to Antigua (1hr)

• Overnight Palacio Dona Leonor

 

MONDAY - ANTIGUA WALKING TOUR & FREE AFTERNOON (B)

• Breakfast at the hotel

• Your private guide will meet you at your hotel for a half day walking tour of Antigua

• Free afternoon • Overnight Palacio Dona Leonor

TUESDAY - FREE DAY IN ANTIGUA (B)

• Breakfast at the hotel • Free Day in Antigua - book tours locally to visit Coffee Farms, Maya museums, textile tours, climb the active volcano of Pacaya or any number of interesting activities.

• Overnight Palacio Dona Leonor

WEDNESDAY - TRANSFER TO LAKE ATITLAN (B)

• Breakfast at the hotel

• Private Transfer to Lake Atitlan (Approx 2hr 30 trf)

• Private Boat transfer from Panajachel to the Lodge (15min)

• Overnight Laguna Lodge - Eco Boutique Lodge

• (N.B Gourmet Vegetarian Food Only in this Hotel)

THURSDAY - CHICHICASTENANGO MARKET (B)

• Breakfast at the Hotel

• Private Transfer to Chichi by boat & vehicle (Approx 1.5hr)

• Time to explore Chichi Market (Unguided)

• Private Transfer back to your hotel by boat & vehicle (Approx 1.5hr)

• Overnight Laguna Lodge - Eco Boutique Lodge

FRIDAY - LAKE TOUR (B,L)

• Breakfast at the hotel

• Private Full Day, Private Lake & Village Tour by boat to San Juan La Laguna and Santiago -Includes Lunch

• Overnight Laguna Lodge - Eco Boutique Lodge

• (N.B Gourmet Vegetarian Food Only in this Hote l)

 

SAT - TRANSFER OUT (B)

• Breakfast in the hotel

• Transfers to Airport in time for international flight departure. (3hr)

 

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HOTEL & DESTINATION INFORMATION ANTIGUA

Antigua Guatemala. La Antigua (the old one), former colonial capital of the Kingdom of Guatemala, combines 17th and 18th century buildings and ruins with all the modern conveniences discerning travelers desire. The city was established as Santiago (St James) in 1543 after a mudslide destroyed the former capital. Santiago's history was punctuated by massive earthquakes, followed by rebuilding and reparation, until the earthquake of Santa Marta in 1773 prompted a move to the present capital in Guatemala City. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, Antigua exudes a unique atmosphere of history, intrigue and surprise. Resting in a fertile valley at 1530 m and surrounded by hills and volcanoes, Antigua's climate is likened to 'eternal spring'.

Luxury Boutique Hotel - Palacio de Dona Leonor

An authentic colonial mansion is the location for this beautiful 12 room boutique hotel right in the heart of Antigua. Just half a block from the central park this is Antigua's most central hotel. Each room is named after a historical figure from Antigua's past and is decorated in a different way still in keeping with the colonial theme of the hotel. There is a restaurant, breakfast room, outdoor lounge and breakfast areas in the central courtyard. The hotel prides itself on offering the best service in Antigua and lots of personal touches to make the guest's experience truly outstanding. This is a wonderful hotel for couples and small groups. Facilities: 12 Rooms, Restaurant, Tea room, Outdoor lounges. Location: Heart of Central Antigua, 1/2 block from the main square

LAKE ATITLAN

Lake Atitlanhas been called by many "the most beautiful lake in the world". It is indeed an amazing setting with the crystal blue waters of the lake surrounded by the three lofty peaks of Toliman, San Pedro and Atitlan Volcanoes. You can take a private boat to villages surrounding the lake and experience the local indigenous customs, traditions, dress and crafts. In the village of Santiago guides can show you where the local Mayan community worships an image called Maximon feeding him alcohol and cigarettes in an attempt to make their wishes come true. This village is also f famous for its primitive art and beautiful woven "huipiles" - women's tunics.

Laguna Lodge - Luxury Eco-Boutique Hotel

* VEGETARIAN FOOD ONLY

Laguna Lodge is a luxury, boutique hotel on the shores of Lake Atitlan close to the village of St Cruz. The hotel is in fact located on a large private area of land called the Tzantizotz Nature Reserve and the hotel is operated with a strong focus on sustainable travel best practice. The rooms and bathrooms are spacious and with balconies that offer wonderful views across the lake to the San Pedro and Atitlan Volcanoes. Food is gourmet vegetarian. A great hotel for honeymooners, couples and small groups. Facilities: 7 Rooms, Vegetarian Restaurant, Bar, Hiking on private nature reserve Location: Accessible only by boat. 10mins from Panajachel.

CHICHICASTENANGO

Chichicastenango is famous for its large craft market on Sunday and Thursday. This is when craftsmen and villagers from all over the highlands converge on this small town to sell their wares. Sunday is an interesting day to visit because as well as the hugely colorful market, many village shamans will come from miles around to "Chichi", as the locals call it, to perform Mayan rituals on behalf of people in their community. There are many hillside Mayan altar sites where the rituals are performed and, yet more strangely, many are performed on altar slabs inside the catholic church. Chichi is one of the easiest places for travelers to experience the strange way that Mayan & Catholic faiths have merged in Guatemala. During a trip to Chichi, you can also visit the small mask factory and see a traditional dance display performed by the local children.

LAKE TOUR DESCRIPTION

Guests are picked up from their hotel & transfer to San Juan La Laguna Village where they visit a local textile cooperative to see the back strap loom in use and to see how they still dye with natural dyes. Guests also visit the home and workshop of local na๏f painters before boarding the boat onto Santiago Village for lunch. After lunch guests will walk with their guide to find the house where the Maya God Maximon is living. Each year a different "brotherhood" has the privilege of taking care of their God so his location changes. Once with Maximon you may see local shaman performing rituals for local people and if you wish you can ask your guide to help you hire the services of a shaman for you to have a personal ceremony performed. After visiting Maximon guests can visit the local church and learn about the history of this very traditional town and also see the market and learn about the distinctive textiles and primitive art that is famous from this area. When guests are ready they will be transferred back to their hotel.

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