GUATEMALA

DATES:

April 3 - 10th, 2021

LENGTH:

8 days, 7 nights 

Guatemala, the Mayan heartland & land of volcanoes, is truly one of the most underrated countries we've visited. With its ancient folklore and astounding natural beauty, the country doesn't fail to impress.

What's so unique about our Guatemala trip? Guatemala holds one of the most elaborate Semana Santa (Easter Week) celebrations in the world, so we thought this would make for an idyllic time to host a group! During our trip we’ll be hiking up volcanoes, learning about Mayan traditions, swimming in crater lakes and visiting coffee plantations, all the while enjoying Guatemala's unique Easter celebrations as they unfold. From the colonial capital of Antigua to the shores of Lake Atitlan & markets of Chichicastenango, you’ll get to explore the Mayan heartland whilst staying in some of our favourite lodges in the country. Read more about Guatemala's Holy Week celebrations HERE.

What does Guatemala have to do with us? The first time Ross visited Guatemala was in 2012, on a solo trip through Central America. He was so enthralled by the country’s traditions, mysticism and diversity that he had to make a second trip, but it wasn't for another 5 years. We returned together in 2017 for a couple of weeks of adventures and that is when we really started to fall in love. In mid 2019 we chose to make Guatemala our home and every week we find ourselves wondering why more people don’t visit. It’s beguilingly beautiful and we’re excited to share it with you all in April 2020.

ITINERARY:

 

DAY 01: Welcome to Antigua 

Arrival in Guatemala! Once you’ve landed and made your way to the UNESCO Heritage city of Antigua, we’ll be around to meet you, greet you and get you settled with a quick intro to this colonial city. We are spending one night Antigua, so once you’re checked in, you can wander through the cobbled streets and take in all of the city’s delights. We absolutely love Antigua so if you have the option, we’d thoroughly recommend arriving as early as possible on this day. It really is a stunning place. In the evening we’ll all come together for a traditional Guatemalan dinner, and discuss our adventures for the week.

- Overnight in Antigua

- Dinner included

 

DAY 02: Volcanoes & Lava-fields

 

Bright n’early rise for our first Guatemalan breakfast! The main activity for today is a hike up Pacaya Volcano, one of the most well-known and active volcanos in the country. The hike will start at the village of San Vincente Pacaya and will take between 1.5 to 2 hours, through lava fields and up the side of the volcano. As we hike up and trek through lava fields, we’ll learn about the topography and history of this volcano, whilst taking in some of the most stunning volcanic scenery in the region. A Guatemalan hike isn’t complete without a few volcano-roasted marshmallows, so we’ll wrap up the morning with some toasted treats (maybe even a Guatemalan S’more!), before descending the volcano and hitting the road to Panajachel on the shores of Lake Atitlan. One last leg of the journey involves a short boat ride, and then we’ll finally be at our accommodation, “Guatemala’s most magical hotel!” This boutique lodge, perched on a cliff-face overlooking the lake, is one of our favorite places in Lake Atitlan, and it’s where we’ll be staying for the next three nights. Dinner will be a family-style meal as the sun sets over the lake.

- Overnight at Lake Atitlan

- Breakfast & dinner included (lunch not included)

 

DAY 03: Lake Atitlan 

 

Wake up with a view of Lake Atitlan out your window and enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the hotel. This morning we’re exploring San Juan La Laguna, a short boat ride across the lake from our accommodation. At this lakeside village, we’ll experience the rich cultural heritage of a true Mayan settlement. We’ll learn about the coffee-making process at a local coffee farm and then visit a textile cooperative to discover more about Mayan ancestral weaving and natural dye-making techniques. Lunch will be taken at your own leisure in the village, and we’ll of course be there to make some suggestions! There will also be plenty of time to explore the markets and art shops before making our way back to our accommodation, no doubt with many Mayan textiles in hand! Dinner will be another homemade family-style meal, followed by a wood-fired hot-tub session under the stars.

 

- Overnight at Lake Atitlan

- Breakfast & dinner included (lunch not included)

 

DAY 04: El Rostro Maya 

 

Today we’ll be taking a short hike and exploring another one of Lake Atitlan’s Mayan towns. You’re welcome to grab breakfast at your own leisure, and then meet us for a mid-morning boat ride across the lake to San Pedro La Laguna. From here we’ll do a 30-minute hike up the Rostro Maya (aka “Indian’s Nose”) where we’ll take in the panoramic views of the towns of San Pedro, San Juan, and San Marcos, as well as the three volcanoes surrounding Lake Atitlan. This viewpoint has an incredible vista and it makes for quite the bagpiping spot (for Ross!). Once we’ve descended, we’ll have the rest of the morning and early afternoon to enjoy San Pedro. For centuries, this town has been inhabited by the Tz'utujil people, and in recent years it has grown in popularity with visitors due to its strong Mayan culture and traditional healers, known as “curanderos.” The town is also home to the Museo Tz'unun 'Ya a museum documenting local history and customs. For the rest of the afternoon, we’ll be back at our lakeside lodge, relaxing swimming and enjoying our last evening by the lake. We’ll have one final family-style dinner before hitting the hay.

- Overnight at Lake Atitlan

- Breakfast & dinner included (lunch not included)

 

DAY 05: Chichicastenango 

 

For those keen on early mornings, join Travis for a morning hike to watch the sunrise over the Lake. For those that want to sleep in (ehem.. Ross), we’ll see you at breakfast! Today will be our last morning at Lake Atitlan so we want you to enjoy it as much as you can. There are kayaks to use, paddle-boards to dabble with and there’s even a self-guided ecological tour that you can do. If you’d rather relax, you’re more than welcome to organize a massage or have one last steep in the artisanal steam sauna (followed by a dip in the lake). In the late morning, we’ll check out and head back to Panajachel, where we’ll hop in our private transport and make our way to Chichicastenango (aka “Chichi”), deep in the Guatemalan Highlands. With its cobbled streets, pre-Christian beliefs and Mayan traditions, Chichi is as magical and it is mysterious, but we’ll save all the hype for day 6! After checking into one of the oldest hotels in town, everyone will have the evening free to explore, grab dinner, and familiarise themselves with the town before getting some good rest.

- Overnight in Chichicastenango

- Breakfast & lunch included (dinner not included)

 

DAY 06: Market Delights 


There’s something quite special about waking up in Chichicastenango. The misty mornings of this highland town, combined with architecture and history throw you back to a totally different era. Masheños (citizens of Chichi) are famous for their adherence to pre-Christian beliefs and ceremonies, so the whole town moves to a slightly different tune. If you have the time (and energy!) we’d thoroughly recommend an early morning walk, otherwise, enjoy your lie-in before we gather for breakfast. In addition to its Mayan traditions, Chichi is best known for its market, which we will be spending most the day experiencing. We’ll kick things off with a guided introduction to the town’s history, traditions and ceremonies, followed by plenty of people watching and exploring. Market days in Chichicastenango are a mix-mash of vibrant colors, smells, fabrics, and traditions so we’ll have plenty of time to experience this as well as pick up a few colorful souvenirs. We’ve been here a couple of times already and it’s hard to resist the temptation of buying at least one thing! Before lunch, we’ll hit the road back to Antigua (where we spent the first night). On the journey back, we’ll make a few scenic stops, drop into a Guatemalan diner and then arrive back to Antigua in the mid-afternoon. For the evening, we’ll let everyone explore the city and grab dinner as the festivities get underway for the Easter weekend.

- Overnight in Antigua

- Breakfast & dinner included (lunch not included)

 

DAY 07: Alfombras & Adventures 

This will be a great Friday in more ways than one! Today, not only are we learning about the elaborate history of Antigua, but we’ll be doing it on one of the best days in the Antiguan calendar, Good Friday. We’ll kick things off with a group breakfast at our hotel, then head up the “Cerro de la Cruz” for a jaw-dropping panoramic view of the city. From here, we will see the three volcanoes that stoop over Antigua and get our bearings for the walking tour. We’ll then descend into the city center, stopping by the most iconic plazas, churches, and points of interest, whilst enjoying the elaborate Good Friday celebrations as they unfold. What makes today particularly special is being able to witness the detailed street “alfombras" (aka “carpets”) of flowers, pine needles and dyed sawdust that are laid down by Antigua’s residents in celebration of Easter.  Each alfombra is unique, intricate and wonderfully colorful, but they don’t stick around for long once they’ve been trampled on by the processions! Wandering through town during the day, we’ll grab lunch at a local joint and in the afternoon there’ll be even more time to explore, shop and enjoy Antigua’s colonial beauty. Things will really start to kick off for Easter celebrations this evening, so you might also need a relaxing afternoon to chill out. After dinner, we will go for one last wander around town before getting some much-needed rest. 

- Overnight in Antigua

- Breakfast & dinner included (lunch not included)

 

DAY 08: Chocolatey Antigua 

 

Coffee might be one of Guatemala’s most famous produces, but so too is cocoa so we thought we’d include a bit of chocolate in today’s adventuring! After breakfast, we’ll head out together and take our people-watching skills to another level, whilst going with the Holy Saturday flow. Throughout the day we’ll walk alongside processions, observe the celebrations from some great spots and of course make sure there are plenty of rest stops. With Easter Sunday only a day away, the city will be on another level of euphoria so we want to enjoy as much of it as possible whilst giving you the opportunity for some (chocolatey) down-time away from the crowds. Once we’ve had our visual fill, we’ll grab lunch then head to the museum of chocolate for an amusing introduction to the chocolate-making process in Guatemala. For the afternoon, you can relax as you please, and we’ll come together for a final group dinner and enjoy the pop-up markets and festivities whilst we’re at it.

- Overnight in Antigua

- Breakfast & dinner included (lunch not included)

DAY 09: Sunday 

 

With the official Easter mourning processions complete, Antigua wakes to a slightly different tune on Easter Sunday. The churches start celebrating Jesus’ resurrection and a truly elating atmosphere takes over the city. Fireworks light the sky, confetti is tossed in the streets and color flags are waved about by children. With this being our final day together, we’ll have one last breakfast together before hitting the town for the most colorful Easter Sunday you’ve ever had. Sadly, we’ll have to say our farewells before lunch, but you’re welcome to extend your stay to enjoy the full day of celebration. If you are interested in doing this, please let us know and we’ll help with suggestions and a bit of planning!

- Breakfast included (lunch & dinner not included)

- Trip concludes in Antigua just before lunch

WHAT IS INCLUDED?

  • Private transport throughout the trip

  • Breakfasts (Day 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9)

  • Lunches (Day 5)

  • Dinners (Day 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, & 8)

  • 2 guides (Travis/Ross)  & guides during necessary tours

  • All scheduled & listed tours

  • All listed boat trips

  • Accommodation (8 nights)

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED?

  • Alcoholic & soft drinks 

  • Drinks during indicated meals

  • Personal expenses

  • Entry fees to non-listed tourist locations

  • Breakfast (Day 1)

  • Lunches (Day 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, & 9)

  • Dinners (Day 5 & 9)

  • Passports & travel insurance

  • Guatemalan entry visas (if required)

  • International & domestic flights

  • Transportation to & from the airport (but we are happy to help arrange this!)

  • Accommodation on the evening of Day 9 (April 12th)

FAQs

WHAT ARE BREACANS TRIPS?

 

One-of-a-kind trips to uncommon destinations, created by Travis & Ross. With a wealth of travel experience in over 120 countries, we're now leading adventures all around the world.

 

CAN I BRING A FRIEND? 

 

Of course. The more the merrier!

 

CAN I JOIN HALF WAY THROUGH THE TRIP? 

 

Unfortunately not. The trip cannot be broken up and joined half way through. Of course, if anyone wants to leave half way through, we'll do our best to accommodate.

 

WHO'S JOINING THE TRIP?

 

If you are able and willing, YOU will be joining. The tour is inclusive of all genders, sexual orientations, races, and ethnicities. Before signing up, please be aware that you will be with a group of people of different backgrounds, identities, and political views.  

 

HOW MANY PEOPLE PER TRIP?

 

We want our trip to be as intimate as possible so we're capping this trip off at 10 people (not including Ross, Travis, and a driver).

 

HOW DO I BOOK? 

 

Click the FIND OUT MORE button and you will be promoted to make your deposit to reserve your spot.

 

WHICH AIRPORTS SHOULD I FLY IN & OUT OF?

 

La Aurora International Airport (GUA) located in Guatemala City. The airport is located 4.5 miles (7km) from Guatemala City and 15 miles (25km) from Antigua.

STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?

 

Feel free to send us an EMAIL with further questions and we'll get back to you as quick as possible! 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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