Pope&Sons | Worldwide Luxury Travel

Guatemala Holidays 2016

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An example of one of our holidays to Guatemala

Day 1

Arrival
Transfer to Antigua
Overnight at El Convento – Junior Suite

Antigua

Founded in the sixteenth century, Antigua is a cosmopolitan destination with a rich colonial past. Its cobblestone streets are lined with pretty, pastel-hued homes, luxe boutique hotels, and an exceptional selection of smart restaurants and shops. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979, this city of 35,000 people sits in valley between coffee farms, indigenous villages, and three imposing volcanoes. At the heart of town is the parque central, a European-style plaza busy with shoe-shiners, ice cream vendors, families, and tourists. During its architectural peak, Antigua was home to dozens of colonial monuments, churches, and monasteries, but an earthquake in 1773 damaged or reduced most to rubble. In the centuries thereafter, efforts were made to rebuild and restore, and the city today is filled with melancholy but gorgeous relics and ruins.

El Convento

2Ave Norte #11, La Antigua, Guatemala
Category – High / Deluxe

A luxury boutique hotel in Antigua offering a more contemporary style and standardized offering with all rooms and areas of similar, modern décor with a colonial style. This is an excellent option for guests looking to stay in a top hotel with all conveniences and a slick operation. They have 26 suites of 3 levels and their own restaurant which is open to guests and the public. It is in a very quiet area of Antigua right in front of the Capuchinas Convent and about 6 blocks from the main square. It’s a good option for couples, families and small groups wanting a luxury accommodation as they currently allow children of all ages. Also a great honeymoon option with Jacuzzis in many of the suites and a good honeymoon package.

Facilities: 26 Rooms, Restaurant, Bar, Lap Pool
Location: Fairly Central Location 6 blocks from Central Plaza

Day 2

American Breakfast (From 6:00 AM) at El Convento
DLG Fairly Traded Coffee Tour (Hosted/Half Day/Minibus) OR Antigua Walking Tour (Private/Half Day/No Vehicle)
Free afternoon in Antigua
Overnight at El Convento – Junior Suite

DLG Fairly Traded Coffee Tour (Hosted/Half Day/Minibus)

You will be met by your bilingual host driver for a short transfer to the small town of San Miguel Escobar, just outside of Antigua. In town we will be met by a local guide from De La Gente (DLG). DLG is a charity working to support small independent coffee producers and promotes environmentally responsible agriculture in Guatemala. This tour takes you to visit some of the families supported by this organisation where you can work side-by-side with small coffee farmers in their daily coffee processing, pick, pulp, ferment, wash, dry, trilla, sort, and grade the coffee (depending on the season), roast coffee over an open fire and grind by hand on a grindstone before sampling their handiwork. Coffee Season is Nov to Mar. This tour includes a donation to DLG which the Viaventure Foundation also supports on an annual basis.

  • Activity Includes: Bilingual Host Driver, Community Guide, Entrance Fees & Coffee
  • Not Included: Tips & Gratuities, Lunch

 

———- OR ———-

Antigua Walking Tour (Private/Half Day/No Vehicle)

You will be met at your hotel reception by your private guide to begin your half day walking tour of Antigua. Your tour will cover the cultural, historical & social highlights of this colonial city with a behind-the-scenes look at some of the many ruined churches, convents, and cathedrals. Entrances are included to the Iglesia San Francisco, the Cathedral and La Merced Church. This tour is flexible and if you have specific sites that you wish to see please notify your guide. If you wish to visit other monuments you will need to pay the entrances directly. At the end of the tour your guide can accompany you back to your hotel or take you to a place of your choosing.

  • Activity Includes: Private guide, entrances to the Antigua Cathedral, the Merced Monastery and the San Francisco
    Monastery, use of tuc tucs
  • Not Included: entrances to other monuments, lunch, tips & gratuities, use of taxis

 

Day 3

American Breakfast (From 6:00 AM) at El Convento
Comalapa Market, Iximche Site & Transfer to Lake Atitlan (Private/Full Day/Minibus)
Overnight at Hotel Atitlan – Standard Room

Comalapa Market, Iximche Site & Transfer to Lake Atitlan (Private/Full Day/Minibus)

Guests will be met at their hotel by their private guide & driver for their 1hr transfer to the town of Comalapa. On arrival to the town guests can see the famous painted mural that the school children of the town painted depicting mayor events in Guatemala’s history up to the signing of the peace accords in 1996. From here you will visit some local painters who continue the tradition of naïve paintings that the town is so famous for. Finally guests can visit the wonderful authentic market of Comalapa to see the local people go about their daily life buying produce and goods for the rest of the week still dressed in the traditional textiles of the area. Guests can also visit the small museum dedicated to the composer who wrote Guatemala’s national anthem who came from Comalapa. Guests will enjoy a local lunch before heading off to explore the Mayan ruins of Iximiche. After exploring the site clients will transfer to Lake Atitlan and their hotel.

  • Activity Includes: Private Guide & Driver, Entrances to Comalapa Sites, Donation to Painters, Entrance to Iximche & Lunch
  • Not Included: Tips & Gratuities, Boat Transfers

 

Lake Atitlan

Surrounded by rugged hills, a trio of towering volcanoes, and a handful of small villages, it’s easy to wax poetic about Lake Atitlán. Located in the Guatemalan highlands, the lake was formed more than 80,000 years ago during a violent volcanic eruption. Tz’utujil and Kaqchiquel Mayas have plied its shores for centuries and continue to do so today, wearing vibrant traditional clothing and practicing age-old Maya customs, particularly in towns like Santiago Atitlán and Santa Catarina Palopó. Panajachel is the lake’s main hub. From here, boats depart regularly for destinations like San Juan La Laguna, which is known for its hand-woven, naturally dyed textiles, and San Pedro, where intrepid visitors can summit a 3,020-meter (9,908-foot) volcano. The area also offers great opportunities to kayak, bike, and zip-line.

Hotel Atitlan

Panajachel, Solola, Guatemala
Category – Mid Range / High

Hotel Atitlan is a larger hotel decorated in colonial style offering guests a beautiful location on the shores of Lake Atitlan. The hotel has beautiful gardens, inside and outside dining, a small pool, and bar. Its lakeshore location offers guests stunning views of the lake and her three surrounding volcanoes from most areas of the hotel. Just behind the hotel is the Reserva Atitlan which offers moderate hiking in cloud forest, a butterfly farm and zip line. The hotel is a comfortable and friendly place to stay for couples, families and groups.

Facilities: 65 Rooms, Small Pool, Restaurant, Bar, Gardens, Meeting / Conference Room, Helipad
Location: 10mins drive outside of Panajachel located on the lakeshore.

Day 4

American Breakfast at Hotel Atitlan
San Juan & Santiago Full Day Lake Tour (Private/Full Day/Boat)
Overnight at Hotel Atitlan – Standard Room

San Juan & Santiago Full Day Lake Tour (Private/Full Day/Boat)

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 naïf 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. 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.

  • Activity Includes: Private Guide, Private Boat Transfer, Lunch & Entrances
  • Not Included: Tips & Gratuities

 

Day 5

American Breakfast at Hotel Atitlan
Chichicastenango Market & Transfer to Guatemala City Airport (Private/Half Day/Minibus)
Scheduled Domestic Flight to Flores
Service(s) from Bolontiku Hotel Boutique: Transfer from Flores Airport to Bolontiku Hotel Boutique
Overnight at Bolontiku Hotel Boutique – Jardin Suite

Chichicastenango Market & Transfer to Guatemala City Airport (Private/Half Day/Minibus)

Guests are met at their hotel by their private driver & guide for the 1hr transfer out to the highland town of Chichicastenango. Along the way guests will pass through the central highland region and see the local Maya people in their traditional dress going about their daily lives – working in the fields, collecting firewood, travelling between markets, selling their wares. Upon arrival at Chichicastenango your guide will take you to explore this famous market both the local areas of the fruit & vegetables & everyday items as well as the craft area where you can find endless variety of beautiful textile, wooden & ceramic crafts. Guests can also visit the famous St Tomas Church where local Maya people come to perform Maya rituals within the Catholic church – demonstrating the interesting way the two faiths have combined in recent times. If guests want to they can also hike up the hill to the Pascual Abaj ritual site to see if any local shaman are performing rituals and/or to the cemetery on the outskirts of town. Lunch is provided. When guests are ready they will be driven to Guatemala City.

  • Activity Includes: Private Guide, Private Transfer in Minibus & Lunch
  • Not Included: Tips & Gratuities

 

Flores

Although it covers nearly one-third of the country, El Petén is Guatemala’s most sparsely populated department. Here, parrots and monkeys far outnumber people, and the crumbling ruins of the ancient Mayas stand in for modern cities. A large tract of El Petén belongs to the Maya Biosphere Reserve, a wildlife haven that stretches from Belize through Guatemala to Mexico. The Tikal archaeological site is the department’s biggest draw, though it’s certainly not the only spot for ruins. Archaeology buffs will also enjoy Yaxhá, Ceibal, Aguateca, and Uaxactún (you can camp at the latter). El Petén’s main towns include Flores and El Remate; both provide easy access to Tikal and the Mundo Maya International Airport. Visitors to El Petén should note that although the department is remote, it does have a handful of top-notch hotels and eco-lodges.

Bolontiku Hotel Boutique

San Andrés, Peten, Guatemala
Category – High

Situated on the shores of Lake Petén Itzá, in a nicely landscaped jungle setting, Bolontiku Hotel offers 15 comfortable and contemporary rooms with a hint of decorative Maya flair. Accommodations have lake views, private decks, and air conditioning; some boast indoor hot tubs overlooking the water, too. An on-site restaurant serves a mix of international dishes with traditional Maya flavors and uses organic, locally sourced fruits and vegetables; for special occasions, private, candlelit dinners along the lake can be arranged. There is a small outdoor pool and a bar/lounge; a spa is forthcoming.

Facilities: Restaurant, bar, pool, WiFi & air conditioning.
Location: 25-minute drive from the Mundo Maya International Airport; 20-minute boat ride from Flores town.

Day 6

Breakfast at Bolontiku Hotel Boutique
Free morning in San Andres
Yaxha Sunset Tour (Private/Half Day/Minibus)
Overnight at Bolontiku Hotel Boutique – Jardin Suite

Yaxha Sunset Tour (Private/Half Day/Minibus)

Guests are transferred to Yaxha National Park where they can enjoy a private guided tour of this lesser visited, Mayan ceremonial site. Set atop a hill overlooking two scenic lakes this is a particularly picturesque site. Temple 216 in the East Acropolis towers above the site and provides magnificent panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. At sunset guests will enjoy sunset snacks and wine at the shore of Lake Yaxha and cruise the lagoon in a small vessel before returning to their hotel.

  • Activity Includes: Private archaeology guide, private transfers, park admission fees, sunset drinks & snacks
  • Not Included: Tips & gratuities

 

Day 7

Breakfast at Bolontiku Hotel Boutique
Tikal Tour with Restaurant Lunch (Private/Full Day/Minibus)
Scheduled Domestic Flight to Guatemala City Airport
Transfer to hotel in Guatemala City
Overnight at Westin Camino Real – Standard Deluxe Room

Tikal Tour with Restaurant Lunch (Private/Full Day/Minibus)

(Going Out of Bahía Taitza)Guests are picked up from their hotel at 7am. (Pick up time can be changed – earliest is 5:30am). They transfer with their driver and guide to Tikal National Park where they can enjoy a private guided tour of this fabulous site with huge temples rising up through the jungle canopy and a variety of tropical animals and birds on show. Guests can enjoy the sights and sounds of the howler and spider monkeys as well as many colorful tropical birds and other mammals. Lunch is provided at Restaurante El Mesón or for an extra supplement we can arrange a luxury picnic lunch inside the Tikal Site itself. Guests can then explore the museum before returning to their hotel. If guests wish to return to the site they can do so unguided and the driver will return them to their hotel when they are ready.

  • Activity Includes: Private archaeology guide, private transfers, park admission fee & lunch
  • Not Included: tips & gratuities

 

Westin Camino Real

Avenida reforma 0-20, Calle Camino Real Zona 10, Guatemala City, Guatemala
Category – High

Camino Real Guatemala is one of the top business hotels in Guatemala City and is located in the lively and safe Zone 10 area of Guatemala City, close to the airport. The hotel has luxurious common areas decorated in marble including a large restaurant, lounge areas and bar. The hotel also has a large outdoor pool, gym and small adjoining casino (slot machines only). This is a comfortable and spacious hotel in a good central location. Guests can easily explore the nightlife district on the doorstep for a variety of restaurants and bars.

Facilities: Restaurant, Pool, Gym, Bar, Casino, Conference & Meeting Facilities
Location: Central Location in Zone 10 a close walk to nightlife and 10mins in vehicle to the airport

Day 8

Box Breakfast / Lunch at Westin Camino Real
Transfer to Guatemala City Airport
Trip Ends

Guatemala City

Home to a third of the country’s population, the capital city of Guatemala is an intense, sprawling mix of contrasts: Chaotic markets flank modern government buildings, madcap bus stations sit beneath tall skyscrapers, and glitzy malls compete with presidential palaces. Sure, Guate (as it’s referred to by most) may not have a stellar reputation, but as with most any urban locale, knowing where to go and what to avoid–and having a great guide with you–is the key to discovering this city’s good side. There are fascinating museums and cultural landmarks, good restaurants, and top-notch hotels. With so much to discover, any effort to better get to know this town is sure to be worth your while.

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For further information on this tour or any other Central America itineraries please call us on 01926 658797 or complete the enquiry form below and we will be in touch to arrange a time to meet up.

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