Day 1: At 07:00 a.m. you will be picked up at your hotel for transfer to Escuintla, to visit the interesting Mayan site El Baúl, where you will find countless stones, stellae and carvings of pre-Mayan Civilizations, highlighted by a huge hand-carved stone face, which represents the “God of the world”. Then, visit la Democracia, in this place were found artifacts attributed to the Olmec and Pipil Civilizations. Also, visit the Cotzumalguapa Culture Museum, located between Finca Ilusiones and Bilbao. In the afternoon, transfer to Chichicastenango. Overnight accommodations at hotel.
Day 2: Today is market day in Chichicastenango! Visit the most colorful and picturesque Indian open-air market in the country. Hundreds of Indians from the surrounding countryside gather to barter their goods and products. Also, witness the captivating religious ceremonies held on the steps and inside the 400-year old Church of Santo Tomás (No shorts or bathing suits are allowed inside the Church). In the afternoon, transfer to Quetzaltenango. Overnight accommodations at Pension Bonifaz.
Day 3: This morning you will visit Almolonga market known for its vegetables and fruits cultivated on small parcels and from which products are exported to Central America and Mexico. Continue your visit to San Andrés Xecul which has an important XVI century temple, with a fabulous bright-yellow façade, the color which is representative of the local huipil (or indigenous blouse). There are saints and angels sitting next to corncobs and quetzal birds on the facade. Then you will visit San Francisco El Alto, with its typical market where people gather in front of City Hall to sell their products and handicrafts. In the afternoon, transfer to Lake Atitlan, one of the most beautiful in the world, with its crystalline-azure waters in the crater bowl below. Atitlán is the ideal place to come in contact with Guatemalan folklore. Twelve Indian villages surround the Lake, and their inhabitants are descendants from the great Quiché, Cackchiquel, and Tzutuhil nations. Overnight accommodations at hotel.
Day 4: At 09:00 a.m., you will board the motor launch to cross Lake Atitlán to the picturesque Indian village of Santiago Atitlán, one of the twelve lake-shore villages surrounding the Lake. Enjoy this bustling Indian community, where weavers work the colorful textiles. In the afternoon, transfer to Antigua Guatemala, the most important and enchanting city of colonial Guatemala. Founded by the Spaniards in 1543, nowadays Antigua is a beautiful blend of ruins, restored colonial buildings, and new buildings in colonial style. It was declared "Monument of America" in 1965. Overnight accommodations at hotel.
Day 5: This morning, visit the Central Plaza that is surrounded by the antique Cathedral, the Municipal Government Building, and the Palace of the Captains General; colonial churches and monasteries, primitive foot-looms where colorful textiles are woven, and a jade factory where this stone is worked into beautiful jewelry. In the afternoon, transfer to Guatemala City
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Central America and Caribbean Guatemala Local Culture Cultural Journey
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