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Guatemala: Adventure in the Remote Altiplano March 2020

Guatemala: Adventure in the Remote Altiplano March 2020

$1595 per person
9 days 8 nights | Group size: 3 - 12

Join us on this off the beaten path trip in Guatemala, as we visit the northwestern region of the country including visits to Chichicastenango, Quetzaltenango and the main event: Huehuetenango. During our time here, we will be exploring the most beautiful cenotes and lagoons in the area during the week, allowing you to reconnect with nature.

Itinerary subject to small changes at the discretion of The Heart of Travel guides in order to provide you with the safest, and most comfortable and enjoyable travel experience possible.

Services

Included

8 nights of accommodation in boutique hotels and country haciendas (3 nights are more rustic due to remote location in Guatemalan countryside but are still clean and safe with hot water and electricity (limited two of the nights).

All transportation within Guatemala

18 meals (not including alcoholic beverages)

Entrance fees, tickets and local guide fees for all activities included in the itinerary

24/7 access to bilingual (native English speaking) Heart of Travel tour coordinators

24/7 access to bilingual Guatemalan local guide

Not Included

Additional tours/activities done individually during free time (we can assist in coordinating these for you)

International airfare to and from Guatemala City

Meals not indicated on the itinerary

Tips to local guides

Dates

Saturday, March 21st – Sunday, March 29th, 2020

0 Reviews

Tour Plan

1
DAY ONE: SATURDAY, MARCH 21st: D included

Arrive in Guatemala City: Participants will be flying in from a variety of different places, therefore, travelers are welcome to choose the flight path that best suits their travel preferences and needs. That being said, we encourage participants to book flights that arrive in Guatemala in the morning or early afternoon so that they have time to get settled before the welcome dinner that evening. If you need assistance booking your international airfare please let us know!

Upon arriving at the airport one of our Program Directors will be waiting to escort you to the beautiful colonial town of La Antigua via private shuttle (45-minute drive). Once in La Antigua, you will be checked into your hotel and given a brief orientation of the city. If you need any assistance going to the bank, store, pharmacy, etc. your program director will be more than happy to accompany you. In the event, you arrive early in the morning and you would like to coordinate any specific activities during the day just let us know so we can accommodate your requests. 

 

7:00 pm: Welcome dinner at Cuscun (included)

Enjoy a traditional Guatemalan meal and learn how to make tortillas during this interactive dining experience at our friend Joaquín’s cooking school just outside of La Antigua. We will dine on the terrace as we meet the guides and fellow travelers and discuss the upcoming activities for our adventure here in Guatemala.

2
DAY TWO: SUNDAY, MARCH 22th: B & D included

8:00 am: Breakfast at the hotel (included)

 

9:00 am: Travel to Chichicastenango

Begin our long journey throughout Guatemala’s Altiplano as we make our way to one of Central America’s largest and most famous artisan markets in the town of Chichicastenango. We will make a stop for the bathroom and also buy some snacks for the road.

 

11:30 am: Walking Tour 

Arrive in Chichicastenango where every Thursday and Sunday local vendors gather in the central part of the town to offer a wide variety of goods, such as fruit, vegetables, flowers, handicrafts, pottery, and even livestock. You can also taste some of the local specialties during your free time in the market area.

Your walking tour then continues to the Church of Santo Tomás, which dates back to 1540 AD. Here you will be able to see what’s known as syncretism: a mixture of the Maya and Catholic religions. We will then end with a visit to the local cemetery, a colorful place where Maya rituals are performed as well. 

 

1:00 - 3:00 pm: Lunch at Proyecto Tux (included)

We will visit María at Proyecto Tux where she will tell us about pre-Hispanic food dynamics of the indigenous Mesoamerican populations. They work in research to determine food diets, techniques, procedures and recipes, according to agricultural production cycles in the territories of indigenous people. The techniques and recipes created by the science of indigenous women, used and transmitted for centuries to generations have been threatened since the appearance of chemical fertilizers, monocultures, processed food and the loss of indigenous territories.

 

3:30 pm: Travel to Zunil

After finishing up in Chichicastenango, we will make the final leg of our day’s journey to Zunil, one of Guatemala’s market towns that spreads across a lush valley, where we will be able to relax for the rest of the evening.

 

6:00 pm: Arrive at Las Cumbres

We will reach our boutique hotel to rest for the evening. The hotel’s restaurant is open until 8 pm, where you can enjoy dinner (not included).

3
DAY THREE: MONDAY, MARCH 23rd: B & D included

8:00 am: Breakfast at the hotel (included)

 

9:00 - 2:00 pm: Relaxing sauna, Salcajá and San Andrés 

We will enjoy a relaxing morning at the hotel, with beautiful views and lush gardens. The hotel offers some complimentary saunas where you can relax, or enjoy the jacuzzi in your room with water from the natural springs. The hotel also offers different spa services for an additional charge, just ask!  

After a slow morning enjoying the premises, we will grab lunch (not included) before hopping in the van to visit the nearby town of Salcajá to see the first church ever built in Central America. Then we will visit the neighboring town of San Andrés Xecul to visit the famous “yellow church” and learn all about its hidden symbolism. 

 

2:00 - 7:00 pm: Travel through Guatemalan Highlands 

After exploring some of Quetzaltenango’s hidden gems, our long drive through the Guatemalan highlands will begin, making stops along the way to use the restroom, stretch our legs and grab snacks before arriving at our country inn, Finca Chacula, for the next two evenings. 

 

7:30 pm: Dinner (included) 

Dinner by candlelight at our charming country inn, Finca Chaculá, and a good night’s rest after a long day on the road. 

4
DAY FOUR: TUESDAY, MARCH 24th: B, L & D included

7:00 am: Breakfast at the hotel (included)

8:00 am: Day at Laguna Brava

After a hearty breakfast early in the morning, we will begin our very off the beaten path journey to Laguna Brava. This stunning lake in Nentón is eight kilometers long, surrounded by lush mountains and with crystal clear turquoise water. It’s a breathtaking natural gem that’s hard to put into words. We will also have an optional hike to some nearby waterfalls where we can have a swim and enjoy a view of the lake. Getting to Laguna Brava can be a bit of a journey and depending on road conditions it may require a bumpy ride in the flatbed of a four-wheel-drive pick up truck (limited in-cabin seats available for the faint of heart) to get to the bank of the lake. Once there, however, you will surely be blown away by one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Bring your hiking shoes, swimsuit and an appetite for adventure and a picnic lunch (included)!

4:00 pm: Travel back to Inn

After an active day, we’ll return to the countryside inn for hot showers and downtime to rest. 

7:00 pm: Home cooked dinner at the Inn (included) 

5
DAY FIVE: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25th: B & L included

8:00 am: Breakfast at the hotel (included)

8:30 am: Day exploring Hoyo Cimarrón & Cenotes de Candelaria 

Enjoy a day in nature as we take a morning hike to Hoyo Cimmarón. Here we will observe the unique flora and fauna of the region and enjoy expansive views of the countryside before arriving at this massive dry cenote, over 600 ft deep and 580 ft in diameter. Dare to look below and see the forest of trees lining the bottom and vultures diving down into the canyon. 

We will then drive to the nearby Cenotes de Candelaria for a picnic lunch (included) and an afternoon dip in the cool blue waters of this huge natural swimming pool. This is one of the most stunning destinations in all of Huehuetenango as you are swimming inside a cenote similar to the dry one you just saw, except filled with water! It makes the long drive the day prior totally worth it.

4:00 pm: Travel back to Inn

After an active day, we’ll return to the countryside Inn for hot showers and downtime. 

7:00 pm: Home cooked dinner at the inn (included) 

6
DAY SIX: THURSDAY, MARCH 26th: B & D included

8:00 am: Breakfast at the hotel (included)

9:00 am - 2:30 pm: Travel to Los Cuchumatanes & Mirador Juan Diéguez Olaverri

After a good breakfast, we will start our trip towards the highest non-volcanic mountain range in Central America, known as Sierra de Los Cuchumatanes. Its highest point is situated at 12,500 ft a.s.l. We will enjoy expansive views of these beautiful mountains while we reach Todos Santos Cuchumatanes, a small community nestled at the bottom of a lush valley. The men in this area still wear their traditional garments and the guide will give us a little background on this rich cultural town. We will stop here for lunch (not included) before we continue our way to Mirador Juan Dieguez Olaverri. On a clear day, you can appreciate the volcanic chain from this viewpoint. We will also learn about the Guatemalan poet it’s named after.

2:30 - 3:00 pm: Arrive at Unicornio Azul

We will say goodbye to this gorgeous viewpoint as we make our way to the charming hacienda Unicornio Azul, about 1-hour away. On our way, we will stop in to visit with some weavers and farmers in rural Huehuetenango where you can purchase textiles and get a glimpse into life in this unique region of Guatemala. 

3:00 pm: Free time

Free afternoon to relax and enjoy this beautiful place, optional horseback riding tour available (not included). 

7:00 pm: Dinner (included)

Enjoy dinner and a cozy night by the fire. 

7
DAY SEVEN: FRIDAY, MARCH 27th: B, L & D included

8:00 am: Breakfast at the hotel (included)

8:30 am - 11:30 am: Free time

Free morning to relax and enjoy this beautiful place, optional horseback riding tour available (not included).

11:30 am - 2:30 pm: Hike to Laguna Magdalena

Enjoy a light afternoon hike to the beautiful idyllic Laguna Magdalena. This fairytale-like lake is located in the town of Chiantla, and it is surrounded by lush green vegetation, which is a great contrast to its blue waters. 

2:30 pm - 4:00 pm Lunch at Comedor Amparito

We will enjoy lunch at a cozy restaurant close to Laguna Magdalena (not included) and then head back to our hacienda.

4:00 pm: Free time

Free afternoon to relax at the hacienda after many days of adventure before making our journey back to La Antigua the next day. 

7:00 pm: Dinner (included) 

8
DAY EIGHT: SATURDAY, MARCH 28th: B & D included

8:00 am: Breakfast at the hotel (included)

9:00 am: Travel back to La Antigua 

We will hit the road early to start the long journey back to La Antigua, making stops along the way for lunch, snacks, stretching and bathroom breaks. Depending on time and the overall mood of the group there are some quick points of interest we could stop along the way. 

5:00 pm: Arrive at La Antigua 

Hopefully, we will be back between 3:00 and 4:00 pm but we should definitely be rolling into La Antigua by 5:00 pm, giving you time to get settled into your room and freshen up. 

7:30 pm: Farewell Dinner (included) 

Enjoy a relaxing farewell dinner (included) at one of our favorite courtyard restaurants with live music! 

9
DAY NINE: SUNDAY, MARCH 29th: B included

8:00: Breakfast (included) and departure

 

On the last day, you will have your morning breakfast before being taken to the airport for your departure flight.

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