Guatemala: Multi Regional Coffee Tour November 2020
On this tour we will visit coffee cooperatives and small producers who will share with us in detail all of the processes involved in the various stages of coffee production. Our two main destinations are the colonial town of La Antigua Guatemala, a picturesque little town complete with cobblestone roads nestled in a valley surrounded by volcanoes; and Lake Atitlán, a beautiful volcanic lake in the Western highlands, ringed by small villages where you can feel the strong presence of the Maya culture, customs and traditions.
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.
Saturday, November 14th – Friday, November 20th 2020
DAY ONE: SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 14th: 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 the Tour Leaders will be waiting to escort you to the beautiful colonial town of La Antigua via private shuttle (45-minute drive, without traffic). Once in La Antigua, you will be checked into your hotel and be given a brief orientation of the city. If you need any assistance going to the bank, store, pharmacy, etc. your Tour Leaders will be more than happy to accompany you. In the event, you arrive early in the morning and 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 Chermol Restaurant (included)
This is one of our favorite spots in Antigua for its great local craft beer and delicious empanadas!
DAY TWO: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 15th: B & L included
7:30 am Breakfast at the hotel (included)
8:30 am Pick-up from your hotel to take you to the De La Gente tour.
9:00 am - 12:30 pm: Tour with De La Gente and lunch (included)
In the town of San Miguel Escobar, we will visit a coffee cooperative called De La Gente who works to create economic sustainability and opportunity for coffee farmers and their families. We will be meeting with one of DLG’s farmers who will show us their farm and welcome us back to their home to see most, if not all, of what the farmer does in regards to being a part of a coffee cooperative. They will be available for any questions you may have! Afterward, we’ll have lunch at the farmer’s house.
12:30 pm - 2:30 pm: Fermentation & exportation activity
Enjoy the rest of the afternoon off in the beautiful colonial town of Antigua, a list of recommended bars and restaurants will be provided.
DAY THREE: MONDAY, NOVEMBER 16th: B & L included
8:00 am: Breakfast at the hotel (included)
Cupping with Frosty
9:30 am - 11:30 am: Meet with a local coffee connoisseur, Cristian (known as Frosty), to cup three different Guatemalan coffees (included) from different regions and roasters.
Coffee Farm Tour with Don José (lunch included)
12:00 pm - 3:00 pm: We will take our private shuttle to Don José’s house. We first met Don José through his daughter, Gloria, who participates in a program at our sister non-profit, Fundación Fénix. Her husband, Jose Antonio was a volunteer firefighter who passed away during the rescue efforts during the June 3rd, 2018, the eruption of the Fuego Volcano. It’s been an honor to get to know Gloria and her family and we are excited to work with them as a part of our sustainable tourism program.
We’ll enjoy a home-cooked meal by Don José’s wife Catalina before our adventure begins. We’ll then be ready to get even further off the beaten path as we climb into the back of Don Jose’s pick up truck and ride through the farmland of Alotenango to visit his small coffee plots. Here, he will teach us about all the steps involved in making your morning cup of joe including cultivation, harvest, processing, and roasting. You will also enjoy spectacular views of the countryside and not only will you see coffee but many other plants such as corn, avocado, beans, jocotes and various trees and medicinal plants. Taste a cup of his delicious coffee before saying goodbye to our friends.
DAY FOUR: TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 17th: B & L included
8:00 am: Breakfast at hotel (included)
Pacaya Volcano Hike
9:00 am - 3:00 pm: We’ll pick you up at your lodging after breakfast and enjoy a half-day of adventure and soak up the epic views at the top of one of Guatemala’s most popular and active volcanoes! This moderate hike will begin at the base of the volcano in the village of San Vicente Pacaya where you will make your hour and a half to two-hour ascent up the side of one of Guatemala’s three active volcanoes. While on our hike we will appreciate expansive views of La Antigua and Guatemala City and on a clear day, we may even see the Pacific Coast in the distance. Our local guide will stop at various places to share interesting facts about the flora and fauna, as well as the neighboring towns. Here we will roast marshmallows over lava rock and enjoy a picnic lunch before beginning our descent.
Afterward, we’ll hike down to the trailhead, and take our private shuttle back to Antigua. You will have the rest of the evening free. We are happy to give you recommendations for places to eat and drink!
DAY FIVE: WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 18th: B & L included
8:00 am: Breakfast at the hotel (included)
9:00 am: Take a private shuttle to Lake Atitlán! We’ll arrive at Panajachel and board our boat in Tzanjuyú dock and make our way to San Pedro la Laguna where we’ll spend the night.
12:00 pm: Check into lodging and go to our first stop at the lake, the town of San Juan La Laguna.
Visit Casa Flor Ixcaco (lunch included)
12:30 pm: We’ll hop in a tuc-tuc to San Juan where we’ll visit our friends at Casa Flor Ixcaco, a female-founded and run textile cooperative that is truly inspiring and an incredible example of empowered female indigenous entrepreneurs who are using their talents and traditions, on their terms, to bolster their economy and share their heritage proudly. During your time with Casa Flor, you’ll watch and participate in a weaving demonstration to learn all about the process from start to finish.
1:30 pm: Afterwards you’ll enjoy a delicious typical lunch prepared by some of the cooperative members before visiting the nearby artisan chocolate workshop and the medicinal plant garden. This medicinal plant garden is run by the local midwives and it’s fascinating to learn about the work they do!
Visit to La Voz Coffee Cooperative San Juan La Laguna
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm: La Voz is a cooperatively managed farmer group with roughly 161 members, of which 61 are women who sort coffee cherries when coffee is delivered. The Guatemalan highlands produce some of the best and most distinctively flavored coffees in the world. La Voz's Arabica trees are cultivated under a rich shade tree canopy that includes many trees native to the region. The associate farmers produce coffee on small plots of land (1-2 hectares each) that are individually owned and maintained. Ripened coffee is harvested by family members and other coop associates. Sacks of coffee cherries are manually carried to the communal wet processing mill where La Voz's management oversees the depulping, fermentation and patio drying. A coffee beverage is included after this 1-hour tour!
After our coffee farm visit, we will go back to our lodging and we’ll have the evening off to either rest or explore the town!
DAY SIX: THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19th: B & D included
8:00 am: Breakfast at the hotel (included)
Free morning to rest and enjoy Lake Atitlan on your own.
2:00 pm: Once again, we’ll take a boat in San Pedro’s dock back to Panajachel where our private shuttle will be waiting to take us back to your hotel in Antigua.
7:00 pm: Street Food Tour (Included)
The last night of our trip we’ll visit our favorite street food places around Antigua and really eat like a local! During the tour, we will stop at our favorite stands and tiny comedores in the towns surrounding Antigua for the best búfalos, shucos, chalupas, and hot chocolate around. It is a truly authentic and downhome experience of Guatemalan gastronomy and nightlife! A few Gallos (Guatemalan beer) will also be included ;)
DAY SEVEN: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 20th: B included
8:00 am: Breakfast at the hotel (included).
Private shuttle from your hotel in Antigua back to the Guatemala City International Airport.
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