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Guatemala’s Altiplano: Huehuetenango, Xela & Chichicastenango Mar 2020

Guatemala’s Altiplano: Huehuetenango, Xela & Chichicastenango Mar 2020

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

Join us on this new off the beaten path trip in Guatemala as we visit the northwestern region Guatemala including visits to Chichicastenango, Xela 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.

Cost & Packages



All transportation within Guatemala

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).

18 meals (not including alcoholic beverages)

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

24/7 access to bilingual Guatemalan local guide

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

Not Included

International airfare to and from Guatemala City

Meals not indicated on the itinerary

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

Tips to local guides


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

$1,595 per person (possibly staying in shared rooms 4 nights in Huehuetenango)

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.

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Tour Plan

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.

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.

11:30 am: Walking Tour and lunch (not included) 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. After touring the market we will stop for lunch (not included).

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.

3:30 pm: Travel to Xela After finishing up in Chichicastenango, we will make the final leg of our day’s journey to Xela, one of Guatemala’s most historically significant and architecturally stunning cities.

5:30 pm: Arrive at Xela Arrive at Xela and check into our cozy boutique hotel just steps from the central plaza.

7:00 pm: Dinner in Xela (included)

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

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

9:00 am - 12:00 pm: Walking Tour and lunch (not included)

We will start our morning on foot with a walking tour of Xela’s beautiful historic center with our expert guide, Selvyn, who lived in Xela for over 13 years. Not only is he a fountain of historical, cultural and political knowledge, he also knows all the best spots for hot chocolate and the local specialty: baked bread called Shecas.

After a morning exploring plazas, churches, theaters, and historical buildings, we will grab a rooftop lunch 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 it’s hidden symbolism.

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

After exploring Xela’s top highlights and 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 hotel for the next two evenings.

7:30 pm Dinner (included): Dinner at our charming country inn, Finca Chaculá, by candlelight and a good night’s rest after a long day on the road.

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

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

9:00 am Hike to Hoyo Cimmarón and lunch (included) 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 a massive crater, 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 and an afternoon dip in the cool blue waters. This is one of the most stunning destinations in all of Huehuetenango and 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)

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

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

8:00 am: Travel to Laguna Brava and lunch (included)

After a hearty breakfast early in the morning we will begin our very off the beaten path journey to Laguna Brava for a boat ride on this crystal clear lake and a delicious meal prepared by our friends and local musicians in their homes. Getting to Laguna Brava can be a bit of 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 the one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Bring your hiking shoes, swimsuit and an appetite for adventure and home cooked lunch!

3:00 pm: Travel to Todos Santos Cuchumatán After a wonderful day in nature we will head back to the van and start the journey to the town of Todos Santos Cuchumatán, a small town nestled in the mountains at 8,200 ft. This town is known for its beautiful traditional dress, worn by both men and women, and its rich cultural heritage.

7:00 pm: Check-in at hotel and dinner (not included) Settle into our hotel for the evening. Run by a group of local families, this bed and breakfast is simple and quaint, with beautiful views of the town from the terrace. You can then choose to eat dinner at the hotel or eat out at a nearby comedor. Keep in mind the town of Todos Santos is very small and tends to quiet down early most nights.

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

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

9:00 am - 12:00 pm: Morning Walking Tour:

Enjoy a morning tour with Selvyn who will give you a background on the history of this fascinating town. You will visit the local plaza, church, market and a textile cooperative home to some of Guatemala’s most beautiful, and affordable, handmade works. You will then have some free time to explore independently to take photos, though we encourage you not to take photos of any people, especially children, without permission. This is a great rule to follow in general while traveling but it’s especially important to follow this rule in Todos Santos out of respect for the locals and their cultural and religious beliefs.

12:00 - 1:00 pm: Lunch (not included)

1:00 - 3:00 pm: Travel to Unicornio Azul

We will say goodbye to our friends in Todos Santos 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. Perfect for playing cards!

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 - 4:00 pm: Hike and picnic lunch (included): Enjoy a light afternoon hike to the beautiful idyllic Laguna Magdalena where we will enjoy a picnic lunch.

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)

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!

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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