Overview

On this adventure we will visit many of the most interesting and beautiful sites in Guatemala. We’ll go to the photogenic colonial city of Antigua, with views of 3 volcanoes towering over the colonial streets. We’ll also experience famous Lake Atitilan, surrounded by volcanoes and traditional Mayan villages.

We’ll venture further off the traditional tourist route and explore the area around Quetzaltenango, also known by the Mayan name of Xela. There we’ll have the unforgettable experience of  visiting the animal market at San Francisco el Alto at sunrise. Also the cemetery in the town of Zunil, decorated for the Day of the Dead celebrations, and a visit to the town of San Andres Xecul, with its famous colorful church and friendly Mayan inhabitants.

A highlight of the trip will be the experience of the town of Todos Santos Cuchamatan, a town where the inhabitants fiercely cling to their Mayan traditions. We’ll witness and photograph the one-of-a-kind horse races that culminate a week of partying leading up to the Day of the Dead.

We will also visit the area of Nebaj, a less-touristed area with some of the most outstanding scenery and beautiful traditional clothing in all of Guatemala.

Itinerary

Day 1: 
Arrive Guatemala City, then transfer to Antigua. We’ll spend the night in Antigua.

Day 2:
Sunrise shoot in the beautiful colonial city of Antigua. Mid-morning we will drive to the Highlands – with a visit to the folk art Church of San Andrés Xecul in the afternoon. We’ll spend the night in Quetzaltenango.

Day 3:
Sunrise shoot at San Andres Xecul. Overnight Huehuetenango.

Day 4:
All day in Todos Santos Cuchumatán, We’ll witness the Day of the Dead preparations at the cemetery. We’ll spend the night in Huehuetenango.

Day 5:
We’ll photograph the amazing horse races in Todos Santos Cuchamatan. We’ll spend the night in Quetzaltenango.

Day 6:
Up and out early for Market day in San Francisco el Alto, the highlight of which is the animal market. In the afternoon we’ll make a visit to the cemetery at Zunil to see it decorated for Day of the Dead. We’ll spend the night in Quetzaltenango.

Day 7:
In the morning we’ll drive Nebaj, making stops along the way, including Aguacatan, the source of the San Juan River. We’ll see and photograph the most beautiful outfits worn by the locals. On to Nebaj, where the market starts on Saturday. We’ll spend the night in Nebaj.

Day 8:
In the morning we’ll visit the Nebaj Market. We’ll visit small towns in the area such as San Juan Cotzal, the site of many killings during the civil war. We’ll spend the night in Nebaj.

Day 9:
We’ll drive to our lakefront hotel at beautiful Lake Atitlan. We’ll spend the night at Lake Atitlán.

Day 10:
Lake Atitlan. We’ll visit traditional Mayan lakeside towns such as San Pedro la Laguna. We’ll spend the night at Lake Atitlán.

Day 11:
Return to Antigua. In the afternoon there will be free time to wander and photograph this beautiful colonial town. We’ll spend the night in Antigua.

Day 12: 
Some participants will return home, others will begin the Tikal extension with Jeremy.

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4-Day / 3-Night Optional Extension: Tikal & Lake Petén

Cost includes: Round trip flight from Guatemala City to Flores, all ground transportation, boat ride on Lake Petén Itzá, three nights lodging, airport transfers, all dinners and breakfasts, and English-speaking guide.

Day 12: 
This morning, we’ll catch our flight to the incredible Mayan ruins site of Tikal (one hour). On the way from the airport at Flores to Tikal (one hour), we’ll visit beautiful Lago de Petén Itza, and the island town of Flores where we’ll take photos and have lunch. If we have time, we’ll take a boat and photograph the island from the water. We’ll then drive to our hotel (one hour) and go inside the ruins for a sunset shoot. We’ll spend the night at our hotel adjacent to the ruins in Tikal.

Day 13:
We’ll have the whole day to spend in the archeological site at Tikal. Those who want can enter the park to catch the first light hitting the pyramids as the jungle below comes to life. Later in the morning, we’ll have a guided tour of the most important temples and pyramids. Not only will we photograph the pyramids and other ruins, but the numerous animal species that make Tikal their home – birds such as toucans and parrots, wild oscellated turkeys, spider monkeys, howler monkeys, and the friendly coatis. Those who want to, can watch the sunset from atop Temple 4 as we listen to howler monkeys and many tropical bird species in the canopy below. We’ll spend the night in Tikal.

Day 14:
We’ll have one last chance to photograph the archeological site at sunrise, and later in the morning. In the afternoon we’ll head back to Flores where we’ll check in for our flight then explore the island town and have dinner there. In the evening we’ll catch our flight back to Guatemala City. We’ll spend the night in Guatemala City.

Day 15: 
Today everyone will be transferred to the airport to catch flights home.