OCTOBER 28- NOVEMBER 3
With its Baroque architecture and thriving textile scene, this former colonial capital is among Central America’s most beguiling destinations. Join us for a special 6 day Cultural Adventure to explore Antigua, Guatemala! We have always loved visiting this town before our retreat to Lake Atitlan and feel it deserves its own trip. Our trip also lands on one of the most excting times in Guatemala; Day of the Saints/ Sumpango Kite Festival where we get to experience this Mayan tradition first hand.
DAY 1: Arrival to Guatemala City
Welcome to Guatemala! Upon clearing customs, we will be waiting for you to shuttle you to our hotel for the stay: The Good Hotel, a 4 star hotel.
To begin your adventure in Guatemala, we’ll kick things off with a wonderful meal at one of our favorite restaurants. Fermento which means “the art of transformation” was created by Chef Hector Castro as an ode to beauty. Filled with art from his personal collection on every wall, this restaurant is as uniquely decorated as its dishes are delicious. Delight your senses and get to know your fellow travelers and tour leader at this special welcome dinner at one of Antigua's best locally owned restaurants.
DAY 2: Antigua + Jade Jewelry Workshop
We begin the day wandering around Antigua with our local guide to learn the history of the city, and explore the beauty and culture all within walking distance.
Lunch included at a local favorite, you won't be disappointed!
Today, we will visit Xibabla, a woman-owned studio, and shop to participate in a hands-on workshop in which you will make your own unique piece of jade jewelry to take home.
You’ll start by picking your stone from a large selection of unique shades and tones, searching for that special piece that speaks to your soul. From there you actually get to design, carve, polish, drill and clean your stone, transforming it into a piece of high quality jewelry.
We will also learn how to make a delicious and uniquely Guatemalan cocktail, known as "El Kame". Tonight we will be joined by one of the talented mixologist from Ulew, a speakeasy style bar in Antigua that has set the craft cocktail bar high in this small town.
DAY 3: Coffee + Textiles Workshop
Get off the beaten path as we head to Alotenango, 30 minutes outside of Antigua, for a unique coffee tour with our friend Don José. Upon arrival at Don Jose’s, we’ll climb into the back of his pickup truck and ride through the farmland of Alotenango to visit his small coffee plot. Here, he will teach us about all the steps involved in making your morning cup of joe - from cultivation, harvest, processing, all the way to roasting and preparing!
After our time at Don José's coffee plot, we will return to his house to enjoy a delicious pepián prepared with love by Don Jose’s family members.
After lunch, we will participate in a flower dye workshop with our friends at Luna Zorra with an introduction to bundle dye with local flowers from the garden. Students assist the instructor with preparing the fabric and materials to be dyed. You'll leave with your own creation!
Free evening to wander around Antigua
DAY 4: Antigua Market + Cooking Class
During your visit to Antigua’s incredible indoor/outdoor market, you will learn all about Guatemalan fruits, vegetables, meats, poultry, seafood, dairy products, herbs, and spices while we purchase fresh food directly from local growers to use in our cooking class. This market tour gives you a deeper look at everyday life for many Guatemalans.
After we collect our groceries for the class, we will head to our friend Joaquin's house. During this interactive class, you will learn about traditional Guatemalan food and cooking techniques passed down over centuries. In today's very special class, the principal dish we will prepare is fiambre.
Fiambre is a traditional Guatemalan salad that is prepared and eaten yearly to celebrate All Saints Day in Guatemala.
We will make our fiambre today and leave it chilling overnight at Joaquin's to enjoy the following day at the cemetery.
Optional Night Out: Halloween in Antigua
While Halloween is not a traditional celebration within Guatemalan culture, it has become more popular in recent decades due to the multicultural community in Antigua.
DAY 5: Dia de Todos los Santos + Giant Kite Festival
DIA DE TODOS LOS SANTOS, All Saints Day
The Festival de Barriletes Gigantes, or Giant Kite Festival held in Sumpango is about half an hour drive from Antigua city limits, and is a very special day in Guatemalan culture. According to the Kaqchikel’s cosmogony, the kites represent a way of communication between the dead (the saints) and the living. It is believed that on that day the souls of the ancestors are released for twenty-four hours where the spirits are free to return to their homes, their loved ones, and their descendants. So on this day, the municipality of Sumpango celebrates with its famous annual Kite Festival. We will see the magnificent, giant kites that different community groups from Sumpango. The kites vary in size from 2 to over 20 meters in diameter. They are made purely of tissue paper so that, even though they are large, they can be flown when the wind permits. Enjoy a great morning being part of this tradition on this very special day!
The afternoon is yours to rest, shop, drink coffee. We will meet back up for a dinner out at Barriga Llena.
DAY 6: Pacaya Volcano Hike + Spa Day
Our Pacaya Volcano Hike is an unforgettable adventure: active and fun for eveyone. Our morning starts the approximately 75-minute journey to the famed Pacaya Volcano, situated southeast of La Antigua. Once we’ve arrived it’s roughly a 1.5 to 2-hour hike up this active volcano. We will roast marshmallows over lava rock and enjoy a picnic lunch before beginning our descent.
Casa Santo Domingo Spa Day, Optional Add-on $95 USD
Relax after your morning hike at the decadent Casa Santo Domingo Spa. Enjoy a 60-minute holistic massage along with other facilities including a heated pool, lounge chairs, on-site restaurant, sauna/steam room and the one of the world's most beautiful jacuzzis. Massage, and access to spa facilities until 9:00 pm are included along with towel, robe, sandals, locker, and personal soap and comb.
Tonight we will celebrate the end of an incredible week together, exploring Antigua Guatemala and the surrounding villages, with a special farewell dinner at Mesón Panza Verde.
TWIN BEDS OR QUEEN BED AVAILABLE
6 nights of accommodation at Good Hotel (4 star hotel)
6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners
Airport Pickup + Departure
Suzanne + Heart of Travel Leader, fully bilingual (English/Spanish)
Private ground transportation throughout the entire trip including transfer to Panajachel (if you're heading to the retreat)
Entrance fees for all mentioned activities
Local guide, artist and artisan fees for all mentioned activities
Does not include:
Travelers Insurance, recommended
Extra beverages during meals
Suggested tips for our guides throughout the days
Optional Spa Day and extra treatments ($95)
SINGLE ROOM FOR !: $2550
DOUBLE ROOM PER PERSON: $2175