Day 1 – Flight to Guatemala
Fly to Guatemala City. Upon arrival, you will receive a warm welcome at the airport from your Program Leader and then drive straight to your hotel in Antigua. Tonight, you will have your first Guatemalan meal and discuss the week’s itinerary.
Day 2 – Pacaya Volcano
In the morning you will have breakfast at your hotel before heading off to the Pacaya Volcano. You will have an exciting morning hike up the most active volcano in Guatemala. You will take a lunch box to enjoy near the crater. After returning to your hotel in Antigua, you will enjoy dinner at a typical restaurant.
Day 3 – Antigua
In the morning, after breakfast at your hotel, you will go on a walking tour through the cobblestone streets of colonial Antigua. You will visit historic ruins, taste the local cuisine, and observe how history and Guatemalan culture have shaped modern-day Antigua.
You will have the opportunity to visit a family-owned hotel and have lunch at Fridas Restaurant. At both places you will have conversations with the owners.
In the afternoon you will visit a model Spanish School in Antigua and talk to the founders about how they turned this into one of the largest businesses in all Antigua.
Dinner at a typical restaurant.
Day 4 – Antigua
After breakfast at your hotel, you will visit a boutique hotel in Antigua, where you will have an introduction from the manager about their business model. Later you will walk the local market to talk with the vendors and see bargaining in action. For Guatemalans, bargaining is more than a business transaction. It is a sport that they enjoy even more than purchasing the item itself.
After lunch, you will spend the afternoon in the nearby community of Santiago Zamora, where you will learn first-hand about the Mayan customs and traditions that have been passed down for hundreds of generations. After a typical local snack you will enjoy a fun salsa and merengue dance class! Overnight with dinner at the hotel in Antigua.
Day 5 – Antigua
After breakfast at your hotel, you will visit the La Azotea Museums, a cultural center where you can learn about coffee production and see many pre-Columbian Mayan instruments and traditional clothing/textiles. You will have the opportunity to speak with the manager to learn about business practices at La Azotea.
After lunch back in Antigua, you will have a conversation with the president of the Chamber of Tourism of Guatemala (Camtur). In the late afternoon you will visit a chocolate factory, where you will see how chocolate is made and also talk with one of the managers about the business. Overnight and dinner in Antigua.
Day 6 – Guatemala City Day Trip
After breakfast at your hotel, you will meet with a representative of the Guatemalan Tourism Institute (Inguat) in Guatemala City.
After lunch at a typical restaurant you will visit a 5-star hotel in Guatemala City where you will have the opportunity to visit the various departments of the hotel with the manager. Return to Antigua for dinner and your overnight accommodations.
Day 7 – Panajachel and Lake Atitlan
Today you will travel to Panajachel, a town located 2 hours from Antigua. Set between steep mountains and the San Pedro and Toliman volcanoes, this lively town is located on the shores of the awe-inspiring Lake Atitlan. This spectacular lake is known for its unparalleled hue of crystal blue, silver and green depending on how the sun hits the water. There are also a number of very traditional Mayan villages surrounding the lake.
This afternoon, you will visit a women’s cooperative in one of these communities, Santiago. You will learn about how this cooperative is working to empower local women and their economy. Dinner at your hotel in Panajachel.
Day 8 – Panajachel, Iximche, and Antigua
After breakfast at your hotel, you will meet with a representative of your hotel in Panajachel to learn about their business practices. Then, on your way back to Antigua, you will make a stop at Iximche, a Mayan town and archaeological site where you will learn about their tourism project from a local professional guide. Lunch at a local restaurant.
In the evening, you will enjoy dinner in a local restaurant in Antigua where you will gather for a farewell celebration and to reflect on your time in Guatemala. Tonight you will stay in Antigua.
Day 9 – Departure
Today your Guatemala program comes to a close as you depart early from Antigua for your flight out of Guatemala City’s International Airport.