Xela, Guatemala - 10 Days

Service Learning, Language & Culture Immersion

Program Highlights & Inclusions

  • Professional ETA Tour Manager throughout your trip
  • Transportation throughout your trip
  • Guided tour of Antigua
  • Community Service project in Xela
  • Guided walking tour in Xela
  • Introductory Spanish lessons with your host families
  • Interact with local children in your host communities
  • Folklore evening and dinner on the last night
  • Horseback ride through Quetzaltenango Valley
  • Take a Latin salsa dance class with the locals
  • Hike up Tajumulco Volcano
  • Guided city tour in Panajachel’s market and town
  • Visit to Chichicastenango Market


Daily Itinerary

Day 1 – Guatemala City and Antigua

You will depart as a group and fly to La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City, arriving in the afternoon. You will receive a warm welcome at the airport from your Program Leader and then head straight to your guesthouse lodging in Antigua. Tonight, you will have your first Guatemalan meal and discuss the exciting days ahead.

Day 2 – Antigua and drive to Xela

In the morning, you will have an orientation with your Program Leader to discuss your community service project as well as life and culture in Guatemala. After your orientation, 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.

After the walking tour, you will have lunch at a typical restaurant. Then you will drive to Xela to meet your host community and enjoy dinner with your host families. In the late evening, you may have some time for a walking tour of your host community. You will return to your host families and rest up for the exciting days ahead.

Day 3 – Host Community and Service Project

The homestay experience and service project are the heart of your program - an excellent way to bond with your host community and peers through service. Today you will meet in the morning at the work site to be briefed on the community project and talk with the local leaders who will be working with you.*

Today, and for several subsequent mornings, you will work together on your community service project. In the afternoons, you will continue your project or explore the surrounding region. Some introductory Spanish lessons in the late afternoon will help you feel more comfortable during your time in the community working with local leaders and playing with local youth.

Your community service project is based on local needs and may include painting or equipping classrooms in a school or pre-school center that serves disadvantaged youth. Some dream projects of local communities that you could be involved with if you are able to raise additional funds include the construction of classrooms, a water collection tank to provide clean water, building modern bathrooms, installing water filters, building a basketball court or playground, or equipping a computer center.

*The host community may be different from the service project community.

Note: Please ask your Program Manager for more details on these dream projects and how you can help.

Day 4 – Host Community and Service Project

You will spend the day working on your community service project. In the morning you will go on a horseback ride in the Quetzaltenango Valley where you will learn more about different aspects of the Mayan culture and the inhabitants of the area.

Day 5 – Host Community and Service Project

You will spend the morning working on your community service project. In the afternoon, you will visit a rural community and have a cultural exchange with the community kids. Before dinner you will have a Latin salsa dance class.

Day 6 – Host Community and Service Project

You will spend your final day in the community finishing up your service project and celebrating a job well done. On your last night you will share a potluck dinner with your host families to celebrate a service project well done.

Day 7 – Hike at Tajumulco Volcano

After breakfast and saying good bye to your new friends and host families you will drive to the Tajumulco Volcano, the highest summit in Guatemala and Central America reaching over 13,800 feet (4,220 meters) above sea level. You will go on a hike here and if the day is clear enough you will see spectacular views of other volcanoes and the mountains and valleys of this beautiful country. In the late afternoon you will go to your hotel and at night you will enjoy dinner at a typical restaurant.

Day 8 – Drive to Panajachel and city tour

Today you will take a day trip to Panajachel, a town located in the southwestern portion of Guatemala and set between pristine lakes, steep mountains and the San Pedro and Toliman volcanoes. This lively town is located on the shores of the awe-inspiring Lake Atitlan, which has an unparalleled hues of crystal blue, silver or green depending on where the sun hits the water. There are also a number of very traditional Mayan villages surrounding the lake. 

Day 9 – Chichicastenango Market and drive to Antigua

Today you set off for Chichicastenango, the most spirited and colorful market in Central America. Chichi, as it’s known by the locals, hosts a market on Thursdays and Sundays attracting vendors from all over Guatemala. The market is located in the central plaza and spills into the side streets as vendors begin setting up the night before. In the morning, small firecrackers are set off announcing the opening of the market. You will walk amidst the vendors selling handicrafts, food, flowers, textiles, masks, and woodcarvings.

In the late afternoon you will return to Antigua and stay overnight at local guesthouse lodging in Antigua. 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.

Note: The visit to the market will be moved within the itinerary based on the days of the week in your program dates. The market only takes place on Thursdays and Saturdays.

Day 10 – Depart

Today your Guatemala program comes to a close as you depart early for your flight out of Guatemala City.





OUR PRICE GUARANTEE

We know how hidden costs can ruin a program. Our tours are fully inclusive; there are no hidden costs or surcharges.
Once your group enrolls in a trip, the price will never change. Here is what you will get on every trip:



Customization

Every single tour that we operate is unique and tailored for your group.

Private Tours

We do not combine your tour group with others.

Online Planning

Take advantage of our innovative tools to make organizing your trip a breeze.

Flexible Payments

We offer a variety of online, scheduled and recurring payment options.

Affordability & Quality

We focus on providing the best experience with the best value for your dollar.

Chaperones travel for free!

Just tell us how many free places you need.

Medical & Trip Delay Insurance

ETA includes up to $50,000 per person in medical coverage and insurance protection for travel delays.

Optional Trip Cancellation Insurance

This even includes a "cancel for any reason" option.

24 Hour Support

We have staff available 24/7 via phone for any emergency.

Full-time Tour Manager

ETA's professional Tour Manager will be with you throughout your trip.

Air, Land & Water Transportation

We include all transportation... to, from and during your trip.

Accommodations

Hotel, homestay and/or hostel options are customized according to your preferences, itinerary and budget.

Sightseeing & Entrance Fees

If it is included in your itinerary, any fees and/or tickets are covered.

Meals

You choose which meals are included in your program.