Day 1 – Guatemala City and Cobán
Today you'll start your Guatemala adventure to make unforgettable memories with your group. You will receive a warm welcome at the airport from your Tour Manager and start your journey.
Day 2 – Cobán and Host Community
Early in the morning, you will depart for Cobán. This large colonial town is located in the Guatemalan highlands with beautiful natural surroundings.
You will enjoy lunch in Cobán and then departure to another large colonial town nearby where you will meet your host families for the first time. In the evening you will explore the host community as a group to get acquainted with your home for the next days. You'll eat dinner with your host families before retiring for the evening to rest up for the exciting days ahead.
Day 3 to 7 – 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.*
Every day after breakfast with your host families, you will meet with your Program Leader to have an introduction to your service project during the day. Each morning you will spend time working on your much needed community service project. In the afternoons and evenings you will explore the surrounding region and spend time with your host families. You will also have opportunities after work to interact with the local youth and maybe even participate in some Latin dance classes and some impromptu soccer games.
You will reserve two mornings to go on two very important tours that will teach you more about your hosts, their culture and the region. These tours will include a visit to a cardamom plantation which is the main crop in the area. This tour will take you through the history, processing, marketing and brewing of cardamom. In the afternoon you will continue with your service project. On another morning you will visit an orchid farm to see hundreds of species of orchids. On your last night in the community you will share a potluck dinner with your host families to celebrate a service project well done and to say good-bye to your new friends.
*The host community may be different from the service project community.
Day 8 – Lanquín Caves
After breakfast, you'll say good bye to your new friends and host families then head to the Lanquín Caves. The name Lanquín means “town surrounded by straw pastures” in Q’eqchi. You will explore the beautiful caves that have been described as “a hymn made of stone”. Later, you will have lunch at a typical restaurant and then check in at your ecological hotel situated in the mountains and surrounded by a beautiful forest. You will have the opportunity to explore the trails that surround the hotel. You will end this day with a delicious dinner at your hotel.
Day 9 – Semuc Champey
For today's adventure, you'll travel south of Lanquín to one of the most magical places in the world, Semuc Champey. You will hike for a few hours in a valley with steep walls, surrounded by tropical humid forest. The main attraction and your destination is a natural limestone ground bridge that is 1000 feet long, on top of which there are several natural pools of different sizes. Here you will have the opportunity to swim in the crystalline mountain spring waters. Underneath the limestone bridge runs the Cahabón River. At the end of the bridge, the water from the pools rejoins the underground river forming a spectacular 40 foot high waterfall. You will enjoy lunch at a typical restaurant and then return to your hotel near Lanquín.
Day 10 – Biotopo del Quetzal and Guatemala City
You'll drive back to Guatemala City but you will make a stop at the Biotopo del Quetzal Nature Reserve which is home to thousands of tropical animals including Guatemala's national bird, the quetzal. You will stop for a few hours to hike and have lunch in the reserve. Your Tour Manager will explain the wonders of the forest and if you are lucky you will spot some wild animals in their natural habitat.
After your arrival to the Guatemala City area you will have a special farewell dinner as a group.
Day 11 – Depart
Today your Guatemala adventure comes to an end as you and your group journey back home.
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ETA includes up to $100,000 per person in medical coverage and insurance protection for travel delays.
This even includes a "cancel for any reason" option.
We have staff available 24/7 via phone for any emergency.
ETA's professional Tour Manager will be with you throughout your trip.
We include all transportation... to, from and during your trip.
Hotel, homestay and/or hostel options are customized according to your preferences, itinerary and budget.
If it is included in your itinerary, any fees and/or tickets are covered.
You choose which meals are included in your program.