Semana Santa - Easter in Guatemala

Comfort, Guatemala City to Antigua Guatemala

Image by G Adventures

Tour description provided by G Adventures

Antigua, Guatemala's most beautiful colonial city, is famous for its celebrations, and this unique 10-day adventure ensures you're there for Semana Santa—one of the most vibrant and colourful celebrations in all of Central America. Line the parade route along cobblestoned streets decorated in flower petals and take in religious processions on Good Friday. Search for cultural treasures at the famous Chichicastenango market and meet local Mayan villagers amidst the volcanic scenery of Lake Atitlán. See for yourself how timing is everything as you discover the splendour of Guatemala.

What’s included

  • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Antigua Cultural Walking Tour, Antigua Guatemala
  • Arrival transfer
  • Observing the religious processions on Good Friday
  • (Antigua)
  • Cultural walking tour of Antigua
  • Chichicastenango market visit
  • Boat ride around Lake Atitlán to visit several indigenous villages
  • Participate in building one of the elaborate and colourful carpets on the streets on Antigua
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Highlights

  • Visit local indigenous villages
  • Barter at the bustling local markets
  • Catch the stunning volcano views over peaceful lake atitlán
  • Watch the holy week processions and elaborate colourful carpets laid out in the streets in antigua

Itinerary

Day 1 Guatemala City/Antigua Guatemala Arrive at the Guatemala City airport and transfer to your hotel in Antigua. There are no planned activities during the day, so check into the hotel and enjoy this charming city. Additional Notes: Please note that Antigua's nearest airport is Guatemala City, Guatemala. Don't get caught flying into the Caribbean island nation of Antigua; it's nowhere near the start of this tour! Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting Transport: Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s))
Day 2 Antigua Guatemala/Jaibalito (1B) Jaibalito is a small village on the shore of Lake Atitlán, known for its tranquility. It is accessible only by boat and foot trail and offers stunning views of the three volcanoes and lake. The area is also ideal for outdoor pursuits like swimming, fishing, wind surfing, hiking, bird watching, kayaking, and horseback riding. Transport: Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s), 80km) Boat (0.50 hour(s))
Day 3 Jaibalito (1B) Volcanoes and small indigenous villages surround this pristine lake, truly one of the most beautiful spots in Central America. Twelve traditional Maya villages, blue/grey mountains and three volcanoes line the shores of this lake resulting in a wonderful combination of unusual natural beauty and indigenous culture. Visit some of the villages of Lake Atitlán on an included boat tour. The towns will be be abuzz preparing for Holy Week processionals and activities, so our timing is just right to get a sense of the colour, costumes and age-old customs that surround this holiday time. Included Activities: Lake Atitlan Indigenous Villages Visit Transport: Boat
Day 4 Jaibalito (1B) A trip to Guatemala would not be complete without a visit to the famous market of Chichicastenango. Renowned for its colourful handicrafts, wood carvings, and hand-woven textiles, “Chichi” is also an important trading place for the local residents, and provides close-up views of daily life of today's Maya. Additional Notes: Please note that the actual day we visit Chichi market is subject to change based on market day schedules. Included Activities: Chichicastenango Market Visit Transport: Boat (0.50 hour(s)) Private Vehicle (1.00-1.50 hours)
Day 5 Jaibalito/Antigua Guatemala (1B) Return to Antigua to explore the city, shop, and of course, to enjoy the Semana Santa (or Holy Week) celebrations. When we arrive, Semana Santa will be in full swing, and there will be plenty to see and experience. As home to the world's largest Holy Week celebration, the spectacular Easter festival here is beyond comparison. In between observing these ceremonies, you may choose to climb a nearby volcano, mountain bike through the countryside or just relax in a pleasant street side café. Additional Notes: Our schedule over the next few days will be flexible, allowing our CEO to best plan out what activities and events we can participate in. When and what is done each day will be relayed to you on the ground, by the CEO allowing for him/her to make the most out of our time here. Included Activities: Holy Week Celebrations Transport: Boat (0.50 hour(s)) Private Vehicle (3.00-4.00 hours)
Day 6 Antigua Guatemala (1B) This evening, put on your dancing shoes and opt to take an optional Salsa class. Included Activities: Antigua Cultural Walking Tour Holy Week Celebrations
Days 7-9 Antigua Guatemala On Good Friday, residents begin laying down painstakingly detailed street "carpets" of flowers, pine needles and and dyed sawdust. Each design is unique and fleeting, as the carpet disappears as soon as a procession passes through. Join in and help create one of these elaborate carpets. Early in the morning, elaborate processions begin, slowly moving the heavy, palm-decorated "Anda" (special float) of Christ along the streets in a sombre re-enactment of his crucifixion. An honour passed down from generation to generation, the men involved in the processions, known as "Cucuruchas", wear purple cloaks (symbolizing mourning) and hold burning incense as they walk. Marvel as they take turns bearing the weight of the solid wood carved platforms, weighing up to 3,630kg (8,000lb)! Included Activities: Holy Week Celebrations
Day 10 Antigua Guatemala (1B) Depart at any time. Included Activities: Departure Day
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