Delve deeper into contemporary Maya culture as we travel to Lake Atitlán, a magnificent crater lake, ringed by pointed volcanic peaks and charming Maya villages. Stop at Chichicastenango to experience its market, a rainbow-colored riot of crafts, textiles, and local produce, and learn about the spiritual side of this colorful village. Then settle into a waterfront hotel on Lake Atitlán and explore artisan workshops and local culture in the lovely lakeside community of San Jan La Laguna.
Itinerary - 3 Days
Day 1 — Chichicastenango/Lake Atitlán
Travel from Antigua to the highland town of Chichicastenango, perched on a spectacular hillside at nearly 6,500 feet. Every Thursday and Sunday, crowds from the surrounding local villages flock to “Chichi” for its renowned open-air market, where a kaleidoscopic array of produce, finely woven textiles, and intricate handicrafts are for sale. Next to the market stands the 16th-century Church of Santo Tomás; here, witness age-old Mayan rituals being carried out on the church’s altar slabs. Continue to Lake Atitlán, one of Guatemala’s finest natural wonders, nestled amid pointed volcanic cones. From our lakeside hotel here, take in superb views of the shimmering blue waters and the graceful peaks of Tolimán, San Pedro and Atitlán volcanoes in the distance. Dinner will be at the hotel this evening. Hotel Atitlán (B,L,D)
Day 2 — Lake Atitlán/San Juan La Laguna/Antigua
Board a private lancha for a scenic boat trip across Lake Atitlán to San Juan La Laguna, one of several traditional Maya villages that line the shores of the lake. Set out on a walking tour of San Juan La Laguna, visiting the home and workshop of a local naïf painter. Pay a visit to a Maya textile cooperative, and watch women weaving artistic textiles with a back strap loom. Board our private lancha back to the hotel for lunch. Later this afternoon, return to Antigua and enjoy dinner on your own this evening. El Convento (B,L)
Day 3 — Antigua/Guatemala City
After breakfast, transfer to Guatemala City’s La Aurora International Airport for your flight home. (B)