MAYAN EXPEDITION
Educational - Sustainable - Adventures - Cultural Tours
Antigua – Chichicastenango – Atitlan Lake - Rio Dulce - Guatemala

• Theme: Cultural -Educational - Sustainable Program 
• Program: 11 days
• Escorted tour, speaking english guide and local guides
• Hotels: Budget or Standard or family hosting
• Transport: Bus and small boat
• Groups from 10 and up persons

A wonderful and unique experience awaits the travelers in Guatemala. You are oriented towards the conservation and the support of local indigenous cultures by a human and responsible approach. You will meet indigenous populations and live a human and memorable experience. This is a combined circuit where the travelers will discover the secrets of the Mayan population by having amazing and once in a life time experiences and by exploring wild conservation sanctuaries while ridding in small boats through beautiful rivers full of vegetation that are considered as nature’s miracle; you will have the chance to see crocodiles, wood peckers, wild ducks and pelicans. You will experience the real life of ordinary people and visit an indigenous school located in the middle of the jungle to witness a “outside the box” education.  You will also visit Kakchiquel and Quekchi tribes where the Spanish conquest took place and antique buildings were left behind. Realize this memorable adventure with our professional staff. Many adult, student and family groups have travelled with us for many years to discover the wonderful and mystical Mayan World.

Day 1: Arrival to Guatemala City – Antigua -D
You will be welcomed by Tropical Adventures and transferred to your hotel in Antigua. Night at the hotel. *Optional: Host family.

Day 2: Antigua – BLD Youtube
Breakfast – City Tour to discover Antigua – The Spanish Colonial style permeates every part of the town: its houses, churches, squares, parks, ruins and its traditions and folklore as well. Antigua is a city o f charm and color where you can  see and buy and overwhelming variety of attractive, handmade products that honour the traditions of generations of artisans – Night at the hotel. *Optional: Host family.

Day 3: Antigua - Mayan Village – BLD Youtube
Breakfast –Community service in a Mayan village; we will take part of agriculture work, classroom’s, wall painting, games with children, etc. We will take the opportunity to offer them “piñatas”. - In the afternoon, you'll meet a Mayan family for support the family, cooking typical meat, making handcrafts and play with younger siblings, it’s an unforgettable experience! – Night at the hotel. *Optional: Host family - Expedition to active Pacaya volcano.

Day 4: Antigua – Lago Atitlan – BLD
Breakfast – In the morning, there will be a visit of a Mayan Interpretation Center; followed by a Coffee Tour to learn from the cultivation to the tasting. – In the afternoon, we will go in search of the Altiplano’s high plateaus, “Atitlan Lake” – Overnight in Panajachel.

Day 5: Lago Atitlan – BLD Youtube
Breakfast – Cruise on one of the most beautiful lakes in the world with its greenish blue water. First, we will stop at Santiago Atitlan village to discover a very picturesque little Indian village; visit of the village and its market. – Continuation by boat to San Juan La Laguna for a Cultural Tour; free time at the market. – Night at Panajachel. **Optional: Canopy Tour (Zip Line).

Day 6: Panajachel – Chichicastenango – Guatemala City – BLD Youtube
Breakfast – Transfer to Chichicastenango where you will admire the biggest handicraft market of all Guatemala, you will be able to purchase handmade clothing and articles, local pottery, textiles and many other objects that will be the perfect souvenirs. There will be an excursion to the sacred hill of Pascual Abaj, where we will witness a Mayan ceremony – Lunch – Transfer to Guatemala City – Diner – Night in Guatemala City.

Day 7: Guatemala City – Quirigua – Rio Dulce – BLD
Breakfast – Transfer toward the Caribbean shores – Time off at the pool – After lunch, free time to visit the archaeological site of Quirigua that will be protected by UNESCO – Transfer to Rio Dulce, overnight.

Day 8: Rio Dulce – BLD Youtube
Breakfast – Jungle boat: It is a 30 kilometers long expedition in boat through the natural reserve of Chocon Machacas. We will observe seagulls, pelicans and many other tropical birds and maybe turtles or crocodiles. Also, you will see the old pirate’s fortress, the San Felipe Castel. – Free time at the beach and soccer – lunch – We will continue on a boat heading a jungle school in the middle of a tropical forest. – Night at Rio Dulce.

Day 9: Rio Dulce –Guatemala City– BLD Youtube
Breakfast – This morning, you will swim in the Laguna El Paraiso, is a thermal waterfall, a natural Spa given by Mother Nature, which is located in the beautiful setting of the jungle. – PM Transfer to Guatemala City, free time and overnight.

Day 11: Guatemala City – Airport -B
Breakfast – Transfer to the airport for your international flight.

OPTIONAL: Visit the Mayan archaeological site of Copan, Honduras. *2 days an aditional.
You'll have a half day to visit beautiful Copan Archaeological Park, with its stunning monuments and forest of finely carved "tree stones" documenting a powerful dynasty in the Classic Period of the Maya. Copan is also known for its Temple of the Hieroglyphic Stairs which has the longest Pre-Columbian text in existence with over 2,000 carved glyphs.

(B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner

TOUR PACKAGE INCLUDES:

  • Entrance to mentioned activities
  • Accommodation in hotels, budget or standard class, double occupation
  • All meals
  • All local transports by land and river
  • Flight from Santa Elena to Guatemala City
  • Escorted tour by english, french, or spanish speaking guide
  • Excursions mentioned in the program
  • Private boat on Atitlan Lake
  • Private boat on Rio Dulce river
  • Preparing kit for travelling

PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE

  • Personal expenses
  • Single occupation in hotels
  • High season price
  • International flight
  • Tips

OPTIONAL ACTIVITES:

  • Family home stay in Antigua
  • Spanish school
  • Full day in a Pacific Beach
  • Canopy Tour (Zip Line)
  • Volcano expedition
  • Excursion to Copan Honduras
  • Excursion to Belize islands by boat.
  • Excursion to Tikal Park
  • Escorted trip to Colombia

*We working in partnership with certified local Tour Operator.

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What is Sustainable Travel?
Sustainable Tourism is tourism that strives to minimize its impact on the environment, to respect local people and cultures, to offer economic benefit to local businesses and communities, and to provide a memorable experience for travelers and protects destinations for future generations. Using small-scale lodging, local transportation, supporting locally-owned businesses, and incorporating community-based ecotourism projects into tours are some ways travel can work towards sustainability.
What does a sustainable trip look like?

Using efficient local transportation where possible, which also provides more interaction with local people

Staying at locally owned accommodations and supporting local businesses, so that the money you spend stays within the families and individuals you encounter along the way, enabling them to grow their community.

Encourage the preservation of cultural heritage by appreciating, but not altering, archaeological sites, sampling local cuisine, and learning about traditional customs and belief systems.

Visiting local community projects. This will give you a greater understanding of the issues facing local people and learn how individuals are working to strengthen the heath and viability of their communities. You may also have a chance to volunteer and give back during your visit.

Support fair trade by purchasing goods directly from the individuals who have made them.

Sustainable Operations and Initiatives
As a leader in sustainable adventure travel, we are dedicated to offering low-impact tours that bene?t traveler and host alike. We work with local communities, businesses and individuals to develop sustainable tourism opportunities that help local economies while minimizing negative environmental and cultural impacts. While our sustainable tourism policies and operator standards are constantly evolving, our commitment to socially and environmentally conscious travel has been with us since the company's inception.

Tour Operation
We work closely with all our partners to ensure they operate in accordance with our Ecotourism Operator Standards:

Employ local guides, suppliers and operators in the destinations we travel.

Maintain small-group sizes to limit negative social and environmental impacts.

Homestays are incorporated where possible.

When provide private transportation on our comfort and overland tours.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites and community-based ecotourism initiatives are incorporated into our tours.

Instead of staying in large foreign-owned all-inclusive resorts or hotel chains, we aim to support the local economy by staying in small-scale hotels where possible; otherwise, the best feasible option is employed.

Tour Leaders, Porters and Local Guides
We take pride in hiring staff that represent Canada Amistad in a responsible manner, as they are the ones who have the biggest direct impact on how your tour is run. To ensure quality leadership amongst our employees:

We employ local guides, suppliers and operators in the destinations we travel as they are able to provide our travelers with an insight into local customs, culture, history, flora and fauna.

Tour leaders receive training in low-impact travel practices.

Tour Leaders must possess First Aid and CPR certification upon being hired.

Tour Leaders are encouraged to assist in researching socially and environmentally responsible operators and community-based tourism initiatives that can be incorporated into our tours.

Giving Back to the Community
While much of the focus is on ensuring travelers are provided an enriching experience, the same goes for the communities we visit and the cities we work in. Sustainability is at the core of our type of travel both near and far. One of our long-standing community-based initiatives 'at home'.