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Semana Santa: Easter in Guatemala

Experience Semana Santa (holy week), one of the most vibrant celebrations in Central America, on this remarkable 10-day adventure based in Antigua, Guatemala. Line the parade route along cobblestoned streets decorated in flower petals, explore the famous Chichicastenango Market, and venture with a local guide to meet local Mayan villagers amidst the volcanic scenery of Lake Atitln. Be part of an exceptional time in an exceptional place.

Latin America
  • Duration: 10 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of: Festivals, History, Local Culture & Cuisine
  • Physical rating: Light
  • Accommodation standard:   Moderate%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Tour code: 155183
  • Starts: Antigua, Guatemala
  • Finishes: Antigua, Guatemala
You will Visit
  • Guatemala City
  • Antigua

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Guatemala City/Antigua

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))

02

Day 2: Antigua/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, windsurfing, hiking, bird watching, kayaking, and horseback riding.

Transport:
Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s), 80km)
Boat (0.50 hour(s))

03

Day 3: Jaibalito (1B, 1L)

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
Lake Atitlán Boat Ride and Community Visit

Transport:
Boat

04

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 - Beyond the Market

Transport:
Boat (0.50 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (1.00-1.50 hours)

05

Day 5: Jaibalito/Antigua (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)

06

Day 6: Antigua (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

07

Day 7: Antigua (1B)

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 (8,000 lb)!

Included Activities:
Holy Week Celebrations

08

Day 8: Antigua (1B)

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

09

Day 9: Antigua (1B)

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

10

Day 10: Antigua (1B)

Depart at any time.

Included Activities:
Departure Day

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Arrival transfer
    • Observing Good Friday processions
    • Cultural walking tour of Antigua
    • Chichicastenango "Beyond the Market" tour
    • Boat ride around Lake Atitlán
    • Visit to San Juan la Laguna community including a local lunch and a tree-planting ceremony
    • Participate in building an elaborate traditional carpet of flowers on the streets of Antigua
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    Accommodation
    • Hotels (9 nts)
    • 9 breakfasts, 1 lunch
    Transport
    • Private van, boat, walking
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides
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Tour Highlights:
  • Explore the famous Chichicastenango Market
  • Visit the G Adventures-suppoted San Juan la Laguna village
  • Experience colourful parades and ceremonies