Semana Santa 2019 in Guatemala
Live the culture while immersing yourself in hundreds of years of tradition this spring.
Considered one of the most colorful celebrations in the New World, processions and vigils are scheduled throughout Lent, but none are as beautiful and magical as those in Antigua, Guatemala during Hole Week. Our Semana Santa (Holy Week) tour in Guatemala will immerse you in history, culture and culinary delights as you dine with locals, visit artisans and entrepreneurs, and attend the amazing Holy Week activities. Be a part of this tradition that has gone on for centuries as we observe respectfully and participate when invited!
Departure/Return LocationGuatemala City
Departure TimeArrive anytime on April 13th, preferably before 4:00 pm
Return TimeDepart anytime on April 22nd
IncludedAccommodationGuides & Entrance FeesIn country transportationMeals
DAY ONE: SATURDAY, APRIL 13th, D included
Upon arriving at the airport one of the Program Directors, Chelsea or Ana, will be waiting to escort you to the beautiful colonial town of La Antigua via private shuttle (45 minute drive, without traffic). Once in La Antigua, you will be checked into your hotel and be given a brief orientation of the city. If you need any assistance going to the bank, store, pharmacy, etc. Chelsea or Ana will be more than happy to accompany you. In the event you arrive early in the morning and would like to coordinate any specific activities during the day just let us know so we can accommodate your requests.
7:00 pm: Welcome dinner at Cuscun (included) Enjoy a traditional Guatemala meal and learn how to make tortillas during this interactive dining experience at our friend Joaquín’s cooking school just outside of La Antigua. We will dine on the terrace as we meet the guides and fellow travelers and discuss the upcoming activities for our adventure here in Guatemala.
DAY TWO: SUNDAY, APRIL 14th, B & L included *PALM SUNDAY*
12:00 - 1:00 pm: Lunch (included) Enjoy a delicious traditional meal at a this local joint loved by travelers and locals alike. After lunch you can enjoy some free time.
Interactive Artisan Workshop 3:00 - 5:00 pm: Get your hands dirty as you make a souvenir to take home with you at the end of your trip. We will meet with a local woodworker to learn about the brightly colored masks seen all over Guatemala and their cultural and historical significance. From there, we will get in touch with our inner child as we make our own mask which will fit perfectly in your suitcase or carry on bag! You will then have the rest of the evening free to relax or explore independently. We are happy to give you a list of recommendations of places to eat, grab a drink or listen to some live music!
DAY THREE: MONDAY, APRIL 15th, B & L included
Coffee Farm Tour with Don José (lunch included) 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm: After a morning exploring the surrounding towns we will be welcomed into the home of our friend Don José. We first met Don José’s through his daughter, Gloria, who participates in a program at our sister non-profit, Fundación Fénix. Her husband, Jose Antonio was a volunteer firefighter who passed away during the rescue efforts during the June 3rd, 2018, eruption of the Fuego Volcano. It’s been a honor to get to know Gloria and her family and we are excited to work with them as a part of our sustainable tourism program. Upon arriving at their home, we will have a home cooked meal. Then it’s time to get even further off the beaten path as we climb into the back of Don Jose’s pick up truck and ride through the farmland of Alotenango to visit his and his friends small coffee plots. Here, he will teach us about all the steps involved in making your morning cup of joe including cultivation, harvest, processing and roasting. You will also enjoy spectacular views of the countryside and not only will you see coffee but many other plants such as corn, avocado, beans, jocotes and various trees and medicinal plants. After our time at the farm, we will return to Don Jose’s home to taste a cup of his delicious coffee before saying goodbye to our friends.
You will then have the rest of the evening free to relax or explore independently. We are happy to give you a list of recommendations of places to eat, grab a drink or listen to some live music!
DAY FOUR: TUESDAY, APRIL 16th, B, L & D included
1:30 pm: Arrive to Lake Atitlán We will arrive to Lake Atitlán and take a short boat ride to the town of San Juan La Laguna. Here we will spend the day learning about this lovely lakeside community and tour their impressive cooperatives to learn about agriculture, weaving, textiles, chocolate making and more. We will then enjoy a homestay with the local families and a communal dinner in the evening.
DAY FIVE: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17th, B included
8:00 am: Breakfast at homestay (included) 9:00 am: Lake Atitlán Town Tours After breakfast with our host families we will wave goodbye and return to our boat. We will continue to spend the morning and early afternoon stopping at some neighboring towns, including San Pedro La Laguna to check out the art scene and Santiago Atitlán to visit their market, church and Maximón shrine. Later in the afternoon, we will arrive at our hotel. From here, you can visit the local nature reserve, rent a kayak, explore the nearby town of Panajachel and much more! Just let your guide know what you are interested in doing and we can help arrange it for you! After breakfast with our host families we will wave goodbye and return to our boat. We will continue to spend the morning and early afternoon stopping at some neighboring towns, including San Pedro La Laguna to check out the art scene and Santiago Atitlán to visit their market, church and Maximón shrine. Later in the afternoon, we will arrive at our hotel. From here, you can visit the local nature reserve, rent a kayak, explore the nearby town of Panajachel and much more! Just let your guide know what you are interested in doing and we can help arrange it for you!
DAY SIX: THURSDAY, APRIL 18th, B & L included
6:00 pm: Arrive back to La Antigua for a relaxing evening to catch up on rest!
DAY SEVEN: FRIDAY APRIL 19th, B & L included *GOOD FRIDAY*
Optional Dinner and Procession Observation 7:30 pm: After everyone has had time to shower and freshen up after an active day, we will head out to dinner and to watch the Semana Santa processions as the festivities kick into high gear!
DAY EIGHT: SATURDAY APRIL 20th, B included *HOLY SATURDAY*
After we finish the structured portion of the day we encourage everyone to explore on their own as Semana Santa can be a personal experience for many. For others, the crowds and traffic might get to be too much at some point and you may prefer to relax at the hotel or another tranquil area. We are happy to continue accompanying you during the afternoon if you’d like or to set up any alternative activities you might be interested.
DAY NINE SUNDAY APRIL 21st, - included *EASTER SUNDAY*
6:00 pm: Meet for pre-dinner drinks at Whiskey Den (optional, not included) 7:30 pm: Farewell Dinner at Angie Angie (included)
DAY TEN MONDAY APRIL 22nd, B included
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