Yoga, Textiles and Mayan Magic in Guatemala: Late Summer 2020
Antigua is among the world’s best conserved colonial cities in the Americas. It is a magical and captivating small town that makes you feel time might have stopped 300 years ago. From its colonial architecture to its beautiful surroundings, strolling through town on the cobblestone streets, you will experience the splendors of ancient times. In Antigua, you will find art galleries and exhibits, quaint coffee shops, amazing cuisine, cozy little bars and much more.
With three stunning volcanoes rising out of its emerald surface, Lake Atitlán is located 90 miles west of Guatemala City. It is characterized by its naturally beauty surrounded by gorgeous views of the volcanoes and indigenous villages filled with culture.
The famous writer Aldous Huxley considered it ¨the most beautiful lake in the world,¨ a magical place to relax and explore. The remote location offers a unique view into the indigenous culture in the highlands area. The lake is 5,100 feet above sea level and reaches depths over 985 feet.
Guatemala City to Antigua
Arrive Guatemala City; Private 1 Hour Transfer to Antigua; Remainder of day at leisure
Walking tour to discover the secrets of Antigua’s traditional history and art. Admire the colonial architecture of the 16th century churches, buildings, fine arts, terra-cotta ceramics, wooden sculptures and a great variety of traditional weavings.
Iximche; Chuinimachicaj- Glamping
Travel to the ancient Mayan site of Iximche, a Pre Columbian Mayan site in the Western Highlands founded by the Kaqchikel Maya in 1470 after a prolonged conflict with the K'iche. You can participate in an unforgettable Mayan ceremony, a spiritual activity with very specific goals, whether to launch and celebrate important festivitals, as an offering of thanks, or to ask for health, other favors, or simple wisdoms. The ceremonies are also focused on saturating one with positive energy or cleansing negative energies, truly an experience not to be missed!
Lunch is included at a local restaurant. After lunch, transfer to Chuinimachicaj for overnight at camp.
Sunset yoga at camp.
Morning yoga practice at camp followed by breakfast and a hike to the ethereal Lago Atitlan. The trek begins with a 2,500 ft descent into the La Madre Vieja River valley that weaves through a patchwork of traditional agricultural fields and small villages. The trek includes a stop at a coffee finca.
Following the coffee tour, cross the river on a hanging footbridge before a short ascent that takes you up to the rim of Lake Atitlán with expansive views of the water below and three massive volcanoes that surround it.
From there, a final descent through terraced fields of flowers and vegetables takes you to the lakeside village of San Antonio Palopó to conclude the trek.
Following yoga and breakfast, we head to San Juan la Laguna to a cooperative of Mayan textile that leverages traditional Maya heritage and art, connecting female artisans with national and international markets committed to the Fair Trade Principles.
Visit the organic plant garden where the natural dyes originate, learning the process of creating the dyes and fabrics from which the artists create their masterpieces. Observe the intricate Mayan weaving techniques involved in liso backstrap weaving and ikat tying from master weavers in San Juan.
Later, the women of the cooperative teach you how to cook the traditional Guatemalan tamales. And, of course, you get to enjoy eating your creations and spending time with the ladies.
After yoga and breakfast, we will begin a kayak tour, paddling to the lovely town of San Juan, approx. 3hrs away. Enjoy spectacular views of the three stunning volcanoes, Atitlan, San Pedro, and Toliman.
On arrival to San Juan, explore and have lunch on your own. In the afternoon, boat transfer back to your hotel.
Spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure. Anne has many suggestions to explore other lake villages or simply enjoy the spa and the pool at the hotel.
Day at Leisure
After breakfast and morning yoga, transfer to Chichicastenango to what is surely the most colorful native market in the Americas. Market days are held every Sunday and Thursday and draw not only the K'iche' Maya of the surrounding region, but vendors from all over Guatemala, representing many of Guatemala's linguistic groups such as Mam, Ixil, and Kaqchikel.
Return to Antigua
Day of Leisure
Depart for Home
Transfer to Guatemala City for onward flights.
Pricing and Accommodation
Antigua: Stay in a private former mansion, minimalistic in design, but premium in service and dedicated to a social business model that invests deeply into the community.
Chichicastenango: Glamp for one night in a luxury safari tent with a chef made dinner and drinks by the fire.
Lake Atitlan: Relax at a charming, secluded boutique hotel, a former Spanish colonial plantation on the shores of the lake. Each of the 60 rooms or suites includes a patio or balcony with views of the lake.
$3,285 per person, Double Occupancy.