Guatemala City, Flores, Antigua Guatemala
June 25th - July 2nd, 2017
This comprehensive journey introduces you to the awe-inspiring natural wonders, arts, monuments and vibrant cities of Guatemala, as well as introducing you to the diverse traditions and lifestyles of local minority peoples.
Guatemala came to prominence in the 16th century, when it became a Spanish colony in the “New World”. However, the land’s history stretches many thousands of years in the past as the location of the Mayan civilization. For centuries Guatemala has been subject to influences from Europe and its neighbouring countries, resulting in a glorious melange of traditions and styles as well as rich cultural treasures. Whether you are a seasoned explorer or a first-time visitor, the memories and experiences gathered from this trip will be life changing.
We invite you on an exclusive tour that offers a chance for adventurous souls to explore a faraway land filled with wonders. Our innovative excursions delight the most seasoned traveller, as we explore the mysteries of Guatemalan culture, history, art, gastronomy and religion with our personal tour guide – available at all times to make your trip absolutely enjoyable. The 100% kosher tour permits you to travel comfortably and confidently, and our bespoke itinerary includes many sites that explore the history of the Jewish diaspora in Guatemala.
Guatemala welcomes you – discover it with Deluxe Kosher Tours.
Sunday, June 25th
We depart on our flight to the capital city of the Republic of Guatemala, Guatemala City. Enjoy kosher meals and in-flight entertainment during your journey, or read some of our suggested books about Guatemala (see below). Upon arrival in La Aurora International Airport we are welcomed to Guatemala by our carefully-selected personal Deluxe Kosher Tours tour director. They will bring us to our deluxe hotel, the Camino Real, and offer an introduction to Guatemala and Guatemala City. The remainder of the evening can be leisurely spent resting and relaxing in the hotel, or take a walk around the local neighbourhood to immerse in some of the sights and sounds.
Monday, June 26th Guatemala City-Flores
Tikal National Park
We set off very early, returning to La Aurora International Airport for our transfer to Flores, Petén. Upon arrival to Mundo Maya International Airport we are brought to check in at the Villa Maya Hotel. Here we receive an introduction to Flores, a splendidly attractive town built on the shores of the Lago de Petén Itzá. With a buzzing nightlife and daytime tranquillity this is one of the most popular destinations of holidaying Guatemalans. We bring you to the Tikal National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site protected for its Mayan ceremonial complex. Our expert guide provides an educating talk on the history of the Maya as we wander through temples, palaces, and public squares of this 6th-10th century civilisation. The ruins lie hidden in the tropical rainforests of northern Guatemala, where one can view some of the most unique flora and fauna in the world, including spider monkeys, harpy eagles, toucans and even reclusive jaguar! In the evening you are free to explore Flores at your leisure, or simply relax in the hotel until our delicious dinner.
Tuesday, June 27th Flores-Antigua Guatemala
La Antigua City Tour, Lago de Atitlán
We check out of the hotel early to return to the airport, for our flight back to Guatemala City. Upon arrival our bus brings us to the colonial city of Antigua Guatemala (commonly referred to as Antigua). This 16th century city was a former capital of the state, though it had to be moved due to a chain of natural disasters in the 1700s – three enormous volcanoes loom over the city. Nevertheless, Antigua today is a lively and fascinating city, containing a large collection of colonial architecture, beautiful streetscapes, churches plazas and towns that have been collectively designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our expert guide brings you on an informative tour of the city’s charming tumbledown streets, with gorgeous colourful buildings and sumptuous gardens. We visit the crumbling ruins of the old El Carmen church and Santo Domingo Monastery, the stunning Cathedral of San José, and the sprawling Nim Po't shopping arcade where artisans present a huge selection of locally-produced Maya clothing, masks and wood carvings
After we check in to our hotel, the Casa Santo Domingo, you are free to continue wandering through the city. You will find that Antigua is one of the tidiest, cleanest cities, with modern features such as buried power lines and revolutionary traffic management enhancing the ancient landscape. We recommend a walk along the shores of the nearby Lake Atitlán after dinner, its pristine waters reflecting the sunset over ring of volcanoes surrounding the area.
Wednesday, June 28th Antigua Guatemala
Santiago Tour, Maximón Idol
We make an excursion to the town of Santiago, built on the shores of Lake Atitlán. After a leisurely boat cruise to Santiago’s harbour we ascend to the town centre where we begin our guided tour. Santiago is popular for tourists and Guatemalans alike, due to its pleasant semi-tropical climate and gorgeous setting overlooking the lake and the volcanic highlands. Our guide brings you to the famous Maximón idol, a folk saint venerated by indigenous Tzutuhil Maya people in western Guatemala. You can examine one of Santiago’s 4 ft (1.2m) tall effigies, swathed in layers of clothing, a very fine hat over its masked face, and usually a cigar in its mouth! You can then enjoy freely exploring the many shops selling locally-produced arts and crafts, before we return to Antigua by boat for the rest of the evening.
Thursday, June 29th Antigua Guatemala-Guatemala City
Chichicastenango Market, Santo Tomás Church
After breakfast we set off for the town of Chichicastenango. Hidden deep between undulating mountains and valleys, this city seems frozen in time and contains a large community of indigenous K'iche' Maya people, as well as groups of Mam, Ixil, and Kaqchikel Mayans. This town is most famous for its huge Thursday markets, where you can find a staggering range of crafts, flowers, food and animals offered by hundreds of vendors – many trying to vie for attention with homemade fireworks! Chichicastenango is a perfect place to spend a day exploring the many areas of the market, and when you have had enough to enjoy a leisurely lunch before visiting the Santo Tomás Church, an unusual 1540 church which combines Catholic and Mayan spiritual practices. Later we travel back to Guatemala City, where we check in to our hotel before dinner.
Friday, June 30th Guatemala City
Guatemala City Tour, Cathedral, Main Square, Civic Centre, Palacio Nacional de la Cultura, Relief Map
In the morning we invite you on our comprehensive guided tour of Guatemala City, the country’s largest and most cosmopolitan city, with an energetic and sophisticated cultural scene. The city is divided into ten zones, each one crammed with attractions for us to visit. Our guide brings us to the baroque Cathedral of Guatemala City, and we learn about the city’s action-packed past at the nearby Main Square. Admire the stunning architecture of the Centro Cultural Miguel Ángel Asturias inspired by the country’s volcanoes. This is a popular venue for opera, theatre and ballet, and even contains a small museum of the Old Fort of San José.
We then visit the National Palace, the formidable presidential palace with a unique architectural fusion of Spanish Renaissance and neoclassical styles. We receive a guided tour through the palace, learning about Guatemala’s history and admiring the tremendous gold and crystal chandelier in the reception hall. We get a bird’s eye view of Guatemala at the relief map, a scaled map and monument depicting the geography of the country. Our guide can point out the places we have visited on our adventures through Guatemala, before we return to the hotel to prepare for the Shabbat.
Saturday, July 1st Guatemala City
Shabbat services, Seudat Shabbat
After the Shabbat services and lunch with the local community, you can spend the rest of the day freely exploring the city, or relaxing in one of its many beautiful parks. In the evening we reunite for our final meal together, where we can celebrate our voyage through this magnificent country, the sites we’ve seen, and the lively people we have met.
Sunday, July 2nd
After breakfast we transfer to La Aurora International Airport for our return flights home.
Cost Per Person:
Based On Double Occupancy (two to a room)
- Round-trip airfare from New York, Los Angeles or Miami - call for airfare from other cities
- All domestic airfares in Guatemala
- An English-speaking, experienced tour guide/chauffeur
- Full board accommodation in deluxe hotels for entire trip
- 3 Kosher meals daily
- All admissions as per itinerary
- Visa fees as required
- Health and Travel Insurance
- International airport fees
- Budget for extra snacks, gifts, or other expenses of a personal nature
- Any other services not specified
LAND ONLY - $4,695 (without airfares)
$1,095 (Single Supplement)
ITINERARY AND HOTELS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE
RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IF THERE’S A FLUCTUATION IN CURRENCY OF MORE THAN 4% FROM SEPTEMBER 1, 2015
RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IN THE EVENT OF AN INCREASE IN AIRLINE FUEL CHARGES
- Time among the Maya – Ronald Wright
- Guatemalan Journey – Stephen Connely Benz
- Beyond the Mexique Bay – Aldous Huxley
- The Guatemala Reader: History, Culture, Politics – Greg Grandin
- Living on One Dollar (Film)
- The Golden Dream (Film)