Guatemala Sample Trip

An Exciting Sample Two Week Educational Trip to GUATEMALA
Spanish classes at all levels with a private tutor, living with a Guatemalan host family, and exploring the rich Mayan culture.

Please note that the trip can be changed to fewer or longer weeks, and more activities or less.  We completely customize your group trip.  For academic credit groups, we suggest at least three weeks and full day Spanish classes of 8 – 12 and 2 – 5.  Afternoon activities can be programmed to include each student’s individual teacher accompanying.

Sample trip to GUATEMALA

Week One
On your own arranged flight, fly into Guatemala City for a private airport pickup. You will be delivered to Guatemalan host families with either a private or shared room and where all meals are included, except no meals are served on Sunday. You will have a special welcome group dinner at a typical Antigua restaurant in the evening.
Have breakfast with your host family, and they will direct you to P.L.F.M. (All the family houses are within walking distance of school). After an orientation, you will have four hours of one-on-one classes with a private tutor from 8-12 at the prestigious Proyecto Lingüístico Francisco Marroquín. (Number of class hours can go up to 7 for credit groups.) This is the oldest language school in Antigua, and it is a non-profit Guatemala foundation with proceeds that support the preservation of the Maya languages. Your classes will be conversational in emphasis, with grammar reinforced through speaking, and they are appropriate for all levels of Spanish. You will return to your family for lunch. At 3:00 you will gather for an afternoon visit to La Azotea Cultural Center in nearby Jocotenango, featuring a Coffee Museum, and Casa K'ojom (with Mayan music instruments from pre-Columbian times). Return for dinner with your family and socializing at home.
One-on-one classes from 8-12 Afternoon Walking Tour of Antigua to learn of the history of this fascinating city, declared a World Heritage Site. Visit the cathedral and learn of the restoration and remains of a splendid colonial past. Your tour will end by visiting the Santo Domingo complex, now a luxury hotel, with interesting museums featuring past treasures discovered at the site, as well as contemporary exhibits.
One-on-one classes from 8-12 Afternoon visit to San Antonio weaving village, a local cooperative. You will see demonstrations of one of the most traditional arts of Guatemala. You will learn how these textiles are used in wedding ceremonies, and also have a taste of typical Guatemala food, prepared before your eyes, hot off the comal.
One-on-one classes from 8-12 Afternoon guided tour of the markets of Antigua. Stroll markets with hundred year old traditions to view how most Guatemalans sell and buy products, from foodstuffs to clothing and everyday household items.
One-on-one classes from 8-12  In the afternoon learn to dance like the Guatemalans in a lively Salsa Dance Class.
After breakfast with your family travel in a private van from Antigua to Panajachel, with packed lunches for the van. Upon arriving you will be at the shore of one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, Lake Atitlán. Its base is the caldera of an ancient volcano, and the water is a deep blue. You will board small boats and have a private tour with a guide of three villages around the lake. In these villages you will heard several varieties of Mayan languages. You will finish in Santiago de Atitlán and arrive at a beautiful hill side inn, the Posada de Santiago, to enter your shared bungalow. Overlooking the lake, you will enjoy dinner at the top rated restaurant. It is an amazing setting. 
Sunday (no lunch included this day)
After breakfast at the posada, you will take a boat ride across the lake back to Panajachel. There you will board a van to take you to Chichicastenango and its world renowned market. You will visit the church, where Mayan ceremonies and Roman Catholic masses peacefully coexist, and you will hear the story of the discovery there of the Popul Vuh, the sacred text of the Maya. You will have lunch on your own and time for exploring the market with a guide. You will then return to Antigua by private van, enjoying a group dinner arranged by the school and returning to your host family.

Week Two
Classes 8 – 12. Afternoon Jade Museum cultural tour, where you will learn of the qualities and artistry found through this mystical stone of ancient cultures.
Classes 8 – 12 Afternoon visit to San Juan del Obispo, a nearby village with an early colonial convent and church. Following this visit you will visit a chocolate shop, see the entire process for making chocolate, and return home with a pound of cinnamon chocolate!
Classes 8 – 12 Afternoon visit to a local macadamia nut farm where you will see production from the tree to the processing of the nuts into various products. An alternative is a cooking class at school where you will learn hands on to prepare a typical Guatemalan dish.
Classes 8 – 12 Afternoon Salsa Class, where you can continue improving your dance skills, and these classes are simply a lot of fun!
Friday – two options of trips: Tikal or Copán, Honduras
Tikal is a Classic Maya site which at its height supported a population upwards of 1000,000 individuals, residing in a 25 square mile area. It is one of the greatest cities of the Maya and is known for its vast concentration of temples and ruins surrounded by pristine rain forest. You will explore pyramids soaring above the jungle canopy, innumerable multi-leveled palaces, ball courts, plazas, terraces, shrines and carvings. It is located in the Petén region, at quite a distance, so it is necessary to fly.
Option #1 Friday (no breakfast or dinner included)
Early morning departure to Guatemala City Airport for flight to Flores. At the Flores airport you will have transport to the Jungle Lodge at Tikal, shared rooms. This lodge is just next to the actual site. You will enjoy lunch at the lodge, and then have a private, guided tour of the site. You will return to the hotel for dinner on your own.
Saturday (no lunch included)
Breakfast is included at the hotel. In the morning you will have the thrill of a zip line canopy tour, where you can soar above the jungle canopy. Following this you can explore the Tikal museum, located next to the lodge, where you can see many treasures found at the site. You will have lunch on your own and transport back to Flores for your return flight. In Guatemala City you will be transported back to Antigua for dinner with your family.

Option #2 Friday
An early morning departure by private van will take you to Copán Ruinas, just across the border into Honduras. Here you will have a guided tour of Copán. The Mayan ruins of Copán present an entirely different side of the Mayan culture. While Tikal is primarily known for huge temple pyramids and grand plazas, Copán was the most artistic of all Mayan cities and left behind a wealth of intricately carved stelae and other monuments. After the tour you will have an overnight stay in shared rooms at a hotel at Copán Ruinas.
By van you will travel to Quirigua and Río Dulce. Quirigua, a small Mayan site on Guatemala's Motagua river, was ruled by an offshoot of Copán's ruling dynasty during most of its history and served to secure Copan's access to the trade routes to the cities further north. Quirigua features the tallest stela in the entire Mayan world. The Río Dulce attracts Guatemalans and foreign visitors alike with its clear waters, lush tropical vegetation and fascinating wildlife, both above and under water. You will return to your host family in Antigua by about 10:00 pm.
Sunday return for both options
You will depart by private transport to Guatemala City for your return flight, with a head full of Spanish and a heart full of wonderful memories of this beautiful country.