Guatemala Highland Markets

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Guatemala Highland Markets

The Chichicastenango village, in the El Quiché valley, north of Atitlan Lake, Guatemala, is known for its twice-weekly local market. Also, known as Chichi, it is the largest indigenous market in Central America. Sololá, a charming village in the highlands of Lake Atitlan, hosts its own weekly market on Fridays. Although smaller than Chichi, Sololá, still reflects its spirit. These interesting Highland Markets in Guatemala, showcase striking traditional clothes, smells and an extraordinary atmosphere. 

Quetzaltenango, is Guatemala's second-largest city, surrounded by hills and Santa Maria volcano. Also, known as Xela, it is located in the highlands around Atitlan Lake and also holds its own market. Besides the famous market, Xela is a good base for exploring Guatemala's Western Highlands ("Los Altos"). In the Northern Highlands of Guatemala is Todos Santos. A traditional village where people still wear traditional dress called Tipicos, and where the best weaving in Guatemala is done.

TRAVEL UNTAMED ON THIS 12-DAY GUATEMALA TOUR…
And, experience its famous weekly markets with surprise bargains.
 

What We Love
  • Visit the main attractions in Guatemala with a focus on exploring indigenous craft and produce markets.
  • Visit the beautiful city of Antigua, nestled between three volcanoes.
  • Discover Lake Atitlan, set in a volcanic crater and surrounded by traditional Mayan villages.
  • Designed with the best luxury accommodation and services available. 
  • This tour is designed to provide maximum outdoor experience.
What to Know
  • This is a relaxed tour but may require walking on rough surfaces. 
  • We carefully select the world's best boutique tour companies in each destination.
  • We offer 24/7 support to give you complete peace of mind during your holiday.
  • We strongly recommend that you take travel insurance for this holiday.

Guatemala Highland Markets

Antigua, Lake Atitlan, Xela, Todos Santos
(12 Days – Travel Any Day)


Day 1 – Arrive
Antigua, Guatemala Meet and greet on arrival at Guatemala City airport and private transfer to Antigua.
Overnight: Hotel of your choice
Recommended: El Convento – Junior Suite (B)

Day 2 – City Tour & Surrounds
Antigua With your private guide and driver take a half-day Fair Trade Coffee tour.

Fair Trade Coffee Tour: This tour begins with a short transfer to the small town of San Miguel Escobar, just outside of Antigua. With your private guide from As Green as it Gets (AGAIG), a local charity you will visit some of the families supported by this organisation. You can work alongside coffee farmers in their coffee making process. Coffee Season is Nov to Mar. This tour includes a donation to AGAIG which is also supported by our ground operator.
Overnight: Hotel of your choice (B)

Day 3 – Walking Tour
Antigua Take a private guided tour of Antigua with a focus on local produce and the fabulous colonial architecture.

Antigua Walking Tour: This tour will cover the cultural, historical & social highlights of this colonial city with a behind-the-scenes look at some of the many ruined churches, convents, and cathedrals. This tour is flexible and if you have specific sites that you wish to see please notify your guide.
Overnight: Hotel of your choice (B)

Day 4 – Chichi Market Tour
Flores Today you’ll be visiting the famous market at Chichi.  This is the biggest and most colourful market of Mesoamerica with enough time for shopping. You will also have an opportunity to see Maya rituals being performed in the Catholic Church. Transfer to Guatemala City for your evening flight to Flores. Then transfer to Lake Atitlan.
Overnight: Hotel of your choice (B)

Day 5 – San Juan Culture Tour
Lake Atitlan A full day private tour of San Juan & Santiago. Transfer to San Juan La Laguna Village where you will visit a local textile cooperative and local naïf painters before boarding the boat onto Santiago Village. After lunch visit the house of Maya God Maximon. If you wish you can ask your guide to help you hire the services of a shaman for you to have a personal ceremony performed.
Overnight: Hotel of your choice (B, L)

Day 6 – Market Tour
Lake Atitlan Private transfer to the traditional town of Solola. Arriving here on a market day, this town will be bursting with life and local Maya people from nearby villages. Everyone is dressed in the brightly coloured local textiles and even the men wear the traditional costume of the area. This is a fabulous and authentic market to visit.

Later, visit the rural village of Concepcion. Although close to Lake Atitlan, it is in many respects a world apart and offers a real glimpse of rural life of the local Maya people.
Overnight in Lake Atitlan hotel (B, L)

Day 7 – The Highlands
Quetzaltenango In the morning relax or explore the Lake Atitlan area. In the afternoon, embark on a three-hour drive to Quetzaltenango (also known as Xela), a beautiful city located high up in the Sierra Madres at an elevation of 2,200 meters, surrounded by mountains and volcanoes.
Overnight in Quetzaltenango hotel (B)

Day 8 – The Surrounds
Quetzaltenango Visit Almolonga, known in Guatemala as the ‘Garden of the Americas’. Most of the vegetables are grown on small family plots and there is something growing in Almolonga year round.

Later, transfer to San Andres Xecul famous for its Yellow church and the textile and glass cooperatives. Take your swimmers in case we have time to relax in the nearby natural hot springs.
Overnight in Quetzaltenango hotel (BL)

Day 9 – Market Tour
Chancol Visit the famous market at San Francisco El Alto, one of the largest open air markets in Central America famous for its interesting animal market. Here you can watch the process of buying and selling animals. Later, travel to your Unicornio Azul resort for two-night stay.
Overnight in Unicorno Azul hotel (B)

Day 10 – The Surrounds
Unicornio Azul Today we’ll head even deeper into the high Cuchumatanes Mountains to the remote and highly traditional village of Todos Santos. The majority of inhabitants here are of Mayan lineage and speak Mam, a Maya dialect. It is one of the places where most people still wear traditional dress called Tipicos and practice the ways of their ancestors. Some of Guatemala's best weaving is done here.

You’ll have plenty of time to explore the village and listen to musicians playing the xylophone-like wooden marimba before returning to your hotel.
Overnight in Unicorno Azul hotel (B)

Day 11 – Transfer
Antigua Relax and enjoy a 5 hour drive back through the Maya Highlands to Antigua
Overnight in Antigua hotel (B)

Day 12 – Depart
Gautamala City Private transfer to the airport for your departure flight. (B)
 

 
Guatemala Highland Markets Guatamala

Make this your holiday

  • Exclusive Tour: your own private multilingual guide throughout the trip  
  • Price Guarantee: costing 25-30% less than similar tours of the same flexibility and quality
  • Tailor Made: customised itinerary to create your dream holiday
  • Duration: shorten or lengthen the tour to suit your wishes
  • Dates: depart and return whenever you choose
  • Hotels: change hotel grade to suit your budget
  • Group Discounts: call 020 8350 6199
     

When to go Guatemala has a very good weather all year round with only two seasons. November through April (Dry) has dazzling blue skies and warm sunshine. May through October (Wet) is the rainy season with a short break between July and August. During this time, you can often expect sunny mornings and showers falling predominantly in the afternoon, usually lasting no longer than a couple of hours, with the worst of the rain falling in September and October.

Getting There Most flights to Guatemala from the UK are routed via US hub cities: Atlanta, Houston, New York or Miami. Airfares always depend on the season, with the highest being from Christmas to February, around Easter and in July and August. Other options include flying via Madrid on Iberia, via Amsterdam and Panama with KLM, or via Mexico with a number of airlines and then on to Guatemala with a Mexican airline. Flores airport, near Tikal, has a few flights from Belize City and Cancún.