What to Expect
Active volcanoes. Tasty plant-based food. Might-just-change-your-life kind of scenery. Welcoming locals. Awesome sunsets. Crunchy peanut-encrusted chocolate covered ‘choco bananos.’
You’ll find what you’re looking for and more in Guatemala from Antigua’scrumbling Mayan ruins to the volcano-ringed Lake Atitlan.
Day 1: Antigua
After you’ve settled into the joining hotel in Guatemala’s former capital city, La Antigua and opened your Vegan Adventure Holidays goody bag, you’ll have time to explore.
Antigua is a UNESCO world heritage site which in practical terms translates to cobblestone streets, for that reason we recommend leaving the stilettos at home.
As you’re strolling around town, you’ll notice Antigua sits in a valley, the Panchoy valley which is known as being the cultural center of Guatemala. With no end of ancient churches, appealing parks conveniently placed coffee shops and flanked by volcanoes, your adventure starts now.
There will be an early evening ‘meet and greet’ with your Vegan Adventure Holidays trip leader and other members of the group before heading out for dinner—think delicious tofu tacos with avocado, greens and a dash of lime!
Day 2: Antigua - Half Day Volcano Hike & Mayan Spa
After sipping on a freshly roasted Guatemalan coffee, saying ‘buenos dias’ to your new friends, loading up on some healthy carbs and tying your shoelaces volcano-hiking tight, you’ll set off towards Pacaya volcano.
A relatively easy (okay so you’ll probably break a sweat but sweating is good for you) climb of 1.5 hours through forest and farmland with at least one macadamia nut pit stop will bring you to Pacaya volcanoes fertile shelf where you’ll explore the old lava fields with our knowledgeable local guide.
A sensory experience. Enter, “I feel like I’m on the moon kind of thoughts.”
While you watch the smoking crater that looms above and walk across thousands of years old dried lava flows, your local guide will be on the lookout for suitable marshmallow roasting opportunities before starting the descent back down.
Post marshmallow roasting you’ll head back towards Antigua in time for a well deserved afternoon at a traditional Mayan spa.
Day 3 Antigua - Roof Top Yoga + Cooking Class
You’ll get to take it slowly this morning with an all levels rooftop vinyasa flow yoga class before heading out to make magic happen in the kitchen!
Today’s cooking class is hands-on and taught by local Guatemalan chefs, you’ll be making 1 vegan-friendly main dish and 3 sides. Guatemalan cuisine is an exotic mix of traditional colonial Spanish and indigenous Mayan cooking that’s healthy, fun to prepare and tastes delish.
This afternoon you’ll be able to take some time out to explore, relax in a coffee shop or pick up some gifts (did someone say brightly coloured, handwoven textiles) at the local cooperative, the choice is yours.
Day 4: Lake Atitlan - Women Weavers Cooperative Visit
You’re about to be spellbound as you travel west of Antigua through the rugged Guatemalan highlands towards Lake Atitlan, an area referred to as being the spiritual center of the country—you’ll find that Guatemala is like a good book you just can’t put down or stop talking about.
Flanked by three volcanoes that provide a dramatic backdrop, Lake Atitlan is surrounded by small villages where Mayan culture is still prevalent and traditional dress worn. The countryside supports small and large-scale coffee plantations and avocado farms alongside other crops, most noticeably, corn.
If you consider yourself to be a culturally curious traveler, Lake Atitlan will be one of those places that will intrigue you long after you get home.
In the heart of Lake Atitlan lives a community of indigenous women who weave traditional clothing, handbags, shawls, and other products unique to their regions by the Lake. These women are part of a local cooperative called Atitlán Women Weavers (Mujeres Tejedoras del Lago Atitlán). The cooperative began in 2014 with 5 women, today, it provides an economic opportunity for 25 dedicated women.
After a lakeside lunch at the lodge, you’ll travel across the lake by boat to spend some time at the cooperative this afternoon—from naturally dyed cotton to scarf, it’s a fascinating process and one which supports a whole community.
Day 5: Lake Atitlan - Kayak + Hike
As you walk down from your cabin towards the lakeside restaurant for breakfast, you’ll see the early morning sun and appreciate why Guatemala is called the land of eternal spring; fresh early morning temperatures, hot days and cool nights—great for adventures!
Setting out along the rugged northern shores of the lake in kayaks before hiking back through the beautiful small Mayan villages of San Marcos, Tzununa, El Jaibalito and Santa Cruz La Laguna, today is about experiencing Guatemala’s unique culture up close whilst learning about agriculture and its economic and cultural importance to the locals.
Day 6: Antigua
After one last lakeside breakfast, you’ll be head back to Antigua today where you’ll have the time in the afternoon to visit your favorite coffee shop before we head out in the evening for our farewell dinner.
Day 7: Antigua - Depart
This adventure comes to an end today but the experiences you’ve had will make you ask yourself when the next adventure begins.
But first, one more cup of (amazing freshly roasted Guatemalan coffee) for the road!