Explore the Highlands of Guatemala during Easter Festivals

Take a journey to colorful and culturally rich Guatemala for their Easter festivals. During Semana Santa, the week prior to the Easter holiday, the streets of Guatemala swell with activity as countless processions march over vibrant and intricately patterned carpets of dyed sawdust. Adventure Life Journeys’ Guatemala Easter Festivals 12 Day tour is designed to coincide with the Easter festivities in colonial Antigua and also takes visitors to the bustling markets, towering Mayan ruins, and the volcano-fringed Lake Atitlan. Join them to explore the fascinating traditions and pageantry of Semana Santa on this special departure beginning April 2 through April 13, 2004.

The journey begins in the city of Antigua, where the most impressive festivities will take place later in the week. Once the capital of Guatemala and all of Central America, Antigua resembles a living ruin. Mammoth ruins of churches and palaces tell the story of Antigua’s past glory, and restored facades speak of a bright future for this wonderful city. After lunch head to Chichicastenango and wander through the main square, watching traders from far and near prepare for the next day’s market.

The next leg of the trip visits the famous market of Chichicastenango. The beautiful town, surrounded by valleys and shadowed by mountains, has many spiritual and ceremonial overtones and its large market draws villagers from throughout the region. On Palm Sunday visitors will see the procession of the religious brotherhood, or cofradias, as well. The market disperses in the early afternoon and then it’s on to Lago Atitlan, often referred to as the most beautiful lake in the world. Here guests will stay in a charming lodge in the village of Santiago Atitlan and are free to canoe on the lake, horseback ride to a nearby cloudforest, rent a mountain bike or meet up with a local guide to learn about the mystical undercurrents of the area.

In Lake Atitlan guests may observe the Semana Santa celebrations, enjoying the processions before transferring back to Antigua for the spectacular Easter celebrations. Here along Antigua’s cobblestone streets, intricate carpets of colored sawdust are painstaking laid down before a solemn procession of Roman centurions march over them carrying an image of Christ on the cross. During these lively days leading up to Easter Sunday visitors will witness elaborate ceremonies re-enacting the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. Trips may also be arranged to climb the nearby volcanoes of Pacaya and Acatenango, or guests may rent mountain bikes to explore the foothills of the Antigua Valley.

On the last leg of the trip visitors will depart to the magnificent Tikal ruins in the jungles of the El Peten region. Tikal was once the greatest center of the ancient Mayan culture. Guests will explore the ruins with an experienced guide and watch the sun set over the pyramids before overnighting just outside the ruins and transferring their last night to Guatemala City, the modern-day capital of Guatemala.

Come join Adventure Life Journeys for their unforgettable exploration of the Guatemalan highlands during the Easter festivals. They offer unique and incredible combination adventures that will deepen guests appreciation of nature, ecology and the surrounding culture. To find out more about Adventure Life Journeys and their offerings contact them at 1-800-344-6118 or visit their website at www.adventure-life.com

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