Reasons to Visit
Guatemala is all about its people, especially in the highland regions. Their tightly knit Mayan communities, centuries old in tradition with their colourful cultures and costumes, are fascinating for the visitor and getting an insight into the lives of these wonderful, friendly people is one of the main reasons to visit this incredible country.
Easter week is a colourful and fascinating time to be in Antigua. Thousands of visitors come each year to watch the processions and religious festivities. Lavishly decorated floats are carried through the streets followed by musicians and the residents create elaborate carpets of flowers along the route for the processions to walk over.
A quarter of Guatemala is covered by forest and the wildlife, especially in the El Peten region, is prolific. Barking howler monkeys, swinging spider monkeys, screeching parrots and nosy coatis are just some of the wonderful species you will experience here.
Most days of the week you’ll find a market open somewhere in the highlands of Guatemala. They are the main economic focus for scattered mountain communities and locals flock in their hoards in search of a bargain. Everything is sold here, from food to souvenirs to clothing and livestock - you name it, you can guarantee you’ll find it in a market!
Spend a day at the Mayan ruins at Tikal. Surrounded by rainforest, not only is it a haven for wildlife including spider monkeys, howler monkeys and many tropical birds, but there are remains of royal palaces and temples that can be climbed for magnificent views.
Clear, still lakes, steaming volcanoes, lush rainforests and spectacular highland views all make up the stunning and diverse scenery you can experience in Guatemala. It is an absolute joy to travel around the country.
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Visit coffee farmers in the lush plantations surrounding Antigua and see how the families pick, pulp, ferment and roast the fresh beans to produce some of the finest coffee in Guatemala. Your visit will also help support a local charity working to improve the lives and pay of the farming families.
As Green as it Gets (GAIG) is a charity working to support small independent coffee producers and promoting environmentally responsible agriculture in Guatemala.
You will visit the families supported by this organisation, where you will be able to work side by side with small coffee farmers in their daily coffee processing. You will see how they pick, pulp, ferment, wash, dry, sort and grade the coffee (depending on the season). You will also see how they roast the coffee over an open fire and grind it on a grindstone by hand before getting to sample the fresh coffee.
The coffee season runs from November to March. This tour includes a donation to GAIG, which is also supported by the Viaventure Foundation on an annual basis.
Recognised and protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, Antigua is one of the most atmospheric cities in Central America.
Include Responsible Travel Coffee Tour on your tailor-made trip around Guatemala by contacting one of our specialists...
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Further reading:Tours in GuatemalaWhen to GoHighlightsItinerary IdeasPlaces to GoThings to DoAccommodationAbout GuatemalaCountry Guides
Other countries in Central America, Mexico & Cuba:BelizeCosta RicaCubaHondurasMexicoNicaraguaPanama
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