Trek through open fields, farmland and pacific cloudforest with spectacular views over the Antigua valley area.
Comalapa Market & Paintings Tour
Comalapa Market & Paintings Tour, Guatemala
Travel through the stunning scenery of the highlands passing local communities farming their land using traditional methods, for about an hour, before reaching San Juan Comalapa.
Upon arrival your guide takes you on a tour of the town and to explore the wonderful and authentic market, which is less visited by foreign visitors than others in the region so is a fabulous opportunity to get an insight into the real lives of the local highlanders. The best days to visit are Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays when the market is in full swing and local people gather in the town center in a hive of hustle and bustle to buy and sell items including flowers, vegetables, fruit, household goods and clothes.
As with most areas in Guatemala local women specialize in weaving and their work will undoubtedly be on display in the market but the town is also very well known for its primitive folk paintings which is considered men's work. Local artists display their work in household galleries and they will open their doors for visitors to see their varied and colorful artwork.
You cannot fail to see the largest and most notable example of San Juan Comalapa's artwork upon arrival in the town as you drive past the colorful cemetery which has a mural painted by local artists running along its outer wall. The mural depicts major events in the history of Guatemala including the Maya creation story, the Spanish conquest and more recently Guatemala's civil war. This was painted by a collaboration of local artists but the town really gained its reputation by the work of Andrés Curuchich who rose to fame for his paintings depicting local village life and whose work has been displayed in galleries as far away as New York.
San Juan Comalapa is also known for its many Panaderias or bakeries that bake biscuits used in local celebrations all over Guatemala and your guide will be able to organize for you to visit a local family so that you can see how the biscuits (roscas) are made and try them for yourselves.
You also have the chance to visit the former house of Rafael Alvarez Ovalle, one of Guatemala's most famous musicians, which is now a small museum dedicated to the composer who created the national anthem.
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Other experiences in Antigua
These activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences around where you're staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident's eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can suggest tours and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the local ways of life.
Stroll through the beautiful cobbled streets of Antigua and visit the city's highlights, including the Church of St. Francis, the Central Plaza, the San Jose Cathedral and the Church of La Mercedes.
In the morning, you take a guided tour around Antigua, with the focus on learning about the complex Guatemalan and Mayan textiles and folk art.
This is a great way to explore Guatemala and see how the local people live. You visit tranquil villages and churches, coffee plantations and come into contact with the local Mayans.
This morning you will be met at your hotel by a local NGO rep and driven by local 'chicken' bus to Ciudad Vieja.
Hike up the smoldering cone of the active Pacaya volcano to see small eruptions and glowing hot lava flows, all framed by magnificent views of the surrounding landscape and imposing, distant peaks of neighboring volcanoes.
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.
This is the perfect tour for any foodies with a flair for local flavor and an adventurous attitude towards cuisine!