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Anita’s Travel with Friends
EXPLORATION, EDUCATION, ADVENTURE!
Sharing travel information and experiences

October 2010


GOTTA GO TO GUATEMALA!!!
SEMANA SANTA -
A SPECIAL TIME TO EXPERIENCE AND JOIN CELEBRATIONS

Yes, this small country has a wide variety of different attractions-cultural diversity, colorful and quaint indigenous villages, a rich historical background, awe-inspiring Mayan archeological master-works, plentiful ecological offerings, many beautiful differences of geography-from high mountains to low jungles, and multitudinous waters - oceans, placid and swift rivers, gorgeous lakes, stunning waterfalls.  And lots of fascinating animals and birds.

I didn’t know so much about Guatemala until I heard about the special festival, listed in every guide book as “must see”.  Semana Santa (Holy Week) in Guatemala is a unique event, including costumed processions, street decorations, hand-carried huge floats, music and celebration during the week before Easter. 

Who would have thought we could celebrate Semana Santa after tax day-April 15th?  Next year’s Easter is April 24th.  Never do I remember Easter that late.  I really have to see and experience Semana Santa while I can!

Semana Santa is famously celebrated with both fervor and style in Antigua, the most fascinating colonial city in Latin America (Unesco World Heritage Site).  Discovery of this unique and captivating experience motivates me to go – and see, experience, explore and enjoy the rest of the widely varied small country with so many beautiful places and interesting cultures.

Interested in special-event experiences and exploring exciting and enchanting areas?  If so, set aside the last half of April and beginning of May next year and email or call me now to plan for this once-in-a-lifetime expedition.

The final itinerary is still in process, planning to provide as many of the special times for not-available-every-day outstanding activities.

PLANNED TRIP HIGHLIGHTS:

Antigua – Antique Colonial City, founded in 1543, the place to experience Semana Santa
Semana Santa – Holy Week Festival, a not-to-miss experience
Iximche Ruins – An extremely important Maya spiritual ceremony site, see Shaman ritual
Lake Atitlan-”The most beautiful lake in the world,”surrounded by three volcanos and 12 in-         digenous villages, visit by boats.
Chichicastenango-world famous indigenous handicraft market
Quetzaltenango-high country town with many attractive and colorful local villages with won-      derfully varied colorful vegetable and fruits and animals markets.
Totonicapan –a unique homestay with Mayan families
Marimba and traditional dance performance
Copan (just over border to Honduras)-one of the most spectacular ancient Mayas cities and colorful colonial town
Copan Bird Park-with walk-through aviaries where we see and interact with beautiful tropical birds
Fishing town of Livingston, home of the Garifuna Culture on the Caribbean Sea
Boat tour-floating exploration of beautiful tropical river, Rio Dulce      
Flores-Peten’s most attractive and friendly little historic town on an island surrounded by Lago de Peten Itza
Yaxha National Park canopy walk-way trail (or zip line) and sunset experience on top of Yaxha ruins
Tikal-fabulous Mayan site with huge temples and variety of tropical animals and birds
Semuc Champay-gorgeous limestone river and awesome Lanquin caves
Biotopo del Quetzal-a beautiful nature reserve with spectacular walks and possibilities of seeing the famous national bird-Quetzal, among others.
Guatemala City-can’t miss the Capital, great museums and city highlights.

I have so much detailed and exciting information about the planned itinerary – I could write ten more pages of information.  The well-known Guatemala company that I am working with has emailed me a very comprehensive plan, updated per my request and adjustable as we decide – soon.

ADDITIONAL THINGS TO CONSIDER:

The maximum number of friends traveling together in this group is 10.  And I don’t have a roommate signed up yet.  So if one of you signing up is interested in sharing, let me know.

The itinerary is still under some process, planning to make the best decisions to be in the right place at the right time.  The most important decision is Semana Santa in Antigua.  Reservations are made for this destination and time now, to ensure our fantastic experience.  Additional reservations for the rest of the trip need to be made soon – so we have the best location in the places we want to be.

I’ve been continuing to research Guatemala and talking to friends who have been there, and we may still make some plans to add or change a small thing or two.  Do you have a special place that you know about that isn’t listed?  We can be flexible in many ways.

The actual dates and preliminary cost of the entire trip should be available within a few days.  The current estimate is approximately $2,900 per person, including internal transport, guide, entry fees to listed sites, lodging, breakfast, and some other meals.  International flights for
arrival and departure are not included.  Current and probably the best itinerary dates – Arrival in Guatemala City April 19, departure May 8, 2011.

                                                           
I’m soooo excited about tying down this long-term plan, and sharing these exceptional experiences with my friends.  Let’s get together and go!  

Quotation:  “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain

Bon Voyage,
  Anita

Copyright © 2006 Anita Brace. All Rights Reserved.