Discover some of the world’s most inspiring settings…
The many layered textures and colors of Guatemala are an artist’s heaven and a traveler’s dream. The people and the culture will weave their way into your heart as you explore the ruins of the early Maya civilizations and the small villages where the indigenous population live, speak, dress and practice their religion as they did hundreds of years ago. The markets, the feel of Spanish Colonial, and the colorful countryside will all make you want to return again and again.
We stay at the most unique, luxurious hotels and haciendas and dine on the finest cuisine (including the “typical” indigenous fare); travel the country in first class motor coaches with the best drivers and guides (all connected by cell phone and radios); comfortable seats, lots of room and viewing windows are the order of the day. Visit the “must see” as well as private venues that are not seen or experienced by others.
Antigua is among the world’s best-conserved colonial cities. From its colonial architecture to its beautiful surroundings, this town is considered one of the most beautiful in Central America. It is like stepping back into time over 300 years. Founded in 1543, Antigua was once the third most important Spanish colonies in the Americas, ruling over what are now Southern Mexico and all of Central America. More than 30 Monastic orders called Antigua home and built stunning monasteries, convents and cathedrals. Strolling the cobblestone streets, you will experience the local markets, quiet courtyards with ornate gardens and the sights and sounds of colonial Spain that permeate the atmosphere and recall splendors of ancient times.
Antigua offers something for all travel tastes. Colonial history that is always present combined with an array of cultural activities which include art galleries and exhibits, performing arts, birding, volcano climbing, Spanish classes, shopping, and fine dining are only a few things Antigua has to offer.
Antigua hosts the largest celebrations for Lent and Easter in the Western Hemisphere. The history of the processions dates back to the early 1500s and began with the arrival of Don Pedro de Alvarado from Spain. While many are attracted to the solemn religious fervor, others enjoy the hundreds of beautiful “alfombras” (sawdust carpets) that are made along the processional routes.
Antigua setting is majestic, nestled between three dramatic volcanoes: Agua, Fuego and Acatenango and offers the finest accommodations in Guatemala. Especially worth mentioning are the Palacio de Doña Leonor just a half block from the main square and the Casa Santo Domingo, a restored 16th century monastery.
Travel through the Guatemalan Highlands with its great mountain peaks, plateaus and valleys to Lake Atitlan, famous for its astounding natural beauty and colorful Maya villages. Simply arriving at Lake Atitlán is a 20-minute experience. We begin our decent of some 2000 feet with the lake in view. The three volcanoes that surround Lake Atitlán stand out like majestic guards over what Aldous Huxley called the “most beautiful lake in the world”. The word “atitĺán” is a Maya word that translates as “the place where the rainbow gets its colors”.
Arrival at Hotel Atitlán is magic. From the moment you walk into the lobby and see the indigenous artwork and colonial antiques you will feel the ambiance of the hotel and what is yet to come. Your room will have a spectacular view of the botanical gardens and the lake surrounded by mountains and volcanoes. Once you check in, you will never want to leave. The New York Times said, “There is only one truly sumptuous place to stay, the Hotel Atitlán, a fantasia of ornately maintained gardens, caged parrots, hand-carved furniture and gorgeous tile work”.
Hotel Atitlán is “home” for the Explore Amazing Places Creative Workshops. With workshop facilities, “the Ranchito”, nestled in the lower gardens, on the water’s edge with magnificent views of the volcanoes, lake and Indian villages it is absolutely awe inspiring.
Boats will transport you to the surrounding Maya villages where artists abound; painters, potters, and women weavers famous for their intricate weaving and embroideries.