This June, you have the opportunity to join artist Kathie George and explore the beauty and splendor of Guatemala. 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 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.
About the Artist
Kathie George, known for her friendly, informative and energetic teaching style has been a popular workshop instructor for over 20 years.. She likes working in many different media and this workshop will be a mixed media workshop. Kathie will do demos in watercolor and/or acrylic with occasional dabbling into collage and texture. Our days are relaxed and informative (with lots of good food and laughing in the mix). If you are a first-time plein air painter (and afraid), you'll find it painless!
Advanced painters will discover new techniques and creative solutions with color & design which will move your work to a new level. There will be demos, hand-outs and personal attention.
Kathie's work has been featured in 5 of the Splash: Best of Watercolor publications along with their Splash Retrospective: 20 years of Contemporary Watercolor Excellence. Her work and blog have been published in American Artist magazine, Artist magazine, Plein Air magazine and Watercolor Magazine among others. She has authored 4 books and is a signature member of the Ohio Watercolor Society and the Florida Watercolor Society.
Price: $2795 (Double Occupancy) $525 (Single Supplement)
Our Travel Itinerary
Wednesday, June 10th
Fly to Guatemala City, and after clearing customs please exit the terminal. Once outside there will be someone with an EXPLORE AMAZING PLACES sign who will take you to the beautiful Hotel InterContinental in Zona Viva, an upscale area of the city, where we will spend the night.
Because travelers will be arriving at all different hours, dinner will be on your own tonight. The hotel has several restaurant options, as well as room service.
Thursday, June 11th
Rise and shine for an early breakfast. Please check out and have your bags outside you room before going to breakfast. We have a 7:15 departure. Our day begins as we travel through the magnificent Guatemalan highlands with spectacular vistas and scenes of the Maya, in a world not too changed from hundreds of years ago, to Lake Atitlán, arguably “the most beautiful lake in the world”, where we will stay at the Hotel Atitlán surrounded by botanical gardens, towering volcanoes, terraced mountainsides, and villages with beautiful crystalline lake views that dominate one’s field of vision from every angle.
Kathie will welcome you to our amazing painting location! We’ll chat about what to expect, what we plan to accomplish, what your own goals are for the trip and answer any questions you have. We may do journal prep or have a short lesson / demo as time permits.
After lunch, we paint! So many fantastic things to paint here at the Hotel Atitlan. Kathie will lead you thru choosing a spot and deciding what will be part of your painting….and then how to paint it! You may paint along with Kathie or choose a spot of your own. Lots of individual attention.
Non-Painters may explore the hotel environs, sketch, photograph, enjoy a cold beverage in the Jacuzzi, or just sit by the pool with a good book.
Gather in the bar for social hour before we dine on a feast especially prepared for us by the chefs of Hotel Atitlán. (B,L,D)
Friday, June 12th
A special painting opportunity today as we will travel to the Kaqchikel Maya village of Santa Catarina Palopo, a now famous “art work” village. Here we will have a Maya model in traje, on the beach, overlooking Lake Atitlán and three majestic volcanoes, dug-out canoes - so much to paint!
Return to Hotel Atitlán for lunch.
The afternoon is yours to enjoy: continue painting, just relax and enjoy your magnificent surroundings, or if you prefer, options abound; hiking in the Atitlán Nature Reserve where you can take a nature walk, see a butterfly habitat, or try the zip-line at Cables X-tremos … all a ten minute walk from the hotel. You may also choose to take a tuk-tuk (small passenger vehicle) into the nearby town of Panajachel for a little shopping, or stroll through the exquisite botanical gardens of Hotel Atitlán where you will discover over 200 varieties of roses, an orchid collection, a tropical heliconia garden, a small English style knot garden, as well as see their many exotic birds. The swimming pool is heated, the Jacuzzi is delightful, and an incredibly relaxing massage may be arranged at the front desk. (B/L/D)
Saturday, June 13th
This day will be filled with cultural experiences and surprises!
After a sumptuous breakfast, we will depart for a boat trip around the lake, stopping first at the Maya village of San Juan La Laguna to visit a cooperative for demonstrations of weaving and dyeing techniques followed by an opportunity to purchase the completed textiles. You will see village life of the Maya, have an ethno- botanical garden medicinal plants tour, and visit chocolate shop to learn about cacao and sample their wares. Artesanias abound here; we’ll visit the galleries of local painters, with their unique styles and local subject.
Next, our boat will take us to the private lakeside home of Candis and son, Cameron Krummel, for both a cultural and an ecological experience. Their unique home, featured in Architectural Digest August 2002, is built in the traditional style of Maya Tz’utujil architecture. Our hosts will prepare a delicious traditional Tz’utujil gourmet festive lunch for us over an open wood fire. Have your sketchbooks and cameras handy. This will be an experience you will not soon forget.
This evening there will be a wine and boquitas party to share experiences of the trip and show off your work. (B/L)
Sunday, June 14th
Chichicastenango & Lake Atitlán
This morning we are off to the Maya Market of Chichicastenango, where the traditions of the past encounter the present in a kaleidoscope of colors and a flurry of activity. Feel the energy ofthe sights and sounds of the open air Chichicastenango market. Record your impressions with sketchbook and camera. First, we will visit the Santo Tomas Church to witness the convergence of the Catholic religion with the ancient Maya rituals, then on to the market brimming with arts and crafts as well as everything imaginable for, of, and by the local Maya. Bargain for exquisite textiles, unique handicrafts and brightly painted, carved masks, all replicating designs and technique passed down through generations. Cameras are a must.
Meet for lunch at Restaurante Don Juan, then depart for Lake Atitlán. After arrival at hotel we will have a couple of hours in which to talk about our photos and sketches from the day before and how to turn them into paintings. You can join us to do some painting, or you can just enjoy our wonderful surroundings. Make yourself happy!
Tonight we will enjoy a Churasco (Guatemalan Barbecue) in the Ranchito, at the water’s edge. (B/L/D)
Monday, June 15th
Lake Atitlán & Antigua
Check out and have your bags ready to go before breakfast. Next we travel to the colonial city of Antigua and the renowned Hotel Casa Santo Domingo, which is built around the ruins of a Dominican monastery founded in 1542. The magnificently restored hotel and grounds include an extensive collection of Guatemalan Spanish Colonial religious works of art and is considered the most complete archeological monument in the Americas.
We will have a short introductory tour of our hotel that includes an extensive collection of Guatemalan Colonial religious works of art and is the most complete archeological monument in the Americas, a private glass art collection and candle and ceramics factories all located within the area of the archeological site. Every corner has a special detail or treasure. Don’t let us forget the SPA.
Welcome to amazing Antigua! After lunch, we paint here on our beautiful grounds. Glass of wine in one hand and a brush in the other….ahhhh….what a way to spend the afternoon.
We will visit Jades, to learn of the rediscovery of the ancient Maya Jade mines; the best place in Antigua to shop for Jade.
This evening we will gather for a special dinner in the Casa Santo Domingo’s Dining room of the Monks. (B/D)
Tuesday, June 16th
After breakfast in a local café, depart by foot through the cobbled calles and avenidas of Antigua. Surrounded by breathtaking views of volcanoes, the sights, sounds, and texture of this remarkable city of Antigua has changed little in the last 300 years. Visit Parque Central, viewing its large central fountain, spectacular structures, and ruins from the 1600s: Cathedral de San José and the Captains General Palace. In this designated UNESCO World Heritage City, we will visit Parque La Union and set up to paint in the ruins of Convento Santa Clara. Colonial architecture surrounds us, and will be the instruction of the day. We will have time to paint before lunch. Lunch at our “Bohemian” eatery, Café Sky, overlooking the Iglesia de San Francisco.
After lunch we will have more time to paint. We’ll begin by discussing the morning’s paintings, how we can improve and get inspired to start a new piece! The more we paint, the more we will learn. Think many small pieces with small improvements to each. There being a proliferation of wonderful fine restaurants in Antigua, tonight you may dine on your own in the restaurant of your choice (check your Restaurant list) (B/L)
Wednesday, June 17th
Awaken to the sounds of the Macaws chattering and the sights of bright bougainvillea, emerald volcanoes, and richly textured ruins. Breakfast in the Dining Room of the Monks.
Yea!! Today we get to paint in the calles and avenidas of Antigua. No worries - before painting Kathie will give you some instruction, then lead you thru the painting process.
Lunch at Epicure
This afternoon you may choose to continue painting, OR meet up for a special tour of the Convento Capuchinas, the most unknown and misunderstood, but one of the best preserved, of all the colonial buildings in the new world. Or, you could also visit the market and local shops if you choose. (B/L)
Thursday, June 18th
Breakfast in the Dining Room of the Monks.
Today is a day for relaxing and/or enjoying this magical colonial city. Shop, tour, SPA, or paint on your own.
Meet in lobby for dinner departure to one of the most charming restaurants in Antigua. (B/D)
Friday, June 19th
Return flights home. (B as time permits)
B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
*Before you register, please read Explore Amazing Places Terms and Conditions
Included in your Semana Santa Tour: ▪ 10 days, 9 nights at unique and luxury hotels ▪ meals per itinerary, including gratuities ▪ hotel baggage handling gratuities ▪ deluxe motor coaches and private boat, including driver tips ▪ excursions and entrance fees listed in itinerary
NOT Included: ▪ Airfare from your hometown to Guatemala ▪ Airport baggage handling tips (we recommend 5Qs - or .75 cents per bag) ▪ Any “optional” venues listed as such in itinerary ▪ Alcoholic beverages and tips (10%) for alcoholic beverages ▪ Any Airport Security Taxes ▪ Any expenses incurred should you choose to deviate from the itinerary
Price: $2795 (Double Occupancy), $525 (Single Supplement)
Explore Amazing Places prefers payment to be made by check. You may make the $500 per person deposit*, pay your Balance Due, or pay the full amount for your tour by sending checks:
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MAIL TO: Explore Amazing Places
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*If you are registering 120 days or less prior to the departure date of your tour, you must pay for the trip in FULL, rather than a $500 deposit.
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