Arrival at the airport and pickup
Have you arranged an Airport Transport to Antigua with us? Then our driver will wait for you at the exit of the airport. Take the one on the right side. Here our friendly driver will be waiting with a Sign containing your name.
Welcome Walk Antigua
Antigua: The first walk around this colourful new city is the most important, and is designed to make you feel comfortable and confident in your new surroundings and environment. We will point out the main facilities such as the ATMs, pharmacies, and grocery stores as well as places of historical significance. (approx. 2 hrs.)
Antigua: Located close to Adra Hostel, your Spanish Lessons will be 2 x 45 minute (usually at 14:00-16:00). Tuition is delivered by licensed teachers from the indigenous community. You receive a short test to establish your level and objectives on your first day. These lessons are tailored to suit all levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Classes are designed to help you interact and immerse with the local community and enjoy being in a Spanish speaking country. You will also have a chance to learn some of their native tongue.
Close to Antigua, on the way to one of the most famous viewpoints, we help supporting a project to build a butterfly farm in the mountains. Working on this exclusive project includes gardening, cleaning of the environment. and helping to return the land on the mountain to its natural state. A lot of non-native butterflies have found themselves migrated here meaning they can’t find the right plants flowers to live on so struggle to survive in the foreign environment. The work they do at the farm is to accommodate these new butterflies so they have a safe and familiar habitat to live in. This involves trying to eradicate trees that have damaged the environment and instead plant native ones to give habitats back to the butterflies and birds again. There is also the opportunity to volunteer at the local ‘school’. This project was established by a philanthropic local who realised there were too many children on the streets so decided to created a community centre for the them have a safe and secure place to be. The program was born to prevent children being without supervision and getting into gangs etc. Volunteering here involves teaching the children English and educating them about the importance of protecting our planet as there isn’t much of an education program about recycling/climate change here.
Guided Historical Tour of the City & Jade Museum
Antigua: La Antigua Guatemala, the first capital of Central America, is rich with culture and history. This city of nostalgic cobblestone streets represents in its ancient walls the rich heritage of the Hispanic colonial era. Churches, convents, monasteries, and large family houses are a beautiful and evocative monumental architectural complex. Included in the tour is a stop to the Casa Del Jade, where you will learn the secrets of the amazing and unusual ancient jade artefacts carved by the Mayans. (approx. 2-3hrs.)
Guided Hike to View Point Cerro de la Cruz
Antigua: Famous throughout the region, weaving through the colourful markets of Guatemala is an experience you won’t forget. Learn to navigate the isles and haggle like a local, be hypnotised by the colours, smell and taste of the delicious traditional clothes, jewellery, foods and spices available. Find anything you want among the array of goods available! (approx. 3hrs.)
Optional suggested activities
- Acatenango Volcano Hike
Climbing Antigua’s magnificent Volcan Acatenango, which stands at 13,041 ft / 3,976 m and rises above the landscape, is at the top of most adventure tourists’ Guatemala bucket lists. Acatenango offers hikers a birds-eye of the adjacent (and very active!) Volcan Fuego, which has been erupting on a near-constant basis since colonial times, in addition to panoramic vistas of the entire region. You can book this activity with Adra Hostel or we recommend the best provider which is a few footsteps ahead at a place called Tropicana.
- Pacaya Volcano Hike
Hike to the top of Pacaya, where you’ll enjoy amazing views from the top of this 8,000-foot (2,438m) peak, and get up close and personal with some of Guatemala’s most active volcanoes. Hike amid volcanic vegetation with your professional guide to gain a closer look at the magnificent Pacaya Volcano. You’ll get stunning views of three other nearby volcanoes, including Agua, Fuego, and Acatenango, in addition to the Pacaya Volcano. This is a one-of-a-kind full-day adventure that you will never forget! You can book this activity with Adra Hostel or we recommend the best provider which is a few footsteps ahead at a place called Tropicana.
Your shuttle will pick you up Monday morning at 07:30 at Adra Hostel and drive you to Panajachel (approx. 3 hrs).
Welcome Walk Lake Atitlan
Arriving at the pier in Panajachel, our guide will receive you and you will cross the lake on a typical Lancha to Santa Cruz: The Iguana Perdida Hostel is home to many friendly guides. After your arrival you will be taken by one of them on a tour of the beautiful steep and winding streets of Santa Cruz. Here you will be shown important points of interest such as the ATM, pharmacy, and grocery store. The guides will be on hand to point out/show you anything you would like to see!
Right beside the Lake, your Spanish Lessons will be 2 x 45 minutes (usually from 14:00-16:00). Tuition is delivered by licensed teachers from the indigenous community. These lessons are tailored to suit all levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Classes are designed to help you interact and immerse with the local community and enjoy being in a Spanish-speaking country. You will also have a chance to learn some of their native tongues.
Santa Cruz: At the Lake, the days of Volunteering are designed to help and give something back to the local community of Santa Cruz, repainting and maintenance to the elementary school, basics English classes for kids, sports and games, recycling and conservation work around the lake and the surrounding landscape. We encourage all participants to bring something from home to donate to the local schools and children; it is always very much appreciated by the local community and a great way to start thinking about volunteering and making a difference before you embark on this trip. As some of these projects include getting your hands dirty, we ask that you bring gloves with you to be prepared to get stuck in! A group of women collect recyclable material to protect the environment around the lake, but also to empower them by getting an income for their families and gaining experience in working on environmental-related issues. You will be volunteering also in other places around the Tzununa village which is about 10 minutes away from Santa Cruz by boat.
Cooking classes in Santa Cruz
Lake Atitlan is well-known for its natural beauty. The sight of the lake’s pristine, deep water with the three volcanoes standing sentinel on one side is breathtaking. The scenery, which includes a glassy lake and looming volcanoes, as well as the extensive list of activities, traditional culture, and intriguing settlements, make it a very unique site to visit. It is a must-see for anyone traveling through Central America, and many people make a special excursion to view it. Starts around 10:00 and finishes more or less at 14:00. Your lunch will be the amazing new food you have just prepared!
Kayaking SUP and Yoga by the Lake Atitlan
Drifting across the water of Lake Atitlan, surrounded by panoramic views of multiple volcanoes brings you a truly unique experience. From your perspective point on your paddle board or kayak, the views of both the renowned Volcanoes and gazing back toward Santa Cruz are unrivaled. Equally, what better place to ‘breathe in, breathe out, when surrounded by such calm and tranquil scenery?
Weaving classes with indigenous families
Delve into the ancient art of Mayan weaving, taught by those who have had the skill passed down through generations. Guatemalan weaving dates back more than 1,500 years to the Maya culture. Legend has it that the Maya were taught to weave by Ix Chel, the moon goddess and cosmic weaver. Collaborate with craftspeople to produce contemporary items that combine traditional manufacturing techniques with modern aesthetics. It’s a touch of both old and new mingled together!
Canyon Waterfall Hike - Lake Atitlan
Hike the Pumpatin Canyon on the secluded north shore of Lake Atitlan. The Hidden Waterfalls flow along a small creek which attracts birds and wildlife and is abundant with exotic plants and flowers. This is an easy hike that is great for all abilities that provides unrivalled views of your surroundings.
Take the time to visit Guatemala's most famous market. Rows upon rows of brightly colored set on cobblestoned streets are the homes of local vendors selling an array of vibrant handmade and traditional goods. This place is alive with energy, sounds, sights, smells, and textures making for an unbelievable experience in the heart of this bustling city. Shuttles leave daily at 07:00 and return around 16:00.
Visiting other villages around the lake
Boats leave regularly from right outside La Iguana Perdida. You can take these across and around the lake to explore any of the surrounding villages that you fancy. Take a day trip for lunch and discover the other amazing places in the shadows of volcanoes that you can view from La Iguana.
Walk to Casa Del Mundo
Visiting Casa Del Mundo really is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Taking 30 minutes in total to reach, starting from the Iguana Perdida, trek your way around the lake and up into the hills on a high lake-side path until you reach this magical location. Feel like you have stepped into a movie-set as you explore the beautiful winding paths surrounded by nature that lead you straight to the waters edge for a well-deserved dip in the cold water. Follow your volcano-view swim with lunch and a drink in their restaurant and read about the amazing history of this unbelievably beautiful hotel built into the rocks. Make your way back to Santa Cruz by boat, where you can catch a ride from the hotel's dock.
During the last week, it’s time for the group to be a little more independent, so you won’t have a personal guide doing all the activities with you anymore, but the group will still have 24/7 support through the Whatsapp group. All your activities in part 1 and part 2 are still pre-booked, so you should just present yourself at the reception of your accommodation for the day’s activity.
After jumping on the boat back to Panajachel, you will hop on a bus at 07:30. Lean back and relax in your own space on this trip taking you to your next adventure. Everything is taken care of so you can get from A to B without a worry! We recommend bringing a snack in the morning.
Tubing in Zephyr Lodge
Zephyr Lodge is a one-of-a-kind oasis hidden away in the hills so you can enjoy your peace and quiet with a beautiful view. Experience stunning views while floating down the beautiful and refreshing waters of the Lanqun River while enjoying chilled beers. For games and lunch, there are two stops. Demonstrate your bridge jumping skills towards the end of the journey for an unforgettable finale to a one-in-a-lifetime experience.
Hidden in the lush mountainous jungle landscape lies a turquoise paradise of the natural pools, caves, and waterfalls of Shemuc Champey. Tucked up in the densely forested mountains of Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, is an incredible limestone paradise that, despite the arduous hours of off-road forging required to reach it, is one of the world’s most magnificent hidden natural beauties. The Semuc Champey natural monument, which is virtually inaccessible to all but the most hardy four-wheel drive vehicles, features six beautiful tiered turquoise pools, an enormous cave network with underground waterfalls, and breathtaking views. The azure blue waters are perched on a natural limestone bridge that spans a section of the Cahabón River.
Tuesday morning around 08:00, you will be picked up for a scenic transfer to Flores. Look forward for the island feel.
Take a trip to the gateway to nearby Mayan ruins, where you’re sure to find plenty of things to do… visit the mesmerizing ancient ruins of Uaxactun and Tikal, take a canoe trip, practice your Spanish, go zip-lining in Ixpanpajul Natural Park, have a go on Jorge’s Rope Swing, take a sailing trip, enjoy a peaceful walk around the island, enjoy the sunset and end your day by chowing down on traditional 'pupusas' in one of the country’s best restaurants for them, popular with both locals and tourists. Be careful though… this island offers so much to do and see, you might never want to leave!
Tikal sunrise hike
Experience the jungle waking up; new sounds, sights, smells, and colors that you’ll never forget. Listen to the chorus of each unique sound rising from below you as every animal wake in turn, creating a raucous as you’ve never heard before. Against the backdrop of the slow-rising sun, watch as the ruins of Tikal light up before you. The 02:00 wakeup is worth it for this unforgettable experience!
Please note: Travel on the weekends, or any of the extra activities is at your own expense and risk. We cannot be responsible but, if anything happens, we will of course be there to assist. Please ensure that you have adequate medical insurance before you carry out any activity.
Police Clearance Certificate
Volunteers need to be flexible and keep an open mind concerning their placements as situations can arise beyond our control which could require you to be placed at a different project than the one you have initially chosen. We will of course always do our utmost to fulfill your initial wishes but do remember that where you are going is quite different from where you are coming and as such one should be prepared for things not always going according to plan.
Volunteering and intercultural travel share a common trait: the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. This program is designed for proactive individuals and groups that are prepared to adapt to the local environment and its current needs. Naturally, the scheduling and activities of our program are subject to change. Alterations in activities are mainly due to changes in local conditions, which we believe is part of what makes overseas programs the interesting adventure and incredible learning experience that they are.