All Saints Day

Guatemala

Experience the Day of the Death in the town of Sacatepéquez, Guatemala. Eyewitness the celebrations as giant brightly-colored kites fly into the air. Our guide teaches you about the history of the Maya culture and how they honor their forefathers once a year through this festival.

Join a tour of Lake Atitlan including visits to cooperatives, artisans, market visits, and a tour of delicate colonial Antigua. Participate in this festival and a central highlights Guatemala trip all in one holiday.

Kite Festival

Traditional dishes

Church La Merced

Traditional customs

Highlights

1. Discover a bustling market of crops, crafts, and artwork
2. See a textile cooperative of women and learn about the weaving process
3. Explore Antigua Guatemala and admire its gilded cathedrals
4. Celebrate Day of the Death and watch the kite release

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Antigua

Arrive in Guatemala and drive to close-by colonial Antigua Guatemala for the evening.
Travel to Guatemala and have a look at its ancestral traditions.  Throughout the Catholic world, they celebrate on November 1st All Saints Day Guatemala, or Day of the Dead.

On this holy day, people honor all of their saints. The Day of All Souls is celebrated on November 1st. During these dates, families visit the gravesites of their deceased loved ones to honor and remember them.

Day 2: Discover Antigua

Active Volcano de Fuego rises to the roof of the world above the cobblestone streets of Antigua Guatemala below. Once the capital of the country and all Central America, Antigua features a living ruin. Large palaces and churches tell the story of the past glory of Antigua Guatemala, and renewed facades speak of a promising future.

This morning you will tour the city and admire the ornate cathedrals and ruins of Antigua. The afternoon is free to rent mountain bikes or discover the countryside, visit a macadamia nut plantation or a coffee farm, or just locals watch in the main plaza.

Day 3: Panajachel and Comalapa market

Today we will drive about an hour before arriving at San Juan de Comalapa. Enjoy the bustle of the lively local market less-visited by travelers. Vendors set out their vegetables, handicrafts, and animals to sell.

Discover the market and see the most acclaimed display of art in the town, a collective mural painting by local artists on the cemetery wall characterizing major stories in the history of Guatemala. Walk around the town and try the bread in one of the local bakeries before we leave.

Next drive to the shores of fascinating Lake Atitlan, a deep caldera lake surrounded by three imposing volcanoes. Settle into your hotel in the lakeside Panajachel and explore the town. 

Day 4: Lake Atitlan Villages

This morning, after appreciating the calm waters of the lake, go on a boat across the azure-blue waters of the lake to villages along the shores. Scholars tell us that the ancient Maya disappeared inexplicably a thousand years ago, but anyone who has personally explored this captivating region knows that the Maya continue to flourish in the highlands of Guatemala.

Locals in Santiago still practice the traditional lifestyle of the ancient Maya and you will be able to see many people dressed in brightly-colored, hand-woven traditional clothing. Along the main street of Santiago are art galleries full with oil paintings illustrating busy market days and typical life in the highlands. 

You will also explore San Juan La Laguna, home to a number of artisan and artists cooperatives. Here you can visit the textile cooperative of women to see hand weaving and the natural dye making process used to make their acclaimed petates, woven mats made from lake reeds.

Additionally you can visit the homes of some of their famed naif painters. You will go back to Panajachel at the end of the day.

Day 5: Chichicastenango Market

Today you visit the outstanding market of Chichicastenango. This delightful town is surrounded by valleys and overshadowed by mountains. Its huge market brings locals from throughout the region, who regularly arrive the night before and sleep on blankets in the market main square.

Rising very early, they set out their colorful vegetables, fruits, and handicrafts. The market finishes in the early afternoon and you go back to Antigua Guatemala for the evening.

Day 6: Sacatepequez Kite Festival

Today the country observes All Saints Day. In the beginning, celebrated amongst indigenous in Mexico, the festivity has since been absorbed with the Catholic All Saints Day in many Latin American countries to become what it is today. Friends and family use this day to commemorate and pray for loved ones.

Today you explore the close-by town of Sacatepequez in the highlands which is famous for its fascinating kite festival. See the locals put the last remaining details on their amazing hand-made kites. Watch the festivities as you see locals commemorate their forefathers this day in the town and cemetery.

Witness the last release of all the kites in the air and watch which ones fly the longest. Awards are often given to the best kites, such as the longest flying and most colorful. In the evening you will return to Antigua Guatemala. 

Day 7: Return Home

Return to the Guatemala City airport for your international flight home.

Expenses included

7 days & 6 nights

$1,100 per guest

Private transportation, door to door service

 6 nights hotel accommodation. Hotels carefully selected

Local certified onsite guides

All park entrance fees

 3 traditional lunches

Daily breakfast

Taxes

Not included: international flights, personal, travel and cancellation insurance and other expenses than indicated.

Second option

All Saint Days Guatemala in Todos Santos

If you are interested in witnessing the Day of The Death in Todos Santos, Guatemala instead of the Kite Festival, this option is right for you.

Get a glimpse of the culture and traditions of the Maya. November 1st and 2nd is a perfect time to travel to Guatemala and witness such celebrations and traditions. In Todos Santos Cuchumatán, in the department of Huehuetenango.The full day celebration takes place with horse races and cultural highlights. Families construct small altars in their homes and the children receive sweets, while parents organize and put everything together.  

Flowers and food are important for this celebration. It is possible to see bands playing music to greet the souls of the dead. For Catholics in Latin America, these two days are the most important days to celebrate. After Christmas and Holy Week, of course. The period of celebration begins a few days before November 1st, and can last up to two weeks afterwards or more in some locations. In Guatemala a variety of processions and dances take place in the streets and plazas.

Preparing delicious dishes and ornaments is an important task.
Musicians play traditional ‘Marimba’ music and people dance the The bull and The deer as part of the celebration. Traditional Mayan clothing is very common for both men and women in many of the villages, especially in the highlands. Festivities include dances, music, processions and food.

This option adds on more night to your itinerary, and the extra price per guest is from $400. Contact us for more information.

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