Learn Spanish and Travel Guatemala

14 days

You will learn about the fascinating Mayan civilization and the Spanish language during this trip. The highlands extend from Guatemala City to the Mexican border; they contain Guatemala’s most astonishing territory by some degree. The living Mayan culture is more robust here than everywhere in Central America.

There are various groups within the highlands, each with its traditional clothing and language. In the highlands, you will meet Mayan people who practice traditions that have existed for thousands of years. In our school, students can obtain the international DELE from the Institute of Cervantes.

Theater in Xela

University in Antigua Guatemala

San Andres Xecul

Tikal

Highlights

Quetzaltenango, San Andres Xecul, Lake Atitlan, Antigua Guatemala, Volcano Santa Maria, Tikal, and more.

Itinerary

Day 1. Arrival

Upon your arrival, a driver will be waiting for you at the international airport of Guatemala City to take you to the city of Quetzaltenango.

Day 2 – 6. Spanish program

You will stay in Quetzaltenango for five days while you study Spanish. This charming city is in a large valley surrounded by mountains and volcanoes. The city is also known as Xela, and it conserves the antique traditions of the Mayans, mixed up with a colonial past and vibrant modern life. They know Xela in Central America as The Cradle of culture. It is home to numerous jazz and blues bands; in addition to traditional musicians, there is also a broad art scene focused on painting, singing, and sculpture. Xela is not a major tourist destination; however, it attracts students seeking to learn Spanish.

Spanish classes will take five hours each morning, with different cultural and fun activities organized each afternoon. The lessons will always be one-on-one; you and your teacher, and your teacher will work directly with you to meet your specific needs and goals throughout your learning process.

This week of classes includes 25 hours of studying one-on-one with your teacher for five days. The lessons will take place from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. During the week, we organize various daily activities that will take place in the afternoon. You can practice the Spanish you have learned and gain a deeper insight into Latin American culture.

Day 2. City tour of Quetzaltenango in the afternoon, salsa classes in the evening.
Day 3. Tour to the indigenous villages of San Andres Xecul, Salcaja, and San Cristobal Totonicapan
Day 4. Visit one of the local social projects we support.
Day 5. Visit the volcanic hot springs, Fuentes Georginas.
Day 6 – 7. During the afternoon, stock up on snacks at the local market before heading up to Volcano Santa Maria to spend the night hiking and then watching the sunset, sitting around a campfire.

Day 7. Volcano Santa Maria

Today, you will hike the volcano Santa Maria to see the sunrise. It is a beautiful hike with views of various other volcanoes and eruptions of the neighboring volcano Santiaguito, and on a clear day, you can even see the Pacific Ocean. You’ll watch the marvelous sunrise from the volcano’s summit before eating breakfast and hiking back down. The hike is challenging, and it requires good physical condition.

After the volcano and workout, we will have an eco-sauna and SPA in Las Cumbres Rural Inn. This gorgeous thermal Spa is an oasis of relaxation and relief, with majestic fenced-in mountains and natural habitat. The Spa is a destination where they seek to accomplish inner well-being, stress alleviation, and, consequently, the balanced result of mind, soul, and body. The therapies consider the problems that daily work can cause in people nowadays.

Day 8. Lake Atitlan

Today, you will go to one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Antoine St. E. wrote The Little Prince after resting in a hammock here. Aldous Huxley, the author of The Doors of Perception and Brave New World, said it was “really too much of a good thing.” Flanked by three massive volcanoes, alive with hummingbirds and fireflies. The lake has an air of fantasy that is hard to shake.

Along the way to Lake Atitlan, you will stop at the Atitlan Nature Reserve to experience the largest zipline canopy adventure in Central America and views of waterfalls and exceptional hiking. 

Experience the forest canopy from a bird’s eye view, see monkeys and jungle species, and learn about nature while having an adrenaline-pumping thrill excursion. In the nature reserve, there are also options for various hikes. Later, you will have time to rest and enjoy the fascinating views of Lake Atitlan.

You will spend time at the magnificent Lake Atitlán, a blue lake dramatically surrounded by volcanoes. Maya life follows its rhythms in the highlands amidst colorful towns and crazy mountain scenes. For hike-lovers, it is the promised land. 

Day 9. Boat tour & Mayan villages

Today, you’ll have a boat tour of Lake Atitlan. A dozen bakeries of Mayan villages surround this lake. Bustling and distinct from one to another. The towns on the north side of the lake speak one of the Mayan languages, and those on the south side speak a different one. Many villagers still wear traditional Mayan garments with patterns and colors particular to their respective villages. These are some of the villages:

  • San Pedro La Laguna offers a maze of twisting streets, a lively bar scene, and an ex-pat population vibrant enough to sustain several decent Mediterranean restaurants.
  • San Juan La Laguna, this little town, is home to a community of painters and artisans.
  • San Marcos La Laguna is a hippie capital overflowing with health food stores, vegan restaurants, yoga centers, and massages.
  • Santiago Atitlan is on a bay with garden-like lakefront properties, a classic town square, and a beautiful Catholic church with a rich history.
Day 10. Antigua Guatemala

Today, you will go to the colonial city of Antigua, Guatemala, the quaint and charming colonial city leading icon of the Hispanic colonial heritage. It’s in the middle of three majestic volcanoes, mountains, and coffee plantations, and it was recognized as a Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

Its cobblestone streets and ancient buildings conform to a scenery where splendorous cultural and religious traditions appear. Romanticism floats in every city street; therefore, it is a fantastic location to organize weddings and special events.

You’ll discover the city with a guide during a city tour. Later, you will have free time to find the many restaurants, bars, and coffee shops in Antigua Guatemala.

Day 11. Colonial towns

Today you will visit the colonial towns close to Antigua Guatemala, and experience the local markets and city centers. After this tour, you can participate in a cooking class with a Guatemalan family and learn how to make a simple local dish.

Explore the villages nearby; San Juan del Obispo is the place known for the first archbishop’s palace in Guatemala. Handmade wine, fruits, handicrafts, and coffee plantations await you in The Land of Loquat.

Ciudad Vieja contains the ruins of the second colonial capital and provides the history of the former capital of Guatemala.

San Antonio Aguas Calientes will share the beauties of its white colonial church and the many skills of weaving. One of the most incredible handmade views of the day will be to see the traditional clothing and women’s blouses. These blouses have a 2-faced weave, which makes the front and back identical. See the importance of weaving in this indigenous Mayan town.

It will be challenging to choose one favorite by the end of the day.

Day 12. Yaxha

Today you’ll go to Guatemala City for your domestic flight to Flores Island. Upon arrival, you’ll go to the Mayan City of Yaxha. Exploring the ancient archaeological Mayan ruins of Yaxha may be one of the best expeditions you could ever have during your fascinating Guatemala adventure.

Yaxha is the third biggest Mayan city in Guatemala. Still, due to its remoteness, it lacks tourists, making it excellent for visitors who want the freedom to explore the site without other travelers around. Climb to structure 216 and get fascinating views of the lagoons, ruins, and jungle.

Day 13. Tikal

Spectacular Mayan temples protected by an exuberant tropical jungle marvel travelers who come to this park. They can admire the exquisite architecture of the Classic Mayan Period in all this splendor. The call of howling monkeys, the song of many birds, and the comings and goings of spider monkeys welcome visitors to this paradisiac site. Our professional guides will take you on a magical journey.

Day 14. Return home

Sadly, this trip ends today. A driver will take you to the Mundo Maya airport, where you’ll take your domestic flight back to the international airport of Guatemala City for your flight back home.

map, expenses & price

Learn Spanish and Travel

Expenses included:
-All private transportation.
-Spanish program: lessons, host family, meals & tours.
-Six nights of hotel accommodations.
-Tours and excursions as listed.
-All park entrance fees.
-Local on-site guides.

Per person starting at $1,800

Extensions

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Rio Dulce

Rio Dulce is an impressive river connecting the country’s biggest lake, Izabal, with the Caribbean Sea. The most astonishing section of the river is the canyon, with magnificent cliffs appearing on both sides. This fascinating canyon has a thick tropical jungle, and the sound of exotic animals, birds, and little villages dispersed on the river’s shore. The banks of Rio Dulce are enclosed in the deep jungle and give an excellent scene for wildlife; you’ll discover the river with an idyllic boat ride to the Caribbean town of Livingston.

The canyon in Rio Dulce
View of Semuc Champey from its lookout

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Semuc Champey

Semuc Champey is in the lush mountains of Guatemala. It’s a 300 meters long natural limestone bridge formed over the Cahabón River with various turquoise water pools; it’s one of Guatemala’s natural wonders. Semuc Champey is an extraordinary destination; it can’t get much closer to paradise than here; you’ll swim in the crystal clear pools in the middle of Guatemala’s fascinating lush jungle. Semuc Champey is magnificent, captivating, and paradise-like; it’s worth visiting.

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