Escape to a magical country where the ancient traditions of the Maya people live on alongside bustling modernity. From the cobblestone streets of Antigua to our base in the mountains of Quetzaltenango, you’ll connect with local people in a meaningful way. We’ll also visit Lake Atitlan and the surrounding communities.
- Guatemala Trip Dates
- Trip Highlights and Overview
- Resources for Past and Future Travelers
- Request More Information
- Sign Me Up!
At a Glance
All-Inclusive 14-Day Trip
$2,999 per person**
June 1 – 14, 2013 (FF) ***
August 24 – September 6, 2013 (FF) ***
October 5 – 18, 2013
All-Inclusive 10-Day Trip
$2,199 per person**
June 1 – 10, 2013 (FF) ***
August 24 – September 2, 2013 (FF) ***
October 5 – 14, 2013
Max. group size: 20
Activity Level: Moderate
(FF) = Family Friendly
** Group occupancy (Hostel-style, 3 to 6 people in a room)
Double occupancy supplement: $200
Single occupancy supplement: $500
*** Last-minute discounts!
Good things come to those who wait. And up to 30% off is a very good thing.
Are you traveling in the upcoming months and haven’t yet booked? Great news – the all-inclusive trips starred *** above are currently offered at $1,000 off for 14 days and $700 off for 10 days . And they are both “family-friendly,” so bring your kids or grandkids (ages 10 and over). Please note these trips can change day to day without notice, so don’t delay! This is a limited time offer.
Add 3 Nights to a 14-Day Trip
$895 per person*
Includes R/T flight from Guatemala City to Flores
* Double occupancy
Single supplement: $175
“This has been a very rich experience. I am very grateful to have had this opportunity. This was more than a visit, more than just a “taste of Guatemala.” It felt like more of an intimate encounter, especially the sharing of personal experiences.”
~ Elizabeth G. from Los Angeles (RPCV Niger, 1972-1974)
Highlights and Overview
- Volunteer on projects to improve the education of Maya children
- Ride over the calm waters of Lake Atitlan, considered sacred by the Maya
- Connect with Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and learn firsthand about their work in rural communities
- Learn firsthand from local artisans about traditional weaving, music and art
- Participate in a community-based tour to learn about religious syncretism and Maya cosmology
- Visit an artisan market in Chichicastenango – the largest in the hemisphere
- Explore the boutiques, galleries and cafés of colonial Antigua
Download this overview, including a sample program schedule.
Our primary project will be refurbishing a local school, as well as working with Maya children. The school is unique in that it is run by Maya teachers and actively promotes the preservation of indigenous language and culture. We will help by fixing parts of the school or building a new classroom, as well as creating educational games and activities for the students. We’ll also spend a day with a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer in a rural community painting a World Map, part of the World Map Project carried out by volunteers around the world.
Guatemala holds vast opportunities for cultural discovery. We will meet a traditional shaman who will teach us about Maya cosmology and also learn how to make colorful indigenous textiles. You will meet grassroots leaders to hear about the challenges the Maya community faces in the face of globalization. In addition, we’ll meet with Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who will take us to visit inspiring projects in rural communities and share with us their experience of serving in Guatemala.
Through the program we’ll embark on a range of adventures and visit many small towns and villages along the way. Over the weekend we’ll visit villages on the shores of Lake Atitlan as well as the Maya market town of Chichicastenango. You’ll also meet organic coffee growers, weavers and artisans. The last two days of the program will be spent exploring the charming colonial town of Antigua.
All-inclusive fee includes lodging, all meals, tips, transportation, scheduled activities and entrance fees, community service materials, excursions, backup medical insurance, bi-lingual guide, and NPCA Host. It doesn’t include international airfare, $3 airport tax upon departure, alcoholic beverages, laundry, phone calls, or medical expenses.
Family Friendly Trips
All trips are open to couples and single people ages 18 and older. However, certain trips are designated “Family Friendly” (FF). These trips are open to families with children ages 10 and over. Child care is not provided; parents are expected to supervise their children during the trip and children will be expected to participate in the activities, including the service projects.
Home Base Lodging
Participants live at an exclusive, dedicated Home Base in the town of Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. Our Home Base is a large house in town, walking distance from many local amenities. Only our participants live here and it really feels like your home. Meals are eaten in our dining area. Beer and wine are available for purchase and can be enjoyed in our garden.
Participants have the choice of occupancy level: Group Occupancy, Double or Single. Group occupancy rooms are hostel-style in which three to six people share a room with bunk beds. Or participants can upgrade to double or single occupancy room. However all rooms are furnished with twin-sized mattress in bunk beds.
Since it is a home, there are no private bathrooms. Bathrooms are shared by participants. Most bathrooms are located along a main hallway.
Meals are prepared by our kitchen staff and include hearty and healthy Guatemalan dishes consisting of meats, beans, rice, vegetables, and fruit. Vegetarian and vegan options are available. Wireless internet is available on the grounds as well as unlimited purified drinking water.
We will not stay at the Home Base in Quetzaltenango when we are visiting Lake Atitlan and also while we are in Antigua at the start and end of the trip. During these nights we will stay in 3-star hotels. Guatemalan 3-star hotels are very simple, but they are safe and clean. Rooms are double occupancy with a private bathroom, unless the traveler paid the single occupancy supplement.
Post-Trip Extension: Tikal
After the program, travelers have the option to spend three days visiting the island town of Flores and the archaeological sites of Tikal, Yaxha, and Topoxte. Tikal is one of the largest archaeological sites and urban centers of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This magnificent Maya city dates back to the 4th Century BC.
This post-trip extension is much more than just a quick jaunt to Tikal. It’s a complete package to visit the ruins in the northern jungle state of Peten. Besides Tikal, you’ll visit the less-visited ruins of Yaxha (the third largest archaeological site in Guatemala) and Topoxte (found on an island in Lake Yaxha).
You’ll wake up early to enjoy Tikal during the early morning hours, when the birds and monkeys are just waking up. You’ll climb to the top of Temple 4 to take in some magnificent bird watching and listen to the sound of the howler monkeys as they start their day. You’ll have a guided tour of the entire archaeological site and a barbecue lunch in the park.
- Round-trip airfare between Guatemala City and Flores
- Airport transfers
- English speaking guide
- Two nights lodging in Flores at a 3-star hotel
- One night lodging in Guatemala City at the Barcelo hotel
- Guided tour of Tikal
- BBQ lunch at Tikal ruins
- All ground transportation
- Breakfast and lunch each day
- All ground transportation
Difficulty Rating: Moderate
The Tikal Extension involves two full days of hiking in and around the Mayan ruins sites. The ruins are set in a tropical rainforest environment, meaning the probability of rain is high in this hot and humid environment. The ground can be slippery and navigating over uneven terrain, rocks, and roots is necessary. A variety of stair climbing will also be involved in the adventure. Participants will need to be able to walk two miles per day.
Resources for Past and Future Guatemala Travelers
Join our Next Step Travel (NST) country group, a place to ask questions, get program details, & meet other Next Step Travel travel-with-a-purpose travelers. This groups is a place where alumni, future NST participants, and those who are interested in NST can have an open forum to share photos, videos, discuss programs details, and make new friends!
Sign Me Up!
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