Walking approximately 1 mile; about 2 hours, with periods of standing; mostly paved, flat surfaces. Maximum elevation for the day is about 4,900 feet.
Early at the hotel, we’ll enjoy a buffet breakfast with a selection of hot dishes, fruit, and breads, plus juice, coffee, tea, water.
Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Transportation will be by bus unless stated otherwise. Field trips and lectures will be led by our Group Leader unless otherwise noted. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Afterwards, we will head into the city on a panoramic exploration of Guatemala City that will include a visit to the Berlin Plaza, which has sweeping views of the city. On a clear day, visitors can glimpse the Pacaya, Agua and Fuego volcanoes which lie to the south of the city. Continuing, we will drive along the main thoroughfares, America and Reforma Avenues, for a feel of the city before stopping in the historic center where we’ll get off the bus and walk through the Yurrita Church and the Central Plaza. The Yurrita church was commissioned by prominent coffee farmer Felipe Yurrita in 1927 as a votive offering to Our Lady of Anguishes, patron saint of Guatemala City. Its architectural style is a departure from the town’s mostly neoclassical aesthetic and is eclectic; influences include baroque, gothic and Moorish design. The central plaza is notable for the government and cultural buildings surrounding it, as well as for the events that have taken place on its grounds including the signing of the Declaration of Independence of Guatemala. We’ll then return to the bus and transfer for lunch.
At a local restaurant.
We will round out our activity in Guatemala City with a visit to the National Palace and downtown. Known locally as “El Palacio Verde,” for its green hue, the National Palace is an important landmark in Guatemala’s history. Construction was ordered by President Jorge Ubico in 1939 and the building served as the seat of the executive branch until it was turned into a museum. Fun fact, the National Palace is “Kilometer 0,” the origin for all roads in Guatemala. Afterwards, we’ll take the bus back to the hotel where we will attend a lecture given by a local expert on the history of Guatemala.
At a local restaurant, we’ll enjoy a delicious plated welcome dinner with coffee, tea, water, and one glass of wine or beer; other beverages available for purchase.
At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.