Bite-Size Break Antigua
4 days with Intrepid Travel Rating:
Day 1: Antigua
Bienvenidos! Welcome to Guatemala! Today is an arrival day so you can arrive in Antigua at any time. A welcome pack will be waiting at the hotel including all the information you need for your tour. As the seat of the Spanish colonial government, Antigua was once the most important city in Central America. In 1773 Antigua was destroyed by an earthquake, but many of the colonial buildings have been carefully restored and the architecture from its glory days can still be seen. Walk through the quiet cobblestone streets and past heavy carved-wood entrances. There are many fascinating markets and museums to explore, but maybe start this Bite-size Break with a stroll for tamales, a local dish usually prepared traditionally on weekends and served in a corn leaf. You could also give the pepian a try, a meal that consists of a rich dark sauce and three meats (chicken, beef and pork). The best value food you find is next to the artisan market close to the bus station.
Day 2: Antigua
Guatemala’s fertile valleys provide the perfect conditions for growing coffee, and it produces some of the best in the world. Get to know this addictive little bean a bit better with an exploration of a local coffee plantation, joined by a member of a local farming cooperative. You’ll visit the plantation and dig into the history of the plant with a hands-on coffee culture experience. See how the beans are grown and, if the season’s right, get your own hands dirty helping to plant coffee seedlings or harvesting the beans. Then it’s on to the farmer's house to see how the bright red berries are processed, dried, roasted and ground by hand. Finish off with a homebrewed cup and a snack prepared by the family. Hop back on the bus to Antigua, and head to the chaotic and colourful Central Market for a slice of local life. Wander through the market and visit some of the many fresh fruit and vegetable stands, maybe sampling some of the various local produce. Then sit down at one of the lively food stands in the tasty ‘comedores’ section of the market and try some of the most popular regional Guatemalan dishes.
Day 3: Antigua
Today is a day to discover Central America’s other famous bean, and a day for chocoholics! Attracted by the intoxicating smell, head to the city’s ChocoMuseo and join a chocolate-making workshop. First you’ll learn about the long history of cacao in South America, including interesting titbits like the bean once being used as currency in Mesoamerica, and how chocolate was mainly a drink for thousands of years, before being made into eatable solid chocolate. Then it’s time to get you hands deliciously dirty as you take part in the tasty traditional process of bean-to-chocolate. You’ll get to grips with smoothing and tempering chocolate, and (most importantly) get to taste the freshly made results! After a mouthful of a morning, the rest of the day is free. You might want to get moving to work off the calories from all that chocolate – Antigua is the place to be for salsa. Many dancing schools offer hourly lessons so you'll be able to perfect your skills and maybe show off in the many music-filled bars and restaurants.
Day 4: Antigua
This Bite-size Break Antigua comes to an end today. There are no activities planned and you are free to leave at any time.
All This Included
Experience Guatemala’s celebrated colonial gem and its surrounds on this delicious four-day stopover. Travel just outside of town to a coffee plantation and be shown how coffee is grown, harvested and produced by a member of a local farming cooperative. Lunch with a farming family and enjoy a cup of their home-grown brew. Tour the local food market and dive into the colourful local life, sampling regional specialties and grabbing lunch at a food stall. Then travel to Chocomuseo and prepare for a scrumptious afternoon of chocolate making - yum! There’s also heaps of free time to explore this beautiful city, wandering cobbled streets, relaxing in cafes with views of the imposing Pacaya Volcano, checking out the craft shops and generally soaking up the atmosphere of this rad city.
Hotel (3 nights)
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