August 18-24/26, 2019 – XELA AID, GRAND TIKAL OPTION
Theme: “Service, Cultural Exchange with Grandeur of Tikal Option”
Registration Deadline: May 1, 2019
Trip Orientation: May 4, 2019 10 AM-12 PM PST via teleconference
Trip Leaders: Mel Dinkel and Leslie Baer Dinkel
Trip Cost (Double/Triple Occupancy): $1969 / $2469 (with Tikal Option)
August 17 – Those traveling from LAX will travel to the airport this evening to catch an early morning flight out with the group early the next morning. Upon our arrival in Guatemala, we will be met at the airport by our comfortable bus and then travel to the magnificent colonial city of Antigua, founded in the 16th century. En route, we’ll enjoy a hosted breakfast at a lovely eatery! In Antigua, you will have an opportunity to explore jade and chocolate production, and if you’re up for a moderate hike, take in the views from Cerro de la Cruz high above the landscape! Explore ruins or shopping on your own, or relax on the lovely grounds of our hotel. We will arrange for a delicious, optional traditional dinner at one of Antigua’s fine dining establishments!
August 18 – We will travel into the Guatemalan highlands, and to the beautiful city of Quetzaltenango (“Xela”) at 7500 where we will be housed in comfortable accommodations just off the historic Parque Central. During our stay in Quetzaltenango, all breakfasts and lunches are included, and a group dinner will be arranged nightly at one of the local eateries (these are optional, no-host).
August 19, 20, 21 – For our service experience, we will travel each day to the village of San Martín to undertake individual projects where your talents and interests will have been matched to need. Experience the thrill of getting to know the youth and adults of this Mám-Maya village. Here, the rich traditions of past are still practiced even as the young people work to become competitive in the job market so they can create a better life for their families. Each day promises surprises, and to be fulfilling work! Surprises await, too, several afternoons after our work days where we will explore the local culture.
August 22 – After breakfast and packing up, we'll head for Lake Atitlan, one of the world’s most stunning destinations! We will take a short boat ride to reach our magnificent accommodation featuring views of soaring volcanos and cabanas purched on the side of an ancient volcano. There you can rest in a hammock, read a book, or take in optional adventures including zip lining, climbing a volcano, visiting small villages or Panajachel, a renown marketplace featuring arts, crafts and gift items from the four corners of Guatemala. Delicious meals will be available at the hotel.
Note: Dinners are included at Lake Atitlan.
August 23 – Lake Atitlan is the perfect place to get some exercise or relax—it’s up to you! You can catch a launch in the morning and explore villages around the lake, or hike with your trip leaders to the 16th Century church at Santa Cruz and enjoying stunning vistas along the way. No matter what you choose, your visit to this destination that has been described as “one of the world’s most beautiful places” will be sure to dazzle! Logistics dictate that although we'll spend several additional nights together, Atitlan will be the site of our "farewell" dinner celebration.
Note: Round-trip flight and ground transportion, breakfasts, lunches and dinners are included!
August 24 - In the morning, we will bid farewell to the beautiful lake as we head to Guatemala City. We will say farewell to those not participating in the Tikal option. Those continuing on will fly to Flores, Peten. Upon our arrival, we'll take a comfortable bus ride through the tropical landscape to Tikal National Park, home of howler monkeys, crocodiles, exotic birds and yes, the jaguar! We will settle in to our jungle accommodation, then retire to a hearty, hosted group dinner.
August 25 - After our hosted breakfast, we will explore the wonders of Tikal with a professional guide. Lunch is also included in our tour. After lunch, we'll can visit one or both of several museums before heading back in to our lodge. In the evening we will enjoy our hosted farewell dinner, as it is the last dinner of our trip.
August 26 - This is a free morning when early risers can select an optional birding experience or early-morning tour where sunrise is enjoyed from atop a temple! (When you select this option, it includes both park entry and your guide). Others can sleep in, and after your hosted breakfast, more fully explore Tikal with friends from the group. We will leave early to mid-morning to make our way back to the airport at Flores and back to Guatemala City to catch our evening flight. You’ll take with you memories and new friendships sure to last a lifetime!
FLIGHT BOOKING INSTRUCTIONS
Note: These suggested flights are from Los Angeles. If you are not traveling from Los Angeles, or you are but choose a different outbound option, MAKE SURE to arrive in Guatemala prior to 8 AM August 18 join the group.
OUTBOUND Recommendation - Overnight Direct: Avianca AV641 leaving LAX at 1:45 AM on August 18 arriving Guatemala City at 7:25 AM. Prices vary widely. We have had good luck with CheapTickets.com, CheapoAir, and the phone application Hopper. Please check frequently or consult with your travel agent if you have questions about best time to purchase. (At this writing round trip flights are available for $560.)
OUTBOUND to Guatemala Alternative Option - Arrive a day early (Aug 17 - requires extra night’s stay): You may wish to avoid an overnight flight and travel a day early. If so, we suggest you book your night’s stay at the Radisson which is moderately priced and has shuttle service to and from the airport. The address is 1a Avenida 12-46, Zona 10. Book at: www.radissonguatemala.com You will need to travel to the airport to meet the group the next morning. Please arrive no later than 8 AM.
INBOUND Returning Home Recommendations -
GROUP RETURNING AUGUST 24 (opt-out of Tikal) - This is the inbound/return-home flight we suggest unless you plan to stay over in GC after the group leaves. Please do NOT book an earlier outbound flight, as we will be flying in from Tikal to make this flight. Avianca AV640 leaving GC on August 24 at 7:20 or 8 pm (time listing varies) arriving LAX at 11:40 PM
TIKAL GROUP - If you are opting for Tikal, please use this inbound/return-home flight unless you plan to stay over in GC after the group leaves. Please do NOT book an earlier outbound flight, as we will be flying in from Tikal to make this flight. Avianca AV640 leaving GC on August 26 at 7:20 or 8 pm (time listing varies) arriving LAX at 11:40 PM
|Event End Date||08-26-2019|
|Application Start Date||04-23-2018|
|Cut off date||07-16-2019|
|Cost (Dbl/Tpl Occu.)||$1969 / $2469 (with Tikal Option)|
|Location||Xela AID Guatemala|