October 11-21, 2018 – XELA AID LUXURY ROTARY
Theme: "Clean Water and Other Projects with Rotary and Friends"
Registration Deadline: June 1, 2018
Trip Leaders: Cliff Hague, Shelby Churchill
Trip Cost (Double/Triple Occupancy): $2864
1. Thursday October 11 – We’ll start our journey with a direct 3 hour and 45 minute nonstop daytime flight to Mexico City and in the airport, get to know each other. After check in at our top-rated hotel and an hour’s rest we’ll enjoy a hosted happy hour, then a hosted group dinner nearby that will include a 30-minute group orientation and a local speaker on the high points of the history of Mexico City.
2. Friday October 12 – After a delicious hosted breakfast at 8 a.m. we’ll take an expert-guided bus tour of Mexico City, followed by visits to two of Mexico City’s most famous world class destinations. First, we’ll enjoy an insider’s tour of the Museum of Anthropology and lunch at the museum restaurant. That afternoon we will take an insider’s tour of the renowned art museum Palacio de Bellas Artes. We’ll return to our hotel for an early dinner planned for all who wish to join (no host).
3. Saturday October 13 – After our hosted breakfast, we’ll set out early for our hour-long flight to Guatemala City. There we’ll be met by our personal driver and luxury, air-conditioned bus with en suite bathroom and WIFI. We’ll then make our way to the beautiful colonial capital city of New Spain, Antigua, founded in the 1500’s, and check in at the Palacio de Dona Leonor—a palatial mansion built in the 16th Century for the daughter of the first Spanish conquistador of Guatemala. In the afternoon, choose from a hosted (1) historical and cultural walking tour of downtown Antigua with famous guide and author Elizabeth Bell; (2) photography walking tour with talented and entertaining Rudy Guiron, a top Guatemalan photographer and photography instructor; (3) traditional chocolate-making class complete with tasting, or (4) enjoy time on your own in this mile-square town known for it’s world-class sightseeing and shopping. Our group optional dinner will be held at the breathtaking Hotel Museo Casa Santa Domingo monastery.
4. Sunday October 14 – We will travel into the Guatemalan highlands, and to the beautiful city of Quetzaltenango (“Xela”) at 7500 feet. Along the way we will visit the Mayan ruin of Ixmiché, an ancient abandoned kingdom that has many interesting architectural figures, sculptures and ceramics. In Xela we will be housed at the new, luxurious, top-rated Latan Hotel (part of the Hyatt Group). Along with lovely accommodations and many amenities including free WIFI and a 24/7 business center, the hotel features a swimming pool on the 10th floor sweeping views of the city and surrounding volcanos, as well as a sauna, hot tub, and spa/massage services.
During our stay in Quetzaltenango, all breakfasts and lunches are included, and an optional group dinner will be arranged nightly at one of the local eateries…or you can relax at the hotel and enjoy its amenities.
5-8. Monday - Thursday October 15 - 18 – Each day we will travel to the Mayan village of San Martín to undertake individual projects including implementation of the Rotary Global Grant for Clean Water and Sanitation in San Martin. There will also be other exciting custom projects that match your talents and interests to local need. Experience the thrill of making clean water and sanitation a reality for this region while getting to know the youth and adults of this Mayan community. Here, the rich traditions of the 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! Evenings join our optional group dinners or you can eat at the hotel and relax by the pool.
9, 10. Friday and Saturday October 19 - 20 – After breakfast and packing up in Xela, we will board our luxury bus and head for magnificent Lake Atitlan, one of the world’s most stunning destinations! Enjoy a scenic boat ride to reach our hotel, featuring chalets amidst a garden paradise. Lunch will be available at the hotel where everything is homemade and mouthwatering. Kayak to your heart’s content (included), take a launch to visit Mayan villages around the lake or other activities that can be arranged at the hotel. Or you may just want to lay in a hammock and read a book! After a day of exploring, enjoy an always-amazing dinner then take a dip and relax in a fire-heated hot tub that overlooks the Lake. On our last night we will celebrate with a special farewell ceremony at dinnertime.
During your stay at the lake, your nightly gourmet 4 course-dinner is included.
11. Sunday October 21 – Today we’ll pack up and catch our private launch back to the world-renowned marketplace Panajachel where you can relax and watch the world go by from the patio of a restaurant slurping down a smoothie or latte, or shop ’till you drop. In the early afternoon we’ll begin to make our way to the airport to begin our journey home in our luxury bus. You’ll take with you memories and new friendships sure to last a lifetime!
FLIGHT BOOKING INFORMATION
From Cliff: Prices have been jumping around almost daily, so we’ve decided to issue recommended flights, as well as suggest alternatives for those who wish to depart early and stay an extra day or two in Mexico City, or leave a day or two later and stay longer at Casa del Mundo (or other hotel) in Atitlan, or visit other sites in Guatemala. You can also explore use of airline miles for some of the tickets.
Recommended Flights: These are all direct, nonstop, non-red-eye, and provide maximum time in country for those going only on the Xela Aid trip with no extensions at either end. This flight combination has bounced around in price during the past few weeks from a low of $580 to a high of $890…with no rhyme or reason. Expedia currently has the lowest cost at $704…but that changes by the day. First/Business class seats are also available:
LAX to Mexico City Thursday, October 11th
(1) Alaska Airlines #236 departing LAX at 7:55 am and arriving Mexico City at 1:50 pm
Mexico City to Guatemala City Saturday, October 13th
(2) Avianca #2617 departing Mexico City at 8:20 and arriving Guatemala City at 9:20 am
Guatemala to LAX
(3) Please use this inbound flight unless you plan to stay over in Guatemala after the group leaves. If you must book an earlier flight out, we'll be happy to help you book private transportation back to the airport from Lake Atitlan. Avianca #640 leaving October 21st at 7:20 or 8 pm (time listing varies) arriving LAX at 11:40 PM.
|Event End Date||10-21-2018|
|Application Start Date||06-15-2017|
|Cut off date||08-01-2018|
|Cost (Dbl/Tpl Occu.)||$2864|
|Location||Xela AID Guatemala|