Guatemala Coffee Expedition 2024
Guatemala Coffee Expedition 2024
● All lodging (10 nights, double occupancy)
● Private transportation
● Domestic flight from Guatemala City to Flores, Petén
● All national park entry fees
● All guided excursions (minus optional add-ons)
● 1 night private hot tub/sauna - lakeside on Atitlan
● 10 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners
● All local guiding fees and tips
● 1 Fit4Adventure Guide
● 1 Elevate Coffee Trading Company Guide
● Donation of 1 EcoFiltro* on behalf of each guest
* An EcoFiltro is a Guatemalan-made water filtration device that can filter out 99% of
pathogens, supplying clean water to rural households and schools.
TRIP DATES: January 19-29, 2024
TRIP PRICE: $4,289 (per person, double occupancy)
(For Single Occupancy add $1,699)
Not included in price: Flights, F4A Guide tips, single occupancy, additional excursions not listed on itinerary, meals not listed above, personal expenses (souvenirs, alcohol, etc.).
The Land of Eternal Spring. The birthplace of chocolate. Queen of coffee. Need we say more? Come with us to explore this vastly underrated country! Our unique itinerary provides a taste of everything: adrenaline filled volcano treks, the jaw-dropping ruins of Tikal, jungle canopy walks, luxury accommodations, communal meals with new friends, and plenty of coffee and cacao to keep you going. Michael Iwasko, of Dallas’ Elevate Coffee Trading Company, will join us and provide the scoop on all things Guatemalan coffee. With the logistics taken care of – all you need to do is show up ready to experience the vibrancy of Guatemala!
Book your flight into La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City (GUA) for January 19, 2024, arriving before 10AM. We highly recommend flying in 1 night early and spending the evening in Guatemala City. Guests will fly to Flores, Petén as a group with F4A guides midday on the 19th (cost of domestic flight included in trip). Book your departing flight for January 29, 2024, after 10AM. Guatemala City is on CST.
A $500 deposit (per person) is due at the time of booking. This deposit is non-refundable.
The first payment (50% of remaining balance) will be due October 15, 2023. Final payment will be due December 1, 2023. You will receive a reminder email when these payments are due. Once made, all payments are non-refundable and non-transferable.
By Client: If you need to cancel before the final payment date, the cancellation fee is your initial deposit. Your reservation will automatically cancel if final payment is not received by the due date.
By Fit 4 Adventure: In the event that we must cancel a trip for commercial reasons beyond our control, including if the minimum number of trip participants is not met, you will be able to transfer any amount paid toward any F4A trip in the next 24 months. You may also opt for a full refund.
By Force Majeure: In the event that a trip is cancelled due (but not limited) to natural disasters, pandemics, border restrictions, terrorism, or political instability, F4A will offer you a future trip credit valid for 24 months from the original trip date.
F4A is not responsible for any additional expenses you may incur as result of your booking, including (but not limited to) visas, vaccinations, clothing, equipment, testing, travel insurance, or non-refundable flights.
The cancellation policy will be strictly adhered to. To avoid loss of payments due to unforeseen circumstances, travel insurance is highly recommended. Travel insurance can often be purchased along with your flight or you can book though our partner Allianz Travel.
*We at Fit 4 Adventure take the health and safety of our guests and guides seriously. We will follow all local protocols and CDC-recommended guidelines while on this trip.
If you have any questions about this trip, please feel free to reach out to Marie@Fit4Adventure.com
January 19: To the jungle! Meet at La Aurora International Airport at 11AM and board a quick 1
hour flight to Flores, Petén, a charming city-island in Guatemala's northeastern corner. Get your
first taste of the adrenaline via a series of canopy sky bridges or zip lines (2-3 hours), before
returning to decompress at our secluded hotel on the shore of the Petenchel lagoon. The eco-
property offers nature trails, tropical gardens, wildlife sightings, bike rentals, an outdoor pool, hot
tub and more. Dine in Flores overlooking Lake Petén Itzá for a much deserved welcome dinner.
January 20: Private tour of Tikal National Park. A trip to Guatemala would be incomplete without a visit to these expansive Mayan ruins. Dating perhaps as far back as 1AD, Tikal remains covered by dense jungle and is only 30% excavated, despite being named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979 and receiving international attention. Prepare to hear the sounds of the jungle as you climb the stairs of ancient temples to viewpoints overlooking the mysterious archeological remains. Spider monkeys, howler monkeys, coatimundis, jaguars, crocodiles and dozens of bird species all call the area home and may be sighted.
January 21: Isla Flores to Lake Atitlan. After a morning exploring the island of Flores by kayak, the group leaves the jungle for the highlands, traveling back to Guatemala City by plane, and onward to our one-of-a-kind accommodations on the shore of Lake Atitlan. After an easy dinner at the hotel, unwind in the hot tub and sauna, reserved for our group starting at 8PM. Soak under the stars, sweat and cool off in the lake for as long as you please. An unforgettable experience.
January 22: Lake Tour. Traveling by private lancha (water taxi), we explore a few of our favorite villages along the lake: San Juan, San Pedro and San Marcos. Tz’utujil and Kaqchikel Mayans are still the dominant communities in these villages, and are seen in their day-to-day wearing elaborately embroidered huipils and pantalones. Such handmade items can take months to years to make! The day includes a weaving demonstration on the backstrap loom, lunch at one of our favorite local spots, and a walk up to a fantastic mirador (viewpoint) for sunset over Lake Atitlan.
January 23: Coffee lab and tasting. We promised coffee, and not just a strong cup every morning! Today, Michael leads us to a forward-thinking Guatemalan coffee co-op in Santiago de Atitlan. This co-op leads research and development for hundreds of Guatemalan coffee farmers from the areas surrounding Lake Atitlan, seeking to identify strong genetics in order to ensure quality harvests for their farming members. They will demonstrate the seed-to-cup process for us, detailing what they look for in a quality bean, and what projects they are currently working on with their members. A coffee tasting in their treehouse-like lab overlooking the lake rounds out the morning. The afternoon is yours to do with as you please. Rent stand-up paddle boards (SUPs) or kayaks, and depart straight from the hotel dock, take a swim, or kick back and relish the views from your balcony. Take a short hike to the neighboring village of Santa Cruz, or book an in-room spa treatment. We’ll rejoin as a group for dinner.
January 24: Lake Atitlan to Antigua. A private morning transfer takes us towards the colonial gem and original Spanish capital of Guatemala, Antigua. Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, Antigua is the hub for adventure travel in the Guatemalan highlands. Surrounded by volcanoes and filled with great restaurants, shops, markets and historical landmarks, Antigua has something for everyone. Breaking up the drive, we stop in to visit our local mountain biking partners for a midday ride and lunch in Tecpán. A 1 hour drive takes us to Antigua for check-in. Dinner as a group to follow at one of Antigua's best restaurants. (Riding level: all. The group will split to accommodate beginner riders and riders with experience)
January 25: Private walking tour and coffee cupping. Today, explore Antigua with a local guide, stopping to take in ruins, try street food and admire the Spanish colonial architecture. And, right when you need it, more coffee: Michael, of Elevate Coffee Trading, walks the group through a full coffee cupping (tasting), explaining the different processing methods used in today’s artisanal coffees, along with different roasts and the many ways to enjoy a cup o’ joe. You’ll never see coffee the same way. We meet our volcano guides for a Q&A before turning in early, in preparation for the big day ahead.
January 26: The grand finale! Today’s hike is what you have been preparing for. Having acclimated to the altitude for over a week, we approach the highlight of the trip. Sitting a little over 13,000ft, the formidable Acatenango is the hike of a lifetime. We take the experience a notch further, choosing to stay the night in high-altitude huts below the summit, and hike to the ridge of neighboring volcano Fuego for the best views of Fuego's red hot volcanic explosions. Fuego is very active, and erupts several times per hour. All meals, snacks and equipment are provided, but we recommend the use of your own 30-40L backpack.
Disclaimer: This is a short (4 mile) but difficult hike due to the steep grade. We take many, many breaks in order to ensure that all are able to ascend. Our professional mountaineering guides will asses physical ability and altitude sickness early on, allowing those unable to continue to return to Antigua with a F4A guide. This route is well established, and we always stay a safe distance from any volcanic eruptions and gas. Contact Marie directly if you'd prefer to opt out of the overnight hike.
Views of Volcan Fuego from Base Camp
January 27: Early morning summit of Acatenango (optional). Choose to take in the sunrise over volcano Fuego with views extending as far as the Pacific before you’ve even had breakfast. OR sleep in and enjoy the sunrise from our gorgeous base camp. Breakfast and hot beverages by a roaring fire prepare us for the hike down. We return to Antigua to clean-up, have lunch and rest.
January 28: Free day in Antigua. Take the day to recover from your efforts and enjoy the amenities Antigua has to offer, shop for last minute souvenirs, and/or opt for a local cooking class and market tour. Other adventure activities are available to those with energy left to burn: ATV tours, another volcano hike, more mountain biking, you name it. We dine in town and cheers to the adventure, and to the hospitality of Guatemala! Reservations for spa treatments should be made in advance.
January 29: Travel day. We will transfer directly to the airport from Antigua. Please book an afternoon flight. We will enjoy a final breakfast before we depart.
If arriving a day early, we recommend the following activities in Guatemala City:
- Take a sightseeing tour
- Visit the Museo Nacional de Arqueología y Etnología (Natural History Museum)
- Visit Museo Popol Vuh (host of one of the largest collections of Mayan art in the world)
- Visit Mercado Central. Try a meal there if you can! Guatemala City’s largest market, you will be amongst locals here. Consider a tour if it feels overwhelming.
- Stroll up to Cerrito del Carmen for panoramic views of the city and its oldest church
- Visit Danta Chocolate for some of the city’s best chocolate
Guatemala wasn’t on the top of my list of places I thought I wanted to visit, but the adventures and coffee experience sounded interesting so we decided to go. It was well worth it. The Mayan ruins, coffee farms, bike ride, kayaking, lake district, shopping, food and volcano hike were all fantastic and it turns out Guatemala is a very interesting and diverse place. Highly recommend.
The trip of a lifetime. Guatemala was never a country that was on my must visit list but after one trip I find myself recommending it to friends and will be back myself. Marie and Michael were simply spectacular guides and their love for what they do and the country really shows. Even if you're not an avid hiker or coffee aficionado, the range of activities and experiences included makes this trip a must do. I will say the finale hike was difficult, but doable, and 1000% worth the effort. I would go on this trip again or others run by Fit4Adventure after this experience.
We'll plan the trip!