Ixil triangle & Chajul Adventure
Your chance to
Try some of the best Guatemalan cheese at a cheese farm
- Meet some of the indigenous people along your journey
- Learn about the culutral history of Guatemala
- See local men wearing their traditional clothing everyday
- All Transportation for listed Activities
- Bilingual Tour Guide
- Bottled Water
At a glance
- Stay overnight at a cheese farm
- Visit some of Guatemala’s most authentic markets
- Learn About Guatemalan Black Salt. Amazing Photograph opportunities
What’s Not Included
- Meals & Beverages
- Travel Insurance
- Visas or vaccinations
This amazing trip departs from Guatemala City, Antigua Guatemala or Lake Atitlan
Day by Day Travel Itinerary
Day 1. Travel to Ixil Triangle – Chichicastenango Market Visit (Thursday)
7:00am – Our car and guide will meet you at your hotel in any destination or hotel in Lake Atitlan or Panajachel then take a Private transfer to Acul, intensely traditional region Ixil. En route you will visit the colorful and historical village of Chichicastenango, after you Chichiacstenango visit you will continue with your trip to Nebaj, have a local lunch experience with local families of Sacapulas (1:00pm), and then reach your accommodation in Acul at the Hacienda San Antonio.
Day 2. Explore Colorful & Traditional Chajul market (Friday)
8:00am – Explore the market of Chajul, undiscovered market with beautiful ancient traditions, very traditional and established in the heart of the town, while good stock of old adobe houses, wooden beams and red roofs blackened by the smock of cooking fires makes this place a unique destination in Guatemala!
Day 3. Travel to Lake Atitlan
8:00am – Today you have the option of a nice hike or horseback riding experience in the village of Acul, explore the town with your guide, see beautiful rivers and mountains with lots of cows, horses and wonderful views of the little village that one day was the main center for massacres during the civil war in Guatemala. After a nice morning in Acul, we then travel to Lake Atitlan or Antigua Guatemala place where our trip ends.
You can extend your visit by adding a Lake Atitlan boat tour or Antigua tour plus transfer back to the International Guatemala Airport.
• This trip includes a moderate hike
• Bring Warm clothing for cold weather
• Water proof jacket
• Have a copy of your Passport with you
• Hiking shoes
• Bring enough cash with you, no dollars or credit cards can be used in this area
Since we traveled with Pedro of Voltan Adventures once last year (to Rio Dulce), he know that we like off-the-beaten-path cultural experiences. His recommendation of four days in the Ixil region of the Guatemalan highlands definitely fit our interests. At the last minute, Pedro needed to substitute his brother Isaias as our guide – which turned out not to be a problem as he was every bit as knowledgeable as Pedro himself. A highlight of all of our group of three was the weekly market at Chajul, which was filled with women in their bright red traje, selling local produce. Other interesting stops included lunch with a local family in Acul, a visit with the old gentleman who makes the famous black salt of Nebaj, a hike into the hills near Acul and a visit with a classroom of elementary school children. Overnight at Hacienda San Antonio was memorable, as it was a part of a working dairy farm that makes delicious swiss cheese. Maria, the cook and general go-to person, served all locally made foods that were simple and delicious – including letting us try our hand at the local favorite, b’oxb’ol. The best part of traveling with Voltan Adventures is that they listen to your interests and are always on the lookout for an experience that you might like. We’re looking forward to another adventure next year.
Pedro and his team planned an outstanding 4 day trip for us to the Ixil region. Our driver was excellent, which is important since the road system has many surprises. Our guide Isaias was very knowledgeable and accommodating to changes and ideas as we traveled. Our days were packed with interactions with the local people and helped us gain some understanding and appreciation for what is behind all those colorful people you see at the markets. It was a pleasant surprise to learn Isaias was a credentialed birder so we had the benefit of his expertise while hiking some trails. I highly recommend Voltan if you want to really understand the history and culture of this fascinating region.
the Rough Guide to Guatemala served me well during my stay in Antigua volunteering and learning Spanish, so I put my faith in it when I was ready to move on. I knew that I didn’t really want to spend long hours on tourist shuttle buses making short visits to a limited number of well-known destinations organised from some tourist bureau in Antigua or Guatemala City.
Their write-up of Adventure Tours Atitlan proved to be a perfect introduction for me. The big plus was that it is based in ‘Gorgeous’ Santa Cruz la Laguna ‘a supremely tranquil and beautiful village’ on the northern shore of Lake Atitlan (see a separate review of Hotel Arca de Noe).
So over a coffee one evening Pedro Solis sorted me out; made a realistic and affordable schedule based on spending three days and two nights visiting remote towns in the mountainous Ixil region that took in the bustle of market days and time to explore at leisure. This was well out of shuttle bus territory so I travelled in style with a car, a driver and a guide/translator. We covered many miles on mountainous and often atrocious roads. It proved to be an area that sees very few tourists where Spanish is the second language. It was a very special trip and one that, with rudimentary Spanish and poor public transport, I couldn’t have made on my own.
I started off taking Spanish lessons with Pedro of Atitlan Tours & extended it to cycling through the villages above Lake Atitlan, visiting the lakeside villages, taking a fabulous 2 day trip to the Ixil Triangle, staying at a hacienda & cheese farm & horse-riding in the surrounding hills. Being the only tourist at the local market, and seeing the beautiful traditional clothing and textiles of the villagers was a highlight. Pedro’s attention to detail & knowledge of the local area was outstanding and he was great company and an excellent Spanish teacher as well! If you want an adventurous, customised, off-the-beaten-track tour then I would highly recommend contacting Pedro.
Visited August 2011
Since my wife broke her foot a couple of weeks before we left for a tour of Guatemala, we decided to make our trip more comfortable by taking private transport and a private guide for the first part of our journey. We found Pedro through Tripadvisor and believe me, we were so lucky we found him!
Pedro is a real gentleman, really taking care of his guests, and also very knowledgeable about many subjects, in the first place about breathtaking Lake Atitlan, but also about Maya culture and people, traditional Maya textiles, about the markets, about birdwatching, photography. He’s teaching Spanish, learning French (his English is quite perfect)… A passionate young man, always trying to get even better. And especially passionate about trying to give you the best of what his beautiful country has to offer. This was even made clearer the day we were accompanied by another guide : also sympathetic, but what a difference! The difference between “oh well ok” and “woooooow”.
Not only we had a wonderful week with him, full of jawdropping beauty, but his perfect planning also made it possible for us to experience much more than we could ever have if we would have organised everything ourselves. We visited the markets of Solola and Chichicastenango with him, and I can’t imagine it would have been half as absorbing if we would have tried to find our way on our own.
And he helped us to reach the unreachable. We really were fascinated by the Ixil-triangle and the villages Nebaj, Cotzal en Chajul, northeast of Quetzaltenango, and I had spent hours trying to figure out how to include them in our itinerary, but I had to conclude we wouldn’t have time to go there. Pedro not only succeeded fitting them in, but we had such wonderful and stressless two days visiting partying Solola, Fuentes Georginas, sleeping in a wonderful Hacienda near Acul, the traditional market of Chajul… Never in a hurry, always time to meet our needs or to do what seemed best at that time. I can’t recommend enough the trip to Ixil with Pedro. Fantastic!
Concluding : at first sight it’s not cheap for a couple to have your own driver and guide taking you around. But with Pedro it’s worth every penny. Especially when you consider what you would have missed otherwise having only a couple of weeks to spend. It allows you to see much more, without stress and in a leisurely pace, and to enjoy the beauty of this really special country much more in depth. So it becomes a truly memorable experience. And what ‘s more : when you are 4 or more the price per person goes down dramatically, so I wouldn’t hesitate to call it downright cheap!
My advice : don’t miss Atitlan-Ixil Pedro style!
- Is this trip flexible? Yes, please contact us so can tailor a nice trip for you
- Can I book this trip any day during the week or Just on Thursdays? You can start this trip any day during the week but we recommend to start on Thursdays, or Monday so can combine the trip including a visit to Chichicastenango.
- How long would the ride takes between Lake Atitlan or Guatemala City? Usually from Lake Atitlan this is a 4hrs trip but we always include an activity en route so you don’t have to seat the 4hrs. >> From Antigua or Guatemala City This is a 5hrs trip.
- Are there ATM or Banks? Yes, there are banks and ATMs and our guides will inform you the best and safe place to get cash.
- Would they accept my debit or Credit Card? No, any cards is accepted here only cash.
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