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Guatemala: The Living Maya

Hosted by: Jim Cline Photo Tours - View Profile
Oct. 3-15, 2019

Guatemala is a true paradise for photographers. Set in a backdrop of indescribable grandeur – volcanoes looming above with beautiful lakes, lush jungles, and pine forests. And everywhere are the local people – many of whom are descendents of the great Maya civilization that once flourished in the area, still living much the same way as they did before the Europeans first arrived. And the Spaniards did their part too, constructing the colonial gem of a city in Antigua, as well as many picturesque churches throughout the country.

Long before the Europeans showed up in America the Maya had established a complex civilization in Guatemala and the surrounding areas. They built enormous pyramids and temples, and made advancements in science, math, astronomy, and the arts. Many reminders of this world still remain – in the ancient ruins at such sites as Tikal and Copan and in the local people and their traditions. We will stay as near as possible to these archeological sites in order to photograph them in the best light in the morning and late afternoon. And we’ll visit the various towns on their special market days, providing many photo opportunities of the modern day Maya and their traditions.

Antigua is one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in the Americas. Situated beneath three volcanoes, its cobblestone streets, crumbling ruins, and colonial architecture make it an ideal photo subject. Indigenous vendors sell their colorful fabrics in the main plaza and the streets. Our hotel is just one block from the central plaza and the cathedral.

Lake Atitlan was described by author Aldous Huxley as the most beautiful lake in the world. When you first see its deep blue water ringed by dramatic volcanoes it’s hard to argue with his assessment. We’ll be able to view the lake from a variety of locations, and visit some of the towns located on its shores. Our hotel is conveniently situated very near the shore in the town of Panajachel.

The market in Chichicastenango is world-famous. People come from all the surrounding villages to buy and sell, as they have since pre-hispanic times. It’s truly an explosion of color. We’ll be sure to arrive early in the morning, before the majority of tourists arrive. We’ll also visit some lesser-known towns on market days in the area around Quetzaltenango.

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