Countries visited : Guatemala, Mexico
TOTAL DAYS : 19 Days.
STARTS IN : Mexico City
ENDS IN : Guatemala City
Highlights : Montealban Ruins , Mexico City Zocalo , Oaxaca , Zinacantan , Yaxchilan Ruins , Tikal Mayan Ruins , Chichicastenango Market , Antigua Guatemala
TRANSPORT : Air-conditioned vehicle , Boat
This tour will give you a remarkable insight into these captivating countries. You will meet the indigenous people of Mexico and Guatemala, visit rural villages, learn about Maya culture and the fantastically coloured dress and admire many fabulous weavings and embroideries. The fine textiles and fabrics of the Maya are expressions of cultural identity, heritage and magnificent personal artistry.
Textile Tour of Mexico & Guatemala
This is an exciting opportunity to see and understand the unique textiles and traditions of the Mayans in Mexico and Guatemala. In Mexico, it is said that the vision of weaving designs and technical ability come to the women of Highland Chiapas in dreams. The symbols used in their weavings form a language that expresses the cosmos and each person’s place in it. This trip focuses on the textile traditions of Maya Highland villages that surround San Cristobal las Casas.
In Oaxaca, the trip takes us into the homes and workshops of the Oaxaca artisans. We travel to the villages that specialize in the wood carved “alebrijes”, the sleek black pottery, and treadle and backstrap loom weavings, to see how the crafts are made, and for the opportunity to buy directly from the artisans.
Guatemala is a fascinating country with beautiful colonial cities, colourful Indigenous markets, interesting archaeological sites, towering volcanoes, stunning lakes and wild rainforest. It is also the Maya heartland of Central America and is waiting to be explored and discovered.
The expert guide, will give you a remarkable insight into this captivating country. You will meet the indigenous people of Guatemala, visit rural villages, learn about Maya culture and the fantastically coloured dress and admire many fabulous weavings and embroideries.
The fine textiles and fabrics of the Maya are expressions of cultural identity, heritage and magnificent personal artistry.
Day 01 Arrive to Mexico City– Sat
Welcome to Mexico City. Meet and assist at the airport and transfer to Hotel. On arrival check in at the hotel for a stay of 4 nights. Dinner at the hotel. Overnight at Hotel Casa Inn 4*
Mexico City is located in the Valley of Mexico, also called the Valley of Anáhuac, a large valley in thehigh plateaus at the centre of Mexico, at an altitude of 2,240 meters (7,349 ft). The city was originally built as Tenochtitlan by the Aztecs in 1325 on an island of Lake Texcoco. It was almost completely destroyed in the siege of 1521, and was subsequently redesigned and rebuilt in accordance with the
Spanish urban standards. In 1524 the municipality of Mexico City was established, known as México Tenustitlán, and as of 1585 it is officially known as ciudad de México.
Day 02 Mexico City – Sun National Anthropology Museum
Visit the National Anthropology Museum for a display of clothing of various ethnic groups of Mexico, followed by a stop at the Museum de Arte Popular exhibiting contemporary and traditional folk art from all over Mexico. Visit also FONART shop, a government incentive helping village craft people. Own dinner arrangements. Overnight at Hotel Casa Inn (B)
Day 03 Mexico City – Mon Full Day Guadalupe Shrine & Teotihuacan Pyramids
This morning travel to the Pyramids of Teotihuacan and Shrine of Guadalupe and on the way visit the Plaza of Three Cultures and the Basilica. Once Teotihuacan, the City of the Gods, is reached you will tour the site and have time to climb the amazing pyramids, walk along the Avenue of the Dead and see the Palace of Quetzal-Butterfly. On the return journey stop at La Ciudadela Artisan Market. Own
dinner arrangements. Overnight at Hotel Casa Inn (B, L)
Day 04 Mexico City-Tue Morning City Tour
Today’s morning city tour includes Zocalo, the large central square, the National Palace where the murals of Diego Rivera decorate the central staircase, the main market and a walking tour of the historical centre. Return to the hotel. Overnight at Hotel Casa Inn (B)
Day 05 Mexico City/ Oaxaca (Flight not Included)- Wed Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera Museums
Tour the Museo of Frida Kahlo, the former home and studio of the artist, which she shared with Diego Rivera. Very interesting site were her clothes and some of her personal items are on display.
Afternoon Flight to Oaxaca, on arrival you will be transferred to your hotel for a three night stay.. Overnight at Hostal de La Noria (B)
Welcome to Oaxaca a charming colonial town, where tradition and modernity go hand in hand to produce a delightful array of sights and sounds. It is the capital of the state of Oaxaca – a modern city whose ancient cultures still burst with life to this day. Ideally situated about 5,000 feet above sea level in a valley between the mountains of Sierra Madre to the east and the Sierra Oaxaquena in the west, the city enjoys almost perfect weather.
Day 06 Oaxaca- Thu Teotitlan del Valle- Dyeing Demonstration and City Tour
Breakfast. The city of Oaxaca and the surrounding area are famous for many crafts including weaving, spinning, jewellery, pottery and Alebrijes, carvings painted in a myriad of colours.
This morning travel to the town of Teotitlan del Valle where most of the people have an active interest in weaving. You will see demonstrations of weaving and the dyeing of wool with many different colourful natural dyes. Return to Oaxaca and have a city tour visiting the Church of Santo Domingo and its museum, the market and chocolate factories where you will be able to make your own chocolates!. Overnight at Hostal de La Noria (B)
Day 07 Oaxaca -Fri Textile Museum of Oaxaca, afternoon visit of Montealban
Breakfast. A visit to the new Museo Textiles de Oaxaca starts the day. This museum’s mission is to document, rescue and promote the textiles of Oaxaca. The museum now has a collection of 4000 pieces. In the afternoon tour the impressive Zapotec archaeological site of Monte Alban built on the tops of mountains with spectacular views. The site comprises of 12 areas. Overnight at Hostal de La Noria (B)
Day 08 Oaxaca / San Cristobal de las Casas (Flight not Included)- Sat Flight to San Cristobal de las Casas
Breakfast and transfer to the airport via a boat ride through the Sumidero Canyon. San Cristobal de Las Casas at a height of 2100 metres, is rich in ancient and indigenous cultures and famous for the Mayan textiles that are woven there. Amber jewellery and pottery is also produced. Stay for two nights. Overnight at Hotel Diego de Mazariegos (B)
The Mayan highlands of Chiapas are one of the most intact traditional areas of Mexico. Many of the current traditions in dress and ritual can be traced back to the Classic Era of the ancient Maya, more than 1,500 years ago. This is one of the few places left in Mexico where most of the clothing worn by the indigenous women, and even men, is woven the old way; at home on a backstrap loom. There are dozens of weaving villages spread throughout the highlands, each with its own style and identity in weaving. The weaving traditions are solid, rich and deep and as one travels through the highland villages it is not at all uncommon to see women spinning wool with a drop spindle while herding sheep, weaving in the patio, fulling cloth and, always, wearing their traditional dress.
Day 09 San Cristobal de las Casas- Sun Tenejapa and Zinacatan/Market and museum of Sergio Castro
Breakfast. Start with an orientation and Introduction to Maya Weaving Traditions in the Highlands of Chiapas. to get an overview of days ahead; the villages and weaving traditions that will be seen.
Visit the public market, followed by a visit to the Textile Museum of Sergio Castro and travel on to the village of Zinancantan. Later in the day visit the Amber Museum and visit to craft makers. Overnight at Hotel Diego de Mazariegos (B)
Day 10 San Cristobal de las Casas/Palenque- Mon Indigo Cooperative and Palenque Archaeological Site
This morning visit Cooperative producing indigo wrap skirts and overlapping belts. In the afternoon visit the magnificent archaeological site of Palenque, set on a ridge overlooking the jungle. Dinner at the hotel. Overnight at Hotel Ciudad Real Palenque 4* (B, D)Set in the foothills of the Tumbalá mountains of Chiapas Mexico, Palenque is situated on a ledge overlooking the swampy plains that stretch northward all the way to the Gulf coast. Perhaps it is this positioning between two worlds, that gives Palenque a mystical charm that enchants scientist and
tourist alike. The vista of the flat plains to the north, and the misty green of the lush mountain backdrop to the south, captures the imagination of modern visitors and most certainly inspired ancient artists and architects.
Day 11 Palenque/ Corozal/Bethel/Flores- Tue
Departure to the incredible site of Yaxchilan a site still used to this day as a place of worship and ceremony by the Lacandon Maya. This unique site is strategically located atop a knoll set on a natural omega formed by the Usumacinta River. Then embark on the Usumacinta River, a fluvial highway of the tropical forest of Mesomerica being also part of the political border between Mexico and Guatemala. Overnight at Villa Maya (B,L)
For the Mayan towns, this river was considered sacred. The translation of the name Usumacinta is ” Water of the Sacred Monkey “. On the margins of this great river and its tributaries, during second to tenth centuries B.C., important Mayan cities were constructed these were Ceibal, Aguateca, Dos Pilas, Altar de Sacrificios, Planchon de las Figuras, Yaxchilan, Piedras Negra and Pomona, among others.
Today they remain in ruins and can be visited, allowing us to marvel with the aid of imagination the entire splendour that they once possessed. The rapid currents of this magnificent river flow into the heart of the green tropical forest, producing the greatest body of water of the American continent remaining fre e of contamination. Lizards, approximately 3 meters in length, can be found in the river.
Great turtles and sabalos, a meter in length, will offer a great and lasting battle to the fisherman. Along the river borders the Saraguato monkey can be seen, as well as other likeable and playful monkeys. One will also observe other mammals, insects such as spider’s butterflies and the nesting of birds such as scarlet macaws. One of the principal attractions along the Pasión River is the tranquilizing of the forest of northern Guatemala. This river is the beginning of the natural water ways that kept the old Mayan cities in touch with one another. Be prepared for the humidity of the tropical jungle. It is suggested to carry clothes such as cotton trousers and jackets with long sleeves, very comfortable shoes or boots, a bathing suit, insect repellent, flash light, suntan oil and articles of personal hygiene.
Day 12 Flores/Guatemala City (Flight Not Included)- Wed Tikal Ruins Tour and Flight to Guatemala City
Breakfast. An early morning tour of Tikal National Park with private guide. Tikal is equivalent as New York of the Mayans. This fabulous site has huge temples rising up through the jungle canopy and a variety of tropical animals and birds on show. Guests can enjoy the sights and sounds of the howler and spider monkeys as well as many colourful tropical birds and other mammals. Lunch is provided at local restaurant. You can then explore the museum before heading to the airport for your flight. Overnight at Guatemala City, Westin Camino Real 4* (B, L)
El Peten, Guatemala’s Rainforest Region
El Peten, in northeast Guatemala, represents the largest tropical forest in Central America, containing ruins, great and small, from the ancient Maya civilization. The crown jewel among the Peten’s 13,000 square miles is Tikal, a sprawling complex of more than 3,000 structures. The ruins of Ceibal,
Aguateca, and Yaxha contribute to the Peten’s standing as the heartland of the Maya. Countless more ruins still lie shrouded by dense forest overgrowth in the Peten, which contains over 800 species of trees, 57 species of reptiles, and 500 species of birds. Tapirs, peccararies and jaguars still roam the emerald forests, just as they did when the ancient Maya ruled the region.
Day 13 Guatemala City/ Lake Atitlan- Thu Ixchel Museum and afternoon transfer to Lake Atitlan
A brief Guatemala City tour to down town and head towards Museo Ixchel. At the Museum there will be a behind the scenes presentation with a specialized curator and an afternoon 3 hr. transfer to Lake Atitlan . Overnight at Villa Santa Catarina 3* (B)
Museo Ixchel: Ixchel was the Maya goddess of fertility and weaving, and she certainly inspired artistic talent in her people. The Museum is the best textile museum in the country and has a collection of over 300 pieces of approximately 120 indigenous communities. The museum also has two permanent exhibitions of paintings: 61 watercolors of Maya traditional dress from the collection of Carmen de Pettersen, and 48 oil paintings of the Cakchiquel artist Andrés Curruchiche.
Guatemala City, home to one-fourth of the country’s entire population and the capital of Guatemala, features a huge range of restaurants, hotels, museums and shopping facilities. Guatemala City is the country’s commercial, financial, and cultural centre, as well as the hub of the nation’s transportation. Coffee, the chief export, is grown on the surrounding hillsides. The city is clean and modern, with wide paved streets radiating from Central Park. On the plaza are the National Palace and the Metropolitan Cathedral.
Day 14 Solola Market- Fri
Breakfast. You will be picked up from your hotel and transfer approx 30mins up to the traditional town of Solola. Since Friday is a market day it will be is bursting with life and local Maya people from all around the area flock to the market to buy and sell their wares for the week ahead. Everyone is dressed in the brightly colored local textiles and even the men here wea r the traditional costume of the area. This is a fabulous and authentic market to visit which gives the traveller a wonderful insight into Maya life in the Solola district of Guatemala. After the market you will also visit the village of Chuacruz, 15 mins from Solola and will have a presentation of the local weaving and spinning. Also visit the Solola textile coops and learn the unique techniques of the area. Overnight at Villa Colonial (B)
Atitlán, some 600 meters below. It is a highland market centre and is the headquarters for the Catholic Bishopric encompassing Sololá and Chimaltenango Departments. Nearby, two kilometres before one reaches town, there is an extension of the University Del Valle. The campus was converted from a
military base in 2000. Almost all residents of Sololá are Kaqchikel Mayas, except in Argueta, where most are K’iche’ Mayas. A large percentage of both men and women continue to wear traditional Mayan clothing. Guests typically visit Solola on a market day (Tuesday and Friday) .
Lake Atitlan has been called by many, “the most beautiful lake in the world”. It is indeed an amazing setting with the crystal blue waters of the lake surrounded by the three lofty peaks of Toliman, San Pedro and Atitlan Volcanoes. You can take a private boat to villages surrounding the lake and experience the local indigenous customs, traditions, dress and crafts.
Day 15 Lake Tour – San Juan & Santiago- Sat Textile coop, naif painters and Maximon
After breakfast, you are picked up from your hotel & boat transfer to San Juan La Laguna Village where you will visit a local textile cooperative to see the back strap loom in use and to see how they still d ye with natural dyes.
Visit the home and workshop of local naïf painters before boarding the boat onto Santiago Village for free time for lunch. After lunch you will walk with your guide to find the house where the Maya God Maximon is living. Each year a different “brotherhood” has the privilege of taking care of their God so his location changes. Once with Maximon you may see local shaman performing rituals for local people
and if you wish you can ask your guide to help you hire the services of a shaman for you to have a personal ceremony performed. After visiting Maximon you can visit the local church and learn about the history of this very traditional town and also see the market and learn about the distinctive textiles and primitive art that is famous from this area. When ready you will be transferred back to your hotel.
Overnight at Villa Santa Catarina (B).
San Juan La Laguna
Boasting one of the best sandy beaches on Atitlán’s shoreline, on the western side, this small village of 8,000 inhabitants is almost exclusively Tz’utujil. Traditions of farming and fishing stand alongside the weaving of reed mats or petates, and textiles. Many of the women have organized themselves into weaving cooperatives, exporting much of their high quality handiwork, and one group makes their dyes from local plants.
Artists paint in the Arte Naif or primitive style, some tinting their works exclusively in local natural dyes. Guests can visit San Juan La Laguna any day of the week. We typically include a visit to a weaving cooperative & a naif painter’s workshop and combine with a visit to Santiago Village.
Founded in 1547 at the foot of the Toliman volcano, this is the largest town with a population over 32,000, about 95% indigenous of Tz’utujil descent. Livelihoods include fishing, farming and making Cayucos (local canoes). Artisans specialize in painting, woodwork and weaving textiles. The stunning men’s p ants and women’s huipiles are woven and then beautifully embroidered with birds. Some of the older women still wear the traditional tocoyal, an 8 meter length of red fabric wound round their head like a halo. Santiago is home to one of the three “original” Maximon characters, a pagan deity or god who receives offerings of alcohol and cigars.
Day 16 Chichicastenango / Antigua Guatemala- Sun Chichicastenango Market Tour and Transfer
Breakfast. Transfer 1hr to the town of Chichicastenango. Along the way you will pass through the central highland region and see the local Maya people in their traditional dress going about their daily lives – working in the fields, collecting firewood, travelling between markets, selling their wares. Upon arrival at Chichicastenango your guide will take you to explore this famous market both the local areas of the fruit & vegetables & everyday items as well as the craft area where you can find endless variety of beautiful textile, wooden & ceramic crafts. You can also visit the famous St. Tomas Church where local Maya people come to perform Maya rituals within the Catholic Church – demonstrating the interesting way the two faiths have combined in recent times. If guests want to they can also hike up the hill to the Pascaul Abaj ritual site to see if any local shaman are performing rituals and/or to the cemetery on the outskirts of town. Free time for lunch. Once ready a 3 hr transfer will take you to the colonial town of Antigua Guatemala. Overnight at Hotel Villa Colonial 4* (B)
Chichicastenango is famous for its large craft market on Sunday and Thursday. This is when craftsmen and villagers from all over the highlands converge on this small town to sell their wares. Sunday is an interesting day to visit because as well as the hugely colourful market, many village shamans will come from miles around to “Chichi”, as the locals call it, to perform Mayan rituals on behalf of people in their community. There are many hillside Mayan altar sites where the rituals are performed and, yet more strangely, many are performed on altar slabs inside the Catholic Church. Chichi is one of the easiest places for travellers to experience the strange way that Mayan & Catholic faiths have merged
in Guatemala. During a trip to Chichi, you can also visit the small mask factory and see a traditional dance display performed by the local children.
Day 17 Antigua Guatemala – Mon Walking Tour Antigua Guatemala
You will be met at your hotel by your private guide and transfer to Antigua Guatemala for a morning walking tour with a specific focus to learn about the wonderful and complex Guatemalan, Mayan textiles and folk art. This tour will take you to markets, museums and specialized shops so that you can learn about the history and techniques surrounding Guatemalan Textiles & Folk Art as well as the differences in colours, styles and symbolism from each area of Guatemala. This tour is flexible and if you have specific sites that you wish to see please notify your guide. An Afternoon Mayan Textile presentation at Casa de Artes with an expert weaver from San Antonio Aguas Calientes. Overnight at Villa Colonial (B)
Antigua Guatemala is one of the most idyllic destinations in the world, with painstakingly restored Spanish colonial architecture, manicured parks, stylish hotels, superb international cuisine and a horizon shaped by three spectacular volcanoes. Nestled in a mountain valley and surrounded by evergreen forests, Antigua retains the aura of the 17 th Century capital that it was, while blending modern amenities that make it an internationally appealing getaway. Walking along cobblestone streets, visitors find high-end art galleries, fascinating museums, luxurious shops with international treasures and traditional markets packed to the rafters with locally made textiles and woodcrafts. With its architecture, culture and unique setting, Antigua, Guatemala, quite simply, is one of the most charming cities in all the Americas.
Day 18 Antigua – Wed Tour of Textiles- villages around Antigua
You will be met at your hotel by your private guide and tour around Antigua with a focus on learning about the wonderful and complex Guatemalan, Mayan textiles and folk art. This tour will take you to markets, museums and specialized shops so that you can learn about the history and techniques surrounding Guatemalan Textiles & Folk Art as well as the differences in colours, styles and symbolism from each area of Guatemala. This tour is flexible and if you have specific sites that you wish to see please notify your guide.
In the afternoon you will meet your vehicle to take you out to the villages of San Antonio Aguas Calientes & Santa Maria to meet with local families and weavers & to learn about the textiles & traditions of their villages. In Santa Catarina Barahona which is next to San Antonio Aguas Calientes we will visit the home of locals where we will see warping for a back strap loom. We will also see demonstrations of the marcador technique, which this village is famous for. It was taught by French nuns and its gobelein tapestry finely done in cotton for guipiles. They also do double weave for their belts. We will see a typical indigenous home a tortilla making and eating for anyone who wants.
In Antigua Guatemala you can expect a private collection of Textiles with Gio Rosalinni. There will be also an introduction of Tienda Nin pot where people can see the different techniques and trajes in which there are 273 in the whole country. Overnight at Villa Colonial (B)
Day 19 Antigua Guatemala Free Time and transfer to Airport- Thu
Breakfast. Transfer to Airport for your departure flight to Los Angeles (B)
Learn about the history and use of cochineal
See pre-Hispanic motifs in ancient ruins that are used in craft designs today
Go to the best galleries, shops and coops
Visit homes and workshops of local artisans
Travel the Usumacinta River to the sprawling site of Yaxchilan to see early Maya weaving motifs on carved lintels
Visit Tikal, one of the most impressive Mayan sites
Walk the streets of Antigua, San Cristobal and Oaxaca to identify design motifs in architecture
Travel to the Highland Villages to meet the weavers and learn of their traditions and techniques
Learn of Maya design motifs and text used in weavings
Visit of Chichicastenango and Solola’s Markets and witness the Mayan traditions
Behind the Scenes at the Ixchel Museum
Air-conditioned vehicles, aeroplane, boat and foot.
Mexico Textile Tour
|Mexico City||T.Superior||On request||AUD$6362||On request|
Guatemala Textile Tour
|Flores||T.Superior||On request||AUD$6362||On request|
Prices per person in AU$. Not valid during local public holidays and special events. All prices are as a guide only, please check with us for the latest prices.
Tour name :
Textile Tour of Mexico & Guatemala
Custom-made, flexible trips to Central and South America. You tell us when, where and how you’d like to travel.
We will put together a program that best suits your needs and preferences.