Earth, Wind and Fire Revisited in Guatemala - Fri, Mar 23 2018

REGISTRATION & PAYMENT REQUIRED: Once you've reviewed the event details, and decided you'd like to join us, you MUST sign up at the bottom of this page. This is a paid event with payment managed by the trip leader(s) and NOT the AOC. Please read the event description carefully for payment details and instructions.

Earth, Wind and Fire Revisited in Guatemala

The Basics:
Event Type:Backpacking
Event Location: Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala   Backpacking: Earth, Wind and Fire Revisited in Guatemala  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Fri, Mar 23 2018  8:00 am >> Sun, Apr 1 2018 8:00 pm
Registration Opens: Thu, Dec 7 2017 6:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Thu, Dec 7 2017 6:00 pm
Event Duration:9 Days 12 Hours
Difficulty Rating:D5: Difficult (Exploratory)
Distance:26 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Lisa Maldonado
Email Trip Leader(s)
You must be logged in to get the Trip Leader contact information.
Member Cost:$650.00/Person (See Detailed Cost Info Below)

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:11
Minimum Group Size:11
Number Registered So Far: 11 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No

Note: This is an "EXPLORATORY" trip. This means that there are parts of this trip, or perhaps the whole trip, that is new to your Trip Leader(s). However, they are confident that this will not be an issue.
This note is here so that you can make an informed decision. When a Trip Leader isn't personally familiar with a trip, there is an increased chance of things not going as planned and you need to be prepared. The Trip Leader may have additional details in the itinerary.


Regarding information concerning the D5 difficulty rating for this trip and why the min. and max. group size are the same see under Additional Notes below. 

Notice: This web page is designed so that you can only put yourself on the waiting list. Once TLs verify that you satisfy the registration requirements you will be moved to the list of participants. See registration requirements below. 

In 2012, some adventuresome AOC members traveled to Guatemala for an amazing 4-day experienece.  In 2018, we are expanding on that trip for 8 days of being surrounded by vistas, culture and nature unique to this colorful part of the world. This is a great opportunity to visit a beautiful country in Central America that offers many opportunities for outdoor activities: Guatemala. In this event we will visit the city of Antigua (the old Spanish capital and a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and some of the colonial ruins from the earthquake of 1773. As the city prepares for Easter, which is the most important and busiest week of the year, you will see how a laid back town turns into a colorful and festive place. We will travel and tour Lake Atitlan surrounded by majestic volcanoes and authentic small towns each with their own unique charm. We will relax at a hot springs in Xela before going on an amazing 3 day trek through the Mayan highlands of Guatemala filled with incredible views, vegetation and two Mayan villages. This adventure is for those who want to fully experience unique lands and cultures.

FRI. DAY ONE: Arrival early afternoon in Guatemala City, one-hour travel to Antigua with time to relax and acclimate at a gorgeous villa all to our own where we spend the night. The villa has 5 bedrooms, 9 beds, fold- out couch and 3.5 baths. (Delta has 3 hour non-stop flights from Atlanta).

SAT. DAY TWO: Enjoy Antigua in the morning and early afternoon. . A close walk from our villa, we will visit the Arch of Santa Catalina, Cathedral of Santiago, La Merced Church, Central Park and Palace of the Captains General. We will then travel to Lake Atitlan by private touring van (2.5 hrs.) and then by boat to San Pedro on Lake Atitlan. We enjoy an evening and over night (actually two nights) at two spectacular lake front villas right on the water. One has 5 beds, 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths, while the other has 6 beds, 3 bedrooms and 3 baths. 

SUN. DAY THREE: Tour Lake Atitlan by boat tour to small towns like San Pedro, Panajachel and San Marcos each with their own uniqueness varying with quietude, bohemian-style, authentic food and drink, exquisite views of volcanoes and mountains sloping down to the lake. Enjoy another night at the two villas. We will have an incredible authentic Mayan dinner prepared for all of us by a local gormet chef at one of our private villas. 

MON. DAY FOUR: We will have a relaxing breakfast at the villas then travel to Xela by private van (2.5 hr. ride) We will bathe in the famous Fuentes Georginas Hot Springs into the afternoon. Some short relaxing hikes are also available in the lush surroundings. Meet with the trek guides for a short meet & greet, overview of trek. Stay overnight in hotel, double up with two beds and full bath per room.

TUES. - THURS. 5,6,7: 3-day private guided trek along the trail Mayans have used for millennia. The trek in the Mayan Highlands follows mountainous ridge lines and deep valleys through small Mayan villages.   The trek is 25 miles total. First day: The most elevation gain of the trek (2500 ft) to highest point of 10,500 ft; approx. 8 miles. Day two: 12 miles of mountains and valleys trending down. Day 3: We get up in time to see sun rise over Lake Atitlan from a high vantage poin, then 5 miles down to Lake Atitlan at 5500 ft. We will be sleeping on sleeping pads using sleeping bags the two nights. We will sleep one night in a hostel and another night at a Mayan families home in one of the villages. There will be freshly prepared breakfasts (3), lunches (3) and dinners (2). 100% of the $130 fee per person for the 3 days goes towards children in the communities. The guides are volunteers who live off of tips. Reasonable tips for the two guides would be 25% to 40% for this type of arrangement.  The trek is over by early afternoon Thurs.  We travel back to Antigua and stay at the villa where we stayed the previous Friday night. 

FRI. DAY 8: Urban hike around Antigua, the old Spanish capital with restored colonial structures, ruins from 1773 earthquake, plazas and markets all surrounded by amazing volcanoes.  Enjoy Good Friday festivities throughout Antigua. Good Friday we will see processions with floats (some in use since the 1500s!) with decorative rugs laid through the way to the main cathedral. A must see experience according to Lonely Planet. Again we will stay at the villa. 

SAT. DAY 9: Travel back to Guatemala City (1 hour). Fly back to Atlanta.

Registration Requirements.

Note: to be officially registered a deposit of $400 is required (see below)


1. You must be either an AOC trip leader or be recommended by an AOC trip leader. This requirement allows event TLs to verify that you have the necessary level of fitness, will get along with others and follow TLs instructions. Please put yourself on the waiting list, and if you are not a trip leader please ask one to send a recommendation to Lindsey Williams (event TL). If you qualify, you will be moved to the list of participants, provided the maximum number of participants has not been reached. People that put themselves on the waiting list before you will have precedence.

2. After you are moved to the list of participants please send your $400 deposit by PayPal to Lindsey Williams.

3. Additionally, Send to Lindsey Williams the following information: a. Your name as it appears in your passport; b. your nationality and passport number; c; your passport's expiration date; d. your date of birth; e. Your occupation.

Your registration for this event will be considered complete once your deposit and personal information are received. The order of precedence for this event is determined by the date and time your registration is completed.

The balance of $250 must be received via PayPal to Lindsey Williams by January 15, 2018 to maintain registration.  Otherwise you will be removed from participants list and forfeit your spot for the trip. 

Additional Notes:

This event requires 10 people since costs and room associated with private van travel, villas, and trek are based on that number. This event is rated as Difficult (D5) because of the 3-day backpacking trek in the middle. You will need to be able to hike with a full day pack for approx. 25 miles and 4500 ft. elevation gain over 3 days. Some gear (about 125 lbs. or half the total weight of gear for our 10 people) will be portered by an employee of the trek company by way of chicken bus and taxi to each nights destination. Each person will have to carry at least what they will need for the day, water (2 liters per day) lunch and an extra clothing layer (essentially a day pack of about 12 - 15lbs.) It is probable that those who can carry more will carry closer to 20 lbs. to lighten the load of others. This is still much less than the 30lbs. that are normally carried on a backpack trip of 3 days. We will be able to lighten the load to about 10% - 15% of each person's body weight and can shift around as needed what gear each person carries to make the weight load work for everyone. The rest of the trip (Lake Atitlan and Antigua) will be casual urban walking.

The expiration date of your passport must be at least six months after the date you leave Guatemala. Therefore, you cannot be included in the trip if you do not have a valid passport by the cut off date. It may take up to twelve weeks to get a US passport.  

Xela is at an altitude of 8000 ft. and the highest point on the trek is 10,500 ft. 

The lodging will be paid directly by TL event organizer to villa and hotel. You have to pay for any additional hotel expenses (meals, laundry, telephone calls, etc.).

DISCLAIMER: The Trip Leader for this event has elected either to personally collect the funds that event participants are required to pay, or to require participants to pay funds directly to a third party. No funds will be paid to the Atlanta Outdoor Club for this event. Therefore, by registering for this event, you acknowledge and agree to the following: (1) the monies paid by registrants will not be monitored, managed, or otherwise accounted for by the Atlanta Outdoor Club; (2) that the Atlanta Outdoor Club bears no financial responsibility for this event; and (3) you waive any and all claims against the Atlanta Outdoor Club, and hold the Atlanta Outdoor Club harmless for the loss of any monies you paid for this event.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, any paying registrant may request directly from the Trip Leader, prior to the event, a breakdown of funds collected, estimated expenses, and deposits made in anticipation of the event. Following the event, the Trip Leader must complete his or her financial accounting for the event, with supporting documentation, within 30 days of the completion of the event, and a paid registrant may request a breakdown of funds collected, money spent and supporting documentation after that time. If you are unable to obtain requested documentation, please contact the Director of Paid Events.

Required Items to Bring:

Valid Passport.

Your passport must have a validity of at least 6 months past the departure date from Guatemala (09/31/2018).

- 50 liter backpack.

Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.

Personal Equipment List:
- Hiking boots
- Sun hat
- Rain gear
- Gloves
- Sunglasses
- Sunscreen
- Lip balm
- Personal First-aid kit
- Head lamp and Batteries
- 1.5 liter Nalgene bottle
- Camera
- Extra snacks
- Trekking poles.


NOTE: We will schedule meetings to answer questions and organize ourselves for this unique adventure!

CDC Health Information for Travelers to Guatemala

* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Member Cost:$650.00/Person
Cost Includes:


- All transportation except possible cab fare in Antigua. Includes transport from Guatemala City airport to Antigua then to Lake Atitlan, then to Xela and then back to Antigua and finally to airport.

- Hotel accommodation at villa in Antigua for 3 nights.  Fri., Thurs. and Fri. 

- Sleeping accommodation at San Pedro on Lake Atitlan 2 nights.

- Mayan dinner at Villa

- Sleeping accommodation at Xila

- Professional English speaking guides for Private Trek on 3 day (2 night) backpacking from Lake Atitlan to Xela.

- Cost to have some gear portered to each nights destination on trek.

- Cost to have extra baggage not needed for any of the trek safely stored at destination end. 

- Meals for 3 days on Trek (3 breaksfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners)

- Tour of Lake Atitlan.

- Entrance fee to hot springs 

- sleeping bags, sleeping pads in highlands (If you don't bring your own.)

Cost does NOT include:

- Airfare: Atlanta/Guatemala City (Delta non-stop approx. $750). 

- Hotel miscellaneous expenses.

- Personal Expenses.

- Meals not mentioned under Costs Included.

- Tips for trek guides

Travel and Trip insurance are recommended. Can be purchased at: http ://

Make a Payment:Although there is a cost for this event, you do not pay through the AOC. Please review the event details carefully for information about how/where to make your payment.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.

If you cancel on or before Jan 15 you will receive a full refund. No refunds are possible after that date.