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Since Guatemala was once the center of the Mayan civilization, my friends and I wanted a unique experience that showed us the Mayan culture. The Solola Market, Panajachel Cloud Forest and Mayan Villages offered that and more. Our tour guide, Alvaro Samuel Botan Sen or Sam is Mayan and took us first to the Solola Market where we were the only foreigners. Sam advised us, since we were obvious stand-out visitors, how to be sensitive regarding photography and interactions. Sam next showed us Mayan Villages along Lake Atitlan where we sampled local life and Mayan markets. We ate typical food at a restaurant along side the scenic lake. As a special feature of the tour, we climbed to a cave, high above the lake, to experience a Mayan ritual conducted by a shaman. The climb requires sensible shoes and a brave heart, but with Sam as the guide, this event was the highlight of our trip. If you seek authenticity and a tour you will always remember, I highly recommend this one and Sam as the guide.
Our tour was booked through the local contact Los Elementos Adventure Center and Day Spa in Antigua.
Took this tour with my 16 year old grand daughter. It was a lovely day lots that interested both of us. I would definitely recommend it.
Alex was a great guide. He really knows the area and the culture of the Mayans It was a very interesting tour. The driver who picked us up at the hotel was on time. But we were confused about what was going on. We felt like there was no communication about where we were going. The guy who picked us up at the hotel dropped us off in town where we got on another bus that was very crowded. I showed my paper work to the driver and he nodded his head, and motioned for us to get on. We expected to meet our guide, but we didn't meet him until we got up to Sololá. After we met Alex things got much better. Alex also made sure we got on the shuttle bus to take us back to our hotel in Antigua. This bus was also very crowded, which made it uncomfortable.
Absolutely abysmal tour! Our tour guide, Sam, kept trying to talk us into going elsewhere because he didn't want to be there. The tour was over two hours late getting started and no one seemed to know who was supposed to be taking us or where we were to go. The guide didn't speak to us through most of the tour and when he did it was to berate us for not understanding Catholic dogma! He kept telling us he'd rather we'd gone kayaking on the lake! Absolutely awful! Don't go on this tour!
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