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Sacred Sites | Travel & Vacation Tips & Resources

A Summer Vacation To Guatemala

Guatemala – A Learning Experience For All Ages

If you want to take a summer vacation which also offers an opportunity for your children to learn, why not take a summer family vacation to Guatemala? There are a lot of Mayan archaeological sites and much Mayan culture to learn about.

Here is one possible eight day Guatemalan vacation package:

* Days 1 and 2: Guatemala City – Antigua, Guatemala. Spend half a day on a guided walking tour of Antigua. You’ll see the Iglesia San Francisco, La Merced Church and the cathedral. You can also take an all-day hike to the Pacaya Volcano and picnic at the volcano before descending.

* Day 3: Antigua to Lake Atitlan. Visit the Lake Atitlan highlands and the Solola Market. Each village in the highlands has its own unique traditional dress made with their own colors, styles and hand woven patterns. Once you arrive at Casa Palopo, you can spend the rest of the day exploring the town. For those who would rather see Guatemala’s highlands from an aerial view, you can also go to Casa Palopo by helicopter!

* Day 4: Lake Atitlan. Take a full day tour of Lake Atitlan, traveling across the lake by boat and visiting the village of Santa Catarina; well known for its textiles. Afterwards, you can go south to Santiago, sited along a lagoon between the volcanoes of San Pedro and Toliman. You can pay a visit to the temple of the Mayan god Maximon and see the rituals of local shamans.

* Day 5: Chichicastenango – Peten. Visit the charming town of Chichicastenango and take a guided tour of its famed markets. The red-tiled roofs, cobblestone streets and frequent mists give the town a fairytale quality.

* Day 6: Peten – Yaxha Ruins. You’ll take a half day tour of the ruins at Yaxha, rarely seen by tourists. Located in the jungle between Flores and Topoxte, Yaxha means “green water” in Mayan, a reference to the nearby lake.

* Day 7: Peten – Tikal – Guatemala City. A full day in the Tikal National Park. Tikal was one of the greatest cities of the Mayan civilization and is located in the rainforest. You’ll see Mayan ruins as well as parrots, toucans and monkeys!

The mayan ruins of Tikal National Park, Guatemala

The mayan ruins of Tikal National Park, Guatemala

* Day 8: Guatemala City – Depart for home.

A vacation to Guatemala provides you and your family a unique opportunity to see Mayan culture up close. You will be able to build understanding and respect of Mayan culture and traditions.

Reading about different cultures and civilizations is certainly a good thing, but is no substitute for seeing these other lands and people for yourself. If you are trying to plan a family vacation which will provide learning and recreation, think Guatemala.

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Visit The Sacred City Of Machu Picchu


Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas


A spectacular vacation that is both fun and educational is to spend some time at Machu Picchu in Peru.

Machu Picchu - the lost city of the Incas, Peru

Machu Picchu - the lost city of the Incas, Peru

There are many different trips you can arrange to visit this sacred place. A typical itinerary you may encounter would resemble the following:

*Day 1: Lima, Peru. Founded by Francisco Pizarro, a Spanish conquistador, on January 5, 1535 – the eve of the Epiphany of the Magi – Lima’s original name of La Ciudad de los Reyes, or “City of the Kings” has a long and interesting history.

*Day 2: Lima – Cusco – Sacred Valley. After a tasty breakfast at your hotel, you will fly to Cusco. There you will be met by a local guide who will drive you to the Sacred Valley of the Incas for a day-long tour. The Sacred Valley is 8,500 feet above sea level, and was the heart of the Incan Empire. You’ll stop at the local village of Pisac and see its colorful marketplace. After a nice lunch, you’ll visit the fortress of Ollantaytambo and its companion Incan town of the same name. This place is still inhabited and its original layout and architecture is perfectly preserved.

*Day 3: Sacred Valley. After breakfast, enjoy your day exploring the valley. Visit villages, ruins and markets, or take some time to go mountain biking or rafting. Have fun!

*Day 4: Sacred Valley – Machu Picchu. After your morning meal, you’ll board the Vistadome train to take you to Machu Picchu. This 1.5 hour trip follows the spectacular gorge around the Urubamba River. You will arrive at Aguas Calientes, or Machu Picchu Pueblo.

*Day 5: Machu Picchu – Cusco. Spend part of the day exploring the ruins on your own. When you’re done, you’ll get a shuttle bus to Machu Picchu Village, where you’ll catch the train for Cusco.

*Day 6: Cusco. Nearby Incan ruins are available by guided tour. See Kenko “The Labyrinth,” the ceremonial bath of Tambomachay and more. You’ll never forget the huge fortress known as Sacsayhuaman. A walking tour will help you enjoy more historical sites like the Santo Domingo Temple and the Cathedral on the Plaza de Armas.

*Day 7: Cusco – Lima. You’ll take a flight back to Lima and then home.

Some of the incredible things you’ll witness on this trip will never be forgotten. At Sacsayhuaman, your guide will challenge you to slip a sheet of paper through the cracks between the stone blocks. They were cut with such precision that they remain in place centuries later without a single dab of mortar.

Machu Picchu is one of the most incredible sacred sites known in the world. The Intihuatana stone was placed so precisely that twice a year “the sun stands almost directly above the pillar, creating no shadow.” These stones were sacred to the Inca, and many were destroyed by the Spanish conquistadors. The Inca believed that if one of these stones was broken at a shrine, the deities either left or died. The Spaniards did not find Machu Picchu, so we are fortunate to have this stone intact to see.

“The Machu Picchu Guidebook” may help you and your family prepare for this epic journey of a lifetime.

For Machu Picchu tourist and travel information go to Machu Picchu Travel

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