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January 3 - January 10, 2009
Day 1 Saturday, January 3 - Departure

Depart from Dulles airport to Guatemala City, via Miami, with American Airlines at 6:10am. Arrive in Guatemala at 2:20pm.  Meet your escort who will be with you throughout the tour. Transfer by motor coach to Antigua. Lodging at the Villa Colonial Hotel for three nights. Free evening.
Day 2 Sunday, January 4 - Antigua

Enjoy a walking tour of Antigua, a 16th century colonial city with cobblestoned streets. We will visit the architecture and colonial houses, Merced Church, the Cathedral destroyed by an earthquake in the 1700s, San Francisco Church, Capuchins Convent, among other sites.  Afternoon transfer to San Antonio Aguas Calientes for a guided tour of this town famous for its textiles.
Day 3 Monday, January 5 - Antigua

This morning we will take a hiking tour through small towns around Antigua. The afternoon is free to explore the colonial city. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979 Antigua exudes a unique atmosphere of history, intrigue and surprise. Resting in a fertile valley at 1530 meters and surrounded by hills and volcanoes, Antigua’s climate is referred to as “eternal spring.”
Day 4 Tuesday, January 6 – Lake Atitlán

Transfer to the town of Solalá for its colorful market, one of the most authentic in the Highlands. This is a local rather than a tourist market. In the afternoon we will go to our hotel, Villa Santa Catarina Hotel, by Lake Atitlán.  This lake in the central highlands was cited by Aldous Huxley as being “the most beautiful lake in the world.” The caldera, formed by a volcanic eruption, contains 130 km of sparkling water, encompassed by hills and three towering volcanoes. The lake has been home to many different cultures dating back to 1000 BC. There are 17 towns and villages around the lake. Many of the Maya inhabitants still wear their traditional clothing.

Day 5 Wednesday, January 7 - Lake Atitlán

Morning transfer by boat on lake Atitlán to San Juan la Laguna for a guided tour. This mellow lakeside village has escaped much of the excesses of its neighbors.  We will then transfer to Santiago Atitlán for lunch at Posada de Santiago. After lunch there will be a guided tour of Santiago Atitlán. We´ll visit the Church, the brotherhood of Maximón, a local saint worshipped by the Tzutujil Maya Indians. Enjoy the beautiful handicrafts made by the locals. The rest of the afternoon is free. Transfer back to Villa Santa Catarina.

Day 6 Thursday, January 8 – Chichicastenango market

This morning we will visit Chichicastenango, a K’iche Maya town in the highlands, famous for its colorful market on Sundays and Thursdays, when the local Indian population celebrates its outdoor market. We will also visit Saint Tomas Church where the local shamans perform ceremonies and worship the ancient gods inside the Catholic temple. Afternoon drive to Guatemala City Airport to board our flight to Flores on TACA airlines. Following the one-hour flight we will transfer to Tikal National Park. Rest of the day is free. We’ll be staying at the Jungle Lodge, inside the National Park, for two nights.
Day 7 Friday, January 9 - Tikal

Following breakfast there will be a full-day guided tour of Tikal which also includes a picnic lunch. At its peak some 1500 years ago Tikal was an important religious, cultural and commercial city, one of the most influential city states of the Maya civilization. This is evident with the more than 3000 structures extending over six square miles fairly deep in the jungle. Around the Great Plaza is the well-known Temple of the Giant Jaguar which reaches a height of over 170 ft. Tikal once boasted a population of perhaps 100,000 around 300-900 AD. Surrounded by a lush tropical forest it is also the home to howler and spider monkeys, parrots, toucans and other exotic wildlife.
Day 8 Saturday, January 10 - Return

Morning transfer to the airport for our flight back to Guatemala City. Then we will board our American Airlines flight which arrives at 11:40pm  in DCA (Reagan National Airport).

Course Information

Students register in the fall for Span. 131 (Ibero-American Culture and Civilization), 3 credits, GH, GI, and "other cultures" course.

For information on this course please contact Dr. Cecilia Heydl-Cortinez, or at 771-4151

This course may be taken as a distant education course or as an independent study 400-level course.  A noncredit Continuing Education course is also available for participants on this trip.

Cost information for the Guatemala trip

Price for the trip -  from $1,800.00 based on double occupancy
Penn State York students may receive financial funding from the Student Activity Fee Committee after a campus-wide presentation in February. There are some additional scholarships available depending on student GPA and financial need.

The Price Includes:

  • American Airlines flights from IAD to Guatemala City, returning to DCA
  • Airline fuel surcharge of $125.00 (subject to change until ticketed)
  • Estimated airport taxes $100
  • Tour escort throughout the trip
  • 3 nights hotel accommodation, in double room, at Hotel Villa Colonial, Antigua
  • 2 nights hotel accommodation, in double room, at Villa Santa Catarina Hotel, Lake Atitlan
  • 2 nights hotel accommodation, in double room, at the Jungle Lodge, Tikal National Park
  • Breakfast daily and two lunches
  • Excursions and sightseeing as per itinerary. Entrance fees on scheduled tours.
  • Boat ride to San Juan La Laguna on Lake Atitlan
  • Internal airfare roundtrip from Guatemala City to Flores
  • Deluxe private motor coach for transportation and transfers to hotel/airport
  • Tuition for 3 credits for full-time students at any Penn State campus.
  • Guidance and academic supervision by Dr. Cecilia Heydl-Cortinez, associate professor of Spanish at Penn State York.

The Price Does Not Include:

  • Single room supplement + $200.00
  • Local and International departure taxes
  • Transportation to Dulles Airport
  • Tips for driver and tour guide
  • Porters at airport and bellboys at hotels
  • Meals other than specified
  • Cost of personal items: phone, drinks, etc.
  • Optional travel insurance ($99 from Gate 1 Travel)
  • Passport & visa fee (passport should be valid til July 2009)
  • Everyone needs a valid passport. In case you are not an American citizen a visa may be required.

Family of Penn State students, faculty, and staff are welcome on our trips.

Terms and Conditions

Gate 1 Travel terms depend on contracts with American Airlines, hotels and other suppliers. Regulations below must be strictly enforced as they are related to these contracts.
Air deposit: $100.00 due by September 2, 2008. Checks payable to “Gate1 Travel” should be given to Dr. Cecilia Heydl-Cortinez (in her campus mailbox or in her office).
Second deposit: $300 due by Sept. 24.
Final payment due November 3, 2008.  Late fee: $50 +, applicable for registration and/or balance payments received November 4, 2008 or later.

All cancellations must be sent to Gate1 Travel in writing.
Following penalties will apply:

  • 99-61 days prior to departure: $200
  • 60-31 days prior to departure: 35% land cost, 90% air cost
  • 30-1 days prior to departure: 50% land cost, 90% air cost
  • Day of departure/no show: 100% of total price 
We strongly recommend that you avail yourself with travel insurance as a protection against these penalties. Please, check with Gate 1 Travel website for the $99 travel insurance plan for this trip.

To make your reservation please contact:

Dr. Cecilia Heydl-Cortinez, associate professor of Spanish, or by phone (717) 771-4151
Your deposit (made payable to “Gate1Travel”), name as it appears on your passport, address and phone, roommate name (if applicable), and copy of your passport can be taken to my office (room 203 Grumbacher ISTC), dropped in my mailbox
or mailed to:
Dr. Cecilia Heydl-Cortinez
Penn State York, 1031 Edgecomb Avenue
York, PA 17403

If you don’t have a passport yet make sure you hand in the deposit and other information by the due date so as to secure a space on the trip. Apply for a passport as soon as possible. Then you can give me a copy of your passport once you’ve received it.

Tour #225426 - Penn State York         Guatemala


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