Guatemala

An exhilarating excursion through the country of Guatemala with an opportunity to help change lives.

Detailed Itinerary (subject to change)

Smile Network International is a humanitarian organization that provides life-altering reconstructive surgeries and related healthcare services to impoverished children and adults in developing nations. This year Puckett Excursions, an adventure travel company is offering a unique opportunity to explore the country of Guatemala before the mission begins with Smile Network International. This early look at the land and culture will heighten your senses and experience before you begin your work with Smile Network in changing so many lives. During this 11 day excursion you’ll participate in the regions identifiable characteristics, starting with a private tour of Guatemalas oldest National Park and visiting the ancient city of Tikal one of the largest Mayan cities in the world. Then you’ll spend a few nights on the second largest lake in Guatemala, Lago Petén Itzá, where you’ll participate in one Guatemalan favorite past time of kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, or just relaxing under the sun. You’ll then travel south to the Spanish Colonial town of Antigua, Its historic architecture and delicious food will be the focus as you learn traditional recipe’s and flavors from the locals. Volcanos are everywhere in Guatemala and many with positive results such as, Lake Atitlán, a massive crater and it’s evolution into beautiful and eclectic villages. We end your journey in the small town of Patzún where you’ll join Smile Network on their mission to give children in need a fresh start. There is limited space with only 14 spaces available on this adventure through Guatemala. If you are interested, the sooner you reply the better your chances are. But first, to qualify you will need to commit to fundraising or donating $2500 to Smile Network International. Each $2500 raised will go directly to helping 5 children in need of reconstructive surgery and services. Once you commit to fundraising and start the process, we welcome you to book your adventure with us.

Dates: October 27th – November 6th

(Smile Network Mission: November 4th-6th) 

Day 1:

Tikal, Flores and Lago Petén Itzá. We start our adventure in the North of Guatemala outside Tikal National Park on Lago Peten Itza, the second largest lake in Guatemala. You’ll want to relax, eat, drink or do some of the many water sports available as you become aquatinted to the laid back and slow paced culture of Guatemala. You’ll find it easier to slide into your surroundings at the famous resort owned by the Coppola Family, La Lacha is a private jungle resort and our home away from home for the next few days.

Day 2:
We will have a relaxing morning at the resort before traveling into the rainforest of Tikal National Park after lunch for a private tour around the ruins of the ancient Mayan city of Tikal. This pre Columbian city was built between 200- 900 AD and became one of the most powerful kingdoms of ancient Maya. We’ll find our way to the top of one the temples for sunset high above the jungle canopy in earshot of the howler monkeys and tropical birds. The sights and sounds remind us of the long history of the beautiful country.
Day 3:
We fly from Flores to Guatemala City and transfer to the picturesque town of Antigua, once the colonial Spanish colony to Guatemala named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979. This colorful village surrounded by volcanoes and rolling hills filled with coffee farms is full of culture, delicious food and incredible architecture. But. the quickest way into the heart of a culture is through its local food and this evening in a private cooking class where the wine flows freely, we will prepare an Antiguan traditional dish called pepian de pollo. We’ll end the night with a toast on the roof top deck as we watch the sunset over this historical city.
Day 4:
Today we embark on a volcanic adventure day hike. After a traditional breakfast we will drive to the trailhead of Vulcan Pacaya which has a constant flow of hot red lava. This is not Fuego Volcano which erupted in June 2018. Active, easy and fun, Vulcan Pacaya is the little volcano that just keeps on giving. More quiet now since the last eruption in May 2010, it is easy to trek over cooled lava flows in search of gas vents and “HOT” spots to roast marshmallows. After our day hike here we make It down the mountain and back to Antigua by afternoon for some rest and relaxation. That evening we will check out one of the few roof top bars called Lava, it has great atmosphere and beautiful view of the city.
Day 5:
Today we will visit one of the many coffee plantations surrounding Antigua tasting and learning about the intricate process of coffee making. If you haven’t had Guatemalan coffee you’re in for a wake up call. She’s strong! After lunch we will take an afternoon tour learning about the history, buildings, and architecture of colonial Antigua. After dinner we’ll head to Helados Exoticos for the best organic ice cream in town with over 50 unique flavors.
Day 6:
Today, we head to Lake Attilan. A collapsed crater turned in to a massive lake with depths of 1100 ft surrounded by several other volcanoes and high mountains littered with quant lakeside villages accessible only by boat. Each are uniquely different from one another and dedicated to various aspect of Guatemalan culture. We’ll arrive in Panajachel and take a private boat to our lakeside hotel. Upon arriving we will have some free time to have lunch, relax, kayak if you’d like, catch up on some reading, or taking a plunge before we spend the next couple of days exploring this incredible force of nature.
Day 7:

Today we will have an early breakfast and board our boat to San Pedro La Laguna where tuk tuks will take us to the trailhead of Vulcan San Pedro. The hike will take us to the top of San Pedro for an awe inspiring view of Lake Atitlan. We will be down just in time for lunch in one of San Pedros great restaurants. After lunch we will head to the town of Santiago for some shopping and visit some local weavers to learn how they make their clothing and dyes. We’ll head back for a big dinner and sunset cruise.

Day 8:
Today is all about you as San Marcos is known for the best yoga, meditation, massages and holistic classes for everyone who’s open to experience it. This small village of free thinking and spirituality sits directly on the lakefront and is home to an eclectic mix of people and influences with plenty of organic restaurants and produce. I recommend the banana bread and Kombucha at Circles.
Days 9 & 10:
Today we’ll head to Patzun to begin your Smile Network Mission experience. You will witness first hand the life-changing surgeries that will forever improve the lives of the children of Guatemala. Your mission experience begins with an introduction to the families and children preparing for this incredible journey. You will then be able to personally guide them through registration, surgery, and recovery – an experience that will stay with you forever. (Please click this link for more information about The Smile Network).
Background

Price: $2400

To secure your spot – 25% Deposit to hold your place $575.00 USD payment due. The payment schedule will follow upon booking.

What is included?

  • All hotels, and private tent for Acatenango
  • Flight from Flores to Guatemala City
  • All breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner
  • Private guide for our trek with knowledge of the Volcanoes.
  • All transfers between destinations
  • All Excursions

What is NOT included?

  • Initial fundraising of $2500 for Smile Network International
  • International airfare to Flores, Guatemala upon entry and Guatemala City upon departure.
  • Lunch and Dinner ( about $40 a day for both would be on the higher end.)
  • Alcohol

Payment Options:

  • Venmo
  • Apple Pay
  • Quickpay with Zelle (chrispuckett@gmail.com)
  • Check / Money Order (payable to Chris Puckett) receipt upon request.
  • PayPal (IMPORTANT: Use “Friends and Family” option if PayPal is linked to your checking account. If not 10% will be added to your bill)
  • Wire Transfer (details upon request)
  • Cash

Please note:

  •  This trip benefits Smile Network and is only available to each participant who commits to fundraising or donating $2500 to go toward life-changing surgeries.
  • Puckett Excursions is not legally affiliated with the Smile Network or its organization.
  • Puckett Excursions is contracted by the Smile Network to provide the exploration portion of this itinerary.

Interested?

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