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Semana Santa festival

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West Midlands
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Semana Santa festival

I am planning a trip to include Antigua next year, and would like to be around for the above festival. Could someone let me know which days the festival takes place on - it looks like it is mainly Good Friday...is this correct? Will there be celebrations on other days too?

california
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1. Re: Semana Santa festival

There are activities scheduled all through Lent. And, of course, the week from Palm Sunday to Easter has the most. There are lists published--just look on the web for Semana Santa 2014, Antigua Guatemala. You should reserved a room early and bring your camera! It is a special time in Antigua.

Mi Wuk Village...
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2. Re: Semana Santa festival

The whole week has something going on although Friday and Sunday are the heights. Been there a couple times Easter Week. First thing... make your hotel reservations now. And confirm a couple times over the next few months. No joke. This is a world famous celebration. Google images. Yeh... if you delay you might get a last minute hotel.. but that is rare. Rates zoom that week. Most places have a minimum stay. Usually at least 4 days. Not only hotels but anyone with a spare room rents it out. BTW... the rest of the country is also busy but not nearly as much. This is one of those once in a lifetime things to attend. Make plane reservations early too. Watch out for touts with links.

West Midlands
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3. Re: Semana Santa festival

Thanks so much, the information on the website is really helpful too.

I am hoping to book to come in 2014 as part of a longer tour of Central America, I believe the tour company to be reliable (Journey Latin America - any advice here?) so will probably book through them.

La Libertad, El...
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4. Re: Semana Santa festival

There is no need to use a tour company in CA, it's so easy to do it yourself & save a bundle.

Mi Wuk Village...
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5. Re: Semana Santa festival

I agree with abuelo about not using a tour company. You just add 30% to the cost. More if it isn't local. You can do it all your own unless elderly and handicapped. . Learn a few words in Spanish by then. If you have time consider a couple weeks in Spanish school in guatemala. One of the best places in the world to study Spanish. Cheapest too.

Crowsnest Pass...
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6. Re: Semana Santa festival

Just to give a different viewpoint about tour companies, if I returned to Guatemala during Semana Santa and didn't know the area or time was tight for what I wanted to see, I would give consideration to a tour company. About half my trips are with a tour company and the other half are independant. The advantage of a good tour company is that they look after the details for you regarding accommodations and transport. With a good tour company it wouldn't have taken 3 different bookings to get a place to stay at the quoted price, nor would I have been sent to Panajachel in a shuttle with broken seats and a maniac drunk driver! A good tour leader also knows where the best restaurants are (depending on your level of adventure and budget) and the details about a place that aren't in the tour books.

That said, you have to find a tour company that offers what you want. No sense paying the extra if you can't stay in the type of accommodation you want, or if the included tours are to places you aren't interested in. Another thing to consider is the group size. Guatemala isn't built for big tour buses. If you are part of a group of 40 people on one big bus you will probably miss out on things because your bus can't make it to all places - besides, not many people like to be herded around like sheep.

If you do choose to do it independantly, consider hiring local guides when you get to new places. They are a wealth of information and you help out the local economy as well.

Panajachel...
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7. Re: Semana Santa festival

Journey Latin America is a great tour company, but as the folk above have said you really do not need to use a tour company, as once you are here there are lots of local companies that can help you. For example in Antigua there is LAX Travel for all sorts of trips and then ATITrans to use for all transport needs! Travel is extremely easy in what you in the UK might think of as a mini van with seats - here they are called shuttle buses, and there are lots of public and private ones for tourists!

Be sure to come to Lake Atitlan though and visit us! I can help you with a lovely rental if you wish, rather than with a hotel!

BUT most important of all is for the whole of Semana Santa Week, be sure to book now! And as someone said phone and double check: This site has a number of good hotels at different budgets: http://antiguahotelsolutions.com/ and can be booked on line in English!!

Semana Santa is wonderful and although Antigua is the centre to see it, be sure to be there Thursday night that is really when there is lots happening as they re-enact the stages of the cross. But other areas around Guatemala celebrate too - for a Mayan flavour then head for Lake Atitlan and either Santiago Atitlan, very crowded or San Antonio - not crowded!

have fun - it is certain that you will!

8. Re: Semana Santa festival

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