Colors of Guatemala- Mayan Culture, Landscapes, Birds, and more.
Lake Atitlan and Antigua, Guatemala
February 10 - 19th, 2024
Aldous Huxley wrote in his travel book Beyond the Mexique Bay “Atitlán is (Lake) Como with additional embellishments of several immense volcanoes. It really is too much of a good thing.”
A Complete Photo Adventure and Retreat
This workshop will be based at the beautiful Lake Atitlán, in the Southwestern highlands of Guatemala. Lonely Planet calls it "the most beautiful lake in the world." It's a place where luscious forests and active volcanoes surround the lake. The lake is sacred to the indigenous Mayan communities that still live in villages along its shores.
When you think about Guatemala, you can't help but think about color. There's the colors of the 400 species of birds that inhabit the highland forests around Lake Atitlán. And in nearby villages where indigenous Mayan people wear handwoven garments as they walk streets lined with colorful buildings and art.
We will visit San Juan la Laguna, a preserved Mayan village where markets are filled with colorful crafts made by local artists, and weavers. Trips to Panajachel, Santa Cruz la Laguna, and Santiago la Laguna offer photo opportunities to practice street photography and portraits of the indigenous Mayan people and their culture.
We'll be staying in a luxury 3-story villa overlooking Lake Atitlán. Over the years, our hosts, the Fritchmans, have established themselves as part of the Guatemalan community. They are welcomed by the locals who open their homes, weaving circles, and coffee plantations for an intimate view of life in Guatemala. A local guide and translator will accompany us.
After getting many great photos along the lake and Mayan villages, we will complete the trip in colonial Antigua. The city was the capital of the Captaincy General of Guatemala from 1543 through 1773. The Baroque-influenced architecture and city design dating from that period still stands, some in crumbling ruins. Antigua was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.
Please note: most photos on this page are courtesy of GuateMaya Tours.
Photo workshop opportunities include
Pampering at Casa Valdres
What You Need to Know
Who Should Come?
There will be walking on uneven streets, and moderate hiking required.
This is not suitable for those with ADA needs.
For those with serious knee and back limitations, it can be difficult to disembark from the water taxis.
What's Not included?
10 days/9 nights in Lake Atitlán and Antigua
Meals, double-occupancy lodging,
Van transportation from GUA to Lake Atitlán and from Antigua to Guatemala airport.
All Tuk-tuk carts, water taxis (lanchas)
Covers tips for the casa's staff and families.
Daily workshop instructions and photo review.
Payment can be made in full or using this payment schedule:
$650 deposit due at sign up
$1350 due August 1, 2023
$1400 due October 1, 2023
$1400 due November 1, 2023
$1400 due December 1, 2023
All installments are non-refundable. If there is a waiting list, we may be able to apply payments to future workshops.
Please wait for your confirmation email before booking the flight.
Have questions? Happy to help...
Photographer - Leader - instructor
The photo workshop is led by Barb Gonzalez, who, after a lifetime of doing photography, worked for a dozen years as a travel photographer for Central Oregon and Pacific Northwest publications. She brings her knowledge of travel, and street photography, and her expertise in landscape and birding photography.
A longtime writer that is known for simplifying technology, Gonzalez speaks at a level that meets each photographers needs as participants come away from her tours and workshops with new skills and knowledge to continue taking better photos.
Visit Barb's online gallery at barbgonzalezphotography.com
Stewart and Pejota (PJ) Fritchman
guatemaya tours-Casa Valdres Hosts
Our hosts Stewart and PJ Fritchman of GuateMaya Tours have been traveling for many years from Bend, Oregon to Guatemala. Stewart's warm hospitality and excellent cuisine choices surely are a reflection of Bellatazza, his popular coffee house in Bend.
PJ is a 500-hour yoga instructor with focused studies on Yoga Nidra, Energy Medicine, a Reiki Master, and a yogi since 1996. She has brought health and balance to her students throughout the USA and Guatemala.