Experience the Maya World on authentic Guatemala tours
GUATE 4 YOU is a small locally run, community-based Guatemala tour and travel company established in 2015. Based in Guatemala City, most of their Guatemala tours and unique experiences take place beyond the capital. With their guests they venture out to villages off the beaten track with wonderful names like Jocotenango, Sololá, Almolonga, Salamá, and Uaxactún. Many of these towns are 1-4 hours outside Guatemala City, with a couple about 10 hours north in Petén Department. Provinces or regions are called Departments in Guatemala, or Departamento, in the country’s native Spanish.
GUATE 4 YOU has a distinct mission that forms its foundation: to value and preserve the cultural richness and the natural resources of Guatemala, the Maya world, and its people. Promoting the tenets of sustainable tourism, GUATE 4 YOU develops exciting travel experiences that provide visitors with a deeply rich cultural experience through direct, positive interaction with their local hosts.
Community Tourism & the Guatemalan People
GUATE 4 YOU knows the best way to preserve the culture of the Maya world that has attracted many tourists for decades, is to not only preserve the integrity of its historic sites, but to support local people in sustainable ways to improve their daily lives and well being. This creates an incredible cycle of robust benefits to both the traveler and the community. GUATE 4 YOU hires expert guides who know the regions intimately, dines in locally owned restaurants serving authentic Guatemalan food, and partners with family run hotels and eco-lodges whose hosts are happy to share their customs and traditions with travelers.
GUATE 4 YOU has 2, 4, 7 and 1-day Guatemala tours. Their expert community guides lead travelers through some of the most exciting and interesting itineraries. Your toughest problem is going to be deciding which one to choose!
Will you explore the active Pacaya and Santiaguito Volcanos? Or a day kicked off by a hike to see the sunrise from the highest peak in Central America, at Tajumulco Volcano? Or perhaps Guatemala’s well known colorful handmade textiles will entice you into the highlands? Woven by the Maya communities of San Juan La Laguna, you could participate in weaving workshops using natural dyes made from local ingredients.
The Maya world is known for its culture and art, and many of the GUATE 4 YOU tours provide opportunities to meet local artists who share their history and work. You can witness Maya drama, pre-hispanic dance, or try your hand at kite-making in the most vibrant of colors.
Protecting Guatemala's Lush Natural Environment
Guatemala’s rainforest is extensive and diverse. The country is home to hundreds of different species of mammals, birds, and reptiles, as well as thousands of species of plants. Deforestation is a crucial concern in the country. It is devastating to its wildlife, people, and the air. GUATE 4 YOU is committed to having a gentle footprint on this environment and works to reverse the effects of climate change and wide-spread forestry. GUATE 4 YOU actively engages in educational programs for local communities and for its traveling guests. It partners with environmental organizations and weaves environmental protection and the preservation of the Maya world into its Guatemala tours.
Bird watching takes on an extraordinary quality when you get to do it alongside an archaeological tour! Birding and history combine in a few of the Guatemala tours, with some inside Tikal National Park, and another at the archaeological site at Yaxhá National Park. Which is more fascinating, the intrigue of these mystical historic sites, or the truly stunning tropical birds found in these rainforests? You won’t have to choose between them, you’ll get both!
Five Things We Love About GUATE 4 YOU
Historic site preservation
GUATE 4 YOU makes a point to visit archaeological sites that have very few visitors, not the traditional tourist destinations. Its local guides become the protectors of the sites and of the environment.
Promotes sustainable and community-based tourism
GUATE 4 You partners with Peten Birders Association a Guatemalan non-profit made up of birdwatchers and bird guides who contribute to conservation through citizen science and outreach. Together they have established programs that work to educate local children about conservation and protection of their natural resources. These programs influence the experience travelers have and there are opportunities to work with these conservation efforts. Indirectly, part of the costs of GUATE 4 You birding tours is donated for the education of children in public schools of Guatemala
GUATE 4 You is proud of the fact that it does not use any plastic water bottles, plastic bags, or straws, and partners with hotels that have recycling practices, organic gardens, and even one hotel with no electricity at night!
Originally born in El Salvador, GUATE 4 YOU founder, Ivania Sibrian moved to Guatemala in 1978. She was a tour guide for 20 years exploring almost all the communities of Guatemala. She spent that time talking to people and learning about their daily lives. Connecting travelers with the local communities is the most enjoyable part of her job. Learning, teaching and taking photos of the weavers and the textiles is her passion!
Hands on travel!
Through workshops, tours, classes & experiences travelers physically interact with and learn from Guatemala's local people. You can hike, weave, do pottery, make kites, cook, dance, sing and search for beautiful tropical birds ... just to name a few.