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Ciudad Vieja Tour: Chicken Buses, Woodwork, and Niños de Guatemala School

Discover everyday life in Guatemala on this authentic Ciudad Vieja tour. With your bilingual guide, visit an educational equity NGO, a fascinating chicken bus refurbishing factory, and a family-owned Guatemalan coffin woodworking workshop. In collaboration with local residents, organizations, and artisans, discover Ciudad Vieja’s industry, education, daily routine, and vibrant spirit.

USD $55.00USD $60.00

Per Person
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Discover Local Culture, Industry, Education, and Tradition on this In-Depth Ciudad Vieja Tour

Discover everyday life in Guatemala on this authentic Ciudad Vieja tour. With your local guide, take an iconic “chicken bus” to a traditional Guatemalan community. There, in collaboration with local residents, organizations, and artisans, discover Ciudad Vieja’s industry, education, daily routine, and vibrant spirit. With your bilingual guide, visit an educational equity NGO, a fascinating chicken bus refurbishing factory, and a family-owned Guatemalan coffin woodworking workshop.

Highlights

  • Ride in an iconic Guatemalan chicken bus — old US school buses repaired, re-purposed, and repainted to serve rural Guatemalan transportation needs
  • Visit the former capital of Ciudad Vieja for an off-the-beaten-path look at daily life in Guatemala
  • Tour a chicken bus refurbishing shop to see the magic, marvelous transformation process from US school bus to Guatemalan chicken bus
  • Visit a family-owned coffin carpentry workshop for a unique and privileged look at traditions surrounding death and celebration of life in Guatemala
  • See Niños de Guatemala primary and secondary schools and learn about their work as a leading NGO in educational equity

Tour Information

Duration:  4 hours: morning and afternoon tours depart at 8:00 am or 13:00 pm. 

Start/End Location: Centrally located tour office in Antigua: 4a Calle Oriente #28. (Local hotel pick-up/drop-off is available for private tours)

Availability: Daily (except national holidays)

Miscellaneous: This Ciudad Vieja tour includes a large amount of walking between sites, and may not be suitable for very young children or adults who have challenges walking longer distances.

Itinerary

Begin your Ciudad Vieja tour at Niños de Guatemala primary and secondary schools. The Guatemalan NGO is dedicated to holistic education, with wrap-around services that include social work, psychology, nutrition, and health departments.

Explore the school, meet students and staff members, and learn about Guatemalan education and the organizations working toward educational equity for Guatemala’s most vulnerable students.

From there, visit a chicken bus factory and coffin carpentry workshop to discover the community’s two main industries. Chicken buses are a common form of transportation in Guatemala. The former U.S. school buses are fixed, adapted, and decorated by local artists to fit the local transportation needs of rural Guatemalans. At the factory, you’ll learn about this fascinating economic niche, and watch the transformation of old yellow buses right before your eyes!

At the coffin carpentry workshop, a local resident Don Cesar will demonstrate how coffins are build and adorned according to Guatemalan tradition. Though this tour may seem somber, the colors, artistic beauty, and fine craftsmanship of Don Cesar’s hand-crafted coffins make for a fascinating tour with a wealth of cultural insight.

To end the day, you will return to Antigua by chicken bus — and ride with a new appreciation for these noisy, vibrant vehicles!

What’s Included

  • Transport
  • Bilingual guide
  • All entrance fees

What’s Not Included

  • Snacks
  • Gratuities
  • Personal expenses

What to Bring

  • Wear clothing appropriate for a Guatemalan school environment (covered shoulders and legs above the knee)
  • Wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes (required to enter the chicken bus factory)
  • Sun and rain protection (sunscreen, hat, umbrella or raincoat)
  • Bottle of water

Important Notes

  • Closed-toed shoes are required to enter the chicken bus factory
  • There is no minimum passenger limit to reserve.
  • This tour will proceed rain or shine, so clients should come prepared with sun and rain protection.

Map

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Antigua, Guatemala

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Antigua, Guatemala 14.556600, -90.733900

What Happens After I Book?

After you book your experience, you will receive a confirmation email from us confirming that your payment went through. You will then be connected directly to the tour operator, in case you have any further questions. We are also happy to answer any questions about the tour, or travel in general in your country of destination.

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