I am passionate about adventure travel and feel very lucky to be able to share that passion with others through Old Town Outfitters.
I'm originally from Savannah, Georgia but have been living in Antigua, Guatemala for 8+ years now. I head up the team at Old Town where we strive to provide unique, high-quality trips which create rewarding experiences for our clients.
My friend and business partner, Matt Hartell, started Old Town Outfitters 20 years ago and we continue to be the leaders in Guatemalan adventure travel. Our philosophy is based around supporting the local economy via employment of local guides, promoting responsible travel, and sponsoring meaningful local NGO's.
What places and activities do you specialize in?
"We specialize in adventure and experiential tours throughout Guatemala and into neighboring countries. Our main adventure sports are volcano hiking, mountain biking, sea kayaking, and rock climbing. Our local guides will take you into the mountains, jungles, beaches, and old forests of Guatemala for an unforgettable adventure.
We find that many people who visit Guatemala for the first time are surprised by the rich cultural and outdoor experiences we have to offer. That's the part of the job we enjoy the most, making you want to come back for more adventure in the future! "
How did you get involved in travel?
"Working for Delta Airlines during my college years gave me a springboard into the world of travel. I was taking off to new destinations every free moment and this confirmed my dreams of making travel the heart of my world. Both personal and professional travels have connected to me to so many good people in the world and I'm looking forward to many more of those connections.
I was on one of my Delta adventures when I first visited Guatemala and fell in love with the local culture and landscapes. The country is a beautiful playground for any adventure traveler and still continues to surprise me to this day. You'll find that it is not an uncommon story for people to visit Guatemala and be so enchanted that they return many times, sometimes relocating for good.
After a few years of guiding motorcycle tours through Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, I joined Matt at Old Town Outfitters and have been helping grow the business ever since. "
Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.
"In my early days of living and working in Guatemala, I was always exploring the country on my motorcycle in search of new experiences to share with clients. One of these trips took me to the far northwest corner of Guatemala, near the Mexico border. Motoring along a very remote road, my front tire blew out and I all of the sudden found myself sliding across the road and into a ditch. The next 24 hours were a great example of the kindness, generosity, and hospitality that I've found among Guatemalans.
Starting with the curious locals that first ran to check on me, the local police who loaded my moto into their truck, the local nurse who patched up my cuts and bruises, and finally to the local elderly couple who took me in for the night so I could rest. That afternoon I fell asleep only to be woken by a tropical story coming through Playa Tilapa in the middle of the night. The lamina roof of their small hotel was flopping around as rain and wind were crushing this small town. As I couldn't sleep, I resigned to lighting a candle and working on my moto in the hotel lobby. Soon Ted and his wife Rosaria joined me with hot coffee and we shared stories until sunrise. It was during those hours that I realized that Ted was actually in a book I read years ago, "In Search of Captain Zero", a surfing adventure from 20 years ago. It was one of those amazing small world connections that could only happen through a combination of mishaps and adventures that traveling the world seems to always create. "
Featured trips & expertise
This is Guatemalan trekking at its best. The Western Mayan Highlands Trail follows ancient trade routes that once connected the Mayan civilizations of Lake Atitlan to those of Quetzaltenango. Much of this walk is above 10,000 feet (3,000 m), providing phenomenal views of 15 different volcanoes. Watch the sunset over Lake Atitlan, and finish your hike with a dip in the Fuentes Georginas hot springs.
You're in for a week of adventure on this action-packed trip to one of Central America's lesser-known gems. Discover the rugged natural beauty of Guatemala as you hike, bike, and kayak around its most stunning attractions and charming towns. You'll camp out overnight on a volcano, go mountain biking through colorful indigenous villages, and paddle through the waters of magical Lake Atitlan.
This trip to the heart of Central America offers fascinating historical culture, thrilling adventure, and jaw-dropping vistas. You'll fall in love with the charming colonial city of Antigua, learn about ancient Mayan civilization, and hike and bike some of Guatemala's stunning mountain volcanoes.
Immerse yourself in ancient Mayan culture while traveling in style on this 8-day trip to Guatemala. Pamper yourself in luxury hotels and see the sights from above as you fly by helicopter to some of Guatemala's best attractions. You'll bask in the beauty of magical Lake Atitlan, discover the charming colonial city of Antigua, and participate in a Mayan ceremonial ritual.
Recent trip reviews for Chris
Gutamala active vacation, Guatemala - Aug 5 - Aug 11, 2018
Guide - Mario - excellent - great guy, very knowledgeable about the area and culture, excellent language skills, friendly, considerate - perfect !
Operator - Chris - very professional in organizing the trip. But, I expected him to come by at the hotel after arrival to review the trip and get to know each other. Again very well organized but a bit missing that personal touch.
Trip was great:
Day 1 Antigua - excellent
Day 2 Pacaya volcano - excellent
Day 3 Lake Atitlan - lake and boat ride as... read more
Guatemala 2018, Guatemala - Aug 4 - Aug 11, 2018
Chris and team provided my family with the best vacation we have ever shared together.
This was the first trip to Guatemala for my 2 biological children, as well as the first trip to Guatemala for my youngest daughter that we adopted from Guatemala 13 years ago. It was also our first opportunity visit with Telma, a 9 yr old girl that we sponsor from Guatemala through the organization, Unbound.
When I first reached-out to Chris, I didn't know what to expect. I had very little knowledge... read more
Guatemala, Guatemala - Jun 22 - Jun 24, 2018
Overall, the experience is good. The guides are knowledgeable, courteous, friendly; both the guides and drivers are very professional. However, even though this was a private tour, it still felt like we were on a tour group, albeit a very small group of two, with a preset agenda and timetable. The tour was lacking flexibility as we were dashing from one destination to another, spending too much time in a destination that we had no interest in (e.g. the jade shop demonstration or the visit... read more
Guatemala vulcano trip, Guatemala - Jul 27 - Jul 30, 2018
Chris and his colleagues did a great job planning our vacation in Guatemala and we had an excellent time. The visit to Pacaya Vulcano followed by the spa experience was a treat for the entire family. The white water rafting day was fun and we were happy to hear about the noble mission of Rios Guatemala (the rafting company) which is a non-profit aiming to use the money raised from organizing adventure trips to cleanup the rivers in Guatemala and educate the local communities how important... read more
Puerto queztal guatemala, Guatemala - Apr 2 - Apr 2, 2018
Sebastian our guide on the hike up the volcano was great. Roasting marshmallows on the fresh lava rocks was fun!
Guatemala orphange, Guatemala - Mar 24 - Apr 1, 2018
My son and I were planning a trip back to his birthplace in Guatemala as well as visiting some orphanages along the way to bring them some donations he had collected. Chris was amazing in helping me out figuring out what was doable and what was not. I truly appreciate all his help which is why I am not giving this a worse review. I also loved our tour guide Ricardo to Rio Dulce Las Canchas and the place he sent us too. However, it really was not a replacement for what I... read more
Best of guatemala - 8 days, Guatemala - Mar 10 - Mar 17, 2018
The whole trip was so great and beyond my expectation. Our leader Alex, was the most professional outdoor adventure leader I've met. He speaks English so well and took good care of everyone. He encouraged me a lot before our hiking to Volcano Acatenango. He made great meals for us during hiking. And he is a really nice guy with kindness and humanism. I appreciate a lot that Old Town Outfitters provided me a so comfortable and enjoyable trip. Other guides and drivers I met during the trip were also great. Luv them all.
Mayan adventure in guatemala - 6 days, Guatemala - Feb 14 - Feb 20, 2018
Chris picked perfect activities for our trip. He understood our needs and customized our tour to our liking on the first try! Our guides were young and fun and made sure we got to our destinations. They were early/ontime and provided insightful stories into the Mayan culture in Guatemala. We loved each tour and the local connections each guide had which made our trip more special.
Mayan adventure in guatemala - 6 days, Guatemala - Feb 14 - Feb 20, 2018
Chris, our local specialist did a phenomenal job at creating a customized itinerary on a very short turnaround when our travel plans changed right before our trip started. Chris was also really helpful in changing around our plans when there was an unexpected sickness on the trip. All of our guides were amazing. Manuel took us on a walking tour of Antigua which was a great way to start off our trip. In Monterrico, we had a really fun and relaxing afternoon kayaking with Alex. Alex was also... read more