I had planned to write several post about Guatemala, but I’m behind on my blog and am trying to catch up. I spent a little over 2 weeks in Guatemala and loved it. For now I just want to include all the highlights of my time there and give a few tips that may help you. Yes giving a “Hand Job… on a Chicken Bus” will forever be the highlight of Guatemala for me, but I did more than just that so here you have it.
ANTIGUA – When you arrive to Antigua you will see that it is a very cliché colonial city/town. To be honest I did not like it at all when I first got there… I thought wow this town is very clean cut and beautiful (I’ve grown to love gritty towns). After a few days I started exploring a bit more of it and it grew on me (now I love it). Upon arriving to my hostel I made friends with Pedro and Alice we travelled together through most of Guatemala & they are also a reason I have some amazing memories of this town and Guatemala.
- TIP – Antigua is very touristy and everything everywhere is very expensive. I would recommend eating at the markets. Also some of the hostel are not that great we stayed at the Black Cat the first night and it was just horrible. We later took Globetrotter Girls advice and stayed at Yellow House and loved it.
VOLCANO PACAYA – After arriving to Antigua I had a million options of what Volcano to climb. I did research and climbing this volcano seemed like the best one to do. Even though it was a cloudy morning day I was not able to see much, but it is was still amazing. When you make it to the top it’s like you are on a different planet since it just recently erupted its left the top full of ash and lots of dry lava.
- TIP – When you get to the volcano you will have the option to rent a horse for about $30 round trip or you can rent a stick for less than $1. I would highly recommend renting a stick it helps a million!!! Plus it makes for some amazing pictures.
LAKE ATITLAN – I stayed in the town of San Marcos and to be honest their is not much you can do there, but seemed like the best choice compared to the other towns. Even though the towns are not that pretty Lake Atitlan is just amazing… the scenery is priceless.
- TIP – Be sure to take the water taxi between San Marcos and Panajachel then from there take a minivan too Godinez from there take a pickup too San Lucas Toliman and then from there take another pickup to Santiago from Santiago take a water taxi to San Pedro and then from there back to San Marcos by water taxi. This entire trip will cost you less than $10 and can be done in one day. You will not regret it when you are on the pick ups you wil see some of the most amazing scenery ever.
CHICHICASTENANGO – Now this town is very authentic and one of the best places to see indigenous life! The town it self is not pretty at all, but its worth a visit for one of the biggest markets in Guatemala.
- TIP – Actually spend the day there and be sure to do your shopping after 2pm closer to 4pm when they are putting everything up. They will try to sell you everything at way cheaper prices as they would rather sell something at a low price then have to pack it and carry it back up. Also be sure to check out the cemetery its so bright and colorful very pretty.
QUETZALTENANGO – I loved this city a lot. It’s a huge city that I fell in love with immediately. It was nice clean but also had a gritty side to it. I also loved the fact that it looked and reminded me of Monterrey, Mexico (one of my favorite cities in the world). I also loved spelling this name out when I updated my Facebook or Twitter status.
- TIP – Don’t use taxi’s you can get just about anywhere by using the collectivos. They charge Q1.25 (less than $0.20). You can take the collectivo from the bus terminal to the central park and from there walk to whatever hostel you are going to stay at since most are near it. I would also recommend to stay at Don Diego’s Hostel, it was great, clean and cheap.
FLORES – There is not much to do in this town. It is a very cute tranquil island town. You will spend your days here swimming in the lake near the docks.
- TIP – Stay at Hostel Los Amigos they let you borrow tubes to take to the lake for free. Also if you wanna save money be sure to eat at the central plaza you will amazing combos for less than $3.
TIKAL – This is now the 3rd set Mayan of ruins I have seen. My 1st ones were the Copan Ruins and then the Palenque ruins. I must have to say so far these are the most impressive ones. The height and size of these temples is just ridiculous. I still can not fathom to think how they made some of these structures. It is also crazy to know that some of them were built 800B.C. (YES BEFORE CHRIST).
- TIP – I normally read about the ruins and then go with out a guide to save some money. For this one though I decided to do it with a guide and I am glad I did. I learned so much more this way and also know I would have gotten lost in the jungle with out him.
So there you have it my highlights of Guatemala. What do you think? Have you been to Guatemala what are your highlights of this amazing country? Are you planning to go to Guatemala let me know if you have any questions I would be more than happy to answer them.