Travel Guide to Guatemala
As a freelancer, it's a little hard to figure out how to go on vacation. To get all my projects wrapped up I worked a 60+ hour work week and packed frantically before our flight at 11pm. I only forgot a toothbrush. In the end, it was worth it to have a completely unplugged vacation.
First Destination: Lake Atitlan
The lake, was a great choice of a first destination because we could relax in the jungle on a lake and adjust to the country at a slow pace.
1st stop - San Marcos
A small hippie town on the lake. Worth it to stay there for the amazing jumping rocks and swimming holes.
Where we stayed in San Marcos, Guatemala
Lush - The best accident happened when we finally got to the lake after 18 hours of travel. Because of the time difference or because I was so busy we found out that I booked our Airbnb for the wrong night. We had nowhere to stay and got a last minute room at the hotel our friends were staying at.
They had one amazing room with a view open. We gladly took it and it ended up this was the nicest place we stayed on our whole trip! It was amazing! I would come back just to stay there for a week.
Day Trip to San Juan
We took a great day trip to San Juan when we were staying here on a local taxi boat - we went to an artisan collective where we bought ethical and hand-made blankets and textiles. They were made by local women in good working conditions. In the cities, textiles are often marked up and you don't know how the workers are treated who make them.
2nd stop: Santa Cruz
This was an adorable and tiny town. They call it the town on the hill - it is extremely vertical. We did a day trip here to Santa Catarina and San Pedro which was beautiful.
Tip: be very careful of what you eat. Either from a tea we had or street tortillas Mason and I got deathly ill.
3rd Stop: Antigua
We stayed in an Airbnb in the outskirts of Antigua. It was nice to cook our own bland food here when we got food poisoning.
Enjoying Semana Santa
Our trip was planned around making it to Antigua for Easter week, or the Semana Santa. It is a huge colorful celebration of Easter mixing Mayan and Catholic traditions. There were no Easter bunnies here, only copal burning, alfombras (rugs made of flowers on the street), wooden floats, and local bands.
Where we Stayed Before Returning Home
On the last day of our trip, we stayed at a hostel in Antigua. We discovered their rooftop at sunset and had to do a photoshoot. It was a magical moment, surrounded only by sounds of tropical birds.
Reflecting on our Guatemala Experience
We know we will be back to Guatemala. The amazing natural beauty mixed with rich traditional culture makes it a special place. Tourism is a large industry in Guatemala but I loved how, for the most part, tourism has supported traditional arts and sustainable farming instead of destroying the history and locals way of life. Everyone is extremely kind and welcoming. The textiles and bright colors of the city gave me a warm feeling every day I stepped out in historic cobblestone streets. This is a culture that celebrates, loves openly, and is extremely creative.
Have you ever been to Guatemala? Do you plan to take a trip there someday? I want to hear all about your experiences or your wanderlust dreams. Tell me about them in the comments below!