A Little Guatemala
Best Visiting Spots
This being an actual travel guide, and the first one at that I’ll relay whatever information I think could be useful as well as whatever I think you’ll need if you ever come to Guatemala. I’d recommend it so much but I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
Being a local, I still haven’t traveled through all of the best spots that are to visit but the list below comes from personal experience, definitely. The pictures are from friends and I’ll link to their respective profiles. Talented peeps (:
Some of the pictures are from stock as were the best I could find. I’m not much for photography but I hope that’ll change as J loves it as a hobby.
I’m only including 5 places, which I think are the TOP that you need to visit, no questions asked. No matter where you are from or what you’ll culture is, I believe you will most definitely like the places I’ll recommend.
Let’s start the list:
Credits: IG @raneroandres
Antigua Guatemala has the peculiarity of colorful buildings and markets, cobblestone streets, ruins and plenty of volcano hike tours. There’s also a lot of destroyed 18th-century buildings scattered throughout the small city.
It another colonial city but it has the best streetscape and many travelers situate themselves in this city due to the peace, quiet and diversity. Also, there’s plenty of Spanish schools in case you want to learn the basics or remember your high-school lessons (:
Remember that there are cathedrals, ruins, and markets that you can explore as well as wander through the streets and simply relax.
There’s a small book museum which I absolutely adore. That most known part of Antigua is the Street Arch (Santa Catalina Arch) – photo above and the most relaxing central park. It’s lovely and great to visit.
San Marcos La Laguna.
Credits: IG @gabndy
This is my favorite relaxing part of Atitlan. While Panajachel and San Pedro are the most known and visited I genuinely believe that San Marcos is the most beautiful little town for a peaceful getaway. Given, there’s a lot of backpackers that have settled here (when you visit, you’ll understand why) but nothing wrong with diversity and a beautiful lake.
You can sign up for a lot of yoga classes with the serenity that comes from staring at the lake and even long-term yoga if you’re planning an extended date. Meditation is a must while you’re out here. There’s also plenty of vegetarian and vegan food options. EVEN ICE CREAMS!
Best way to get there is through a boat from Panajachel that is around $3-$5 per trip.
Things to remember:
- Super-strong mosquito repellent
- Bad roads
- Be prepared for catcalling (if you’re a girl)
- Travel insurance
- Always have a guide, I hate to admit it but it’s not always safe for locals or travelers.
Credits: IG @raneroandres
This view represents exactly what you’ll get, a beautiful view, quiet and relaxing environment as well as mystical experience (depending on the source).
The best part of Lake Atitlan is the small villages you can visit. San Marcos is included, as well as San Pedro and Panajachel. There’s also San Pablo (less known) but as always, you can get an amazing view from this place to the lake as well. Santa Cruz and Tzununa are still untouched by touristic venues.
Depending on the experience you are looking for, that’s the small village you should head for. Be sure to do research as this will definitely impact your experience. The only thing they all share is that, despite how gorgeous the lake is, it’s polluted and even if people do get in the water (mostly locals) you’d get advice against the idea altogether.
Do, however, go on a kayak ride. You’ll have a splendid experience.
Credits: IG @raneroandres
This is one of the most impressive Mayan ruins in Central America. A New Hope, a Star Wars movie, was filmed in this location. HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!?! *fangirling*
Sunset tours are my favorite as well as walking through the ruins with a travel guide. Sometimes you get to not only listen but see wildlife such as howler monkeys, toucans, macaws and other exotic animals. Also, cool thing is that some pyramids can be climbed and others are restricted either for danger or need to preserve them.
Things to consider:
- Long trip from Guatemala City (10+ hours by Van, Bus or Car)
- A plane ticket from Guatemala City to Tikal can be stupidly expensive
- Coming from Belize, this will be the first stop
- Sunrise tours are more expensive than Sunset tours
Credits: IG | Through tags of @wsetravel image credit @medusabre
This place is a series of pools and small waterfalls that look turquoise-like and crystal-clear. Perfect for relaxing in nature’s company. It’s an enchanting, magical place that will charm you for a lifetime!
If I remember correctly, there are also some wet caves that can be explored using a candlestick with the help of a travel guide. This is an adventure that you should DEFINITELY conquer! If you don’t feel like going through caves, you can go for a hike, river tubing or simply swim.
This is by far my favorite place on the list. Even if it’s a pain to reach it (8 hrs from Antigua or from Tikal/Flores), I consider it worth the trouble. No questions asked the #1 place to visit!
Let me know if you’ve visited any of this places. Your experience and recommendations are welcomed as well!