Bailey and Daniel of Destinationless Journey share their high 5 causes to journey Guatemala after spending a month exploring the nation.
Guatemala has been gaining worldwide consideration as a high vacationer vacation spot.
By way of distinctive issues to do, Guatemala is on the high of my checklist out of all the Central American nations. I just lately spent a month in Guatemala and was totally impressed with the gorgeous panorama, journey actions, and thrilling and pleasant tradition.
Most of my highlights from my whole Central America journey had been really the experiences I had in Guatemala, making this nation considered one of my favorites. These are my high 5 causes to go to Guatemala.
#1 The Acatenango Volcano Hike
If you happen to communicate to anybody who has accomplished this hike, you’ll doubtless have heard some rave opinions. Climbing the Acatenango Volcano is a hike not like every other.
It entails mountain climbing for Four-6 hours to a base camp on one aspect of the Acatenango Volcano. From this camp, it isn’t Acatenango that’s spectacular, it’s the neighboring volcano known as Fuego that basically makes the general expertise.
Fuego is a really lively volcano which sits parallel to the camps on Acatenango. It erupts each jiffy, placing on a present of exploding lava for all the excited hikers to see.
A number of completely different tour corporations provide two-day excursions from Antigua for as little as $50 USD together with tenting gear, meals, and a information.
Breakdown of Journey
Day one consists of a brief 1-2 hour drive to the bottom of Acatenango adopted by Four-6 hours of mountain climbing up in direction of camp.
The afternoon and night is spent round a campfire ready for any clouds to half to disclose Fuego’s unbelievable present.
The next morning begins at 4am for a hike to the height of Acatenango. From right here, the solar rises above the cloud line and the Fuego volcano continues to erupt proper in entrance of your eyes.
Then, it’s a hike again down the identical strategy to the bottom of Acatenango. The brief period, low cost worth, and excursions together with all gear, make the Acatenangovolcano hike a sensible exercise for many vacationers.
The general expertise of mountain climbing Acatenango is simply that – an expertise. The hike up is nothing wanting difficult, a number of hours of mountain climbing straight upwards is just not a simple feat. Tenting for the evening is chilly.
Very chilly. Waking up at 4am is just not enjoyable. However, ultimately it’s all price it. Fuego erupting is a really unbelievable sight! Apart from that, tenting in a single day on a volcano overlooking the town of Antigua is an expertise in itself.
Was it straightforward? No. Would I do it once more? Completely!
I might charge the Acatenango Volcano hike as one of the crucial thrilling and distinctive journey experiences I’ve ever had.
For extra details about reserving and getting ready for the Acatenango Volcano hike take a look at our weblog right here.
#2 The Metropolis of Antigua
Antigua is the town the place Acatenango Volcano excursions begin, however it’s far more than that.
The town of Antigua is a well-liked vacationer hot-spot – and for good cause. There’s simply a lot to do in and round Antigua.
Historic excursions of the town, museums, procuring, markets, superb eating places, and road meals are simply a few the issues to do within the metropolis. However, there are additionally many excursions and experiences exterior of Antigua together with the Pacaya Volcano, ATV excursions, and day journeys to Guatemala Metropolis.
Take a look at Get Your Information for Excursions Out of Antigua
Antigua has change into very touristic, and due to this fact very snug and protected. As a backpacker coming from El Salvador, I used to be amazed and excited for all the fashionable facilities supplied in Antigua.
When one thinks of Guatemala, western fast-food chains and upscale bars and eating places don’t normally come to thoughts – however in Antigua it’s all there.
There are stylish golf equipment and “gap within the wall” kind bars, environmentally pleasant procuring, and eating places providing any kind of meals one may doable want for. The excessive quantity of vacationers has made the town a lot wealthier, and due to this fact safer, than every other metropolis in Guatemala.
As a result of Antigua is such a well-liked vacationer vacation spot getting there’s at all times quite simple. Collectivos in Guatemala are frequent and low cost, permitting one to entry the town from just about every other metropolis within the close by neighborhood.
I personally got here from Santa Ana in El Salvador, and in addition to an hour lengthy cease in Guatemala Metropolis, it was a fast and direct route. Antigua is only one.5 hours from Guatemala Metropolis, making it a safer and extra fascinating place to remain.
There are even frequentCollectivos from the Guatemala Metropolis worldwide airport to Antigua.
#three Lake Atitlan
Lake Atitlan is a singular spot in Guatemala. It’s actually an enormous lake surrounded by mountains and volcanoes by which small cities cling to the edges of. This can be a chilled-out space for vacationers to chill out for a few days.
The upper altitude of 1500m means it isn’t sweltering scorching, however nonetheless heat sufficient for a day swim within the lake. Different in style actions across the lake embrace kayaking, mountain climbing, yoga courses, watching sunsets, and guided tuk-tuk excursions.
There are a number of cities across the edges of the lake every providing a singular expertise with completely different actions. There’s actually one thing for everybody.
Cities Round Lake Atitlan
The city of San Pedro is the most important “backpacker oriented city” with low cost meals (a number of it), good procuring, and price range locations to get together at evening. It isn’t probably the most enjoyable space however positively has a enjoyable vibe.
San Marcos can also be in style for vacationers, however is far smaller than San Pedro and relaxed. San Marcos is often referred to as the “hippie city” which has attracted many yoga-enthusiast expats.
The opposite much less widespread choices are Santa Cruz, which is principally inhabited by locals with solely a few lodging choices or eating places, or Panajachel which is the largest metropolis with out an excessive amount of to supply vacationers.
Getting Round Lake Atitlan
The wonderful thing about Lake Atitlan is that regardless of the place one chooses to remain, it’s straightforward and cheap to get across the lake.
Lake Atitlan is touristic in areas, however remains to be house to many locals residing merely and cheaply. Transport across the lake is for locals and vacationers alike within the type of boats that function very like public buses in cities.
There’s set fares from one vacation spot to the subsequent and set schedules. Locals bounce on the boats with baskets of produce and generally dwell chickens whereas vacationers lug on suitcases.
The entire boat system as the principle type of public transport is a enjoyable and attention-grabbing expertise in itself.
#Four Semuc Champey Nationwide Park
On the opposite aspect of the nation is the well-known Nationwide Park known as Semuc Champey.
Many vacationers skip it because of the lengthy bus trip from different locations near the Antigua space, which is a disgrace as a result of it’s incredible! Semuc Champey is an space of vivid turquoise water which flows by means of a whole bunch of small waterfalls.
Between these waterfalls guests can swim in pure swimming pools, bounce off waterfalls, slide down them, or discover small caves.
There’s additionally a brief one hour lengthy hike to a viewpoint concerning the swimming swimming pools providing some superior picture alternatives.
One of many nice issues about Semuc Champey is that it may well simply be loved on a tour or independently. Excursions run from accommodations, hostels, or the closest city of Lanquin.
Data and Prices
Excursions provide transport to the park, a information to discover the falls, a information for the hike, and a caving expertise. They’re fairly reasonably priced at $25 USD for a full day journey.
Nonetheless, for these on a tighter price range, it’s doable to get public transport to the park for $2 and pay the doorway price of $7. The park is straightforward to discover independently as it’s properly marked with English indicators.
I spent a whole day exploring the park and not using a tour, simply with some pals and I had a blast! I obtained some unbelievable footage and swam the afternoon away.
Lodging choices close to the park additionally make for an exiting expertise. There are a number of price range eco-lodge kind locations inside strolling distance to Semuc Champey.
These locations are enjoyable as they’ve little to no electrical energy and do household model dinners and video games. For these happier to remain in a city, the city known as Lanquin is simply over an hour drive from the park. Right here there are reasonably priced accommodations with swimming pools or price range backpacker lodging.
For extra data on visiting Semuc Champey nationwide park take a look at our weblog right here.
#5 Tikal Mayan Ruins
Within the northern space of Guatemala sits what many think about to be the “finest Mayan Spoil web site on the earth.” That is attention-grabbing contemplating Chichen Itza, one of many Seven Wonders of the World, can also be a Mayan Spoil only some hours from Tikal.
However, after visiting each websites myself, I might agree that Tikal has extra to supply vacationers. It was a distinct break expertise that might even excite people who don’t discover historical past probably the most attention-grabbing matter.
Tikal is positioned solely about an hour driving from the touristic city of Flores.
Day excursions are low cost and simply organized from Flores for about $10USD. Flores has many price range hostels for backpackers in addition to good waterfront accommodations for these on the lookout for a bit extra luxurious.
Flores is eight hours by Collectivo from Laquin (Semuc Champey) or Four hours from Belize Metropolis making it not an excessive amount of bother to get to.
Tikal can simply be visited throughout a day journey from Flores, a pair hours is absolutely all that’s essential to discover the ruins. Tour guides could be organized in Flores or on the park upon entry.
I might suggest a information as they are going to make the expertise extra important providing a number of data and ensuring you don’t get misplaced. It is usually finest to go to Tikal early within the morning when the animals are lively.
After I was there at 7am I noticed Toucans, Howler Monkeys, Spider Monkeys, and Peacocks.
Why Go to Tikal?
Visiting the ruins of Tikal had been particular for a lot of causes. One being that the ruins are inside a protected Nationwide Park, that is why so many animals are round. The ruins are additionally in thick jungle with solely small strolling paths obtainable for navigating round.
Persons are additionally allowed to climb nearly all the ruins (among the ruins are taller than the jungle cover presenting spectacular views.) It is usually attention-grabbing because the ruins aren’t all uncovered, many stay below filth and timber, coated up from when the Spanish invaded.
The entire expertise feels genuine and is far more adventurous then most different historical break websites I’ve visited up to now.
From volcanoes, to historical ruins, to attractive cities, Guatemala has a ton to supply. I can see why it’s turning into a well-liked journey spot. I liked my time spent in Guatemala and can encourage anyone who’s contemplating a visit to Latin America to plan for an excellent period of time in Guatemala.
Concerning the Creator
Bailey, alongside along with her associate Daniel, is travelling the world – one journey at a time.
On their Weblog, Destinationless Journey, they write about their very own adventures whereas offering related journey data for different backpackers. Bailey and Daniel are simply wrapping up their 13 month journey in Latin America earlier than their subsequent journey the place they are going to dwell out of a van in New Zealand!
You possibly can comply with them on Instagram, Fb, or YouTube!
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