Last week, it was time to bid El Porvenir farewell. Finally, it was time for me to put away my frumpy khaki volunteering shorts and pick up a camera. I headed to Guatemala, the neighboring country known for it’s vibrant culture and coffee! It felt good to end my journey by starting off on a new one as a tourist/backpacker. I met up with friends in Guatemala City, then stayed in Antigua and Lake Atitlan. I was prepared to hit it up solo, but to my delight the boyfriend managed to join me for a few days! Here are some highlights of my trip:
The cuisine was fantastic and always made fresh, where ever we went and whatever we ordered! There was no shortage of highly recommended restaurants and cafes, we never left disappointed! (above: We discovered Rincon Tipico-$5 a plate-hole in the wall!)
We hiked an active volcano, Pacaya. Tours leave in the morning and in the afternoon, we went in the morning at 6am! 2 hours away by shuttle, $10 included everything but the marshmellows.
It was like walking on the moon! Great views, but didn’t get close enough to the top to see lava.
The shopping! GAH! So many quality handicrafts were being sold at every corner. Bracelets, hammocks, bags, ughhhh I had to control myself from buying things I wouldn’t normally use or wear once I settle back into the city…
The buildings in Antigua. It was easy to spend entire days just walking around the city to marvel at their gloriousness. Guides hang out at Central Park to offer walking tours, but I preferred to stumble around getting lost.
Lake Atitlan is the deepest lake in Central America, surrounded by volcanoes it’s also one of the most beautiful lakes as well! 3.5-4 hours by shuttle (easily booked at any travel agency-I recommend Atitrans for professionalism and honest prices) it’s best to spend a night. Warning-it’s not a smooth journey!
Villages are scattered around the take, clustered around docks. We stayed in San Pedro, and spent a day in Panachel before heading back. It costs about $3 to get from dock to dock.
Making chocolate at the Choco Museum. 2 hour classes, great history lesson w/ Pablo, 3 hot chocolates, take home chocolate you make (70% available!) $24 so worth it!
There’s so much more to do in Antigua-taking Spanish classes being one of the most popular options for people with more time! I loved my time here, and in the future I plan to return to a Spanish-speaking country solely for the purpose to learn the language properly. Until then, hasta luego!