Blogs from Western Highlands, Guatemala, Central America Caribbean


Wed 21-Thur 22 November - Day 26 to 27 - Quetzaltenango At 9.00am we continued our journey towards the town of url= Ermita de la Concepcion (La Conquistadora) the oldest church in central America. This church was interesting to visit, both for the architecture and the remnant of the Spanish conquest of Guatemala. It is not as decorated, since it was not designed to teach the Mayans. In fact, it was reserved for the Spanish, who had set up a fort in Salcaja to control two important Mayan cities. The walls are very strong to prevent earthquake damage, so this church had never had to be repaired. We arrived at Quetzaltenango at around 12MD and checked into Hotel Mondelo. It was a beautiful, sp... read more
Cuatro Caminos in San Andres Xecul (2)
Cathederal  del Espiritu Santo Quetzaltenango Guatemala (2)
Thermal Hot Springs Quetzaltenango Guetemala (30)

Sun 18 – Wed 21 November - Day 23 to 25 - Chichicastenango & Panajachel & Lake Atitlan After breakfast we left Antigua and drove towards Guatemala's most famous market town, Chichicastenango. This village's population swells from approx. 1000 to over 20,000 on market day (when we visited). The local indigenous people, mostly descendants of the K'iche' (Quiché) Maya people, come down from the nearby hills to sell everything from kitchen pots and pans to live turkeys! Handicrafts, bags, jumpers and wall hangings are just a few of the very colourful bargains to be found here. Chichicastenango, also known as Santo Tomás Chichicastenango, is a town in the ‘state’ of El Quiche. It is located in a mountainous region about 140 km northwest of Guatemala City, at an altitude of 1,965 m. The Spanish conquistador ... read more
Chichicastenango Gucumatz Arch  (2)
Botanical Gardens at Atitland Hotel Panjachel Guatemala (36)
Botanical Gardens at Atitland Hotel Panjachel Guatemala (64)

Well we’ve made it across the border into Guatemala and to the city with the wonderful name of Quetzaltenango. It’s in the Highlands of Guatemala and is actually Guatemala's 2ndcity after Guatemala City, which we are going to do our best to avoid as it sounds terrible. Like many towns in Guatemala it has several names as there are several local (ie not Spanish) languages and is normally shortened.; conveniently it seems to be universally known as Xela. Xela is however a good place for a few days; not too touristy. It’s generally frequented by gringos learning Spanish as it’s a much cheaper and better (less people here speak English) place to do this than the main tourist towns. Compared to Mexico this area reminds be a lot of countries in South America and the indigenous ... read more

On Monday 26th of March, we left Semuc Champey and went to Lago Atitlán. We had booked a shuttle via our hostel and had to be at the reception and check out at 6:30AM. As always in Guatemala, our shuttle was late and we only left the hostel at 7AM. First, 25 people with their bagpacks had to squeeze in the back of the hostel’s truck to go down to Lanquín and it was a very uncomfortable ride. Fortunately, Laura from Canada and me had the seats at the back and had the nicest view. The ride was 30 minutes and even though we were still tired and it was uncomfortable, we enjoyed the beautiful view. Once we arrived to Lanquín, we split up into our different shuttles. Anja, Skander and me said goodbye to Tina ... read more

Montag, den 26. März, haben wir Semuc Champey verlassen und sind zum Lago Atitlán gefahren. Wir hatten in unserem Hostel ein Shuttle gebucht und mussten um 6h30 an der Rezeption des Hostels sein und ausgecheckt haben. Wie immer in Guatemala war unser Shuttle eine halbe Stunde zu spät und wir haben das Hostel erst um 7h verlassen. Zuerst mussten sich 25 Leute aus unserem Hostel mit ihrem Gepäck hinten in einen Truck quetschen um nach Lanquín zu fahren. Zum Glück saßen Laura aus Kanada und ich genau am rand des Trucks und hatte wenigstens eine schöne Aussicht. So sind wir 30 Minuten lang sehr unbequem auf einer holprigen Straße und alle noch müde nach Lanquín gefahren, aber wenigstens konnten wir die Ausssicht und den Sonnenaufgang genießen. Als wir in Lanquín ankamen, haben wir uns dann auf ... read more

After our dissappointingly small granola, fruit and yoghurt bowl for breaky from the hostel we had a smoothie to make things better then went to explore the town of San Pedro. Lake Atitlan has plenty of different towns around the edges, San Pedro, where we stay, is one of the biggest (apart from Panajachel) and most popular. The streets are completely lined with hippies selling their jewellery and locals their various crafts and creations but it didn’t take long, though up a ridiculously steep hill, to reach the local part of town. surprisingly, there were 200x more cops (well we were yet to see one in the tourist part). We got plenty of weird looks as to why we were there but it was quite interesting, though similar to Asia in the sense of badly built ... read more

Another early wakeup wasn’t great, neither was navigating both backpacks down the ridiculously steep stairs from our dorm room, the bottom of my pack would hit on the stair above me and I had no room from sides to move. I had had two days to mentally prepare for bringing it down though, and in all honesty I need that time (maybe one more day), not kidding it was a 3-4 minute process. After breaky we all loaded our backpacks into one ute and bodies into the other all the way down to the busses. It was totally unorganised chaos, five hostels with Utes full of people, 6 busses going to different places, none of which bothered to advertise their destination, bus drivers shouting at everyone and cars trying to drive along the road. We found ... read more

So, this is weird I know I met the driver/ guide at the Adrenalina office, but for the life of me i can't remember his name. I do however remember the taxi driver's name from yesterday...Willy Lopez. Anyway... I've chosen this tour because it includes a church I have wanted to see since I first started coming to Guatemala. I am joining a couple from Barcelona here in Guatemala for the first time. I didn't get their names. As I am the only non-Spanish speaker, we decide on Spanish for explanation and English for clarification.. She is a retired primary teacher, he a retired book publisher. As the day progressed I found out they have travelled extensively, been married 45 years this November and have at least 1 son who has his grandmother's antique Singer sewing ... read more

ACHTUNG: unterhalb des Textes und der Zusatzinformationen sind jeweils noch mehr Fotos! Bitte ganz nach unten scrollen. 24.5. Wir holen unsere gestern ins Wasser gefallene Foto-Tour im Dorf nach, indem wir herumspazieren, uns möglichst unauffällig in eine Ecke stellen und die vorbeigehenden Leute fotografieren. Oft hilft es auch, wenn sich Eva gut sichtbar positioniert, so dass alle Vorbeigehenden sie anschauen und Marco dann unbemerkt knipsen kann. Todos Santos ist ein äusserst ergiebiges «Jagdrevier»: die Frauen tragen wiederum Wickelröcke, diesmal dunkelblau mit dezenten Streifen, und kunstvoll bestickte Oberteile. Neu sind hier die Gürtel, ebenfalls detailreich verziert, und schöne Taschen, die mit dem Tragband um die Stirn oder umgehängt getragen werden. Die Männer haben hier ebenfalls eine auffällige Tracht: rot-weiss gestreifte Hosen, manche tragen dar... read more
Besuch der alten Damen
schöner alter Mann

18.5. Die Fahrt nach Coban im Westen Guatemalas ist unspektakulär, das Spannendste ist die Überquerung eines Flusses mit der Fähre. Während der letzten Stunde geht es dann steil bergauf, die Frauen tragen plötzlich weite Röcke und unifarbene Oberteile aus Spitze. Wir werden am Stadtrand ausgeladen, wir sind die einzigen, die hier aussteigen wollen. Der Taxifahrer schmunzelt, als wir seinen Preis zum Hotel akzeptieren – uns erschien er mit knapp drei Franken durchaus angemessen. Nach einer kurzen Ruhepause machen wir uns auf den Weg zu einer Agentur, die, wie wir im Reiseführer gelesen haben, Aufenthalte bei Mayafamilien in der Umgebung vermittelt. Guatemalas Bevölkerung besteht zu 60% aus Mestizos (Nachkommen aus der Verbindung von spanischen Eroberern und Mayafrauen) und zu 40% aus Maya. Diese wurden lange Zeit stark unterdrückt und verfolgt und sind auch heute noch oft... read more
Fahrt nach Nebaj

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