Blogs from Western Highlands, Guatemala, Central America Caribbean - page 2

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It didn’t matter who you would ask about their favorite place in Guatemala, Lake Atitlan is always the answer. It is Guatemala’s pearl, 18 km long, situated between mountains and volcanos, located between the two biggest cities in the country, Guatemala City and Xela, and a “must-see”. When we first visited at the lake, both of us got caught by the flu. Yeeees, this happens to backpackers too, every now and then. So, instead of raving through the nights, recovering on paddle boards during the day, and enjoying the lake we spent our time in bed. The second answer to the “favorite-question” is volcano Acatenango. Therefore, Eva’s final stop would be Antigua, where the tour starts (Three month after arriving in the North, we finally found out, that we saw the volcanos Acatenango and El Fuego ... read more
Hiking through the Jungle (Acatenango)
“It's that heart of gold, and stardust shine that makes you beautiful.”  ― R.M. Broderick
I miss you here!


Lake Atitlan... where do I start?! What an absolutely stunning place, this would definitely have to be pretty close to paradise. We stayed in Santa Cruz, whilst there isn't much happening there this is part of the charm. Our hotel, la Iguana perida, is right by the boat dock. We had no wifi there (which is why the blog is slightly late), and they did 3 course 'family style' dinners every night, not that I'm used to that in our family! This was a great combination for meeting other people, making friends and sharing advice. It really does complete the charm of the place. There are a couple of other hotels in Santa Cruz and a cafe called CECAP which is run by a cooperative to train local young people, which was well worth the steep ... read more
View of the lake from CECAP
Boys playing in the village
Street Art in San Marcos


In San Pedro, we went to a nice bar (Sublime) in the evening, where they had live music. The style was a sort mix of cumbia and ska. The bar had a big dance floor, a terras that looked a little bit like a treehouse platfom and downstairs there was a bonfire with seats around it. We didn't stay too long, because we booked a tour for the next morning at 3:45: Sunset from the Indian's nose. The Indian's nose is a mountain at the lake, that looks like a sleeping indian, with his nose in the air. It took the little bus about 45 minutes to get to a little village high in the mountain. From there we went with a guide on a little path that lead to the viewpoint. It was about 30 ... read more
Sunset lake Atitlan
Sunset lake Atitlan
Lake Atitlan and the Indian´s nose


In Xela (short for Quetzaltenango) I stayed with couchsurfer Irving. The first night we went for a drink with 3 other couchsurfers, that stayed with a friend of his. We drank a Guatemalan sort of aguardiente called "Quezalteca". There are different flavours. I liked the one with tamarinda. The following day, Irving borrowed a pick-up and we went to "las Fuentes Georginas". This is a beautiful place in the mountains, about 45 minutes from Xela. Hot water, coming from the Zunil volcano, flows into the pools. It's cold at that altitude so you can see the steam coming from the pools. Everywhere you look there is green around and it seems like a secret place, although it is frequently visited by touists. It was absolutely beautiful. When we left, we found the car with a flat ... read more
Cementery
Fuentes Georgina
Tortillas


Cruise ships have not stopped in Acapulco this year due to the dangerous drug cartel activity in the area. But it has been a bit quieter recently so the decision was made to proceed to Acapulco. Besides, the guests were getting restless after so many sea days. Bahia de Acapulco is one of the prettiest natural bays in the world. I was amazed by this beautiful bay back in 1966 on my first international flight with Braniff Airlines and have been back to visit many times since. After disembarking the ship, we were greeted by a local band. The Mariner docked in the shadow of El Fuerte de San Diego, the fortress built over 200 years ago to protect the settlement from pirates. It has now been turned into a fascinating museum which details the strong ... read more
ACAPULCO BAY
FUERTE de SAN DIEGO
MEXICAN BAND


Dear All Greetings from Lake Atitlan, a stunningly beautiful high altitude lake in the Guatemalan highlands, surrounded by steep lush forested slopes, and flanked on its southern edge by three perfectly conical volcanoes – this could be paradise, it feels wonderful. I am currently writing this one from my hillside cabin at the Hotel Isla Verde, an eco-lodge perched up one of the lush forested Northern slopes of the lake, with a stunning full window vista right in front of me of the bluest of lakes, the bluest of skies and the hazy clouded peaks looming in the distance. The vista is framed by the lushest of vegetation, croaking cicadas and chirping birds. And the cabin’s attached private bathroom has a large completely open, glass-free “window” so you can do your ablutions pretty much in the ... read more
Volcan Toliman (3158m), Lake Atitlan
6a Avenida, Guatemala City
Me, Palacio Nacional de la Cultura, Guatemala City


HE SAID... Today we were travelling the very short distance (7km) from Panajachel to San Jorge la Laguna. After checking out of Hotel Utz-Jay at midday, we lunched on the shoreline of Lago Atitlan. We then headed back to the hotel at 3pm, jumped into a minibus and climbed out of Panajachel to San Jorge la Laguna, the village of our host family for the night. We arrived around 3:30pm, unloaded our packs and met Dora (our host) and her eight year old son Anthony on the steps of the church in the main town square. Dora’s family is from the ethic group of the Kaqchiquel in San Jorge, and she has been welcoming travellers into her home for the past four years. We climbed the narrow and steep cobblestone path to Dora’s small concrete brick ... read more
san jorge la laguna
san jorge la laguna
san jorge la laguna


HE SAID... Today we were travelling southeast from San Cristobal de las Casas in Mexico to Panajachel in Guatemala. We woke early (5:30am) and prepared ourselves for the ten hour bus journey and border crossing into Panajachel. We’d heard there were national strikes and road blocks planned in Guatemala, and that these may delay our trip even further. At 8:15am we discovered the road blocks were definitely in place, and that our departure had been delayed until 12pm (we were originally meant to leave at 8:30am). It was better to sit at the hotel for three hours than sit in a hot minibus on the side of the road in Guatemala for the same amount of time. We headed into the city centre and had breakfast at Tonantzin. I ordered a cafe organico, while Ren had ... read more
lake atitlan - smoggy one day
lake atitlan - clear the next
walking around lake atitlan


If you’re a Kiwi, chances are that you’re having a chuckle at the title of this blog entry! Being woken up by bedbug bites (again!) at 5am isn’t the most ideal way to start the day. Then on the first of four chicken buses that I had to catch to Lago de Atitlan, I realised that I had left my favourite headphones back at the hostel. Having taken them for a swim on Roatan Island however, they weren’t quite working properly anyway and luckily I have a spare pair, even if they are just shitty regulation iPhone issue. But a bad day got worse when getting on the second chicken bus in Chmimaltenango. Getting off the first bus, a dude comes racing up to me asking where I am going. “Pana”, I tell him. He then ... read more
Typical Dress
Parque Cerro Tzankujil
Streets Of San Marcos La Laguna


Semuc Champey, Xela and some other nice places The first place I went to in Guatemala was the Maya site Tikal. Tikal is a spectacular place and I have decided to dedicate an entire blog entry to it. I will put that one up later on. Here in this the first blog from Guatemala I have collected photos I have taken in a few other places. First I am going to write a little about a small place called Semuc Champey. Semuc Champey is a popular tourist destination thanks to a series of natural pools located in a former riverbed. At some time the river found its way through cracks in the rock. The cracks grew wider and wider and eventually became a cave. More and more water flowed through the cave which made it grow ... read more
Sunrise over Semuc Champey
Semuc Champey
Semuc Champey




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