Blogs from Guatemala, Central America Caribbean


After the volcano hike, our next adventure was to Lake Atitlán. It was about a 3 hour shuttle ride to Panajachel (Pana), the main town on the lake for transport. We were both a little grouchy and tired at this point and we still needed to find an ATM and a gift for Secret Santa. It was Christmas Eve, and the banks were generally closed and the ATM's did not work - third time was the charm thankfully. I finally convinced Luke to get a tuk-tuk to search for the gift rather than wander aimlessly around a town we did not know on Christmas Eve carrying all our crap. So, our driver, Manuel, took us to a place that had what I needed and then agreed to drive us the forty minutes to our stop: San ... read more
Christmas Eve - traditional clothes
yoga with a view
Michaela making textiles

I first arrived at Guatemala City airport from New York, not sure what to expect or do when I arrived. It was initially a bit confusing with regards to lines for checking your PCR test result and passport before officially going through immigration. Not sure what that was all about. After leaving immigration, there were two stands I was already looking for: Money and SIM card. The SIM card was easy and totally worth the purchase, my 4GB plan easily lasting the whole trip. However, the money exchange was a complete rip off - I recommend trying to find a bank ATM, preferably in Guatemala City or even the airport for better exchange rates. Anyway, after getting my bag, I saw a kiosk for a shared shuttle to Antigua. Initially, I was willing to pay for ... read more
Santa Catalina Arch
Iglesia San Pedro Apóstol

Central America Caribbean » Guatemala December 24th 2021

After setting up for a few nights in Antigua, my friend and I got ready for our big adventure: Hiking conical Volcán Acatenango and seeing the constantly erupting Volcán de Fuego. For Christmas Eve Eve! We used the Wicho and Charlie's tour company which was located near our airbnb and had good reviews. They also set you up in huts instead of tents. So we walked there for our meeting time of 8 am where we were given instructions and a small breakfast. Cold weather gear was provided for free or available for rent. Since I knew before arriving we were doing this, I had almost everything except hiking poles which I rented, and decided to also rent gloves which were warmer than the ones I brought. We each had to bring a minimum of 3L ... read more
Hike up Volcan Acatenango
Sunrise on Acatenango
Overnight Volcan de Fuego

My third stop to my Anthony Bourdain No Reservations Central America Trip 2016 is Guatemala. Off to Guatemala City.... read more

Central America Caribbean » Guatemala October 24th 2020

Hello there, It's been a long time again. Even though I did have plenty of time to write and catch up, I didn't do it. This whole Covid-19 situation and the lockdown in Curaçao was difficult for me and I wasn't motivated at all. Luckily I'm doing much better again...and ready to write more often. After leaving Semuc Champey I continued towards Antigua. The city of about 50.000 people is a major tourist magnet in Guatemala and I see why. It's gorgeous and colourful colonial city where the Spanish colonial heritage is very well represented. The city was founded in 1524 and functioned as the capital of Guatemala until 1773, when the city was heavily damaged by an earthquake. The volcano "Volcán de Agua", at 3760m, rises majestically in the background and offers beautiful photo opportunities ... read more
Ziplining by Lake Atitlán

After one week in Belize, I left San Ignacio by bus towards the border with Guatemala. The crossing and procedures at the migration went smooth and without any issues. Guatemala is the second largest country of Central America after Nicaragua but has the most amount of inhabitants: about 17 million by now. The country has a rich culture and history, and is well known for its active volcanoes and other natural beauty. "Soul of the Earth"; that is the tourism slogan of Guatemala! From the border I took a taxi into a town nearby, Melchor de Mencos, from where I took a bus towards Flores. Flores is a small city of about 15 000 people located on an island in the Petén Itzá Lake. It's a unique and colourful city, ideal to use as a hub ... read more
Semuc Champey
View of Flores island and Petén Itzá Lake

The great continents of North and South America are linked by an isthmus which also separates the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. This volatile area both politically and geologically is where the Mayan Indian ruled in pre-Colombian times. Now between Southern Mexico and Northern Colombia lie seven nations; Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. My adventures in the latter had wetted my appetite for the region, and I now embarked on a five country odyssey of discovery. The beginning was a little convoluted, flights from Birmingham to Newark, (Wonderful views of the Arctic/Canadian icy wastes, the snow covered forests of New England, and the Manhattan skyline from the Hudson River approach) change for Houston where I am convinced we flew along the great Mississippi, then on through Mexico to Guatemala City, where I ... read more

I leave rising from the plains burning dry heat a landscaped apron of mango trees stretched drum tight under smoking volcano Fuego his sister Agua their brother Acatenango west wind raising a loose horsetail of pumice dust from Acatenango’s flank rust colored against turquoise the gouged once molten rivered mountainside is etched deep trampled glowing red they lied when they told us who is buried here was it 200 hundred no senor it was certainly 2000 mas mas they lie to us here but we know who did not come home that night never came home that morning the truth is washed away when they spray the cobbled streets with precious water while people here are waterless the cane fields burn behind me the armless man waits and I shake his stump and say good morning ... read more
Woman and yellow wall
garage door and red wall
Man walking between colors

She spills the black tea leaves dry and mounded on the battered metal scale the canella and the ambered incense the brown bark wrapped in burlap and the chilied nuts and the manzanilla flowers where eternal sons of leathered mothers pull handcarts loaded groaning under mountains of yuccas to be laid displayed atop complicated vibrant weavings abuela woven dyed deep soaked remolacha red and dried beneath volcanoes history deep a blink a breath a beat a step a whisper the tap of a finger the tender swipe of a baby’s brow to settle her while you make pyramids from shining red tomatoes and braid garlic for your brother who then slings them over his shoulder walks off yelling gravelly voiced ajo ajo ajo ajo mira momnita then you chop tops off the purple yucca expose the ... read more
Garlic seller
Arriving at the Market
Old market entrance

Antigua is quite close to Lake Atitlan. To arrive to Antigua isn’t easy though but we tried to take the easiest way; a small travel package: boat to Panadol and a shuttle mini bus to Antigua. We had to cross the mountains, there I experienced some of the most uphill maybe at 25% incline and crazy ‘tornanti’, sharp elbow curves. The first 50 km the driver just used the first two gear. A big lorry carrying new cheap pieces of furniture crashed into the side of the road and turned over on its side blocking both ways of transit. We lost another hour of sun and we gain 1 hour to our transport time to Antigua. On Airbnb we had found a room in a house, reasonable price, photos looked good, just good reviews. We got ... read more
Marco’s chaise longue
Making PASTA!
Walking sticks from the kids for the volcano trek

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