Blogs from Guatemala, Central America Caribbean


Lonely Planet's introduction to Guatemala states: "Travel here - once fraught with danger and discomfort - is now characterized by ease; you can do pretty much whatever you want, and your experience will only be limited by your imagination and time". To which Ali chirped up "and your wallet" because shock/horror Guatemala is not quite the economico destination it once was... This initiated a novel thought: could I possibly write a blog without my incessant carping about costs; could I pen something without my wearying unwearying usage of "prices", "expensive", "cheap", "budget", etc..? I am going to try... However, with repetitious limited vocabularies in mind, I conceived this playful sentence that incorporates all twenty of the obvious individual's most commonly employed words/phrases (they being in capitals)... I, your DANGEROUSly STUPID, WEAK LOSER of a POLITICALLY INCORRECT, ... read more
San Marcus
Semuc Champay from the mirador
Ladies in procession

Central America Caribbean » Guatemala January 14th 2019

Yesterday was really our last day in Guatemala, spending most of it exploring and learning about Tikal. Our excellent guide, Ivania, has led us through five days here in Guatemala, visiting the top three places tourists generally go: Antigua, Lake Atitlan, and, finally for us, Tikal. Having only five days in this country we didn't have enough time in Antigua, as our whole little group of six on this OAT pretrip all chose to spend one of the two days scheduled for Antigua travelling to and playing on and near Lake Atitlan. But all three main tourist spots are gorgeous places, very much worth visiting. In this short time I have enjoyed Guatemala very much! We are an interesting group, two couples and two solo travellers. I am one of the singles, and Yasmin is the ... read more

Puerto Quetzal is the entrance to Antigua founded in 1552, served as the seat of government in the captaincy general of Guatemala for ove 200 years before being destroyed by a series of earth quakes in 1773. Antiqua is famous for it's unique Spanish Mudejar- influenced architecture that has made it a protected UNESCO world heritage site. The Cathedral Santiago built in 1542 and the church of our lady of Mercy, whose courtyard contains the largest fountain in latin America. The parquet central has large tress shading benches where you can sit and relax or watch the vendors, many in color local dressed, selling hand made textiles. The largest monastery in Antiqua the church of Santo Diminigo founded in 1542. The city is full of colonial buildings that now serve as hotels, cafes and galleries. As ... read more
Active Volcano

Nach den kurzen Aufenthalten in El Salvador und Honduras reisten wir weiter nach Guatemala wo wir mehr als eine Woche verbrachten. Startpunkt war die wunderbare Kleinstadt Antigua, welche von aktiven und nichtaktiven Vulkanen umgeben ist. Die Stadt gehört wegen ihrer spanischen Kolonialarchitektur seit langen zum Weltkulturerbe. Doch konnten wir nicht die ganze Zeit nur in der Stadt bleiben. So entschieden einige von uns, eine Wanderung zu einem aktiven Vulkan in der näheren Umgebung zu unternehmen. Das Unterfangen starteten wir am Nachmittag mit einer Busfahrt zum Vulkan. Ab dann hiess es weiter zu Fuss mit Essen und Zelt im Rucksack. Dies benötigten wir da wir auf halben Weg zum Vulkan in der Wildnis im Zelt übernachteten. Beim Zeltplatz angekommen war der Vulkan leider nicht zu sehen, da es so bewölkt war. Glücklicherweise wurde es am Abend schöner ... read more
Der ausbrechende Vulkan Pacaya
Sonnenaufgang am Atitlan See
Rauchender Vulkan, im Vordergrund die zerstörte Natur vom letzten grossen Ausbruch

Central America Caribbean » Guatemala December 7th 2018

On Wednesday morning we rrived into Puerto Quetzal about 9am.This is the gateway to Guatemala for most ships and cargo.. Our included tour today was to be 6 hours in length so we were prepared for a long bus ride before reaching our destination, the city of Antigua. This had been the capital in colonial times and contained many beautiful old buildings. To get there was an almost two hour bus trip into the central highlands of Guatemala. On board the bus we were pleased to find a lunch bag containing two rolls, two packets of chips and an apple each. This would keep the hungry bugs at bay. We had also brought our books in case the trip was boring. We left at 10am and headed inland. Our guide, Jose, talked to us about the ... read more
Closer view of the volcano
Smoking volcano and lava paths visible
repair work

Fri 23 November - Day 28 to 28 - Antigua Returning to Antigua bought us hotter weather and familiarity. We had loved Antigua the last time we were here but had noticed it was quieter as the Festival of Flowers was over. Tom & I found the Barrister Café on the edge of the Central Square. They served wonderful cappuccino and a spicy soup with avocado. We also visited an old church which was devastated by one of the earthquakes has now been converted into small sections for the purpose of learning carpentry, electrical and other trades. We then visited a travel agent to see if they could take us to a good spot to view the Fuego Volcano which was erupting constantly. He quoted an exorbitant price so went back to the hotel Posada Los ... read more
Active Fuego Volcano at sunset Antigua Guatemala (1)
Christmas in Guatemala (1)
Antigua Guatemala (3)

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)

Fri 16-Sat 17 November - Day 21 to 22 - Antigua We arrived around 2.00pm after negotiating the busy, large city of Guatemala, at the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Antigua, one of the most delightful colonial towns in Central America. After booking in at the very friendly Hotel Posada Los Bucaros in our spacious room with 2 double beds and a single bed, Alfredo took us on the usual orientation walk around the city. The local indigenous could be seen throughout the cobbled streets and plazas of the city in their colourful costumes, selling their crafts and textiles. They are very short people, wearing colourful blouses and full skirts. Often, they were carrying their wares on their head as well as carrying a baby in a wrap. As the cultural centre of Guatemala, Antigua was an ... read more
Active Fuego Volcano outside Antigua
Antigua Guatemala - Flower Festival (27)
Pam Climbing Volcano Pacaya outside Antigua

Thurs 15 November - Day 20 - Rio Dulce Up for a 6am departure, we drove in a minivan on to the river town of Rio Dulce where we overnight in Hotel Catamaran cabins right on the water. At the end of the 3 ½ hour drive through small-holdings farm country and coming across small villages on the way, we arrived at the little harbour and our group boarded 2 boats, both with 115hp outboard motors with a canopy. The weather was clearing with only high clouds remaining. We were hope for good weather. The boat trip to our accommodation took only 15 minutes where we unloaded our luggage and stored them in the bar/reception area. Within 30 minutes we started our boat tour along the 23 kilometre stretch of waterway to Livingston which allowed us ... read more
Catamaran Hotel near Rio Dulce Guatemala - Sunset (3)
Bay of Amatique -Caribbean - at mouth of Rio Dulce Guatemala - Castle protecting the mouth of the river (6)
Catamaran Hotel near Rio Dulce Guatemala - Sunset (1)

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