Here what happened to me in Guatemala City, Monterrico, Antigua and Atitlan.
After my trip to El Salvador, before heading back to Mexico, I decided to spend some weeks in Guatemala. This beautiful Central-American country, located in the middle of the two above-mentioned, offers unique landscapes made up of volcanoes, lakes and astounding villages.
I arrived in Guatemala City on a charter flight from El Salvador. We were 12 people on the plane, and after less than 55 minutes in the middle of lightning and clouds, we arrived at our destination in the around 11pm.
I had reserved an hotel for three nights at a good price near the center.
Check some activities to do in Guatemala City 👉 Here
In the afternoon of the same day I visited the Cathedral and the “Palacio Nacional de La Cultura“. Then in the night I haded to “Zona Viva” (zone 10), considered the most enjoyable neighborhood of the capital. Here during nights the streets get crowded together with bars and restaurants; people gather in groups dancing music and drinking Gallos, the typical beer of Guatemala.
After going to the restaurant for dinner I visited The Box Lounge Groove Bar to taste the electronic scene of Guatemala.
I had a nice night!
The following morning with the trolley already ready I went to the Central de Mayoreo CENMA
to take the bus that would take me to the coast, precisely to Monterrico. The ride takes about 3 hours and costs 60 Quetzals ($ 7.5).
Monterrico is a small town located on the Pacific coast of Guatemala, in the south of the Santa Rosa department. It is quite known for its Nature Reserve; It is characterized by black volcanic beaches and the annual influx of sea turtles, plus an incredible natural lagoon that surround the town.
Here I spend a whole week relaxing and working from the beach. I stayed at the Hostel El Delfin right in front of the Monterrico beach. It was a moment of pleasure and relaxation. I was able to visit the lagoon by boat and bathe in its waters. I took intense walks on the beach and sunset reading while swinging in the hammock. Here the village is small and there are not too many activities. It is a suitable location to disconnect from the city and find peace by the sea. Hotel El Delfin is ideal for young families and couples. The food is great and they offer some tourist activities.
After spending the week on the coast, the idea was to visit the famous town of Antigua. The historic capital of Guatemala is an essential destination for travellers who walk these lands.
Antigua is a small city surrounded by volcanoes in the south of Guatemala. It is famous for its Spanish colonial buildings and colorful streets. The town was the Capital of Guatemala till 1776 and has been declared Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 1979.
To town is located just 1 hr by car from Guatemala City.
Once I arrived I settled down at the La Casita de Angie hotel. A very nice and welcoming small Boutique Hotel.
I have spent some days working from the terrace of Cafe Boheme and just visiting the town. While the following Saturday I decided to hike the volcano. There are 3 visible volcanoes surrounding the town: Fuego, Acatenango and Pacaya – (While 37 are the total volcanoes in the country).
I chose to visit Pacaya Volcano, as it is only a one day excursion. The ticket price is 200 Quetzales (around 30 usd). The volcano is 2552 m high and the walk takes about 6 hours in total. It is absolutely worth it!
I had never walked a volcano before and the experience was thrilling!
The day after the hike I headed to Lake Atitlan in a shared van. Precisely I had decided to stop at Selina in Panajhachel one of the 12 villages around the lake.
Panajachel —or San Francisco Panajachel— (“San Francisco”: in honor of its patron saint Francisco de Asís) is a municipality and city in the department of Sololá.
The village is quiet during the week and lights up during weekends, with parties on the lake shore organized mainly by Selina Beach Bar and Azul Rosa Bar.
In general, the atmosphere in Atitlan is really nice. Being in front of the lake gives a feeling on the one hand, of absolute calm and at the same time sometimes a bit of melancholy.
The lake is located in a huge volcanic crater and has a depth of 340 meters; now, being a rainy season, the climate often does not help, but on sunny days you can swim in it.
My time here passed quite quickly between fish lunches looking at the lake, some coworking work, touring the nearby villages and shopping among the characteristic stalls of the local souvenirs.
After spending another week here on the lake it was time for me to go back to Mexico. The future was uncertain but I remained with the awareness that I would soon explore new breathtaking places.