guatemala

The Complete Guatemala Travel Guide: FAQ to Get You Started

antigua arch with volcano

If there’s one country I know well, it’s Guatemala.  I’ve gone four times (once for six weeks!) because I can’t get enough. From the best-known sites to smaller villages and remote parks, I love it all.  If you’re planning your own perfect trip, you’ll find everything you need to know about Guatemala travel: frequently asked questions plus …

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9 Easy and Wonderful Day Trips from Antigua, Guatemala

el hato verde guatemala

I love Antigua but my enamoration stretches beyond city limits. Each time I return to the city, I’ve explored new corners of the area — there are a dozen surrounding communities that feel a world apart despite being exceptionally close. And, oddly enough, most of them are rarely explored by travelers. Apparently if a travel …

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An Essential Resource of Things to Do in Antigua Guatemala

antigua guatemala view

While most visitors spend just 2-3 days in this compact city, I’ve visited a few times, adding up to more than four weeks in the city.  That’s given me lots of chances to try Antigua activities — most of which I’ve enjoyed! Since I was fortunate enough to explore the city thoroughly, here’s what I …

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Comparing Guatemala’s Black Sand Beaches (Monterrico & El Paredon)

black sand beach guatemala

Guatemala isn’t known as being a beach destination, despite having a coastline on both the Atlantic and Pacific. There are no picture-perfect beaches, no award-winning resorts, and only the smallest assortment of things to do on the water. But these communities are a big contrast to what you’ll find on the typical tourist route and …

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Why I Didn’t Like Lake Atitlan

lake atitlan dock

This post was originally written in 2014; updates from 2016 & 2021 are at the end. There’s a phrase in Spanish, caer mal, which  is a way of saying you don’t like someone; for example, Me cae mal tu amiga means “I don’t like your friend.”  The phrase has a few other uses, typically for describing how food sits with you or impressions …

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Scenes from Semana Santa, Antigua Guatemala

semana santa design

Imagine being woken up at 5:30 in the morning because a marching band is outside your window, the sound of cymbals and sousaphones clanging in your ear. Only three and a half hours earlier, I had been outside, painstakingly helping my neighbors prepare an intricately designed alfombra, or “carpet” for the street.  It was Semana Santa — …

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There’s More than a Market in Chichicastenango Guatemala

chichicastenango market

Chichicastenango Guatemala has built a reputation for being the tourist market in Guatemala.  Twice a week, hundreds of vendors set up their shops, anxiously waiting for busloads of visitors to arrive to buy colorful textiles, jewelry, and masks.  But beyond the Chichicastenango market, you’ll also find a town that still honors and celebrates its Mayan traditions with ceremonies …

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Hiking Pacaya Volcano is a Must-Do in Antigua Guatemala

horse on pacaya volcano guatemala

For years, hiking Pacaya Volcano was the #1 tour from Antigua.  Nothing’s more fun than getting up close to molten lava, especially without the rules and restrictions that most other countries apply.  But in Guatemala, you were free to poke the lava with a stick or count how long it takes for the soles of …

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