Guatemala is definitely one of my favourite countries in Central America, possibly favourite of the whole trip! We were now travelling as a group of 7 (the group I met at the border between Mexico and Belize), and would stay as a group for 7 weeks!
Flores was our first stop in Guatemala after crossing the border from Belize. It’s a cute little town surrounded by a huge lake that you can take boat trips on.
Flores is also a good base to travel to the nearby ancient mayan ruins-Tikal which have incredible views over the Guatemalan jungle! It takes about 2 hours to get from flores to Tikal, so make sure to leave early to avoid the heat in the middle of the day.
Lake Atitlan-San Pedro
Guatemala is the best place in Central America for spanish schools, and home stays! We spent two weeks in San Pedro, which is a small town, surrounded by 3 volcanoes, based on the beautiful Lake Atitlan. We attempted to learn spanish everyday from 9am-1pm at ‘San Pedro Spanish School’, before returning in the evenings to our home stay family. I would definitely recommend this experience if wanting to progress your spanish, as often when staying in hostels, english is the main language spoken.
For a great view of the lake and its surrounding villages, you can climb one of the nearby volcanoes. It took us 7 hours round trip, but the views were amazing!
Antigua is a pretty colonial town, all impressive churches and cobbled streets, not too far from Lake Atitlan. Make sure to check out the local chocolate making factories! We stayed at a hostel called Zoola which was really social and even has a hot tub on the roof.
No trip to Guatemala is complete without a trip to Semuc Champey! Semuc Champey is a beautiful river surrounded by fjord like jungle on either side. We stayed at a hostel called ‘Utopia’ set right in the middle of the jungle, and the staff organise trips where you can go cave exploring, hiking, and even tubing down the river with a beer in hand!
With that, our month in Guatemala was sadly over, next stop Honduras! If you have any questions, or would like any more advice on Guatemala, feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.