Guate por tercera vez!

I love Guatemala. It has a unique combination of nature, culture, people and traditions and it is a perfect country if you have little time. Ideally 10 to 12 days is a good time to see most of its attractions: Antigua, Atitlan, Chichicastenango, Semuc Champey, Tikal and Rio Dulce/Livingston.

So for my third time there, I did a few of the ‘classics’ with Solen, one of my best travel friend.

First stop: Antigua! 

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Walking around in its colonial streets and climbing Pacaya Volcano. Last time I had been there was in 2010, 3 months before its eruption. At the time we could see lava moving, get our shoe soles burnt and eat some marshmallows.

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Well you don’t see the lava anymore but the rest yes, is still there!

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Next, Atitlan Lake! I really like this place and always wanted to stay in one if its new age/hippie/good vibes village, San Marcos la Laguna, where you can do lots of yoga and meditation.

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The day we arrived the lake was so choppy I had never seen it like that. Anyway, we all went into a small boat and stopped to a few villages en route to San Marcos. We were getting wet by all the waves and everyone was laughing, it was a cool ride.

p1140006On our way to San Marcos.

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San Marcos. Perfect yoga place.

Atitlan lake is a cool place to kayak and go visit other villages as well that are more traditional than San Marcos. Went to Santiago de Atitlan one day and only saw 3 tourists there. I was the only one on the boat to get there and it is nice to share these moments with locals.

Next: Chichicastenango market!

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Every Thursday or Sunday, you can go to Chichicastenango market. It is a nice market up in the mountains where all the ethnies come to see fruits, vegetables and craft. There were a few tourists but there most parts of the market are for locals. Just spend some time walking around and you will find them.

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It is actually very easy to travel with local transport if you have a bit of time, travel with a small bag and don’t mind being close to people… There is a reason why they call it ‘chicken bus’!

 

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So here I went from Chichicastenango to Quetzaltenango. 2 vans, 2 chicken buses, and 3 usd later I had reached Xela/Quetzaltenango. Very fun and cheap.

 

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On my way back to Antigua though, the ride in the chicken bus was much longer with the rain not helping.

We were squeezed, 7 people sitting on when you are supposed to be only 4, 80’s and 90’s music full on which was fun, people starting to fall asleep everywhere in the bus after a few hours, and I started to smell burnt plastic… Ok, so right now, we are in the middle of mountains with very low visibility.

After a while I realize this is our bus indeed, because the smell is still there, so I ask my neighbour if it is a tire that has exploded, and he replies: ‘Oh no, it is the brakes!’

(…) no comment!

But we made it. Still alive! The adventure continues.

 

 

 

 

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