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Guatemala Guide

This Guatemala Guide provides you with some ideas for places to visit. Central America has become more popular to travel to over the years. I had the opportunity to travel to Guatemala with a tour company called TourHero. Hosted a small group of travelers with TourHero and a local Guatemalan tour guide. Here, I share several locations to give you ideas for your trip.

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Antigua Guatemala

Why You Should Visit Guatemala

Guatemala is a unique country to visit. Many volcanoes surround Guatemala, and you see them throughout various locations. My advice is to do plenty of research and stay informed before your visit. If you are a solo traveler, click here for safety tips.

Places to Visit in Guatemala:

Antigua:

Antigua is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is located in southern Guatemala, and the city has a Spanish colonial architecture vibe. You will find ruins and colonial buildings throughout the area and many coffee shops, restaurants, and places to visit in the city. If you are up for a short hike to get a nice view of Antigua from above, check out Cerro de la Cruz, a wonderful place to catch the sunset and get a closer glimpse of Volcan de Agua.

Hiking Essentials For You

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Antigua Guatemala

Volcan Pacaya: 

Pacaya Volcano is an active volcano, and the last time this volcano erupted was in 2021. As an avid hiker, I will say that this hike had its challenges, but the entire experience was worth seeing what came along the way. A Lava Store sells jewelry and crafts made by local artisans; much of the jewelry is made from the volcanic ash from Pacaya.

As you continue on the trail, you will encounter a restaurant called Pizza Pacaya de David. David makes pizzas from the hot steaming vents of the volcano. He also sells his salsa Pokon Lava, which is a bit spicy but delicious (you can also purchase a bottle or two to take home). In addition to this, your guide will provide you with some marshmallows and skewer sticks so you can roast marshmallows on the volcanic rocks. To learn more about this hike, read here.

Pacaya Volcano Guatemala

Hobbitenango:

Hobbitenango is located high above the mountains at 7,800 ft, overlooking Antigua. The drive from Antigua is about 25 minutes and a bumpy one – so you will need a good car to get to the parking area, where you pay for admission and catch a shuttle that takes you to the top entrance.

Hobbitenango was inspired by the movie set from the Lord of the Rings films in New Zealand. This Hobbit destination is the only one similar to the original; that on its own is pretty awesome. Hobbitenango has a restaurant and many places to take pictures. There is also an eco-hotel with three rooms that you can stay in. You can also swing from a tree and hike around the entire area.

Hobbitenango Guatemala

Iximché:

Iximché is an archeological site that takes you through the Mayan highlands of western Guatemala. This location is known as the “corn tree.” This region is one of the most recognized for keeping the indigenous Mayan culture alive, and it’s a sacred site because this is where the ancient Mayans founded their last capital.

It has ruins, plazas, and palaces, and you will see the fire ceremonial zone still used by the indigenous people today. Please beware that the Mayan people do not like visitors taking photos of their rituals or bystanders staying long to watch. Be respectful as they perform their ceremonies on these sacred grounds, and try to be as quiet as possible.

Iximche

Lake Atitlan:

Lake Atitlan is Central America’s deepest lake. This lake has 11 villages around it and is located about 50 miles from Antigua, but the car ride to Panajachel can take up to 2.5 hours. Lake Atitlan is surrounded by volcanoes, most of which are accessed by small boats. In the villages, you can learn a lot about the culture of Guatemala and the indigenous people.

Some of the activities you can do on the lake include paddle boarding and kayaking. If I could suggest a location to stay at, I would recommend Jaibalito village. It is home to La Casa del Mundo and a beautiful place to enjoy a massage, a sauna, and a hot tub. It is a magical, relaxing, and beautiful place.

In addition to Jaibailito, I would recommend San Juan Laguna, which is a very cultural Mayan town; San Marcos Laguna offers cliff jumping in Cerro Tzankujil Natural Reserve, and Santa Cruz Laguna, which is less traveled.

Lake Atitlan

Holy Week in Guatemala:

I hope you have a chance to visit this beautiful country. I visited Guatemala during the busiest time of the year, which happened to be Easter. Guatemala is known to host the largest Easter celebration in the world, known as Semana Santa or Holy Week. They celebrate with processions, and you will never see anything else like it – so if that interests you, visit Guatemala in April.

Your Thoughts: Have you been to Guatemala?

This post was a Guatemala Guide. Do you have any questions about visiting Guatemala? Share a comment below and tell me where your favorite country you have visited is.

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