I ended my time in Central America with a five-day trip to Guatemala. I wanted to see a different culture and landscape after spending a month on the steamy north coast of Honduras. Although they border each other, Guatemala and Honduras are very different, including the people, customs, food, land, history and many other aspects of the culture. As always, I took lots of photos. In this post and the next, I will share some of what I noticed and experienced during my brief trip to Guatemala.
With only five days, I was limited in what I could see in Guatemala. I grudgingly gave up a trip to the Mayan ruins in the north of the country since it just wasn’t practical in the time I had. I chose to visit Antigua, Guatemala’s most famous tourist town (the kind I usually avoid), that has beautiful colonial buildings and indigenous culture surrounded by volcanoes. I then took another long and bumpy bus ride (this time with a group of 15 young Israelis singing pop songs in Hebrew) to Lake Atitlán. This beautiful lake is also surrounded by volcanoes and several villages, each with unique cultures and histories of their own.
The first thing I noticed when arriving in Antigua after my 17-hour journey overland from Honduras was the crisp, cool evening air. I saw locals walking around in winter coats, but I was happy in my short-sleeved shirt. I had not experienced dry air in over a month and relished every minute of it. That night, I slept under a blanket with no air conditioning or fan – paradise! As lovely as it was, I have to admit I was already missing the children and fellow volunteers back in El Porvenir.
During my five days in Guatemala, I climbed two volcanos, hiked around Antigua and other smaller villages, took a few boat rides on the lake, and visited an organic coffee growing cooperative. The natural beauty was stunning. In these photos, I’ll share some of the landscapes I saw, and in the next post I’ll focus on the people and culture.