Last month, we toured the beautiful country of Guatemala. Our preferred supplier, Tours For The World, organized an amazing trip to this Central American country for us. If you don’t know a lot about Guatemala, take it from me, it’s magnificent. Home to over 30 volcanoes, rain forests, Lake Atitlan and ancient Mayan sites, Guatemala is a country full of history, culture and natural beauty.
Our journey to Guatemala started with an early morning (1:55am)flight from JFK to Guatemala City on Copa Airlines on Saturday, July 23rd. Once we arrived at La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City, we were picked up by our fabulous tour guide Willie. Before bringing us to our 1st hotel, the Barcelo Guatemala City, he took us for a mini tour and recommended the amazing Kacao restaurant as a good place to have lunch. We dined for a few hours over some great food and cocktails all while listening to live, traditional music being played by the house band. After our lunch, we walked around for a bit to enjoy our free day. Later that night, we had another delicious meal at Facundo, a local Argentinian Steakhouse.
The next day, Willie and our driver picked us up and took us to Chichicastenango. On our way there, he stop by a local restaurant where he surprised me and my friend Lyn with 2 slices of birthday cake (since we were both celebrating our birthdays on this trip). After that, we went to the markets and shopped all day. We then arrived to our hotel, the Porta Hotel Del Lago, and spent the reminder of the day drinking and hanging out at the pool. That night, Willie took us to Restaurante Atlantis where we had another great dinner and partied for a few hours.
On Monday July 24th we woke up very early to take a boat across Lake Atitlan. When we arrived in Santiago Atitlan, a small lake town with a strong indigenous identity, we were in awe. Willie asked us if we wanted to take a local tuk tuk through the town or jump on the back of a truck…we unanimously choose to get on the back of the truck (that was so much fun!). He then took us around for a tour and afterwards we stopped at the cutest little coffee shop, Cafe Rafa, to have coffee. Afterwards we got back on our boat, checked out of our hotel and headed to Antigua.
As soon as we arrived in Antigua, I knew I would love it. Antigua was the former capital of Guatemala and it boasts many beautiful Spanish colonial buildings and is a tourist hotspot. There are many different restaurants, coffee shops, markets and tons of things to do there. As soon as we arrived, Willie took us to the Jade Maya Museum and Factory where we learned how the Mayans used jade and saw how it is being made into jewelry today. After that and a quick walk around town, we checked into our stunning hotel, the Camino Real Antigua. Later that night we walked around the market and found a great Chinese restaurant where we had dinner and then called it a night.
The next day we checked out of our hotel and headed back home (even though no one was ready to leave). All in all this was one of my favorite trips. Everything about it was amazing…the food, the people, the landscape, our guide, etc. I can’t wait to visit Guatemala again. If you or anyone you know are interested in putting together a trip to Guatemala, please let us know.
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