Tag: Guatemala Travel

View All Tags

/ / / / / /

Monday Five Thirty: Here's What to Drink When in Guatemala

Where: Guatemala
August 18, 2014 at 7:48 PM | by | Comments (0)

Given that Guatemala has about two dozen volcanoes to explore, you'll definitely be thirsty when it comes time to rest your bones for the day. Look for these local favorites that are not only made within the country, but carry interesting backstories sure to kick off your happy hour in style.

Zacapa Rum

more ›

/ / / / /

To Learn Spanish Quickly and Cheaply, Look to Guatemala

Where: Guatemala
August 14, 2014 at 11:46 AM | by | Comments (0)

While we all no doubt learn something cultural when traveling, some take it a little further than others. Many destinations in Mexico, Central, and South America have become targets for Americans looking to learn Spanish abroad. During our travels throughout Guatemala, especially Antigua, we ran into lots of foreigners who had come to study Spanish. Some were staying a week - others months.

There are exceptions to every rule, but, generally speaking, Guatemala's Spanish immersion programs are in line with the cheapest you'll find anywhere in the world. For example, one of the country's highest-rated schools, Antigüeña Spanish Academy, costs only $180 per week for 20 hours of lessons and full room and board (meals) with a host family.

more ›

/ / / / /

Guatemala via Homestay: How We Experienced Lake Atitlan

August 13, 2014 at 7:03 PM | by | Comments (0)

View from the surrounding mountains of Lake Atitlan near San Juan La Laguna

When visiting to Guatemala, one can't help but to get glimpses of the current and former Mayan culture. It's pretty much in your face, from the colorful cemeteries on the hillsides to the world-renowned ruins located within the country's jungles. These are all typically experienced on the surface, but small towns throughout Guatemala give travelers the opportunity to immerse themselves into local culture via homestay programs.

One village in particular that draws our interest is San Juan La Laguna for its location on the shores of Lake Atitlan. More specifically, it sits in the foothills of Rostro Maya, a sacred mountain summit that is reminiscent of a Mayan face looking up at the sky. If you arrive by boat at the pier, you will walk up a steep hill filled with small art galleries and tourist shops. Keep going up to the top, and you will find the authentic town of San Juan. If you arrive by car, you will most likely be dropped off in the actual town.

more ›

/ / / / / / /

Photos: Some of the World's Largest Mayan Ruins, at Tikal

August 12, 2014 at 12:34 PM | by | Comments (0)

Temple 5 at Tikal

Located in the north of Guatemala, Tikal is one of the world's largest Mayan archaeological sites. The University of Pennsylvania and the Guatemalan government have teamed up to unearth it partially, but much remains underground, including the backsides of many of the structures you see in the photos.

In that, visitors get a sense of just how much remains unknown about this mysterious culture. In total, the "residential area" of Tikal sprawls out over an area of 20 miles, and as you might imagine, only a small percentage has been cleared and mapped. The best excavated portion of the site is called the Great Plaza, which includes the stunning Northern Acropolis, shown in the first photo below.

more ›

/ / / / /

Have You Ever Seen a Mayan Cemetery?

August 11, 2014 at 12:33 PM | by | Comments (0)

If visiting a cemetery has never appeared on your travel to-do list, we're with you. Yet when traveling through Guatemala, you might find them hard to ignore thanks to the bright, bold colors that make them stand out on the green hillsides.

This weekend, we had the opportunity to explore one in Chichicastenango (Chi-Chi-Cas-Tin-A-Go). Tourists are most familiar with the town for its huge native market on Thursday and Sundays, but "Chichi" provides visitors much more than opportunities to buy cheap trinkets. In addition to town officials appointed by the Guatemalan government, Chichi's local indigenous people - the Mayans - have elected its own leaders to preserve its culture and religious beliefs. Centered around the Church of Santo Tomás, ancient pre-Christian rituals and ceremonies still take place today.

more ›

/ / /

With Costa Rica in Full Bloom, What’s Happening in Nearby Guatemala?

August 8, 2014 at 10:42 AM | by | Comments (0)

Scenery on Lake Atitlan near San Juan La Laguna

At the end of July, we took you on a journey through Central America’s most popular tourism destination, Costa Rica. Without question, the country is the region's leader when it comes to attracting foreigners and monetizing its landscape.

Throughout that trip, we interacted with many expats and travelers who had been working their way through the surrounding countries, and in these conversations we noticed a common theme. Most of them, in some way, made reference to how several of the other countries in Central America, including Guatemala, are at the point of tourism development that Costa Rica was over a decade ago.

more ›

/ / /

How You Can Help Build Bottle Schools for Kids in Guatemala

Where: Guatemala
December 11, 2013 at 2:15 PM | by | Comments (0)

Hug It Forward is building much-needed schools in Central America, one bottle at a time.

The non-profit uses everyday plastic bottles filled with non-perishable waste, along with some chicken-wire and cement, to build schools in Guatemala and El Salvador.

more ›

/ / /

The Adventures of Travel Cat: Napping at a Coffee Shop in Guatemala

October 16, 2013 at 1:03 PM | by | Comments (0)

Kitty cats. They rule the internet and, whether we realize it or not, pretty much the world too. Ever noticed how cats sometimes stake out the coolest spots in a city? This new feature—Travel Cat—focuses on exactly that. Submit a photo to be featured by tweeting or Instagramming it to us (details below).

Travel Cat spotted in: Antigua, Guatemala.

This playful street cat was photographed by Liz (@go_phetch on Twitter), who says of this lazy pile of fur:

Spotted this decaf #TravelCat at Fernando's Kaffee, Antigua Guatemala. Staying mellow while place is abuzz.

more ›

/ / / / /

How to Volunteer With the Peace Corps, Without the Yearlong Commitment

May 15, 2013 at 3:46 PM | by | Comments (0)

The National Peace Corps Association is now offering all-inclusive, 10 and 14-day travel programs to the Dominican Republic and Guatemala for those who want to help out, but can't take a year off to do so.

MPCA's Next Step Travel program features small group travel, hands-on service projects, and educational programs. Projects include connecting with returned Peace Corps volunteers to learn about their work firsthand, spending time volunteering in a Haitian batey (a sugar worker town) to improve the health of the community, and implementing ecologically sustainable projects in rural areas.

more ›

/ / / / / / /

Idiot Doomsday Tourists Do 'Irreparable' Damage to Ancient Mayan Pyramid

December 26, 2012 at 2:19 PM | by | Comments (0)

The largest ancient pre-Columbian Mayan archeological site in the world, Guatemala's UNESCO World Heritage site at Tikal, sustained "irreparable" damage from tourists throwing doomsday tourism parties last week. Some of the 7,000 revelers—hopped up on a combination of liquor and self-entitlement—scaled the steps of the site's ancient Temple of the Mask pyramid.

Tourists are explicitly forbidden from scaling the steps of Tikal's Temple II, as the pyramid is technically known, due to fears that they'll damage the structure. The rest of the story proceeds predictably.

more ›

/ / /

The Adventures of Travel Cat: On a Dive Boat in Guatemala

Where: Guatemala
December 19, 2012 at 1:31 PM | by | Comments (0)

Kitty cats. They rule the internet and, whether we realize it or not, pretty much the world too. Ever noticed how cats sometimes stake out the coolest spots in a city? This new feature—Travel Cat—focuses on exactly that. Submit a photo to be featured by tweeting or Instagramming it to us (details below).

Travel Cat spotted at: on a street and a dive boat in Guatemala.

This week's Travel Cat comes from Instagrammer @scooterkat, who noticed not one, but two, Travel Cats chillin' in Guatemala. One was just hanging out on a colorful street while the other was getting some sun and fresh air onboard a dive boat. If you ask us, a kitty should come standard with any dive excursion, if only to stick around for possible minnow nibbles.

more ›

/ / / / / / / / / / / /

Mayan Calendar Tours and Events Popping Up Just About Everywhere

April 19, 2012 at 9:54 AM | by | Comments (0)

End of the world predictions based on the Mayan calendar are, in a word, dumb (in two words: really dumb; in three words: really, really dumb; and so on). But because humanity is a magical pixie-dusted tapestry of diversity, the impending expiration of the Mayan calendar has become big business. And because humanity also likes to travel, what the NY Post once called the "Apocalypse Cash Cow"—books, DVDs, merchandise, smartphone apps, etc—has now reached the tourism industry.

Fox News Latina has a brief rundown of some of the Maya-themed tours, services, and events that have sprung up across Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico. Most of the programs thankfully don't have anything to do with the calendar itself. Tour guides, hoteliers, and entire countries are simply taking advantage of the heightened interest that tourists have taken in all things Mayan.

more ›