We based ourselves here for the duration of our Spanish classes, so spent around 10 days here on and off including the volcano trek. Yes this city is very touristy and quite expensive however it is beautiful with multi-coloured houses and cobbled streets. We fell in love with this place because of the chilled vibe, the culture, the food and mainly the people. There is so much to do in the city itself and if you get bored of being in one place you can join the numerous activities surrounding this area.
Flores is a small town on an island connecting to the town of Santa Elena by bridge. Again we were met with colourful, cobbled streets and a surrounding view of the lake. Walking around this small town there was an abundance of delicious street food to try and activities to try out. We spent 3 days here filling our days with trekking around Tikal and jumping into the lake itself.
We spent 4 days here and absolutely loved it. The hostel itself is located on a hillside over looking a river and the vast green jungle, it was incredible waking up each morning to this view. It had a great bar area and a big infinity pool where most of our time was spent. You definitely need to go here if you’re wanting a beautiful view and a good party.
The inside of this hostel was beautiful, with green trees, colourful flowers, art and lanterns hanging everywhere. Downstairs they had floor cushions, tables, and a bar that served good drinks and food. This area closed at 10PM which meant those that needed to sleep for Tikal the next day could and those that wanted to carry on drinking and socialising could in their upstairs room. Up there they had foosball, giant jenga, beer pong and banging tunes. They also had a tour desk so if needed you could book any excursion from here.
The experience was challenging but the best we have done yet. We will both admit that on the way up we said “never again” but as soon as we got to the summit and we were hit with the incredible views we decided we could go through the gruelling trek again. Our blog post on Acatenango tells it all!
After seeing many ruin sites in Mexico we thought we had seen them all, or enough for the time being at least! However we knew we could not miss out on Tikal and we were so glad we did the trip from Flores. The whole site was the best one we have been to. With it being surrounded by jungle, the impressive temples, and the wildlife it was an amazing experience. It was well worth dping the early bird start and leaving Flores at 4am. There’s an even earlier tour for sunrise and another one for sunset too.
The main reason behind us going to Lanquin was to see Semuc Champey. This was another full day out activity and worth the small amount of money (175 quetzals / 17.5 pounds). With the tour organised by the hostel you get to go in dark caves, jump off waterfalls, climb to the top of the hills for the viewpoint of Semuc Champey, and finally finish the day off by swimming in the natural pools.
El Rancho – Lake Atitlan
This was a Guatemalan BBQ overlooking Lake Atitlan which was delicious and cheap. You could order from a list of meats such as chicken, chorizo, pork, rips etc and it came with rice, beans, salad, tortillas, salsa and avocado. Stu had 6 meats and Niamh had chicken which came to a total of £6. The whole meal filled you up for a long time and was delicious so we decided to go back the next day.
Toko Baru – Antigua
All of their dishes are the equivalent to £3.90 which for the amount of food you get is very cheap. The focus is on Indian / Indonesian cuisine with some middle eastern aspects too. The restaurant is small but has a lovely atmosphere with posters on every wall. We both had different curries which were delicious and served with salad, rice and dips.