Caves+Swing Rope+Views….

Semuc Champey… Need I say more?

By far my best experience in Guatemala. From the views to the group I was with to my amazing tour guide, I couldn’t ask for a better day and experience. My whole experience in the small town of Lanquin was great.

Let’s start from the beginning, I stayed in a legit treehouse y’all where I had to sleep under a mosquito net. It was a stay of many firsts. Vista Verde is an amazing hostel with great people and vibes.


Back to Semuc, we are on first name basis y’all lol. The morning started with a 30-40 minute drive standing on the back of a pickup truck. Mind you it was about 20 of us crammed onto a small bed. Did I mention how “amazing” the roads are in Guatemala? The one good thing about these drives is that you are surrounded by nature and crazy views.

Once in the park, exploring the caves was the first thing on the agenda. Y’all I didn’t bring my phone in because Carlos (the guide) said that it would be an hour and a half in the dark with only a candle and that we would be walking, swimming, and climbing. Mind you majority of the time in the cave I was swimming because the cave isn’t meant for short people. The whole experience was amazing though, I climbed up a rope against the waterfall, jumped off the highest peak in the cave, and went through a tunnel where I bumped my left big toe.  So now both my big toes are swollen and are still killing me.

Once we got done with the cave, we walked to one end of the lake/park and saw a beautiful waterfall. Carlos wanted us to jump from the top of the waterfall but the currents were so strong he couldn’t make it to the other side of the lake. Now you know your girl only know how to stay above water. I was not getting in that water lol.  Since that was a bust we headed back towards the entrance and stopped for all the folks who wanted to do the rope swing. Now that was a lot of fun and the current wasn’t to bad there even though Carlos jumped in thinking he needed to save me lol.


Next up was the ridiculouus hike (cause of course nothing in Guatemala is simple). Carlos appointed himself to my boyfriend and tried to convince me the whole hike up how I needed to move to Lanquin and live with him and how he had his own house. The climb was definitely worth it for the views. I even got to taste the fruit cacao comes from, it was pretty darn good.

The purple stuff is what you use to make chocolate

The tasty fruit but your not suppose to swallow it


The last stop was the actual lakes. The water is a pretty turquoise blue and clear.


What a epic day and hopefully my pictures made you want to visit someday.

Hippie Town Anyone?

My next stop on my journey was Lake Atitlan, San Pedro to be specific. Honestly after 2 days in Antigua I was more than ready to head to water. It seems that the trend is to stop for a ‘bathroom break’ even if the drove from one city to the next is 2hrs.  After being on a bus for 2.5 instead of the 1.5 hours promised I made it to Lake Atitlan. I consuls have taken a bus ride to San Pedro but that would have added another hour onto my bus ride. Instead of a longer bus ride I decided to go to Panajachel and take a ferry over to San Pedro. As soon as I saw the lake I knew I would enjoy my time more here than in Antigua. Just seeing and hearing the water was so calming. 

My view for the whole time I was there


One of the best things about traveling is the people you meet. I met amazing people here in San Pedro starting from the long bus ride to the island. I met two older ladies from Malaysia who were actually staying at the same hostal as me. We had good convo and I was fully entertained by all the folks on the bus with me. Once I got to my hostal and dropped my bags off I went exploring.

First stop was to finally get some authentic Guatemalan food. Hmmmm, that was a mistake. I ordered one of their typical dishes called Pepián. It was a lot of food, a spoonful of rice with carrot shreds, corn tortillas, and a big bowl of broth/soup which included chicken, potatoes, and carrots. No bueno para yo. After leaving that place I decided to go and chill at a place with a view of the lake and do some work.  While walking to the new spot I met this couple from the states who are living in Canada but was visiting San Pedro because they were thinking of moving there. We exchanged numbers and said we would meet up later to chill.

Pepián

Lucky me, I came to the island when they were finishing up their celebrations of the Saint San Pedro. So of course there were quite a bit of festivities going on so I wanted to explore some. The people are super nice here on the lake and when it looked like I was lost a guy who spoke perfect English stopped and asked if I needed help. I told him I needed help finding Jarku (the restaurant I started at earlier that day). He told me how to get there then he proceeded to invite me to hop on his bike and that he would take me.  After much persuasion I got on the bike and he took me to the restaurant when I got off, I was reminded that I wanted to check out the festival and started wondering around again.  The same guy helped me again and took me to the c center to hear the live music and check out the locals…

Next day, woke up got some coffee and took in the amazing views. It was another work day for me as I needed to plan my upcoming trip with my mummy and aunt. Later that day while skyping my mum and aunt I easedropped on two couples talking about what they were doing the next day and one of the, was like they were catching the sunrise on Indian Nose. You know your girl went over their and invited myself on their hike because I really wanted to do it but the tour guide told me no since it would just be me (the life of a solo traveler isn’t always glamorous). So luckily they were able to add me and they turned out to be a cool couple. We ended up going out that night and meeting up with the rest of the group. I will be writing a separate post soon about my trek up Indian Nose and ziplining in the jungle. 

But the two pics below are a sneak pic of my day. 


Let’s talk food

So after my disappointing experience with Pepián, I decided to just order regular food. The highlight of my stay there was brunch at El Barrio on my last day. The food was delicious and there was a lot of it. For 40Q you got a four course brunch, all you can drink coffee, and a glass of orange juice. The order was a bowl of fruit, granola, and yogurt, next was a bowl of soup (didn’t have that but my neighbors told me it was good), then the choice of a omelette, frittata, or breakfast sandwich with a side of hash browns or seasoned fries and sausage or bacon(I got both), lastly was two fluffed pancakes with a fruit compote on top. Yes that much food and yes I ate it all but it was over the course of about 3-4 hours. I got there at 10 when it opened and ordered my frittata writhing the first 5mins of being there and got it at 10:50. Ordered my pancakes at 11:20 and got it at 11:55. I don’t remember when I ordered my fruit but I didn’t leave until about 1:30. Needless to say don’t go there if you are in a hurry. Don’t be put off by the long wait because the owner (at least I think so, definitely part owner) comes and check on you and talks to you and the atmosphere of the place is warm and welcoming. It’s definitely worth the trip.  I also tried their chili fries, regular fries, and wings, all of which was really good. 




Honestly I can go on and on about my experience here in San Pedro. It was a great time where I met amazing people and had epic experiences.  Up next is Lanquin for Semuc Champey. I’m super excited about exploring there 

Back to Central America I went 

I made it to Antigua, Guatemala. Super excited to explore the country and take in the culture. 

So I originally planned to spend 4 days and 3 nights in Antigua but ended up only spending 2 days and nights and leaving at 7am on the third day. Don’t get me wrong there is plenty to do here but it just all depends on what you want to do. 

Now let’s talk about the good…

I arrived to Guatemala City early Tuesday morning after traveling all night. Getting out of the airport was super easy and the stand for the shuttles where in plain site. From Guatemala City to Antigua was about an hour (mind you that’s at 10am). I stayed at Hotel Colonial Antigua and it was quiet and clean (very much family oriented).  Once I put my stuff down, I went exploring and walking the city. Antigua is a very small town and you can walk it in about 30 mins. There is a lot to offer from hiking excursions to cooking and Spanish classes to chocolate and coffee tours. It really all depends on what your looking for. 

Pacaya Volcano  
I chose this volcano because it was the easiest one to climb and your able to roast marshmallows at the top. To hike up and down the volcano is a total of 6km ( which is 3.7 miles for all my folks who are like me and have no idea what the conversion is). Sad fact, it took me about  2 hours to go up (3km) the volcano. I know extremely sad, mind you that’s the easy hike. For experienced hikers, Acatenango takes 7+ hours to climb up (to put in perspective Pacaya for experienced hikers should only take about an hour if that to get to the top). Y’all if I had gone on the Acatenango hike I probably wouldn’t have survived. 

Overall though I enjoyed the experience even though there wasn’t any lava to roast my marshmallows. 

​Antigua has a very colonial feel to it through its architecture. Because the city is so small, you can see practically see everything in a day (but the type of traveler you are depicts the length of time it will take you to explore). For me, two days was sufficient since I am not a hiker nor did I go there to learn Spanish. 


Now unto the not so good things…

My first meal in Guatemala was chicken wings. I was so disappointed because I was expecting amazing food for cheap (of course all based on my time in Nicaragua).  I basically had wings one day and fries the next day but I did finally try some street food. Unfortunately that was a bust for me because of what I ordered and then when I tried again I just didn’t like it. So before going into this I knew I didn’t like tamales (or for that matter corn tortillas) but I gave it try and nope I still don’t like.  The second time around I was like “order something you like,” so I ordered an empanada and that was still a no for me. For me so far the local food is not to my liking at all BUT the pasteries and bread are phenomenal. 

When traveling you must be flexible. But in being flexible you must not be foolish and you must be prepared to lose sometimes. As a traveler you can be a meticulous planner, someone with no plans, or like me-a person with a general idea of what you want. Because I changed up my plans/schedule I lost a little money but was able to recuperate it in other ways. 

Other than these few negatives I am thoroughly enjoying myself and meeting new people along the way. 

P.S: Just a little IG video from my hike. Disregard the heavy breathing lol.