Mexico & Central America Forums

Post New Topic

Recent Activity

View all Mexico & Central America activity »
  1. 1 spa resort: HELP Cabo or Costa Rica?
  2. 2 Oscar y Lalos is no longer on the beach - time to update the guidebook
  3. 3 Suggestions needed for a family trip on the cheap
  4. 4 Four days in Panama.. Where to get out of the city before coming back?
  5. 5 2 months in nicaragua - solo female
  6. 6 HoneyMoon - Gutemala - Mexico
  7. 7 Timeshare Presentation For Deep Discount On A Resort Worth It???
  8. 8 DF: Any's Hostal vs Dos Fridas y Diego re location
  9. 9 Costa Rica - First trip itinerary, jaguar rescue center visit
  10. 10 Trip Report Puerto Vallarta Nov 2015 edition
  11. 11 La Fortuna via Poas
  12. 12 Trip Report Riviera Maya: Five Days of Peace & Plenty
  13. 13 Costa Rica - Arenal & Tamarindo questions
  14. 14 Sleeping At San Jose Airport
  15. 15 Entering Guatemala on a One-Way Ticket
  16. 16 Trip Report Wonderful Memories with Granddaughter
  17. 17 Yet another Costa Rica question!
  18. 18 E. Coast Mexican resort good for teens?
  19. 19 Cobo San Lucas For The Day
  20. 20 Patricia missed Puerta Vallarta, so...
  21. 21 Cruise trip to Western Caribbean in Feb.'16.
  22. 22 LaPaz Baja car rental
  23. 23 Need to find companions for drive to Panama from US
  24. 24 Costa Rica: Arenal or Monteverde
  25. 25 Weather in Playa Del Carmen?
View next 25 » Back to the top

Trip Report Hopefulist's 2013 Guatemala Travelogue

Jump to last reply

Hi, all -
A summer Guatemala visit was out for me this year due to happy, busy plans to reconnect with host families in Scotland (mine) and The Netherlands (son Isaac's) and a focus week in Cambridge for Isaac's Master's program graduation. I traded to obtain 3 work days each side of spring vacation, a shorter trip for me than usual, right at 2 weeks, the majority of which I spent - happily - in the town of San Pedro La Laguna on Lake Atitlán.

I flew in to GUA on a Wednesday evening and spent a quick overnight in Antigua at my favorite hotel, Casa Cristina ($25 single including tax) - just enough time for an evening stroll around the parque central, pepián at La Fonda de Calle Real (~$7), portable treats the next morning from Fernando's Kaffee on the corner by the hotel, a brisk morning walk around town, and a visit to the new garden campus of the Academia Antigüeña. I chose a private shuttle from Adrenalina Tours instead of a share shuttle or pullman bus this trip in order to choose a mid morning departure for Panajachel. Cost was $90 for the comfy, friendly ride and included nearly 3 hours of Spanish practice to get my arrows lined up for the weeks aheads.

You can view my Antigua 2013 blog post here:

My usual Guatemala visits include fellow travelers numbering 1 to 20 and I enjoyed the simplicity of visiting sola. My focus this trip, as usual, was my beloved Beca Project:

Due to time limitations I visited just the homes of this year's 13 new students (instead of all 43) and substituted pizza lunches with each crop of Beca kids (10-13 in groups delineating by the year they became Beca students) instead of a grand celebration dinner for all the families with cultural entertainment by the students. I took many of the kids shopping for new shoes and clothes and loved seeing the kids and family members around town. In order to connect with families I spent a few evenings in the park meeting and greeting - lots of hugs and gratitude all around.

You can select blog posts specific to these Beca experiences from this April 2013 blog summary:

The cultural entertainment for this year's trip has a huge historic presence there - the celebration of Semana Santa, Easter week. The majority of our Beca students are Catholic and participate in these events, the most important of the year. I was excited and privileged to celebrate with them.

I specifically requested a Catholic homestay from the Cooperativa Spanish School; total cost was $120 for 11 nights including all meals except on Sundays).
I lived with a fabulous family: María, José, and their 7-year-old son Felix. I loved my room, the funky bathroom set up, the neighborhood (away from the center, quiet and great exercise hiking to and fro), plus the food was amazing. I felt carried aloft by gratitude for how they included me in their family and in their spiritual commitment to Semana Santa.

Here's a blog post about the family:

and one with Semana Santa highlights:

There are 4 more blog posts about my time on the lake
Market Day:
Searching for Corte:
Misc. Atitlán:

After Easter I headed back to Guatemala City via Adrenalina share shuttle (~$24 for a trip that took 5 and a half hours due to heavy traffic in GC) and stayed 2 nights at Villa Toscana near the airport ($38/night single including tax, breakfast, and airport shuttles). The full day between I hired a driver named Elmer (arranged by Villa Toscana) to take me around to various zones, the central plaza, and several awesome museums - 4 hours for $45.

Here's the Guatemala City blog post (hit "Newer Post" at the bottom to see my photo rainbow):

There's a complete Guatemala 2013 collection of photos organized into 14 sets on my main flickr page:

Let me know if I can answer questions.
Happy trails!

20 Replies |Back to top

Sign in to comment.