Trip Report: Guatemala, late March/April 2023

Old May 6th, 2023, 04:45 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 4,255
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Trip Report: Guatemala, late March/April 2023

My sister Kathy and I visited Guatemala together beginning in late March for 3 weeks; I've traveled in Guatemala several dozen times since the 80s but it was Kathy's first visit. Her son Stuart and some Beca Project sponsors (scholarship and social aid project based in San Pedro La Laguna) joined us for part of the trip.

We first stayed at Villa Toscana near the Guatemala City airport for 2 nights; after a full day tour of Guatemala City with Elmer Soto we flew to the Petén Department in the north for a one night stay at Tikal Inn and visits to the Tikal and Yaxhá Maya sites with Marlon Díaz. Next we spent 2 nights at Posada La Merced in Antigua to take in the Palm Sunday processions before heading to Lake Atitlán. Ground transportation was provided by Alfredo Garcia.

Most of the last two and a half weeks we were based in San Pedro La Laguna, splitting our time between my little home there, Ti Wachooch, and one of my friends' lakeside apartments, Soluna. We visited Panajachel, San Juan La Laguna (including the climb to the mirador), and Santiago Atitlán (including a fabulous birding trip with Rolando Tol Gonzalez in Reserva Tepepul Rey and a lovely tour with Dolores Ratzán). We had a long weekend adventure with friends in the Huehuetenango Department where we stayed at Victoria Center and made visits to the Zaculeu Maya site and cenotes and rivers along the border with México.

Highlights were the amazing, jungly Maya sites, watching nesting resplendent quetzals, visiting the homes of Beca Project students and taking them shopping, weaving and cooking classes with Beca Project moms, Semana Santa activities, stunning scenery, good food, and hundreds of encounters with amazing humans.

Here are links or contact info for lodging and tour guides, all outstanding:
Villa Toscana - https://hostalvillatoscana.com/
Elmer Soto - WhatsApp: (+502) 5129-2222
Tikal Inn - https://tikalinn.com/en/
Marlon Díaz - www.gemtrips.com
Posada La Merced - [email protected]
Alfredo Garcia - [email protected]
Rolando Tol Gonzalez - https://www.atitlanexpeditions.com
Dolores Ratzán - Whatsapp: (+502) 5207 4622
Victoria Center - https://www.victoriacenter.com.gt/
Soluna apartment - https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/40539499

Here's a link to my photo collections from the trip, nearly 1000 photos in 11 albums.
/
HAPPY TRAILS!
hopefulist is offline  
Old May 6th, 2023, 10:58 PM
  #2  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 4,255
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The Flickr link isn't working in my original post, trying again:
/
If that doesn't work and you're interested, check it out at the bottom of my trip report on the Trip Advisor Forum HERE.

Last edited by hopefulist; May 6th, 2023 at 11:02 PM.
hopefulist is offline  
Old May 7th, 2023, 04:13 PM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 4,255
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My blog post about the trip: https://hopefulistinlatinamerica.blo...mala-2023.html
hopefulist is offline  
Old May 8th, 2023, 08:33 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 10,287
Likes: 0
Received 3 Likes on 1 Post
Enjoyed your report and photos. It must add a whole other dimension to travel when you've built such a network of friends and neighbors. At any rate, that's what comes through in your posting. Thanks!
Fra_Diavolo is offline  
Old May 9th, 2023, 04:29 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 4,255
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Truth! Miram Adeney: “You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.”
hopefulist is offline  
Old May 9th, 2023, 08:59 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Apr 2023
Posts: 110
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks Hopefulist. Excellent report, as always. Our only visits to Guatemala were to primarily study Spanish in Antigua some 20 years ago. Wow how time flies when I think back. But we were able to sample a little of Guatemala City & Panajachel in addition to a month in Antigua. We loved the country and considered a move there, but ended up in Mexico. At our ages, long distance travel becomes more & more wearisome, but Guatemala ain't that long of a flight from Mexico City. I guess I'll put Guatemala on our 'hopefulist'. Love the pics in your blog.
bald0ne is offline  
Old Feb 2nd, 2024, 10:51 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 23,382
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Baldone: Would you mind telling us why you discounted Antigua as a place to live? I'm always looking for destinations that are easy to reach from Miami, as I spend 4 months a year in Florida and try to take a nice trip from there in the cooler months. We've rented in Merida, which I loved, but now I am looking for another destination where I could spend 3-4 weeks.

I've been to Guatemala several times, a few times I arrived by bus from southern Mexico (got detained by Mexican customs once upon entering the country by bus....interesting experience but not one I would like to repeat!) other times I flew from New York. But all of my visits are at least 25 years ago.
Places that sound appealing for a month or so include Merida and Antigua, but I am open to other suggestions in Mexico.

Your knowledge of Mexico is such an asset here!
ekscrunchy is offline  
Old Feb 2nd, 2024, 08:35 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2023
Posts: 110
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Eks, I think what happened was that over time our travel evolved from staying in a place for a week or 2, then later we were fortunate enough to be able to spend a month or more away from home. More and more, we'd end up asking ourselves, 'could we live here?' in the various places we'd visited; mostly just dreaming. Antigua was one of those places we dreamed about. But as a dream got closer to a reality, and our criteria for a full time move became a real possibility instead of a dream, Central Mexico just seemed more practical what with its 1 day drive to the border given where we were at in life at that time. We still had a small business in the states that supported us that we had to tend to in person a couple of times a year. Now, being much more 'retired' than I was 13 years ago, Antigua still ticks a lot of boxes, at least for us personally. I could envision Antigua as a great place to live, whether full time or for a month or 2, and thus as a base to explore the rest of Guatemala and other parts of central America. It's a lovely town with great weather & close to an international airport and the amenities of Guatemala City. Antigua is for sure quite touristy, which I suppose doesn't appeal to the 'purist-tourist' that only visits for 2-3 days. Not an issue for us.
bald0ne is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
hopefulist
Mexico & Central America
5
May 1st, 2023 11:40 PM
patNels
Canada
1
Mar 20th, 2023 10:14 PM
virginiafish
Caribbean Islands
0
Nov 19th, 2022 04:36 PM
burningskulls
Europe
2
Oct 16th, 2022 05:52 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -