GUATEMALA - Culturally rich and beautiful -
We loved Guatemala for it's culture, history, art, colourful and welcoming locals. We entered through the north eager to see Tikal Mayan Ruins. We spent one night on Lago Peten Itza at El Muelle Restaurant (the owners were very nice and allowed us to camp next to the hotel) and woke up bright and early the next day to beat the crowds for the day.
After visiting the ruins, we made our way to the bustling town of Flores which is on the southern part of Lago Peten Itza.
Places to camp for the night were not available unless outside of town. (We would recommend finding accommodations prior to arrival to town). With no real plans until the following day, we decided to stay for the night, grab good food and a beer.
We ended up on a street parking lot on a busy saturday night. Nonetheless to say, we didn't get much sleep.
The next day, the plan was to reach Semuc Champey, San Agustín Lanquín which was approximately 6h30hrs of driving.
The map indicated that the route (PET 11) through La Libertad was the fastest. What should of been a so called highway, ended up being a dirt road up a mountain pass. Too late in the day and the night settling in, we decided to keep going. We made it to Lanquin at night after a very long and exhausting 10 hrs day. We would of been better off taking route CA13.
After a couple days of down time, relaxing, hot showers and internet, we headed to Lake Atitlan where we would spend 4 days in San Marcos La Laguna at Pasajcap visiting the areas surrounding the lake, the close by market of Chichicastenango and taking some much needed spanish classes. By far one place you want to visit. The road into San Marcos was steep with sharp blind corners but worth the drive. FYI, We also got charge with some kind of a town fee after leaving our 4 day stay at the town entrance/exit gates.
After an amazing 4 days we headed out to hike the tallest volcano in Central America, Volcán Tajumulco at 4,202 metres.
Our last stop before attempting to cross the El Salvador border, Antigua. Definitely on our top list of places to visit. We loved everything about it, the people, the coffee, the markets and the colourful streets. We camped at the police station for the 4 days we spent in Antigua (We felt secure at the station which was gated with a full time guard, lots of green space and many other overlanders but some left to be desired showers/bathrooms.