"A perfect holiday destination?" Top 5 Page for this destination Guatemala by toonsarah

Guatemala Travel Guide: 3,011 reviews and 8,579 photos

Early morning on Lake AtitlÓn

I have long wanted to visit Central America, but when we started to plan a trip there was one big question to be answered ~ which country or countries would we visit? We could only afford to be away for two weeks (a combination of budget, work and family commitments), so we clearly couldn?t get to all of them. In the end we decided on two: Guatemala and Belize. Both proved to be fantastic destinations, though for different reasons, and were much more different from each other than I had anticipated.

Although we spent only slightly longer there, of the two it was Guatemala which we felt we came a little closer to knowing, as we travelled around more and stayed in several town hotels rather than in the remote jungle lodges that were our bases in Belize. And what we saw of Guatemala, we loved.

In fact, Guatemala is possibly the perfect holiday destination, unless your taste runs to lying on a beach. Why? Well, let me offer you:
~ friendly welcoming people
~ reasonable prices
~ fascinating history, from Mayans through Colonial and more recent, difficult, times
~ interesting culture (local customs, traditional dress, beliefs etc)
~ colourful scenes on every street corner
~ good spicy food
~ refreshingly drinkable beers
~ accommodation to suit every budget, from back-packer to splurge
~ easy to get around (at least in the south)

So what?s not to like?! I really do recommend this country, which gave me the warmest of welcomes and more than lived up to our expectations.

This page presents a brief overview of the places we visited and a few general tips, but to read more about our trip please visit my separate pages about:
~ Antigua
~ Panajachel
~ Santiago AtitlÓn
~ San Antonio Palopˇ
~ Tikal

You might also like to read my Belize pages:
~ San Ignacio
~ Lamanai

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Friendly people, wonderful scenery, fascinating local culture
  • Cons:None!
  • In a nutshell:The perfect destination?
  • Last visit to Guatemala: Nov 2010
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
  • Add to Trip Planner (?)
  • Report Abuse

Reviews (16)

Comments (14)

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Apr 11, 2011 at 3:57 AM

    Very enjoyable read about Guatemala Sarah esp the fascinating Tikal. Great shots of the locals and the "chicken" bus.

  • Elisabcn's Profile Photo
    Jan 31, 2011 at 1:27 AM

    Very nice page, Sarah! Thanks for sharing :-)

  • yumyum's Profile Photo
    Jan 1, 2011 at 11:42 AM

    Thanks for the interesting overview of a country totally new to me! Have never been to Central America but like to go if only it wasn't that long a flight.

  • easterntrekker's Profile Photo
    Dec 11, 2010 at 2:47 PM

    Your pages brought nback some great memories of our trip.The babies seem so comfortable in those carrying cloths..

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo
    Dec 8, 2010 at 9:14 PM

    Good to see you bust out the zoomie, Sarah w/ some great shots of the market & colorful locals to show for it. A bock beer in your cap too, nice find. American Airlines=American Lunch=potato chips & Oreos. lol Amazing & we have dollars to spend too!

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Dec 8, 2010 at 9:10 AM

    A great overview of Guatemala with detailed & informative tips. Lake AtitlÓn sounds fantastic, as do the volcanoes as long as they behave themselves. Perhaps the reckless drivers "play chicken" with those buses? (Do you have that expression in the UK?)

  • SOLODANCER's Profile Photo
    Dec 7, 2010 at 9:50 AM

    Must have been for you as with many of us one of those incredible destinations! Great narrative and fotos as ever. Makes me dream of going back to Antigua.

  • Dec 7, 2010 at 12:37 AM

    im not a holiday shopper either, but you are right - guate is shopping paradise! i loved your 'long haul flight' description - try perth to lima!!! lol :-))

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Dec 5, 2010 at 9:38 AM

    Oh, wonderful overview, Sarah :-)) It is good to see that the bougainvillea is still there and I miss these colourful dresses! I can confirm that both bus theories are true, we often travelled with chicken :-) Beer Bloody Mary... wow!

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Dec 5, 2010 at 5:52 AM

    Sarah, fantastic overview of your stay in Guatemala. I especially like the photos of the so called Chicken Buses, which seem to be as worth seeing as the old British buses in Malta.


“I slept on the strange pillows of my wanderlust (Joni Mitchell, "Amelia")”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 0 0 7
Forum Rank:
0 0 0 6 4

Badges & Stats in Guatemala

  • 100 Reviews
  • 273 Photos
  • 2 Forum posts
  • 2,485PageViews
  • 5 Cities

Have you been to Guatemala?

  Share Your Travels  

Latest Activity in Guatemala

Travel Interests

See All Travel Interests (12)