3 Reasons Why Guatemala is the Perfect Vacation Destination
As you may know (if you follow me on IG), I recently went to Guatemala for my BFF Ashley’s wedding. It’s definitely one for your bucket list as it’s abundant in natural resources (think beaches, coral reefs, flora and fauna, and archaeological sites) and has a rich colonial history and distinct culture and food.
Here are just a few things that made me fall in love with the country:
1. Antigua Has the Best Kept Secrets
A small city surrounded by volcanoes, this charmer is known for its Spanish colonial buildings. Much like some parts of the Philippines, Antigua has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site because of many well-preserved Spanish Baroque-style architecture.
Aside from that, there are many Spanish colonial ruins that have been turned into tourist spots. It’s definitely a must-see. On the nature front, there are three large volcanoes that towers over Antigua’s horizon–Volcan de Agua, Acatenango, and Volcan de Fuego.
Don’t think it’s all ruins and volcanoes because it’s a pretty bustling cityscape as well. There are many restaurants and bars to choose from. While they may look plain on the outside, these places usually open up to plush gardens or goes up to rooftop bars that overlook the volcano–these are one of the best secrets I discovered while I was there.
2. Lake Atitlan is Heaven on Earth
The deepest lake in Central America with a maximum depth of 1,120 feet, Lake Atitlan means “between the waters.” Volcanic in origin, it’s one of the most beautiful lakes in the world and understandably Guatemala’s most important tourist attraction.
The lake is quiet and peaceful but has a lot to offer for the more active traveler like water sports, zip lining, and hiking. If you’re like me, who’d rather lay in a hammock and sip Guatemalan coffee all day with a good book, that’s an option too. You can even take excursions via boat to neighboring towns for a taste of local life.
3. You can keep a budget or treat yourself to luxury
My favorite thing about Guatemala is that you can totally travel low-key or live it up. There’s an option available depending on your budget. I mean, there are hostels everywhere and lots of cheap, authentic street-side eats. But with the bustling tourism, there are many fancier restaurants as well.
In fact, Hillary Clinton once stayed at Hotel Santo Domingo and I was able to visit it and I must say, it’s quite swanky!
In terms of transportation, you have many options available to you as well–buses, tricycles, even private cars. A good tip to keep in mind is to always be street smart and be mindful of scams. And don’t be afraid to haggle!
Needless to say, my first time in Guatemala was a magical one. Not only because I was able to witness first hand the magic of love (cheesy, I know!), but because I was also able to discover a whole new world of food and culture.
This won’t be my last time, Guatemala!