Guatemala
Guatemala

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Top 10 Travel Destinations Guatemala

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263 travelers at this place

  • Day128

    Burning legs

    January 13 in Guatemala ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    Last night, a guy at our hotel couldn't believe that we were going to Cobán today. He told us right away that we were crazy. Today, we knew what he meant. We had a full experience of the mountain roads in Guatemala. They are incredibly steep, usually up to 20%. And they go up and down and up and down all the time. Our legs were burning like hell and we had to stop really often to take a rest and get something to eat or drink.
    The views, on the other hand, we stunning! The landscape is just amazing with the green mountains. As we are now in the higher region around Cobán, we also passed coffee plantations. Very scenic!!
    When we arrived at our hostel, the bike computer showed 2314m of elevation gain over 75km. We only had some energy left to get food from the market, go for a short stroll around the centre and cook dinner.
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  • Day123

    Welcome to Guatemala

    January 8 in Guatemala ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    This morning, we crossed the border to Guatemala, our 5th country on the trip. I was a little sad to already leave Belice, as there's so much more to see and do, but in the end we have to go on and I'm happy to have been to this still quite untouched country with its beautiful nature and people.
    Before we left, we had breakfast with Raul's family and our bread and vegetables from the market fed everyone. Then Raul showed us the backroads to the border and we said goodbye. The border crossing itself was really easy, you pay an exit fee of 40 Belize Dollars (20€), get your exit stamp, continue to the Guatemala immigration and get your entry stamp - no filling out a form, no interrogation or anything.
    In Guatemala, we were greeted by many many friendly and laughing people. Especially the kids waved at us enthusiastically when we passed by. We stopped at a little shop to get some groceries and chatted to the girls behind the counter. They laughed about us as we didn't know certain fruits and as we ate plain bread without drinking water or coffee. In the end, they gave us some of the fruits that we didn't know (which we tasted later and didn't like too much as they were really sour).
    We decided to take a detour and stop at Yaxha, Mayan pyramids some 11km off the highway a French cyclist had highly recommended. If we had known the road conditions beforehand, I guess we would have just passed it. Steep hills, up and down, rocks, slippery surface... However, luckily we hadn't, as the place was stunning and well worth the effort. Camping next to a lake (unfortunately no swimming because of crocodiles), fascinating Maya ruins in the middle of the jungle that we could climb for some amazing views, monkeys, parrots...
    The campsite consisted of covered platforms (they call them "bungalows") where we could put up our mosquito net - really convenient. Especially as it started to rain at about 7pm and didn't stop all night. (we had actually checked the weather forecast before and it predicted like 1mm - doesn't seem to be too reliable here)
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  • Day132

    Last day in Guatemala

    January 17 in Guatemala ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

    Our last day in Guatemala already... What a beautiful country with super friendly people! Last night, we decided to change our route a little because we got an invite from Jairo to stay at his house in Asuncion Mita. We were going to cross the border to El Salvador at a place closer to the coast, but as we enjoy staying with locals, we are now just crossing at San Cristóbal.
    In the morning, the road was rolling again for the first few km. Then, it went just uphill and was in a pretty bad shape. So it took us quite some time until we got to our highest point of today of about 1550m.
    However, once we got to the top, we were also delighted to see and feel that they had recently built a new road with perfectly smooth asphalt. So the rest of the day was easy cycling. We stopped at Monjas for our lunchbreak and continued via the "Colonial and Volvano Route". We enjoyed the downhill riding and the views.
    The last 20km we rode on the "real" Pan-American Highway. The road was much more busy and every kilometer there was an Auto Hotel. You can rent hotelrooms per hour to take a "power nap" 😉
    When we got to Asunción Mita, we heard that there was a parade scheduled for the night. So we went to the main square to see the pilgrims from Esquipulas (another village close to the border to Honduras) on horses and the mariachis. Apparently, they have been coming every year for the last 100 years, so there's always a little festival at that time of the year.
    Our day ended with an amazing dinner that Jairo cooked for us. Best tacos and tortas we've ever had. How lucky are we to stay with someone who runs a little restaurant?? !!
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  • Day129

    Semuc Champey

    January 14 in Guatemala ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    Again an early start: But today by bus for a change. We took the 6am bus in order to be able to make it to Semuc Champey in a day and back. Semuc Champey is one of the natural highlights in Guatemala and pretty famous among backpackers for cave tours and tubing. We just wanted to visit the park, enjoy the views and swim in the natural turquoise pools.
    The place is located only 65km away. We were going to go there by bike, but after a warning of a fellow cyclist regarding the road conditions decided to use public transport. The first 43km are on a new smooth road. By local bus, this took about 2 hours including a break (as usual when you take the local buses). We enjoyed the views from the bus and were happy we didn't have to climb those 20% hills today. Then we turned onto a gravel road towards Lanquín. It was REALLY bad, especially as it had rained all night. So for the next 11km, we needed about an hour. We were just happy we weren't on bikes! In Lanquín, we had to change to a different vehicle. One of the public collectivos, old 4WD where you stand on the back. Quite an adventure as the road got even worse, steeper and very slippery. But our driver managed to get us safely to the park entrance within another hour. So 4 hours in order to get to the national park - puh.
    In the park, we hiked up to the lookout point first where we had a stunning view over the pools and the amazing mountain scenery. Afterwards, we went for a well deserved swim and had our sandwiches for lunch.
    Then the same procedure for the way back. As the road had dried in the meantime, the ride on the collectivo wasn't as adventurous anymore. We then went on the bus to Coban. Also this road was much better now and we could go fast. But there was also construction work going on, so they blocked the road and we had to wait for 1.5 hours. Thus, we arrived at the smooth road after 2 hours. Our driver was then eager to hit the normal time and only stopped in order to drop people, just ignored the ones that wanted to get on the bus. In the end, we arrived in Coban after 4 hours traveling, same time as going there. We were more tired than after a day of cycling and slept very well after Jimmy, the guy who runs the hostel, shared some of the good Guatemalan rum with us.
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  • Day130

    Guatemalan festivities

    January 15 in Guatemala ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    When we got up today, it rained and we were not too motivated to do a long stretch as originally planned. So we started slowly with a great coffee of the Coban region. In the hostel, we chatted with Jorge, who works there. He told us about his village Tactic which is located 30km South of Covan and what to do there. Furthermore, he invited us to stay at his house. So of course, we couldn't say no to the invitation. On top, he took all our luggage in his car, so riding felt almost like flying.
    First, we went to the central square. There was a stage and music and it was packed with people waiting for something. When we asked what was going on, they told us that the local government had changed and everyone was eager to see the new mayor. We didn't want to wait for the guy for another 2-3 hours, so instead rode up a short but incredibly steep hill to the church of Cristo de Chi-Ixim. Jorge had told us that today was a special religious festival again that they celebrated at that church. And yes, we saw people doing religious burning ceremonies. Apart from the ceremonies, it looked more like a street food festival with lots of food stalls. So we decided to try some small local dishes as an appetizer.
    Because next, we wanted to go to a food corner shop in the market. Jorge knew the ladies running it and had raved about the food. And indeed, for about 1.5€ each, we received a plate of rice, vegetables, salad, beef broth and a glass of water and it was yummy!
    Our last activity for the day was Chamche, a mix of a small zoo (they even had a Bengal Tigre) and natural swimming pools. The water was freezing cold but refreshing. We spent the rest of the afternoon at this place reading and watching animals.
    At 5, the place closed and it started to rain. We rushed into the city center again to buy some dinner. Then we went to a restaurant to have a beer while waiting for Jorge to finish work at the hostel. Unfortunately, there was a lot of work, so he didn't get home u til 10pm. Luckily, his sister was home at 8:30pm, so we could at least get into the house, cook some dinner and chat for a while. When Jorge got home, we were really tired, so didn't have much time for a longer chat. But we were very lucky to stay with this great and hospitable family.
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  • Day131

    Rainy riding into a different landscape

    January 16 in Guatemala ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    Luckily, it didn't rain when we left Jorge's place. The route was pretty as usual, rolling through green mountains, but not too steep. After some 20km however, it started raining and didn't stop for a while, so we got quite wet and decided to stop in a bakery to fill up some calories and warm up as well. We cycled through a beautiful forest, but couldn't enjoy the views that much due to the rain. People told us that you can usually see quetzals, the bird on the Guatemalan flag, in this forest. But birds don't like rain either and prefer hiding.
    After about 50km, we reached the turning point of today's ride, the end of a mountain range and also an intersection leading to some bigger towns. Here, things changed significantly: We had a long downhill ahead of us (50km, 1200m elevation loss), it stopped raining (positive!), but on the other hand, the landscape got way drier, there was a lot more traffic and rubbish along the road.
    It felt like being in another country - what a difference a mountain range and the close distance to the the capital can make!
    After the downhill, we reached a road that several people had warned us about because it's the main connection between the Atlantic and Pacific side in Guatemala. There's heavy traffic, exhaust gases and climbing on a one lane road - so no fun to cycle. So we hitchbiked again and were very lucky when we got a ride after only 10min. The family from the North of Guatemala dropped us after 30km at Sanarate where we found a hotel to spend the night.
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  • Day124

    Dirt road fun

    January 9 in Guatemala ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    In the morning, it was still raining. We thought about staying another day and night in our "bungalow", but as the rain got less, we decided to leave. The rain had turned the bad dirt road into an incredibly muddy and slippery dirt road, so we had some fun getting back to the main road with our heavy bikes - NOT.
    Once back on the pavement, it was relatively easy up and down while passing some villages and lagunes until we got to El Remate. We got a cheap room for 2 nights as we want to see the famous Maya site of Tikal tomorrow.
    The rest of the day was dedicated to bike maintenance and cleaning from the mud, laundry, grocery shopping and exploring the town even if there's not much to see.
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  • Day126

    Chilling in Flores and some km spinning

    January 11 in Guatemala ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    We left El Remate after a really good Guatemalan coffee the owner of the posada had made for us. As we had tail winds on a relatively flat road, it only took us just over an hour to get to Flores, our next stop. First, we went to a bike shop. It opened at 10am and we arrived 8:45am, so what to do if you don't want to wait? We knocked at the door, a guy opened and sold us the pedals we needed. Then he even mounted them with his pro tools - easy as that in Guatemala!
    Flores is located on an island accessible by a bridge. The island is really small, you can cycle around in about 5 min. It's a tourist place, but absolutely beautiful with many colorful houses! We decided to have an extended second breakfast at the waterfront and go for a swim. We found out that a triathlon took place and were really tempted to stay for a night. However, it was also very tempting to go on. We were still feeling very fresh after 4 easy days on the bike and more importantly, the wind came from the right direction!
    So we went back on the bikes and continued our way to Sayaxche. It was easy rolling with some minor hills, passing green and hilly scenery and some villages with many animals such as pigs, dogs and chicken running around.
    In Sayaxche, you need to cross a river in order to get further South (meaning there is no bridge on one of the main routes in Guatemala!). There's boats for different means of transport: one for passengers, one for cars, one for motorcycles. We went on a small boat for motorcycles. Prices are 2 Quetzales (about 25 € cents) for passengers, 5 Quetzales for motorcycles. Foreign cyclists: free of charge - thanks to the guys on the boat 😁
    In town, it wasn't easy to find an economic hotel as it was Saturday and Sayaxche seems to be a party town for locals, full of dodgy bars. However, in the end we got lucky as one of the hotel owners offered us a cheap room in his new hotel that wasn't completely ready yet. Our room was bright and everything was working, so no complaints here!
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  • Day127

    The rolling Gringo

    January 12 in Guatemala ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    5am - wake up call by hundreds of birds in the trees next to our hotel. But as we had a long day ahead of us, this was a good reason to get up early. We left Sayaxche, passed some rainforest where we could hear monkeys again and had a first stop in Las Pozas, a busy little market town, to have some bread. The route had been VERY hilly, right from the beginning, so we had burned our breakfast calories already. Afterwards, there was a long straight stretch of 30km with no curve - still rolling up and down though.
    When passing the villages, the kids all called us "gringo". It was funny at the beginning but kind of annoying after the 100th times. It must also be the first words kids learn as even 2-year-olds screamed "gringo" as soon as they saw us. We felt a little bit like in a zoo, because once one kid saw us, they called everyone else in the house and neighborhood to come out and see us. I fear it will be like this for another 11 months or so...
    Once the straight part ended, the scenery was stunning, turning mountainous again. The road was still rolling: 50m climb, then down, then up again. At some stage, we needed a break and were happy to find a guy who sold melons. Even though we paid a tourist price, we still very much enjoyed the fresh fruit!
    We arrived early in Chisec where we wanted to stay for the night. Hotel options weren't too good. In the end, we decided to stay in a run-down, but very cheap one. Thus, we could better spent the money on food. I think we also looked quite hungry: at the bakery, the guy put more bread in our bag as we ordered (no extra charge) and in the restaurant they gave us bananas for breakfast on the way. The people here somehow know what we need 😉
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  • Day119

    Lagunas de Montebello National Park

    February 28 in Guatemala ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    The samef day as visiting El Chiflon waterfall we went to the Lagunas de Montebello National Park, which is very close by to the Waterfalls and is full of lakes and beautiful pine trees through the green landscape 😊 we visited a view point that overlooks one of the biggest in the park, accompanied by lunch across the road at a traditional mexican street food stall. It looked rugged, and tbh we both thought food poisoning as soon as we saw it, but like many other street food stalls we'd eaten at, the food it homecooked, good hearty food that is really cheap and very tasty 😋😋 after lunch we took a short drive to a popular holiday park for locals just at the boarder of Mexico and Guatemala! We even got to cross over the boarder for abit of a walk (obviously Street vendors at ever corner ogmf the boarder trying to sell souvenirs with 'Guatemala' stamped all over it 😂 of course we had to buy at least a fridge magnet to say we had been! 😅 At the boarder you can see it's maked with white pillars to show where it starts, includeding a string of boys (the water kind 😂) hung across one of the lakes that the boarder sits on. So half the lake is mexican and the other half is Guatemalan 😀Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Republic of Guatemala, Guatemala, Guwatemala, ጉዋቲማላ, جواتيمالا, Qvatemala, Гватэмала, Гватемала, Gwatemala, গোয়াতিমালা, གྷོ་ཊེ་མ་ལ།, Gvatemala, Guatemala nutome, Γουατεμάλα, Gvatemalo, گواتمالا, Gwaatemalaa, Goatemala, Guatamala, ગ્વાટેમાલા, Gwatamala, גווטמלה, गोतेदाला, Գվատեմալա, グアテマラ, გვატემალა, ហ្គាតេម៉ាឡា, ಗ್ವಾಟೆಮಾಲಾ, 과테말라, گواتیمالا, Gwatémala, ກົວເຕມາລາ, Ngwatemala, Goatemalà, ഗ്വാട്ടിമാലാ, ग्वाटेमाला, ဂွာတီမာလာ, Cuauhtemallan, ଗୁଏତମାଲା, ګواتمالا, Watimala, Guatêmälä, Guwaatamaala, குவாத்தாமாலா, గ్వాటిమాల, Гуатемала, ประเทศกัวเตมาลา, Kuatamala, گۋاتېمالا, Ґватемала, گواٹے مالا, Gvatemalän, Orílẹ́ède Guatemala, 危地马拉, i-Guatemala

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