I can’t believe that this trip is upon me. I’ve wanted to visit Guatemala since my first exposure to Mayan culture in Belize about fifteen years ago. On that trip, I journeyed to Altun Ha, a small Mayan trading city. It was impressive, and I learned of the existence of the grandest Mayan city of them all: Tikal in Guatemala.

Well, Guatemala has much more to offer than just spectacular Mayan ruins, and I’m excited to be spending the next couple of weeks split between a couple of destinations, discovering this country beyond what we read about in the American news. There are colonial towns and ruins, pre-colonial civilizations like the Maya, and more natural beauty than can possibly be seen in a year, let alone a couple weeks. But I will try!

Here is my basic itinerary:

Day 1: Leave LA. Another red-eye flight.

Day 2: Arrive in Guatemala City after a layover in Panama. (Don’t worry, Panama, I will return in December!) My shuttle will take me to the colonial capital, Antigua, about an hour outside the bustling modern metropolis.

Day 3-8: Antigua. There will be hiking. There will be coffee. There will be chocolate. There will also be a long day trip to Tikal, and probably a day of recovery time from that. So worth it! This will be my first time at a home-host Airbnb and I’m excited to experience it!

Day 9: Antigua to Panajachel, on the shores of Lake Atitlan.

Day 10-12: I’ll be exploring Lake Atitlan, hopefully by kayak at least once. It is supposed to be one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, surrounded by volcanoes, and I look forward to sharing it with you. (As a reminder, follow me on Instagram for daily photos and occasional stories.)

Day 13: Panajachel to Guatemala City. Due to safety concerns I won’t be exploring much, just staying around my hotel.

Day 14: Super early flight to Managua and the second part of the trip, exploring Nicaragua.

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