Day 1 - 6 Apr 2021
Content: Overview: Flores is the perfect place to begin when going to Guatemala! We arrived straight from the border to Mexico and were thrown into the Guatemalan culture. We adored the food, the people and the vibe there straight away. It became very clear that it was the perfect place for backpackers - there was always good food to eat for low prices, and always cheap hostels which were so beautiful. Food: Mainly street food vendors are best here! We found an amazing place on the island of San Miguel that sold food all day, but there are so many street food stalls around! Activities: One night would be fine here because admiring the views of the lake is one of the main things to do here! However, there is one secret place which is an amazing adults playground.
Content: Where to stay?: We opted to stay on the island of San Miguel, there are hostels there that offer free boats to Flores whenever you like (only takes 10 minutes from the dock) and it is a smaller island which felt more local.
Content: If you're in Flores, head to Jorge's Rope Swing! It is a hidden gem, we spent hours jumping into the water, sitting and soaking the sun up. It is owned by the man who lives there with his family, and it only costs around $3 per person for the upkeep. He built a whole additional section for people to relax in and have fun! If you're staying on the island of San Miguel it takes around 5 minutes by boat, if you're coming from Flores it takes around 10-15 minutes by boat. Don't worry, at the dock there are plenty of small speed boats that are operating and it's very cheap. They all know where the rope swing is! Definitely worth it 😍
Day 2 - 7 Apr 2021
Content: Overview: Lanquin was just phenomenal. There were times where it was difficult to believe that we were backpackers. It takes around 8 hours to get here from Flores, so I would recommend an overnight bus or arriving in the morning to Lanquin to make the most of the day. Food: We mainly ate at the hostel here. Something to note - the chicken isn't very good quality in Guatemala, so I would recommend avoiding this as much as possible, a lot of people became ill in lanquin and we all presumed it was the quality of the chicken here. So go veggie if you're staying here! Activities: Zephyr Lodge is an activity in itself, but the most popular thing to do here is a Semuc Champey tour and tubing - this needs a full day, which I will describe on day 3!
Day 2 - 7 Apr 2021
Content: Where to stay?: If you're looking for somewhere to stay, I would 100% recommend Zephyr Lodge. It is somewhere that isn't currently on booking.com or Hostelworld, however it is a hidden gem and is the most beautiful place to stay. The dorm rooms are reasonably cheap and the place is incredible. It is an absolute MUST to wake up and watch the sunrise rolling over the mountains. It's so perfect. They have an infinity pool over the mountains, a jacuzzi and a bar/restuarant with amazing views too! We spent our first day here just relaxing and enjoying the beautiful scenery.
Day 3 - 8 Apr 2021
Content: Overview: Lanquin is worth spending more than a day for because of Semuc Champey. You can book this tour easily through Zephyr Lodge. We paid around £20 for this tour per person.
Content: This place is absolutely incredible. You can hike up to a beautiful viewpoint, and then hike down and jump into the clear water and have a bathe in the sun. It's such a perfect place. Also the ride there is amazing because if you organise a tour you're most likely in the back of a truck and will have views of rolling hills and mountains the ENTIRE way there. Definitely one of my favourite days!
Day 4 - 9 Apr 2021
Content: Overview: After a couple of days in Lanquin, you can move forwards to Antigua, which is 8 hours away. Antigua is one of my favourite cities in the world. Imagine beautiful cobbles streets, multi coloured houses and volcanos errupting in the background! (Don't worry these errupt all the time so there's no danger) however the views are so incredible. Food: Antigua is amazing for food, there are so many restuarants that are at a good price. There are also huge supermarkets if you wish to cook your own food! Activities: Antigua is an amazing city for many reasons, you can do so many tours from here but also it is great if you have a spare few days to pick up Spanish lessons here! The city is flooded with Spanish teachers excited to teach their language to tourists. Cost: For Spanish lessons we paid $2 per person for 2 hour sessions. Amazing price!
Content: We spent our first day here strolling through the wonderful streets. We actually stayed in an Airbnb when we were in Antigua because we were travelling as 4 people at the time, but we also stayed in the Selina here and that was also really nice, very reasonable prices and really good facilities.
Day 5 - 10 Apr 2021
Content: If you're coming to Guatemala, you HAVE to schedule Acatenango into your trip. This was one of the most incredible experiences of my life, and also one of the most challenging. It definitely isn't for the faint-hearted, however most people who start it, do see it through to the end.
Day 5 - 10 Apr 2021
Content: So, you spend around 5 hours hiking up an inactive volcano (one that is very steep) but regardless of the heat and the humidity, you're in amongst jungle and cloud forests which is so beautiful. Then, when you reach the top, you are above the clouds. We watched an incredible sunset, standing on one volcano and looking at 2 more in front of us. There is the option to do a second hike at the top to Fuego (the active volcano) to get closer to lava! We did this, and it was one of the hardest things I ever have done, but it was so worth it. We watched 5-6 explosions from the top, hearing the erruptions and seeing lava exploding into the air - it was incredible. We camped there the night and when I woke up in the middle of the night, I saw the most incredible sky full of stars, and the erruptions were so much more vivid at night it was amazing. Cost: In total, it cost us around £40 for the tour, including food and the second hike which cost extra.
Day 6 - 11 Apr 2021
Content: Overview: After Acatenango you may be feeling a bit sore from all the hiking, however after a full day of resting after the hike down (you hike down at around 10am), there is the potential to do Pacaya.
Day 6 - 11 Apr 2021
Content: This is another volcano, where there is a lot less hiking involved, it was mainly flat ground, but instead you can toast marshmellows over the lava! Alongside this you're surrounded by old lava which feels like you're on a different planet when you walk along it. We went here during the day but apparently it is best at night so you can really see the lava! Cost: The tour is only 2-3 hours and costs around £15. I would definitely recommend seeing this, it felt like we were in a movie!
Day 7 - 12 Apr 2021
Content: Overview: So you're on the last day of your trip, and you're unsure of where to go. There are two more places I would recommend in Guatemala - Lake Attitlan and Rio Dulce. They are both really relaxing places to spend your last day. I went to both, and I personally connected better with Rio Dulce, however I know so many people who love the lake too. I'm going to discuss Rio Dulce here because it is a little more off the beaten track, and less people know about it but I was so glad that we went here! Activities: From Rio Dulce it is very easy to find ways to cross the border to Honduras (which we did) or to head to Guatemala City. But after the hiking in Antigua, it was the perfect place to relax and refresh your mind again! We did stand up paddle boarding here and you could rent the boards from the hostel for around $2 and we also rented kayaks and spent hours kayaking through the beautiful rivers 😍
Day 7 - 12 Apr 2021
Content: We stayed in a hostel/hotel called 'hotelito perdido' and it was incredible, literally the place was in the middle of nowhere, only accessible by boat. The WiFi wasn't so great, there wasn't much around, but we were surrounded by the jungle and it is one of the most peaceful places I have ever been to.