Monday, March 31, 2014

Guatemala Part 1: Antigua

We went to Guatemala first (Antigua, Panajachel & Semuc Champey) and I have to say...we're dying to go back! Traveling should be the main ambition in life. It keeps you inspired, you get to know and understand other cultures, you meet new people and miss what you have, and then you feel grateful to have what you have. You feel alive and realize how much you're missing in this world! When I travel, I prefer to leave my comfort zone and go to non-city destinations.

We missed out on the amazing Mayan Ruins of Tikal, located near the town of Flores, where you arrive and stay the night before visiting the actual ruins. Guatemala is huge, so getting to destinations takes long, uncomfortable micro-bus drives that suck up most of your day. And since we where hopping over to Tulum (México) to finish of our trip we had to either go back to Antigua or drive 12 hours overnight on those tiny buses. Guatemala is incredibly beautiful, the people are very nice, the food is delicious and best of all.. it's super cheap!!!  It helps a lot if you know spanish, or at least understand it. You'll take so much more out of your trip. 

 Since we went to different places, and took a lot of pictures, we're dividing this post in two parts. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.



2. Drink fresh squeezed orange juice from the street markets
( for Q6 = 0.78 US cents!) Also try the "Atol"

3.Visit El Arco de Santa Catalina. 

4. Shop at El Mercado. 
(Soon some of these beauties will be available at the shop.)

5. Just walk around 
...and enjoy the beauty and details of this historic colonial town.

San Juan summer straw hat available here
You don't want to fuck around with the police here.

6. Eat Mayan Chocolate!
Apparently Mayans where the pioneers of chocolate. We tried the Chocolate D'Taza next to ABC del Café. Guatemalan chocolate is very similar to Mexican chocolate. They stone ground the cacao so it has a grainy/sandy texture. Sometimes they use cardamon in their chocolate.

7. Hike El Volcán de Pacaya

We where lucky to get to see some lava. The volcano erupted 3 days before we went and it was very foggy. At one point I was scared. I thought if I fell I was going to end up burned (with no lava Probably because this scenery was so new and different to me. The sulfur smell, the absence of the ground and the heat of it. I was like.. da fuucccckk i'm doing heree!! But it's still so beautiful and different. I felt I was in another planet. If you go.. buy the kids' hiking sticks! It will help you a lot.

8. Eat in Sabe Rico

*Lots of vegetarian & macrobiotic options*  This place is also a chocolate factory so make sure to try anything made with chocolate. *Thanks Isa for recommending this place via Instagram.

9. Have an Absinth or 2 or 3 at Bistrot Cinq

An Absinth bar.. yes! The whole real deal. It's a french restaurant bar. Micheladas are great. We didn't try any food here but it sounded delicious!

10. Try the pupusas at La Cuevita de los Urquizú

Pupusas are guatemalan stuffed corn tortillas.Try them with black beans and cheese!

Other places in Antigua:

La Fonda de la Calle Real: Traditional Guatemalan food 

La Casaca - Good for breakfast & smoothies 

Helados Exóticos de Sobremesa - Exotic Ice creams with amazing flavors like; avocado, tobacco-coffee, mango-saffron-cardamon, etc..

ABC del Café - Best coffee I had in Guatemala. In the same place there's a little chocolate booth called D'Taza.

Nightlife in Antigua:

Café No Se -Your classic dive bar but in Guatemala. 

Los Encuentros - The place to drink craft beers. 

I could live in Antigua my whole life (or at least till my visa expires).
Stay tuned for more!