La Antigua Guatemala (The Ancient Guatemala) is the historic capital of the Spanish Kingdom of Guatemala, and it’s where tourists tend to go straight to, from the Guatemala City airport.
My arrival wasn’t smooth – massive delays, then the AirBnB I paid for just closed the door on me saying they were closed for the holidays (very irresponsible for them to do instant book). It’s not difficult looking for reasonable places to stay, however.
I like the city. It’s basically an imperial San Cristóbal de Las Casas (Chiapas, Mexico). It’s weirdly similar to Mexico. Similar food, familiar buildings, and overall the atmosphere was familiar.
The food was not foreign but not spicy so me likey.
Not to mention, I’ve always fancied big imperial buildings.
It’s a walkable town that’s quite relaxing to be in general. And safe, or so I’ve been told.
The town was a good place to base in for day trips. One of the must-gos is to a nearby volcano.
It’s an active volcano, although I didn’t go to the one where you could see literal magma flowing.
Lake Atitlan is one of Guatemala’s top attractions, but one that’s fairly close to the capital, and the touristy La Antigua Guatemala.
The tour includes transport to the lake, then fast boat between several towns. I’d recommend not to get the guide, as there’s practically no difference, and the tour operator may not realize you didn’t opt for the guide anyway.
The lake is surrounded by several volcanoes and it’s all in all quite decent.
Tikal is Guatemala’s most famous archaeological complex, and a major Mayan city-state back in the day.
The state capital Flores is a small island that’s quite nice within the boundaries, but quite horrible outside. It’s not actually close to any sites but it’s possible to do a day trip.
The Tikal pyramids are one of a kind, even though I wouldn’t necessarily count the site as one of my favourites.
Yaxha is another main Maya site, other than Tikal, near the Guatemala city Flores.
It’s nicer than Tikal, albeit not as unique.
It’s peaceful, with fewer people, and it’s still rather large.
The pyramids were preserved marvellously as well.
The tour guides promised to take us to a spot to watch the sunset, and in the end actually took bribe to let people into a restricted area.
Guatemala City is a populous city in proper Central America, and the capital of Guatemala, the place with many trees, heartland of the Maya Empire.
Most tourists skip the capital, as it has a terrifying reputation in terms of violence and general crimes, and I suppose because there aren’t that many attractions.
I got to admit, the city wasn’t very nice. Guatemala in general has horrid roads, for example. But the historical, colonial buildings were still nice. And nothing happened to me.
Restaurants closed early though so I had to spend the evening without eating or drinking anything.