La Antigua Guatemala and the Volcanoes

15625945_10155525091493998_8455006632609066367_o

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.

15626203_10155525096008998_2131992131807062242_o

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.

15676203_10155525094463998_7115210228829196111_o

The food was not foreign but not spicy so me likey.

15724582_10155525092303998_5547404818251278022_o

Not to mention, I’ve always fancied big imperial buildings.

15724854_10155525099268998_5239784210191415693_o15731971_10155525098678998_613194920279384356_o

It’s a walkable town that’s quite relaxing to be in general. And safe, or so I’ve been told.

15732209_10155525096628998_6301670025657498359_o15724644_10155526473768998_6706731484970487157_o

The town was a good place to base in for day trips. One of the must-gos is to a nearby volcano.

15731790_10155526475258998_6405227586887836610_o

It’s an active volcano, although I didn’t go to the one where you could see literal magma flowing.

Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

15675775_10155530074488998_2237980065690844039_o

Lake Atitlan is one of Guatemala’s top attractions, but one that’s fairly close to the capital, and the touristy La Antigua Guatemala.

15723619_10155530075208998_1706008331174024533_o

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.

15724650_10155530075703998_8998907589880951855_o

The lake is surrounded by several volcanoes and it’s all in all quite decent.

15732345_10155530073508998_5973011952623999909_o

Tikal, Guatemala

15723400_10155543713718998_7120093184852218431_o

Tikal is Guatemala’s most famous archaeological complex, and a major Mayan city-state back in the day.

15731926_10155543714388998_1488333131831875681_o

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.

15732093_10155543713393998_3146943542712421435_o

The Tikal pyramids are one of a kind, even though I wouldn’t necessarily count the site as one of my favourites.

15732270_10155543715998998_5174493812726169600_n15776782_10155543714648998_2997568348496929509_o

Yaxha, Guatemala

15723646_10155551053253998_347294719815180112_o

Yaxha is another main Maya site, other than Tikal, near the Guatemala city Flores.

15731855_10155551054253998_5484781157975022601_o

It’s nicer than Tikal, albeit not as unique.

15732504_10155551052683998_8629099399004271615_o

It’s peaceful, with fewer people, and it’s still rather large.

15732616_10155551056153998_8298750638291799294_o

The pyramids were preserved marvellously as well.

15775005_10155551054568998_7402266343960260639_o

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

15844469_10155557449363998_8188885607684303205_o

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.