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Tips and photos that guide through travel in Guatemala. Including Antigua, Lake Atitltan, and bucket list volcano hikes.- travel blogGuatemala or Guate-Buena? I joked. “Mala” means bad in Spanish, and “buena” means good.

So good, Guatemala! Why have you been hiding these treasures to yourself?

Quite frankly, I love indigenous Latino cultures, but bright patterned artistry and ceviche isn’t something new to me. As a first generation Mexican- American, it’s something I’ve been exposed to often. With global opportunities to work in countries all over the world, I wasn’t convinced that I wanted to start my summer in Guatemala. There are so many places to go, so why Guatemala?

To my pleasant surprise, there is a lot more than Antigua, Guatemala. I’ll start with these seven wonders of Guatemalan life that left me wanting for more:




1. The Volcanoes

THIS my friends, is why I decided to do Guatemala. - The 7 Wonders of Guatemalan Life
There are three active volcanos in Guatemala. - The 7 Wonders of Guatemalan Life
But about thirty volcanoes throughout the country. - The 7 Wonders of Guatemalan Life
Guatemala’s active volcanoes include rocks hot enough to roast marshmallows. It’s a half day hike, round trip, and worth a trip to Guatemala in itself.
Can’t take a hike? Consider horses. Exploring a volcano in Guatemala is a family friendly event whether you prefer leisure or fitness.
You can also take a helicopter tour over the volcanoes for an unforgettable panoramic view. - The 7 Wonders of Guatemalan Life
 I did an incredible helicopter tour with Helicopteros de Guatemala.

2. Lake Atitlan

Atitlan means “at the water,” boasting the deepest lake in Central America. Unlike most lakes that drain the ocean, this one actually feeds two lcoal rivers. - The 7 Wonders of Guatemalan Life

Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

3. Smart (Affordable) Luxury& Wellness - The 7 Wonders of Guatemalan Life
Consider a spa experience in the jungle. - The 7 Wonders of Guatemalan Life
Soak in thermal baths. - The 7 Wonders of Guatemalan Life
Indulge in opulent cuisine.
Whether you seek a budget friendly experience or pursue opulence, consider infinity pools leading into the jungle.
My favorite hotel was the Santa Teresita Hotel & Spa. It was exactly what I needed after hiking a volcano. I could have stayed a week there alone.
Speaking of health, don’t be surprised to meet a few people getting more than a tan. Guatemala is surprisingly renowned for medical and beauty tourism including breast augmentation, nose jobs, and all things nails and hair.

4. The Architecture - The 7 Wonders of Guatemalan Life

Cemetery in Chichicastenango, Guatemala - The 7 Wonders of Guatemalan Life
Square center in Antigua, Guatemala
Calling all lovers of doors, hallways and arches.
From the colorful cemetery of Chichicastenango to the churches of Antigua, Guatemala will brighten up the life of even the most “black on black” tourist/ traveler.

5. The People - The 7 Wonders of Guatemalan Life
Guatemalan people at the local market. - The 7 Wonders of Guatemalan Life
Photos via – check out fellow blogger Cacinda for more posts on Guatemala.  
Many native Guatemalans wear traditional Mayan dressings — the vivid patterns reflect the warmth of their hearts.
However, as we romanticize indigenous cultures, only 40% of Guatemalans are Mayan. It’s the overtly friendly everyday people with open arms and open doors that make you feel at home.
Burnt out from living out of hotels, I stayed in the home of a Guatemalan at the tail end of my trip. I’ll list my tour guides, drivers, and other people who helped make my trip amazing at the end of the post, so you are able to have the same experience if you choose.

6. The Artistry – Jade, Hand Woven Fabrics and Leather - The 7 Wonders of Guatemalan Life
Just because I said that it isn’t new to me, doesn’t mean I don’t love it. What is unique to Guatemala is its precious jade. You can identify real jade because like a diamond, it cannot be scratched. Guatemala is one of the few countries in the world that produces Jade, and even better, the only that will give you black jade and pink jade in addition to the traditional teal/ turquoise.

7. Waterfalls, jungles, ruins, and caves.

I skipped most on these for this trip as I’m off to Croatia. However, some Instagram friends will be capturing these beauties for me to share as a preview before my return.
Love you Guatemala. There’s only great with you.

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