It took me approximately 2 seconds to fall in love with Guatemala. Guatemala took me by surprise. It has an established backpacker trail, easy shuttle system, gorgeous countryside, and a thriving indigenous culture. It’s a very beginner friendly destination and I recommend Guatemala to anyone who’s venturing to Central America for the first time.
Highlights of Guatemala
This lake surrounded by volcanoes will take your breath away. Island hopping the villages around Lake Titicaca is a must do.
See this post.
Visiting the ruins of Tikal at sunrise was an unexpected delight. I’m not a big ruin person, but seeing (and hearing) the forest come to life at sunset gave me goosebumps. It’s still one of the most special moments in my travel life.
To visit Tikal, I recommend basing yourself in Los Amigos Hostel. Without a doubt, one of the best hostels I’ve stayed in with super friendly and helpful travel desk.
The most common first stop for visitors to Guatemala, this colorful colonial town is very budget friendly. There are a lot of hostels, cafes, and restaurants. It’s easily navigable by foot. A must thing to do in Antigua is to climb up Cerro de La Cruz – an easy hike that provides a viewpoint over Antigua and its volcano.
We recommend staying in Wicho and Charlies hostel. I love the pod-style dorm.