Hola, Bombers and Bombshells!
As I type, I am sitting in the Guatemalan airport, with 50 minutes to spare before boarding my flight back to the States. I figured: what better time to write a quick review of Guatemala?!?
Before I get started, a few caveats: I only spent about 48 hours in the country. I came for a wedding, so didn’t get to do much exploring. Still I thought I’d give you a quick and dirty review of what I did, plus 5 thoughts on what you should do should you find yourself on this side of the world.
1. How to Get There
I found a reasonable flight on American Airlines via CheapoAir, which cost a cool $500. Loads of airlines fly to Guatemala, including United, Delta, Spirit, and more. I had a layover in Miami; pay a couple hundred extra for a direct flight.
2. How to Get Around
The wedding occurred in Antigua, which is about an hour away from the airport, so we booked a shuttle via Antigua Tours. The shuttle cost only $15 USD for an hour ride. I’d recommend you make arrangements to be picked up in advance, just to have peace of mind. This is not like New York, Paris, or London where you can just hop in a cab and go. Arrange for your transport ahead of time. Once in Antigua, I enjoyed walking around, but bring flats–the streets are paved with cobblestones. This isn’t the type of place for heels!
Speaking Spanish would definitely be helpful. Many people I encountered working at the airport, hotels, and stores didn’t speak English. Know a few key phrases to get around. People struck me as being very nice. When walking around, I was met with many beaming smiles. I found, however, that things can take a while (don’t expect express service). If you need something done (getting seated at a restaurant, checking in), just be prepared to wait.
4. Where to Stay
Our wedding party was stationed at Casa Santo Domingo, which is a beautiful, unassuming hotel at 3a Calle Oriente 28 A. Enter through a non-descript door, only to be ushered in to a Shangri La like environ, equipped with lush trees, multiple museums, and vast grounds (which is where I had a gardener take the below picture).
The positives: Gorgeous grounds and fast room service! Negatives: Slow Wifi. Don’t come to Guatemala to get work done!
5. What to do
This country is definitely for the nature lover! Suggested activities include hiking, visiting Lake Atitlán, and popping by coffee plantations. I’m not much of a hiker, so I passed, but did do a lot of walking around town, which was beautiful.
I’ve heard rave reviews regarding the beauty of the lake, and a few people suggested I come back to see the Pyramids and Mayan ruins. Guatemala is a quick trip and pretty affordable, so I might be coming back at a later date!
That’s all I have!
What do you think? Have you been? Any thoughts?