Land of the forests, thats the translation of the mayan word Guatemala. And its is covered with beautiful green forests and jungles. For me it is also the land of the volcanos, due to an incredible amount of volcanic structures.
Because I never plan any details for my travel route, first I just wanted to pass Guatemala to go as quickly as possible to Honduras in order start with my Divemaster course.
But then I changed my plans and spend more than 3 weeks enjoying spectacular nature, active volcanos, a basic lifestyle and one of the wonders of the world.
Flores & Tikal
After visiting the northern part of Guatemala a couple of months ago I already was blown away from this great country.
At this lake I have done the picture for the cover photo of my blog Traveling Adventures. During a sunset we organised a boat and spend some good times on the lake.
At that point I already knew that its not enough to spend just a couple of days in Guatemala. In conclusion I knew that I want more of the Guatemala experience!
Because it is very similar to Mexico in many things, it was easy to acclimatize. And in the same time with a lot of similarities, the little differences of the daily guatemalans life make it worth a longer visit.
From my point of view in Guatemala everything is more basic and thats what I am looking for in my trip.
Find authentic places and feel the vibes of changing cultures.
Deep inside the jungle: Semuc Champey
So instead of taking a boat to a harbour in Honduras, I started to travel upwards a huge river Rio Dulce.
And took further transportation in order to get to Semuc Champey.
It is called a wonder of the world due to its beautiful waterfalls and unique natural swimming pools.
But it is deep inside the jungle and travel Guatemala means that you need a lot of time and change transportation frequently. It took me more than 2 days to pass about 220 kilometers!
And it is absolutely worth it!
In Semuc Champey I spend 5 wonderful days just enjoying this beauty.
Watch my clip about Semuc Champey and you will never forget this place!
After approaching the west parts of Guatemala I wanted to hike some of the amazing volcanos of this country.
And its always a lottery, because lots of volcanos are still active and depending on the actual situation some of them are not offered for tours. Even if I did my visit in Semuc Champey without guides, here in Antigua, close to the capital Guatemala City it is highly recommened to join a guided tour.
Most important reason is the danger of local bandits waiting for naive tourists equiped with money, smartphones and cameras.
Some volcanos are not hiked, due to very high probabillity of getting robbed. Because I never hiked volcanos before I started with an easier tour, hiking the Pacaya.
In a half day tour you hike about 1,5 hours up and get rewarded with a steaming vent and amazing view on the sourrounding volcanos of Antigua.
Lago Atitlan & Volcano Hike
This special lake is located in the mountains on about 1500 meters above sea level. And the lago Atitlan is surrounded by huge volcanos.
This gives an incredible view from almost all angles. The lake is also special because it has no natural drains. As a consequense the lake level gets higher every year about 0,5 meters and all locals living at the beaches need to move upwards or get floated.
In order to get lots of impressions of lago Atitlan in one week I traveled around the little towns located at the lake, like San Marcos, San Juan, San Pedro, Santiago de Atitlan and Panajachel.
And the best thing to do is hiking one of the Volcanos around the lake. Here I decided to do a much more challenging tour on volcano Toliman.
Walking up took about 8 hours and that was really tough but worth the effort!
Especially having this fantastic view from more than 3.000 meters above sea level on the lake.
Enjoy a clip I edited about this exeptional lake and views of the volcano top!
For sure I could have spend much more time in Guatemala, but in the end I am very happy to know a little bit more about this amazing country and its exeptional nature.
Thank you Guatemala for a unique experience with mother earth! Here I am making a promise! Guatemala, I am coming back for more Traveling Adventures 😉