Guatemala is a beautiful country, that offers a lot of things to do for tourists. Whether you’re looking for ancient ruins, stunning scenery, or adrenaline-pumping adventure activities, Guatemala has something for everyone. Our top picks are Antigua, Lake Atitlan, Flores and El Paredon. Each destination offers its own unique charms and attractions that are sure to delight visitors. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your Guatemalan adventure! Antigua is a colonial city that is steeped in history. The well-preserved architecture and cobblestone streets are a photographer’s dream. Visitors can explore the many museums and churches, or take a day trip to one of the nearby volcanoes. The Acatenango volcano is the most popular and you can hike to the top. It takes over six hours to walk to the top but the view is amazing. In the morning you can do the sunrise hike all the way up, which is one of the most gorgeous views you will see. And if you’re lucky you can see the Fuego erupting. For those looking for some adventure, Antigua also offers zip-lining and horseback riding. Lake Atitlan is a gorgeous lake surrounded by mountains and volcanoes. It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy some of the best views. There are lots of things to do. You can go hiking, biking, or kayaking, or simply take a boat tour of the lake. There are also many traditional Maya villages nearby that are worth exploring. El Paredon is a surfer’s paradise. The waves here are some of the best in Guatemala and there are plenty of surf schools for beginners. If surfing is not your thing you can just relax at the beach, walk around the town, do a boat tour over the river and spot turtles. El Paredon is famous for its sunrise and sunset. They are magical, according to the locals. Flores is in the north of Guatemala and is located in the middle of a lake. A must-see is the Tikal National Park, which is located in the forest. It has thousands of ruined structures. Other activities are kayaking, the Jorge’s Rope Swing, exploring the other national parks and just wander around the streets. Overall, Guatemala has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to relax or explore, there are plenty of great places to visit. Be sure to add these cities to your list!
It is only 5:40 when my alarm goes off. In a rush, I wake up my girlfriend and grab my bottle of water. Normally I’m not a morning person, but today is different. Today we’re going to release baby turtles. I’m so excited that I almost forget my camera. Some other guests are already waiting at the pool while Rusty, one of the owners, shows up with his happy face and starts to walk towards the turtle hatchery. The 3 owners of The Driftwood Surfer have been talking with passion about their turtle conservation project. In turtle season, which is from September till December, each day one of the owners takes everyone before sunrise to the turtle hatchery. We have to leave this early because most of the baby turtles hatch between 5 and 6 am and of course we don’t want to miss out on such an amazing experience. As we’re walking towards the turtle sanctuary, everyone starts to walk backward. Orange and pink skies rise from the east. Out of the ocean appears the sun. Tens of pelicans are passing by while they use the waves to save energy. The beauty of the early mornings in El Paredon with its alternating sound of the waves breaking on the beach and then a moment of complete silence before the next wave arrives is a dream come true that takes all your worries away. Turtle tracks! Rusty tells that a couple of hours ago, a turtle has laid her eggs right here. It takes a turtle between 2 and 3 hours to lay around 100 eggs and that while doing so, she is completely in trance. Unfortunately, it is legal to poach turtle eggs in Guatemala and the eggs are already gone… A poacher has taken all the eggs as they are seen as aphrodisiac and could be sold on the market. A dozen of eggs costs normally between 1 and 3 dollars. After the sad news, Rusty starts to explain The Driftwood Surfer Conservation Project in more detail. For years they have been buying the eggs back from the poachers and make sure that they end in a safe place: The El Paredon Turtle Hatchery. One of the other guests asks immediately: aren’t you encouraging the poachers to poach more by buying the eggs? While we walk further to the sanctuary Rusty goes on with his story. As long as the law isn’t changing this is the best way of saving the turtles. With the help of donations from tourists and online fundraisers, we have been able to save more than 40 thousand eggs last year alone. All the money went back into the local community which helped them to buy food and school supplies for their children and tourists pay a little money for an unforgettable experience. This way everybody wins.