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8 Top things to do in Guatemala
- Semuc Champey
- Volcano Fuego and Acatenango
- El Paredon Beach
- Lake Atitlan
- San Marcos la Laguna
Personally, I haven’t been to Tikal, as I have seen many ruins in Mexico before I went to Guatemala. But all the other travellers I have met are highly recommending it as one of the best ruins they have seen.
If you stay in Flores, I can recommend the Los Amigos Hostel.
Semuc Champey (2 days)
Semuc Champey was not on my route, but if you have enough time the Semuc Champey waterfalls are well worth a visit.
Antigua (5 days)
Antigua is a beautiful city in the central highlands of Guatemala. It is famous for its well preserved Spanish colonial buildings and architecture. Furthermore it is close to the volcanos Agua, Acatenango and Fuego (Central America’s most active volcano).
From the Cerro de la Cruz lookout you have an amazing view over Antigua and volcano Agua.
Check out my Antigua City Guide – Ultimate 10 things to do for more detailed information of what to do, where to eat or sleep in Antigua.
Sorry for the bad picture quality on this one.
Volcano Fuego and Acatenango (2 days tour)
If you are in Antigua, one thing you want to do is to climb the Acatenango volcano. It’s a tough 2 days 1 night hike, but you will be rewarded with stunning views to the active Fuego volcano. During the night you can see the eruption and lava of the volcano!
El Paredon Beach (3 days)
The magic of El Paredon. In this tiny village you can have the unique experience at the beach to watch the sunrise and sunset from the same place. How cool is that!? El Paredon is a small hidden gem in Guatemala with empty beaches and it is perfect for people who are looking for some local vibes and good waves to surf.
Lake Atitlan (depends on how many villages you will visit)
Lake Atitlan is one of the highlights in Guatemala and very popular. The lake is surrounded by several Volcanos and its charming villages around the lake attracts many tourists.
San Marcos la Laguna (2 days)
San Marcos la Laguna is THE hippie village at Lake Atitlan! Hippie hipster cafes and restaurants, women and men selling stuff along the tiny street and people who are doing fire and hula-hoop shows is common here.
The “Cerro Tzankujil” is a famous spot to hang around the lake and jump into the water from the wooden platform.
Livingston (3 days)
If you are going or coming from Belize, you should consider going through Livingston and the Rio Dulce. Livingston is a Caribbean style village and the local people are different than in the rest of Guatemala. It is a secluded town as it can only be reached by boat.
Transportation in Guatemala
The so called “chicken buses” (old American school buses) are the cheapest way to get around in Guatemala. Short distance rides up to 4hours are perfect with the chicken bus. For the sake of comfort and saving time it is sometimes advisable to use the regular buses or shuttles for longer distances. Just head to a local travel agency and book your bus ticket.
Check out my post about Transportation in Guatemala – How to get to Antigua Guatemala & Lake Atitlan and how to get from Antigua to Nicaragua for more information.
Best time to visit Guatemala
The best time to visit Guatemala is in general between November and April.
I recommend to visit Antigua after April, as it is warmer, especially if you want to hike the volcano Acatenango.
- Wanna know more about Antigua Guatemala? My Antigua City guide – Ultimate 10 things to do will help you for sure.