Being from Southern California, Guatemala has a bad connotation to it, thanks to the drug runners in Mexico…
But, I’ve come to learn that it’s those places that are usually the best kept secrets that no one knows about. It’s those places that blow you away with their beauty.
You wonder how those rumors got started…
I must say, I was pretty nervous about my trip to Gatemala.
Not at first, since a friend of mine was joining me and we were planning on a typical guys trip. No big deal.
Then about 3 days before our departure, his grandma died and he had to cancel. Oh oh!
Gulp, first solo trip here I come!
I’m so glad I didn’t back out. For one, the solo part was really a lot of fun. So much freedom and openness to my plans. And second, Guatemala just blew me away with its beauty. Which must be why we chose it for our honeymoon later on!
So Why is Guatemala Always a Good Idea?
1. Mayan Culture
A lot of Central American countries have loads of culture and colorful clothing that’s really attractive. Some countries have lost the tradition and use it solely for tourist purposes.
Guatemala is still real.
The reality is that culture does get lost as time progresses and things become more modern. But Guatemala still has lots of native dialects, traditional clothing, and customs that just feel genuine.
Many other travelers say it’s their favorite Central American country because of this. I couldn’t agree more!
2. Delicious Food
It seems the further south you travel from Mexico, the food just gets blander and blander. More beans and more rice. Well, from our experience in Costa Rica we certainly feel that way. There is nothing more delicious than empanadas and fresh tortillas. Guatemalans still like their food spicy too and that’s something I never get tired of.
I absolutely cannot forget hot much fruit there was! Mangos, mangos, mangos! When we were there it was mango season and I could eat them all day long!
Talk about truck loads of fruit. So delicious!
3. Budget Friendly
A getaway that is easy on the pocketbook is one you’ll enjoy that much better. You can splurge in Guatemala and not even feel the pinch! Imagine, nice hotels, cold lemonade right on the river – at rock bottom prices!
Doesn’t get much better than that! You can expect cheap accomodation, food, and activities.
I went scuba diving for $30 and we even scored a private waterfront bungalow for $30!
4. Natural Beauty
Myth: Central America = dirty
NOT TRUE! Don’t listen to people when they say this. Especially about Guatemala. It’s such a beautiful country. I’ve never seen so many beautiful animals and amazing lakes. Not everyone has pink dolphins and manatees swimming in their rivers!
One of my favorite places was Lake Aticlan where I went scuba diving and did a home stay with a local family. Such a beautiful area and super photogenic!
Some places can seem trashy or lots of graffiti but it’s just a cultural difference. If you look beyond that, you’ll see how beautiful it is!
5. Historic Cultural Destinations
How boring, not another history lesson….
Nope. Not here! You will not be bored at all by the incredible historic sites to Guatemala. It’s so interesting how the Mayan culture is so interwoven within today’s culture. The way they built, studied, worshipped, played, etc.. is all found in those places.
It’s the foundation of Guatemala. Compared to some counties who don’t have such a defined cultural history, I find Guatemala just fascinating.
Guatemala will capture your heart and have you itching to go back. Go ahead, be the one who takes the jump out of your comfort zone to visit Guatemala. Trust me, it will be worth it!