A Beginner’s Guide to Guatemala
Guatemala had always been on our list of South American countries to visit. We were especially looking forward to this trip because of how many volcanoes the country has. This guide is for travelers looking to explore as much of Guatemala as they can without any specific plans and/or itineraries.
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Where to stay around Guatemala
Just outside Antigua, stay here to practice yoga, explore the avocado farm, and admire the volcano views.
La Fortuna Atitlan
Take in views of one of the world's most spectacular lakes as this hotel that balances charm and luxury.
Close to the black-sand beaches of El Paredon, stay here for the gorgeous thatch villas and huge pool.
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Things to do around Guatemala
You will never run out of things to do when visiting Guatemala, but it definitely depends on the towns you are visiting. We would recommend taking a hike on an active volcano.
Here you can get a massage, go kayaking or go on a party boat.
San Pedro is a known party town – check out the local spots to see if there are any festivities going on.
Here you can go surfing and check out the beaches nearby.
If you are into health and wellness, you can try yoga in San Marcos – a bohemian vibe kind of town.
And finally in Antigua you can stop by and admire Arco de Santa Catalina – one of the most distinguished landmarks in Antigua. There is also the coffee and chocolate farm. Don’t forget to try pepian – a famous local dish.
A note from Fora
There are local tour companies that support local communities and economies, you can contact to ask about the different tour packages and/or provide recommendations according to your specific needs.
There is really weak WiFi all over Guatemala, so we would not recommend that you try to work from home here. Additionally, it is hard to find a SIM card.
There are no taxis, only tuk tuks.
Be aware that there are a lot of bugs in the summer, so bring ample amounts of bug spray.
Places to eat & drink around Guatemala
Breakfast & Coffee:
Barista: This is a great place to have your morning coffee – good service, can order to go or can sit down at the tables.
Cafe Condesa: This is a farm-to-table spot that uses fresh, local and organic products. The restaurant tries to capture a home away from home feel, and is a spot where you will see locals and tourists alike. Stop by for fresh eggs and great coffee.
Circles Cafe & Bakery: Sit on the patio and enjoy the lively atmosphere of this cafe/bakery! They have a variety of drinks and pastries to choose from.
Deli Jasmin: Breakfast spot in Panajachel with welcoming service, fresh ingredients and quality breakfast.
Lunch & Dinner
Tuscani: This Italian-inspired restaurant is a great place to dine for dinner and drinks. When you go, check to see what time the happy hour is!
Guajimbo’s: This Uruguayan restaurant has options for everyone, from the meat lover to the vegan family member.
Restaurant Hana: A Japanese eatery in the historic area of Panajachel, serving unique Japanese-inspired dishes.
Los 3 Tiempos: Not easy to find, enter this eatery by an elevator in the parking garage! Enjoy an abundance of options on the menu while admiring the view.
Restaurante Fridas: You guessed it – the theme here is Frida Kahlo. Grab some tacos and margaritas and enjoy the atmosphere!
Ta’Cool Taco Shop: This spot in Antigua is the best for tacos – delicious and crispy, at affordable prices.
Luna de Miel: A French Creperie spot in Antigua where you can enjoy sweet or savory crepes.
A note from Fora
Make sure you take out cash ahead of time, as there are no ATMs, banks, or money exchange spots once you are in Guatemala.
There are limited places to eat, do not expect it to be like the United States.
Need to Know
Looking for more inspiration on adventures in Guatemala? Find more guides about traveling to Guatemala written by your favorite travel experts (aka Fora Advisors).
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