Exploring Guatemala: A Week Getaway Itinerary

This summer, my boyfriend and I decided to skip Euro summer and explore Central America. Our first stop: Antigua, Guatemala. The flights from Miami to Guatemala were much cheaper than our flights to Madrid last year. We paid roughly $400 for a one-way ticket, but you can definitely find them for cheaper if you book in advance—unlike us, haha!

@chasingcarpediem its been my dream to travel across central america 🤍 first stop📍antigua, guatemala #thingstodoinantigua #antiguaguatemala #guatemala #summertravel #noeurosummer ♬ original sound – jocelyn

Day 1: Arrival in Guatemala City
We landed close to midnight, so we stayed the night in Guatemala City. It’s increasingly becoming very Americanized, which has its pros and cons. On one hand, it’s convenient for tourists, but on the other, it means rising prices for the locals. We recommend staying at any IHG hotel in Guatemala City as they are conveniently close to restaurants.

Travel Tip: We highly recommend renting a car. We booked our rental through Priceline for about $150 total. A tip for travelers: book your car insurance through Amex. It costs only $15 for the entire rental period and provides comprehensive coverage in case of emergencies.

Day 2: Journey to Antigua
On our second day, we drove to Antigua. It’s about a 2-hour drive with heavy traffic, so be sure to carry cash for any tolls or purchases along the way. Both of us had been dreaming about visiting this special place. I personally have pinned one too many locations on Pinterest, and my boyfriend has been dying to try the food!

We stayed at Hotel Porta, which was incredible. As soon as we checked in, I headed to the gym for a run—gotta keep up with marathon training! The views from our hotel were breathtaking, and the authentic cuisine was delightful for breakfast or an afternoon lunch. For our first meal, we opted to enjoy a local restaurant, El Rinconcito Antigueno. After a quick shower, we walked around the city and stopped by A Ver Quien Soy Cafe—the flan here was exquisite, as was the coffee. We explored the beauty that is Antigua and had the most romantic dinner at Meson Panza Verde. I highly recommend this spot for a cute date night.

Day 3: Exploring Antigua
Our third day began with a mile hike to Cerro de la Cruz, a challenging but rewarding workout with panoramic views of Antigua. Next, we visited Hobbitenango, a town inspired by “Lord of the Rings.” The experience was incredible, with the option to stay in one of the quaint houses or simply explore the town’s offerings. We concluded our day at the beautiful ruins of Santa Clara, soaking in the history. Antigua’s charm is undeniable.

@chasingcarpediem traveling across central america finding gems… you wont believe how cool Guate is 🤍 first stop📍antigua, guatemala #thingstodoinantigua #antiguaguatemala #guatemala #summertravel #noeurosummer ♬ original sound – jocelyn

A Little More About Hobbitenango:
If you’ve ever dreamed of visiting a town inspired by “Lord of the Rings,” then this adventure to Hobbitenango in Antigua, Guatemala is for you. For just $10 each, we took a little bus to this magical place (though you have to drive to this parking location first), which felt like a theme park. The bar is a highlight, decked out to match the movie’s vibes, and they serve a selection of local beers. You can even stay overnight in one of the huts, though we opted not to this time. We indulged in arroz de leche from a local vendor while feeling like we were in the clouds, so high in the mountains. The vibes at Hobbitenango are unmatched, making it a must-visit spot in Guatemala.

@chasingcarpediem One of the coolest spots ive ever been to and its in Antigua, Guatemala 🤍📍 Hobbitenango (add this to yoir central america bucketlist!) #antiguaguatemala #thingstodoinantigua #hobbitenango #summervacation #summertrips ♬ ur the only friend I need – 🎧

Farewell, Antigua: Off to Lake Atitlan
While our time in Antigua came to an end, we eagerly headed to our next stop on our Central American adventure: Lake Atitlan. After grabbing coffee at El Gran Cafe and breakfast at La Cuevita de los Urquizu, we set off for the lake!

Renting a car was a wise choice, allowing us to drive to Panajachel and park for $10 a day. (Pro tip: do your research to find safe parking lots!) From there, we took a private boat to Casa del Mundo, paying $25 each for the trip. While the restaurant options at the hotel were limited, the breathtaking view from our room more than made up for it.

Travel Tip: We recommend bringing snacks and only packing what you need (no big luggage), as there are many steps and no roads up this mountain.

@chasingcarpediem coffee stop needed for my roadtrip 🚗 and boat ride 🛶 to lake atitlán (!!) ps. you cant ever go wrong with boxer shorts for comfort &lt33 #coffeeoutfit #boxershorts #elgrancafe #antiguacoffeeshop #errandsoutfit #dailyfit #tiefronttop ♬ Coffee Outfit – Drew Joiner

A Day at Lake Atitlan: Relaxation and Exploration
Casa del Mundo is charming, but I don’t think we will be coming back. A day was enough time for us, since there’s not much to do in this area. We do recommend you visit, but not for a long period of time. It’s certainly the Lake Como of Central America.

@chasingcarpediem spend the day with me in lake atitlán 🧡🌴🦜🥭⛵️ #thingstodoinguatemala #lakeatitlan #guatemala #lakeaesthetic #summertravel #summeraesthetics ♬ Seven – Men I Trust

You can explore the nearby villages—we found ourselves wandering through a nearby town and its indigenous community. It was fascinating to hear many locals speak their own languages rather than Spanish. While the food at the hotel was more Americanized than we had hoped, the views and experiences made up for it. We were hesitant to jump in the lake because the waves were pretty intense, so we hung out and enjoyed the summer breeze. We spent the day relaxing by the lake, indulging in fresh fruits, and treating ourselves to a massage. The view demanded this relaxation, and we happily obliged.

Stay tuned for more adventures from our journey across Central America—our next stop is El Salvador!

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