Guatemala, where do I start? I absolutely loved this country. The people won me over and the nature… simply couldn’t get enough.
Things to keep in mind:
- $1 = 7.8 Quetzal
- I went with my Guatemalan friend so I did not plan
- All pictures were taken with FUJI X100S
I have to admit, I was really nervous with all the horror stories I have always heard about Guatemala: Robberies, killings, drug lords, kidnapping, should I continue? Maybe not. My flight left around 8 in the morning and had a short layover in Salvador, which we almost missed because our flight was delayed. My impression of El Salvador was unimpressive and I was afraid this is what was awaiting for me in Guatemala. My face must have said it all because my friend told me not to worry. Guatemala is much nicer.
We finally landed in Guatemala and I was relieved and surprised to find out that Guatemala’s airport actually looks nice. This was a good sign. We stepped out of the airport and a crowd of people willing to carry our luggage and taxis drivers offering their services, greeted us.
The first thing we did was to get something to eat. We went to San Martin, which is like a bakery where you could have breakfast and lunch (A coffee place if you must). They didn’t allow me to take pictures but I managed to snap a few (I too like to live dangerously). You can find the bakery, San Martin, all over Guatemala city or at least in the nice areas. I finally understood why my Guatemala friend kept nagging about the fruits you find in the US. I could not get enough of the fresh fruits in Guatemala. They were amazingly sweet and fresh. Yay for Guatemala fruits! We stayed in the city the first night at my friend’s apartment.
After breakfast, we went to downtown or Zona 1 to buy our bus ticket to Peten. If you are somewhat familiar with Guatemala city, this should sound like the beginning of a horror story. We were in the car waiting for the green light on our way to check out the Casa Presidencial (still zona 1) when 3 men ran toward our car and started banging the window and pulling the door handle. I immediately froze and went into shock. All I could think of was if they break the window, I would have no choice than to use my new camera to defend myself. My friend’s mom started honking and driving the car back and forward with the little space we had until everybody in the street started noticing what was happening. The three man decided to give up and left. Thankfully, the door was locked, no windows were broken, and it wasn’t more than just a scare. So yes, that happened. After the incident, I was shaken and paranoid even though, I was assured that it doesn’t happen too often and only in selected areas. That didn’t really help. The two pictures above were taken through the heavily tinted window. Who need to take pictures with the windows down? right?
At night we went to very nice open-air mall/apartments complex filled with stores and restaurants. Wherever I went in, there were security guards and police with weapon bigger than my leg. I was more worried about a miss fired from those weapons than the druggies from earlier today. After walking around we ate at a bar called La Playa.
After dinner, we decided to call it a day.
My breakfast the next day…
They said I got the full Guatemalan experience. I’m still debating if this is a good thing or a bad thing. Just an FIY, Guatemala City does not look like Zona 1. That is just that area.