Thursday, June 11

Guatemala Part 1: Antigua

This was definitely kind of a spontaneous trip--we booked the tickets the week before we left. We’d always played around with the idea of going because John served his mission in Guatemala, so when we found flights that were pretty inexpensive we decided we should. We had to drive down to Las Vegas because flights from there were $500 less than flights from SLC. We left after work and arrived at my grandma’s house around 10:00, then spent the night there and woke up at 3:30 the next morning to get to the airport.

We landed in Guatemala City after a long layover in Miami. John’s friend Jacobo picked us up at the airport, which was so nice. We spent the night at his house and his parents even made us dinner. The next day, we spent the morning with Jacobo’s cousin (and I felt like everyone was staring at me because there aren’t too many blond white people in certain areas of the city) then rented a car and drove to Antigua. The first thing I should say about renting a car in Guatemala is that if you’re not a very confident/aggressive driver, I wouldn’t bother. The driving there is INSANE (and I’ve been to Rome and Hong Kong before, so I’ve seen crazy driving). People are constantly swerving into your lane or trying to force their way in. There are basically no traffic rules at all and you can do whatever you want. The roads are also very windy so it takes forever to get anywhere, and most of them have big speed bumps or potholes (more on that when I post about our trip to Tikal). Antigua We spent a good couple of hours trying to get to Antigua because the main road there was being blocked by farmers who were upset about corruption in the government. Apparently that’s a normal thing and they always have it unblocked by evening... but we had to take a winding path through a lot of really poor areas of the city and I was told not to take my camera or phone out because we didn’t have dark-tinted windows and if someone saw me with them we might get stopped and they might be stolen. I wish I could have taken pictures because it’s so different from the way we live here in the United States.Antigua That said, John was a great driver and Antigua was beautiful. When we arrived, it was pouring rain (hence the scary pictures of my hair). But about an hour later, the rain stopped and it was gorgeous. Antigua has amazing architecture, including colonial churches (now in ruins, but fun to tour). Also, check out this fountain. Interesting.AntiguaAntiguaAntigua Antigua Antigua Antigua Antigua
That big mountain is actually a volcano. You can’t tell from these photos, but it was smoking.Antigua Antigua Antigua Antigua
I have no idea what I’m doing in this picture, but I had to include it because this woman is part of a group of people they call típica, meaning the people that are native to Guatemala and still live in a traditional way (including the food they eat and the way they dress). Antigua Antigua
And here’s our rental car. It doesn’t look too bad in this picture, but its hubcaps were actually zip-tied on and it made a really bad grinding sound when you drove it over the cobblestone roads. In hindsight it’s good it was such a piece of junk because it took a beating on the road to Tikal (aka tomorrow’s post).Antigua Antigua
I think we definitely could have spent a couple of days in Antigua--there are lots of great hotels and it’s a good area for tourists--but we had so many things we wanted to do that we drove back to Jacobo’s house and spent the night so we could get an early start to Tikal the next morning.


  1. Looks amazing! I love all of your pictures!
    Melanie @

  2. Beautiful photos, looks like you both had a great time.


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