Sunday, July 25, 2021

8 Days Pandemic Rainy Solo Trip in Guatemala

40 Days Pandemic Rainy Solo Trip in Central America
January 04 to January 12, 2021

My 116th country visited on my journey beyond #lakbay100, 93rd solo backpacking trip, 6th country in North America and of course, usual budget do-it-yourself itinerary from arrival to departure. Guatemala served also as the third country on my 2020-2021 America Pandemic Adventures Filipino Solo Trip, the new normal of traveling.

Guatemala is a small country in the Central America region. It has borders to Mexico in the north/northwest, to Belize in the northeast, to Honduras in the southeast, to El Salvador in the south. It has a Pacific coastline to the southwest, and a tiny piece of Caribbean coastline to the east. Guatemala has a rich and distinctive culture from the long mix of elements from Spain and the native Maya people. This diverse history and the natural beauty of the land have created a destination rich in interesting and scenic sites.

8 Days Pandemic Rainy Solo Trip in Guatemala

8 Days Pandemic Rainy Solo Trip in Guatemala

8 Days Pandemic Rainy Solo Trip in Guatemala

timezone - UTC -0600H   capital - Guatemala City    language - Spanish    currency - Quetzal (GTQ)
1. Guatemala derives from the indigenous Nahuatl word “Quahtlemallan,” meaning “land of many trees.”
2. The Guatemalan Civil War was the longest in Latin American history
3. Lake Atitlan at 340 metres deep, is the deepest lake in Central America.
4. With more than 30 volcanoes in the country, Guatemala is known for its spectacular landscapes
5. Antigua, ruins of Quirigua and the city of Tikal are all Guatemala's UNESCO sites
6. Guatemala boasts the tallest volcano in Central America. Tajumulco, reaches 4,203 metres above sea level.


Day 09: Jan. 04, 2021 Mon / Guatemala to Flores
Day 10: Jan. 05, 2021 Tue / Flores (Tikal)
Day 11: Jan. 06, 2021 Wed / Tajumulco 
Day 12: Jan. 07, 2021 Thu / Tajumulco (4,220masl)
Day 13: Jan. 08, 2021 Fri /Antigua
Day 14: Jan. 09, 2021 Sat / Acatenango (3,976masl)
Day 15: Jan. 10, 2021 Sun / Agua (3,762masl)
Day 16: Jan. 11, 2021 Mon / Guatemala City
Day 17: Jan. 12, 2021 Tue / Guatemala to Sta. Ana

GRAND TOTAL: Q2,930 + 439 USD

8 Days Pandemic Rainy Solo Trip in Guatemala

8 Days Pandemic Rainy Solo Trip in Guatemala


Airport Immigration Issues: the easiest airport entry I ever had, the question raised only was what will I do in Guatemala. In just less than 3 minutes I have my passport already. 

Places Visited: Guatemala City, Flores (Tikal), Quetzaltenango (Xela), Tajumulco Volcano, Antigua, 

01. Tikal Archaeological Park is like the bigger version of Mexico's Palenque Mayan Ruins and the "Chichen Itza" of Guatemala.

02. Tajumulco Volcano (Central America and Guatemala's highest mountain at 4,220masl) 
 hike is an "off the beaten path" mountain adventure. No registration and national park fee to be paid. The DIY budget transportation is just easy to find as the destinations are regular to locals. 

03. Acatenango Volcano (Central America and Guatemala's #3 highest mountain at 3,976masl) is the most difficult day-hike and has the highest elevation gain on dayhike. Trailhead is 2,400masl with continuous ascend and elevation gain of 1,576m for 9 hours / 14km back trail. Summit assault has an hour hiking to lose rocks, soft trail and crawling on the final part. You will be forced to run on continuous descend of slippery trail which make toe nails and hiking shoes very essential. 

04. For planned land border, book Pullmantur bus tickets in advance as the seating capacity is only 50% and departures are once only everyday (except Saturday no departure). 

05. Almost all archeological parks (except for museums) are open to public and public buses are on irregular schedule (with early last departures). 

06. On airport arrival, Guatemala requires Negative PCR test within 72 hours and health registration via this link

07. On land border departure, my next destination (El Salvador) requires negative PCR Test valid within 72 hours. Fortunately, Pullmantur bus recommended Blue Medical Clinic PCR Test in Guatemala City with appointment and physical passport requirement. PCR Test costs Q600 (77 USD) with 6 hours result. This test serves as my 12th PCR Nasal Swab Test (traveled to 9 countries across 3 continents within 5 months, all negative result).


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