Guatemala, part 2: Lake Atitlan

Posted: January 1, 2015 in Writing

Originally posted on eatdrinkculture:

“Lake Como, it seems to me, touches on the limit of permissibly picturesque,
but Atitlán is Como with additional embellishments of several immense volcanoes.
It really is too much of a good thing.”
–Aldous Huxley

Our departure from Flores was less eventful than our arrival, with no travel hiccups (well, save the fact that we got to the airport MUCH earlier than necessary, so waited in an empty terminal until the ticket desk actually opened).

After a one-hour flight over beautiful, mountainous scenery, we landed back in Guatemala City, and easily found our ride; we had made transportation arrangements with the lodge we would be staying at on Lake Atitlán. This lodge was actually what prompted the entire trip to Guatemala (which we talk about in more detail here): an eco-lodge nestled on a steep slope near Santa Cruz on the edge of the lake, accessible only by boat.

Arrival at the…

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Journey to the Land of Eternal Spring

Posted: December 23, 2014 in Writing

Originally posted on eatdrinkculture:

This post is long overdue. We went to Guatemala in early September, almost at the end of summer, and here we are on the first day of winter. Where did the time go?

The autumn was taken up with working, cooking, exploring our own neighborhood, catching up with friends and family…so much of that in the last few weeks especially. But finally, it’s time for a real post about Guatemala.

When we began planning this year’s vacation, we had been looking for a place that was relaxing, inspiring, and beautiful. In selecting Guatemala–somewhat accidentally–we managed to plan just the right combination of adventure and activities, culture and natural beauty, sightseeing, and pure relaxation. Even with a few hiccups along the way (what trip doesn’t have those?), we really felt as though we were ‘away from it all’. Ten days felt like at least that, in a very good way.

While traveling we sent back a few virtual “postcard” blogs…

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Postcard from La Antigua

Posted: October 10, 2014 in Travel

Originally posted on eatdrinkculture:

We arrived home quite late Friday night, after a long travel day that included a few frustrations at the Miami airport. Will write about that later. Here for now, our final “postcard” of some of the sights of La Antigua Guatemala, a place we really did fall in love with quite quickly.

First, who wouldn’t love this hotel room, or the view from the rooftop terrace?

The city is teeming with Spanish colonial ruins, too many to see in one visit. These were two of our favorite,
Capuchinas & la Reccollecion.

Learning how to make chile rellenos con salsa, mole platanos, and frijoles volteados under Señora Felicia’s watchful eye.

The three volcanoes that surround the city could be seen from almost everywhere, though on our visit they were often wreathed with clouds.

We found the abundance of fried chicken joints (think DD in New England)…

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Postcard from Lago de Atitlán

Posted: September 10, 2014 in Travel

Like all good postcards, this arrives after we’ve left our last location. Spending time in this spectacularly beautiful area is something I would highly recommend. We’ll write in more detail later about the various villages and activities on the lake, but for now, just a few images to pique your interest.

Our home for five nights:

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> In Panajachel, near the dock:

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> Santo Tomás cathedral in Santiago:

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> Maximón, the patron saint of Santiago–a mix of a Mayan trickster god and Judas Iscariot. Locals pay tribute in alcohol, tobacco and money.

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> Long hike to Santa Cruz (our lodge is in the distance, just below the bend of that large tree branch in the left foreground), we were rewarded with this view…

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> …and this delicious pepián lunch (a whopping $4) at the CECAP vocational/culinary school cafe: >

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> Sunday market in Chichicastenango, flowers and much, much more…

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> Another hike, this time up into the 100-acre nature preserve behind the lodge.

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> This view never got old:

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> Really, this is one of the most beautiful places on earth.

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Postcard from Tikal #2

Posted: September 6, 2014 in Travel

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> Enjoying our time in Guatemala immensely! We’ll write about our trip in more detail when we get home, but for now, here are a few more images from Tikal, this time of some flora & fauna we encountered on our sunrise hike through the jungle. >

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> Coati, little raccoon-like animals

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> Ceiba tree, the “tree of life” and national tree of Guatemala.

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> Fire ants. We walked over tons of columns of these, including one giant anthill about three feet high and ten feet across.

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> And, the ever present howler monkey. We heard their massive territorial roars throughout our morning at Tikal, but they’re often hard to spot clearly as they hang out in the very top branches of the trees.

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> We also saw many spider monkeys, flying toucans, a few wild turkeys, and one brief glimpse of the gorgeously plumed quetzal. Most we’re too quick to catch on film. >
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Postcard from Tikal #1

Posted: September 4, 2014 in Travel

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Next stop: Guatemala

Posted: September 1, 2014 in Travel

Originally posted on eatdrinkculture:

20140802-102643-37603852.jpgWhile last year saw us blogging throughout the many, many months of planning, organizing, research and bookings that led up to our amazing India/Nepal trip* in October, this year we’ve been mostly silent on this blog about where this year’s vacation is. Not because it’s a secret, but because compared to last year, this was a relatively easy trip to plan. All the pieces seemed to fall into place quite easily.

It started with a Groupon. I forget which of us came across it, but one of us said to the other, “hey, doesn’t this place look nice.” Something jogged my memory that I had seen the particular lodge in a travel magazine tucked under our coffee table, so we looked into it a bit more, and the more we did the more we liked what we read and saw, on TripAdvisor and YouTube and elsewhere. A small eco-lodge on Lake Atitlan…

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