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Move to Costa Rica, Guatemala is the new must-see destination in Central America. Guatemala is home to ancient Mayan cities, natural wonders and colorful towns to explore. Once there, you will feel completely transported even though there are only two hours of flight between Miami and Guatemala City, the country’s main hub. If you have less than a week for your visit, spend a few days in Antigua exploring the colonial city, then a few days in Lake Atitlán for the right combination of serenity and adventure. More information on what to do and where to stay in these beautiful destinations, below.
Stroll through Antigua
After landing in Guatemala City, head straight to Antigua, about 45 minutes away, and learn why UNESCO named it a World Heritage Site. The colonial city is the picture of charm with its colorful cafes and Spanish-style churches lining the cobbled streets. Three volcanoes surround the area.
Stay in a Hacienda
Set in a six acre garden, Villa Bokeh is a stunning 11 bedroom hacienda that offers the perfect respite while enjoying Antigua. When you’re not wandering around town, discover the hotel’s hidden gardens and plazas with views of the Volcán de Agua.
Learn the art of textiles
After coveting the vibrant textiles of Antigua, learn how to dye using flowers and natural methods at Luna Zorro Studio textile workshop. Using herbs and leaves from their garden, you can create an original tie dye design to take home.
Take the winding road to Lake Atitlán
You may need to take motion sickness medication to tackle the three-hour drive from Antigua to Lake Atitlán in Guatemala’s western highlands, but the lake’s sensational draw is worth it. Another option: take a helicopter ride to the lake to experience aerial views of the stunning countryside.
Stay at Casa Palopo
Perched along Lake Atitlán, Casa Palopó is a private home-turned-boutique hotel adorned with local artwork and textiles. The tranquil oasis may make you want to stay at the property the entire trip, but you won’t regret venturing to nearby villages, especially near Santa Catarina and the brightly colored town square.
Be blessed by a local shaman
At Casa Palopó, count your blessings with Tomás, a local shaman who performs Mayan spiritual rituals. Singing over a mandala and dropping prayer candles into a small fire, he invokes good fortune.
Shop at local markets
The 12 Mayan villages that surround Lake Atitlán are each known for something different, from ceramics and textiles to yoga and language schools. Plan a boat trip for the day to explore several cities and discover their unique offerings.
If you fell in love with Guatemala, book a trip here.