Dancers in traditional clothes during a festival in Cobán, Guatemala.
For most backpackers, Cobán is no more than a stopover on their way from the Guatemalan highlands to Semuc Champey, Tikal or Rio Dulce. But it’s not the worst place to stay for a couple of days. The capital of Alta Verapaz was our first proper stop in Central America with a slightly bigger city feel – sorry, Belize City, you don’t really qualify. We breathed in the cold mountain air and ended up staying
Views of volcanoes near Alegría, El Salvador.
I know that most travel blogs are just a glorification of all things travel. And I understand. Travel is magical, most of the time. Besides, no one really cares about the time you spent on a bus to get to that picture-perfect waterfall. Yes, it’s annoying when the bus is four hours late and when you’re squeezed between a box of chickens and a man with a body odour that’s considered a biological weapon by
Sculpture in San Salvador.
After seeing the worn-down houses, grey ugliness and herds of homeless guys on empty streets in Belize City, we didn’t look forward to getting close to any other capitals in Central-America. Fast forward four months. I sat on the bus and read in our guidebook that San Salvador, the capital city of El Salvador, is actually a pleasant place, even handsome. The guidebook talked about leafy suburbs, galleries and museums. That was enough. I slapped
Maya lady on central plaza in Xela.
The charm of Quetzaltenango lies not in its strengths, but in its lack of weaknesses. It’s not the pull of Xela that made me fall in love, but the push of other places. *** Lots of Guatemalan cities and towns have a ton of sunshine. They’re the kind of places where your beer is warm by the time you reach home from the shop, where the chocolate on your doughnut melts before you take your
Hiking around the crater of Tajumulco.
The young Dutch woman in our group plops down on a set of rocks next to the ninth station of the cross, titled Jesus falls for the third time. She huffs, puffs and curses everything, including herself. “Fuck, I should stop smoking! I can’t do it any more. How much further is it?” I’m too focused on my own breathing to experience any Schadenfreude. O wait, did I say breathing? Desperate gasps for air describes