9 Things to do in and around Xela, Guatemala

Xela has it – the city surprises people and attracts them to stay longer. Its architecture is grand, and life is bustling and exciting.

Chances are that, when you first arrive here from other parts of Guatemala or Belize, all you want to do is walk around and suck it all in. And walking in the city is excellent, every turn leads to a new square or a building that you didn’t even think could exist anywhere in Guatemala.

There are quiet little parks with a couple of benches to enjoy the sunshine, a theatre and big city squares that remind you of a mini Times Square. At least, if you have been away from big cities for a while. In the evenings it’s all lit up, and during the daytime, magnificent blue volcanoes frame the town. Continue Reading →

San Salvador: How to survive a Central-American capital?

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 the book close and we decided to go there. Continue Reading →

7 Things to do in Antigua Guatemala – a gem of a city in a country of cheap junk

The streets are dusty and charmless. Chicken buses squeeze themselves through the hospital corridor-sized streets of busy markets, whilst bus boys shout out destinations. Hawkers sell cold, mushy fries and breaded chicken, individual candies, fruits in plastic bags and bottled drinks that are kept cold in an ever-melting ice bucket. There are so many taco stands that you wonder if people eat anything else. At least they have a choice between beef and chicken. Music blasts through speakers at eardrum rupturing volumes. Shops don’t sell anything but Coca-Cola products and dozens upon dozens of different mini packages of corn chips. There are a million pharmacies and hardware stores, but not a single bookshop, nor a café where you can drink a non-instant coffee. Trash lies on every street corner. Continue Reading →