GUATEMALA - Tips and Reviews - UPDATED June 2015

Getting to La Aurora International Airport,Guatemala City (GUA) is relatively easy to do from most major airports.

Upon arrival you will have to process through Customs and Immigrations.  Information regarding travel to and from Guatemala can be found at the US Department of State, US Passports and International Travel page.

My entry and exit through GUA was uneventful.

NICARAGUA - Ometepe - 2015 - Chapter 5 - One Island, Two Volcanoes

Having flown out of Waspam to Managua, we rented a car and drove to the town of San Jorge.  This is simply an overnight stop on our way to the volcano island of Ometepe, located in Lake Nicaragua.

Catching the ferry from San Jorge to the town of Moyogalpa on Ometepe was uneventful.  The skies were overcast, wind blowing a bit, and water a little choppy.  The entire trip took around 90 minutes.

Our boat before loading

NICARAGUA - Waspam - 2015 - Chapter 4 - New Country, Same Journey

 Almost two weeks into a three week journey, we have left Guatemala.  Landing in Managua Nicaragua in the early morning hours we had a four hour layover before our flight to Waspam (some maps spell it Waspan).

Where the hell is Waspam, Autonomous Region of the Northern Atlantic, Nicaragua?  It's a small village located on the Rio (River) Coco, which separates the countries of Honduras and Nicaragua.

GUATEMALA - Villages Surrounding Lake Atitlan - June 2015 - CHAPTER 2 (UPDATED)

Departing Antigua around 1330, we arrived in San Pedro about 1700.  Driving out of Antigua along Route 14 to CA1 (the Pan-American Highway) was fine.  The roads were well maintained and with the exception of a few towns traffic moved along at highway speeds.

The last hour and a half of our journey to San Pedro was down the mountain to Lake Atitlan, and the roads went to crap. For the most part they were unpaved, rutted with plenty of pot holes, several switchback turns, and a 20 minute delay due to road construction.

Traveling through small towns like Santa Maria, Santa Clara, and San Juan, we encountered navigational challenges; the GPS and roads did not coincide with each other.  As locals watched, pointed, and laughed, we went the wrong way several one-way streets.  A couple of locals told us not to worry about going the wrong way, and indeed we were not the only ones doing it.

When we finally found our way to the Luna Azul (FB page), an AirBnB rental, the car had no brakes.  Even after driving downhill in 1st and 2nd gear most of the way, I felt like Fred Flintstone, dragging my feet to stop.  Needless to say,we requested a replacement car.  A bit more on that later.

GUATEMALA - Antigua - June 2015 - Chapter 1A, Narrative with Pix

Previously, I posted several pictures of my recent trip to Antigua Guatemala; this post will be contain my narrative and some new pix.

First let’s do a quick recap of what I wrote in “Chapter 1”.
-          Our trip started with three people, Amanda, Kathy, and myself.  We departed Tampa Florida for Guatemala City Guatemala. After an uneventful arrival we rented a car and drove to Antigua for a two day excursion before heading to the Lake Atitlan area.
-          When we reached the road to our AirBnB rental, it was blocked with protestors and police.  As we later found out there was a meeting of Latin American politicians taking place past our rental.
-          We walked the final ¼ to our rental, dropped our luggage, and drove in to Antigua for lunch and sightseeing.

Now we’ll get into what the late Paul Harvey called “The rest of the story”.

GUATEMALA - Antigua - June 2015 - Chapter 1 - Another Journey Has Begun

A couple of months ago I was asked to house sit for a repeat client, as she was planning a trip to Guatemala and Panama.  Knowing Guatemala was on my 'bucket list', I responded "Hey, I want to go to Guatemala, how about I join you and find someone else to watch the house?"  Amanda (the homeowner) also knew of my bucket list and we agreed to meet and discuss my request.

Well, after some discussion, we decided that if I joined her, her plans would change.  Since she hadn't been to Nicaragua, we'd go there instead of Panama.  Details ironed out, another friend (Kathy) joining us, it was time to go.