Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Where to eat in San Pedro, Lake Atitlan

Mikaso  [Burg’s choice]
Roof top hot tub with the best view of Lake Atitlan
This hotel/restaurant had a reputation for being expensive, yet, the prices were actually similar to all other restaurants, however no other place could top their view! The seating area was located on a roof top terrace with sun loungers, hammock and a hot tub! The service was very friendly and the menu choices were good but most importantly the food was the best we had in San Pedro. Great breakfast, fruit Licuados and voted (by us) Guatemala’s best burger!

La Puerta
A really nice, well decorated café, with outdoor seating in the garden. We went for happy hour and got 2 for 1 cocktails, we got the café’s speciality which was incredible (I think I remember it had strawberries in it). We order papa frittas which came as delicious sautéed potatoes with guacamole. The woman that served us was very friendly and cheerful. The place looked pretty good for both breakfast and lunch. Prices were standard for San Pedro.

A nice change to see an Irish pub when you are in a hippy-town in Lake Atitlan. The place is run by a cool Irish guy who lives in San Pedro and has brought a taste of Ireland with him. The menu had a great selection of good cheap food with rather large portions. The nachos were particularly good. Drinks were fairly cheap too. The atmosphere is laid back but lively at night when there is often live music.

 El Barios
One of the busiest places at night for a drink, though quite gringoised. There was going on most nights like a pub quiz and meal of the day. We didn’t eat here but a lot of attention was given to the large portions of bar food such as sausages and fries. Check the menu for what is on offer that night. Later in the night they played good chart tunes which was accompanied by many American girls dancing on the bar.

This was our least favourite place to eat. The hostel and restaurant is run by Israelis, with a really cool middle eastern theme of sitting on the floor with cushions around a low table with dim lighting, which created a nice atmosphere. However, we were extremely disappointed with the food and service. The falafels were average and the hummus simply tasted of tahini. The staff was miserable, unhelpful and very slow at bringing our food, plus it was more expensive than the other restaurants in Utila but had a much lower quality overall. 

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Days 29 - 31: Lake Atitlan and Chichicastenango

During our stay in Antigua we took a short 3 day trip to one of Guatemala's "must see" destinations, Lago de Atitlan. This glorious landlocked lake is located within a caldera that was formed as a result of a massive volcanic eruption. There are several Mayan villages dispersed around the perimeter of the lake, we stayed in San Pedro. Another feature which made Atitlan so unique were the 3 active volcanoes flanking the south side of the lake. 

Monday, 14 May 2012

Days 14 - 28: Antigua!

After just under two weeks of pretty intense traveling we were in need of some serious chill time, it was time for Antigua! We were very lucky that Harry's third cousin, Rob, lives in Antigua with his wife who is from the city. We fell in love with the city so decided to stay for 2 weeks while we caught up with our blog, photos and sleep!

View from Cerro de la Cruz

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Days 12 & 13: Lanquin and Semuc Champey

After seeing the Tikal ruins in northern Guatemala, we moved south to Lanquin in central Guatemala to see one of the most glorious sights in Central America, Semuc Champey. Unlucky for us, we arrived on the first day of the rainy season.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Day 11: Tikal ruins

Today was our 5th (and last) ruins visit at Tikal, 1h 15mins north of Flores. We got up at 4am with our travel group, a lovely couple from Switzerland and two Argentinians, got our pick up at 4.30 and it was a very sleepy ride to the ruins. We arrived around 6am, we were told that this was the best time to arrive as it was the quietest time of the day… yet there were at least four other tour group vans like ours queuing to get in, everyone had the same idea.
Temple II (taken from temple I, over looking La Gran Plaza)

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Day 10: Palenque to Flores

We found the best way to get from Palenque to Flores, Guatemala was via bus-boat-bus. We began our by getting a shuttle outside El Panchan at 6am (it was half an hour late). A shuttle bus finally picked us up and drove us to the Mexican immigration office at Frontera Corozal. This took us approximately 4h which included a ridiculously pricey (70 pesos)  30min breakfast stop along the way… just bring food.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Day 9: Palenque and Misol-Ha

The overnight bus  from Tulum to Palenque departed at 8.30pm from the Tulum bus station and was surprisingly comfy and not as cold as we had been told to expect. However I was woken up every hour by either the bus stopping and me getting worried that we would miss our stop or border patrol guards checking my bag for drugs (there were two blonde people on the bus and guess which two people he asked) so far on every possible opportunity to be searched I have. Luisa slept peacefully. Blondes do not have more fun....All in the name of Palenque ruins..

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Day 8: Coba

After wasting a lot of time and money by previously not taking tours, we decided to finally take a tour to Coba, another historically important Mayan site. 

Monday, 7 May 2012

Day 7: Tulum ruins

Tulum is by far the most beautiful white sanded beach I have ever seen. A busy day is lying in a hammock, with the sea breeze in your face, waves breaking a few meters away and wandering if you should have a beer or mojito. We thought Absolute Paradise; until we went to the ruins.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Day 6: Tulum (How many words are there for paradise?)

As great as Cancun is we had already booked a couple of nights in Tulum via internet in a seriously beautiful cabana (expensive but our major treat for the whole trip and totally worth it).
The view from our Cabana

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Day 5: Chichen Itza

Today we went to see the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza (now an UNESCO site) the first of our soon to-be many (edit: many, many, many) ruins visits.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Day 4: Cancun

So our trip didn’t really begin as planned. It took me 4 days to store enough energy to finally go to the beach! I had continued to be ill for 2 full days after arriving in Cancun; unable to eat and barely able to move. So we spent the first 2 days in the hostel with majority of my time lying on the bed and throwing up.Not that this photo gives that impression.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Day 1: London to Cancun

Welcome to our first official blog entry! Today we flew from London to Cancun, Mexico to start our amazing adventure in Central and South America.