Arrived at Guatemala city airport easy exit and met my daughters. Our first stop was the lovely lake Atitlan but rather then hassle the 3 plus hr drive in congested traffic we opted for a once in a lifetime transfer helicopter ride, booked the helo ride with “Hasa Mipos 2”, wonderful outfit and the pilot and I had a great conversation.
Lake Atitlan is beautiful, but getting around is challenging as you need to ride the boat/bus which is a tad rough and takes you to different towns... the towns vary in size and modern luxurious are hard to find, Tuk Tuk are the main means of transportation. Every town on Lake Atitlan has a slightly different feel to it and is known for different things, from handicrafts to food specialties.
The town of Panajachel was heavily influenced by seafood, with a plethora of seafood stands and restaurants dotting the shoreline. In contrast, the town where our Airbnb was located was mostly full of restaurants serving grilled meats and stews (and of course pizza, pizza everywhere!).
Following a few days at Lake Atitlan(san Juan de la laguna) it was time to move north the the town of Antigua which is surrounded by volcanic mountains,
the town has survived numerous devastating earthquakes and the city streets are all cobblestone and the buildings are no higher than one level. Visited the ruins of massive cathedrals and the view of the mountains is lovely.
My final stop was the coastal village of El Paredon, once again a 3 hr ride on mostly winding roads. El Paradon is a very small village and not much except a very nice beach with massive waves. Our modern hotel “Ka'ana surf” filled all the squares and had both surf and boogie boards for us to enjoy. The black volcanic sand was hot and the ocean was warm. Not much in the tiny village but a vist to the turle lagoon is fun.
Overall; Food- Good and very tasty, accommodations- 2 airbnbs, 2 hotels all 4+ stars, transportation- a huge challenge, traffic and winding roads. People- friendly but English not widely spoken. Be aware ATMs are hard to find and besides the capital, many places use cash only. Bottom-line probably wouldn't do a repeat visit.