Where gringos see gringos and think its cool

Trip Start Dec 14, 2007
Trip End Nov 04, 2008

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Where I stayed
Don Vicente - $37 double, ensuite, tv. Just acceptable

Flag of Guatemala  ,
Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Our pinzer movement worked, and we finally made it to La Antigua Guatemala from Quetzaltenango. Our route top avoid the terrible road of Tikal to Antigua in Guatemala took us to Mexico and then back into Guatemala via the East. A plan with near military planning.

As before the trip was long, given the ridiculous amout of curves and bends along the road (plus the ups and downs), although the scenery was quite incredible.

The shuttle bus (25 usd per person) was only taking 4 passengers versus the normal 12 that fit in the van, so spacewise we were doing great. The journey was 2.5 hours to Panajchel (at the base of the Atitlan Lake), and then another 3 hours to La Antigua.

We were expecting wonders from the town of La Antigua. Most guidebooks declare it the "jewel of Central America" or even "impossibly cute" (Lonely Planet). However, either we have become used to other sorts of "impossibly cute" or the travel writers didnt make it past La Antigua.

San Cristobal de Casas is in a totally different league to this place, and although it is also plagued with tourists, at least in Mexico you did actually see locals. In La Antigua the only locals are the beggers in the streets. Sufficient said.

We still have to check out how the place is at night, but probably nothing different to any tourist resort with lots of happy hours and cheap menus.

There are effectively cobbled streets in the place, but that hardly makes the place a top destination. Anyway, given we have been travelling for so long we are probably looking for totally different things, but in any case it will be easy to spend a couple of nights here and listen to gringos struggling with their wrong Spanish.

As our title states, this is the place where tourists visit, see many other tourists, no locals, and think how great it is to be in Guatemala. We will join in for a couple of days and say how great it is to travel to a place where there is a Burger King and one thousand Italian restaurants (surely that is what Guatemalans are meant to be like).

Enough banter...enjoy the few pictures we put today. Tomorrow we will do a tour and get the best of La Antigua Guatemala for your home screens...

Cheerio for the time being.
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