Colorful Warm Guatemala!
Guatemala | Jan 7 - Jan 12, 2024

david a.
Prescott, AZ | Reviewed on Jan 19, 2024

In reviewing my travels in Guatemala, I want to give the following backdrop.... Solo male traveler, age 71, 1st timer in Guatemala with only a little command of the language. Despite these limitations I left Guatemala having an appreciation of the culture and the peoples in various locations. From Mayan ruins both popular and off the beaten path, the hustle and bustle of cosmopolitan Guatemala City, a River Dulce experience that was mind blowing to even a hot springs experience in two different locations... to a cultural festival that was an explosion of dancing/music and food the care and attention to detail by my in country coordinator Chris was amazing. I always felt he had my back and whenever I reached out (multiple times) he responded and always made me feel safe!
The lodging was a really great mix of up-scale eco camps, to high end hotel rooms to a boutique hotel in Flores right in the heart of the festival. I give each place the highest of ratings!!!
My guides ranged from good to outstanding. Oliver my guide to Tikal changed his whole approach when he heard birding was my passion. I saw 21 taxa in addition to exploring the ruins. Capitan Otilio Morales my guide on the Rio Dulce to Livingston changed his tour and put me on some bird nesting spots that only a seasoned captain could find.
Other guides were ok but my lack of knowing the language was a negative and took away from the experience, but hey that's on me!
The people made the experience and I certainly met many native Guatemalans and have a little understanding of their lives and the struggles they face. One funny experience was getting of the small boat in Livingstone and the ladies were braidng hair extensions and could not believe my braids were real hair and all wanted to rebraid with beads very funny.
Also was able to see 4 churches and attend mass and receive communion in Flores very very special! Also was able to light a candle and place by the statue of Nuestra Senora in Guatemala City in the Cathedral.
Have some real good pictures and could expand but am out of time for now.
Great job to all and a humble thanks to Chris!!!!!

Local specialist: Chris Gwinner
Chris Gwinner
Local specialist in Antigua, Guatemala | Replied on Jan 19, 2024

What a great review Dave, really enjoyed reliving your experiences in Guatemala through this review. It was our pleasure and thank you again for choosing to get to know the real Guatemala through local people and experiences. Our team had a great time with you and we hope to see you again in the future. Spread the word about Guatemala with your friends and family, the more people know the better!