My travel “highlights” are always a bit esoteric, I suppose. They aren’t often things like watching sunrise from the top of a temple or witnessing an unparalleled wildlife sighting…of course I love those things, too, but they aren’t the defining moments for me within the context of travel. This holds true for Guatemala, too.
After a decade of exploring this incredibly friendly tropical country, I’ve developed my list of ‘wow’ moments: taking a quiet moment in the jungle to actually observe Tikal through the eyes of an archaeologist, trying to grasp a fraction of his understanding of the importance and mystery of that massive kingdom; drinking a beer in a 1920s-era bar in Guatemala City’s historic zone that sees few tourists, mariachis playing between the tables just like they did almost a hundred years ago; sitting around a Guatemalan family’s dinner table in the Maya highlands while listening to their stories of survival during the war years and eventually growing their dairy farm and guesthouse. It’s hard to stop there. Guatemala was initially a wintertime escape for me, but it became a home-away-from-home. It’s a country that operates like a village and as an outsider welcomed in, I appreciate every moment I have there. Luckily for my clients, they have access, through me, to many of these amazing connections I have developed in the last decade of traveling to Guatemala. Private museum collection access, chef-led market tours and cooking classes, hands-on traditional weaving courses, the top private guides, restaurant recommendations that I’ve personally tried, hidden sunset spots, the best vehicle fleet in the country, and the list goes on.
I’ve been visiting Guatemala at least once, and often twice a year over the last decade. I’ve led tour groups, took my own family on multi-generational adventures through the jungle, rented a house on Lake Atitlan and gazed at the volcanoes every morning while sipping my coffee. I’ve designed traditional craft and textile tours, culinary tours, active adventures and sustainable tourism itineraries for my clients. With the help of my local contacts, I even sourced one of the few remaining traditional shamans near Lago Peten Itza for a wedding blessing. A portion of the proceeds from each trip I sell to Guatemala goes to one of several vetted local non-profits, so my travelers not only experience the country, they also feel good about their contribution to the community.Based in: US
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