Camping is not a tradition in Guatemala and it is only a couple of formal campgrounds in the whole country. So most of the time we will have to depend on Hotels, restaurants and people that let us camp at their property. In Mexico we have used “Traveler’s Guide to Mexican Camping” by Church & Church and it has been really good and helpful for us. They have also listed a few camping possibilities in Belize and Guatemala, but the options they listed for Antigua did not sound too tempting to us. After googling and talking to a fellow camper we heard about the possibility to camp in the city center of Antigua at the Tourist Police compound for free.
At our arrival in Antigua we “checked in” with the Tourist Police, and facilities included flush toilets, cold showers and free internet…
Antigua is a really nice city, and it is great to walk around town looking at all marked, all the old colonial buildings, plazas,
many old churches that are still in ruins after being destroyed in earthquakes,
and the mix of tourists and locals.
There are also many nice cafés and restaurants. It is almost embarrassing to admit we had “dinner” at McDonalds in Antigua,
but it is the nicest McDonalds we have ever seen.
After travelling in Mexico for a bit more than two months our Spanish has not improved much and we realized we needed some help. When we took a Spanish course in Norway two years ago, a good friend who speaks six different languages asked me, “Are you paying money to learn Spanish? “. And the answer is YES. Antigua is known for the amount of language schools and we signed up for 20 hours of Spanish over five days one to one with the teacher. It was really good and it is a totally different thing to be one to one with a teacher compared to sit in a class. Some days I felt like my head was ready to explode, it was really intense.
We learned a lot and now it up to us to continue practice what we learned, no more excuses.
While we have been here in Antigua we have also meet up with other travellers who are doing the same as us.
Some we have bumped into before, some we have known about and some are new. It is good to be able to discuss traveling routes, get good advice and get to know new people. Fun to see that we are all doing the same, but all in different kind of vehicles and at different speed. It is impressive to see families that travel with two or three kids and do homeschooling for about two hours a day. The family that has impressed us the most is a family with three kids where the oldest is using a wheelchair. Everything is possible if you really want to.
Here the webpages from our fellow travellers:
After nine days in Antigua it’s time to move on. Hope to drive up to Lanquin area tomorrow.