I desperately needed to inject some colour into this gloomy summer and what better destination! The first journey during my fortnight’s holiday in central America started with a flight to Guatemala City from Mexico City with Interjet for $150 US dollars, which was surprisingly very comfortable! From there I caught a local bus (which are actually brightly decorated old American yellow school buses) to Lake Atitlan, formed in the valley of the surrounding volcanoes.
Staying in the village of San Marcos meant I woke up to beautiful views of the San Pedro mountain opposite. It was well worth staying slightly further from the village at Kaivalya Yoga Hostel for the view, since it was only an extra 5 minute walk and the lush foliage gave a feeling of being in the jungle. After five days relaxing by the lake I moved on to Mexico. See below for my top trip tips:
2. Palenque: Day trip to the Mayan ruins of Palenque via Cascada Agua Azule and Misol-Ha (two spectacular waterfalls). Definitely hire a guide when you get to the ruins as they really know their stuff and explain everything really well
3. Oaxaca City: Try an authentic temascal which is a ritualistic sauna in a purpose built outside structure so you enter in the dark. A shaman will then talk you through the exciting experience that involves patting yourself with delicious smelling bunches of herbs and cacao!
4. Oaxaca City: Sip on drinks in the zocalo where musicians freely play and set the backdrop to a lovely ambient evening
5. Mexico City: Visit Frida Kahlo’s House which is now a museum for her and her husband’s work and learn about their turbulent relationship (entry is 70 pesos)
6. Mexico City: Take an organised tour to Teotihuacan as it is much easier and cost effective than doing it out yourself (tours are available from Amigo Suites youth hostel at 350 pesos)
Sarah King, Raynes Architecture