Travel to Guatemala – Episode 355

categories: central america travel

Hear about travel to Guatemala as the Amateur Traveler talks to Shannon O’Donnell from about her recent trip to Guatemala.

Shannon went to Guatemala to attend a language school but was surprised by the country. She was surprised by how multi-cultural it was.

“I expected it to just not be as interesting as it was, that I could go to one area and feel like I had seen most of it and that wasn’t the case at all. I started in Tikal and then went to Antigua and every time I went there, there was something else new there. There was an aspect of the culture I hadn’t seen. And especially when I went to Livingston and I found that entirely different culture and music I went ‘this place is really neat, I feel like I need to stay’. I left and went to Honduras. And I cut my time short in Honduras even and came back to Guatemala for my last week because I had missed it.”

We talk to Shannon about the Mayan ruins at Tikal which are arguably some of if not the most impressive of the Mayan sites inhabited now by howler monkeys.

If you head from there to Rio Dulce and Livingstone you find a black Caribbean culture with completely different food, culture, and music.

Shannon used the old colonial capital of Antigua as a base which is in a valley between 3 volcanoes. “When you walk around in the day all of your pictures have one of the 3 volcanoes in the background. And then if you walk around at night it is a completely different feel. They have the churches lit up this Spanish colonial architecture. It is a very very pretty city with bright painted colors.”

right click here to download (mp3)
right click here to download (iTunes version with pictures)

Show Notes

A Little Adrift
Spanish Schools in Guatemala
Xela Pages
Tikal National Park
Tikal Jungle Lodge
Garifuna Culture
Yellow House Hostel
Vallhala Macadamia Farm
Grassroots Volunteering
The Volunteer Travelers’ Handbook


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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

One Response to “Travel to Guatemala – Episode 355”

Jose Melgar


Thanks for sharing this episode. For those making plans to get around in Guate, I suggest you Google “Los Mochileros Guatemala” (The Backpackers). They are a sort of local tourism startup. The owner and his wife are christian and share the love for the non urban part of Guatemala.

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