The main 'anda' carries Jesus Cristo de Nazarene through the street of Antigua, Guatemala. -- Karina Noriega

The main ‘anda’ carries Jesus Cristo de Nazarene through the street of Antigua, Guatemala. — Karina Noriega

Guatemala offers so many possibilities for every type of traveler. As a worldly backpacker and efficient shoestring traveler $10 days in hostels, chicken buses, eating street food is a breeze, but in a country like Guatemala, $100/day means you travel like royalty. Most of you will land somewhere in the middle.

I created a very general breakdown here to give you an idea, of course, actual costs depend on the number of people traveling and what level of comfort and adventure desired.

Tucan of Peten, thousands fly wild in the Northern jungles -- Guatemala -- Karina Noriega

Tucan of Peten, thousands fly wild in the Northern jungles — Guatemala — Karina Noriega

Flight

Costs will vary depending on your departure locations and tend to increase in price as departure date approaches.

I have flown several times from Toronto, Ontario for $500-700 roundtrip. My friend Jesse once scored a roundtrip flight from New York City for $350. I can send you tips on how to get the best price.

                   * A quick search today, January 13, 2015, brought up more than 30 options for less than $600 round trip from Toronto’s YYZ *

The infamous, colorful, Chicken Buses of Guatemala -- Karina Noriega

The infamous, colorful, Chicken Buses of Guatemala — Karina Noriega

Transport

Chicken buses are the way of the people here. They are wildly inexpensive, dependably crowded, dirty and yes, you could end up with a crate full of live chickens on your lap – $.30 to $5. Reliable tourist shuttles to most destinations in the country range between $10-45.

For groups: Hire private transport and split the costs evenly making it affordable, safe and giving you complete control of your journey.

Volcano Panorama viewed from atop Volcan Pacaya -- Guatemala -- Karina Noriega

Volcano Panorama viewed from atop Volcan Pacaya — Guatemala — Karina Noriega

Accommodations 

The range of availability is impressive. Hostel dorm beds start at $3 a night. A decent private room with a bathroom, hot water, wifi and breakfast average $25/night, even in the tourist meccas like Antigua and Tikal.

Enjoying our stay at Casa Rosada. Bungalow, pier, rancho and hammocks delight. Casa Rosada. Livingston, Guatemala -- Karina Noriega

Enjoying our stay at Casa Rosada. Bungalow, pier, rancho and hammocks delight. Casa Rosada. Livingston, Guatemala — Karina Noriega

Travel Tip

Internacional Mochileros is one of cheapest options in colonial Antigua. It’s very basic but we like it for 2 reasons: It’s location within the heart of historic district and the kitchen! Nothings better on the ol’ wallet than not having to eat out.

Activities and Adventure

There are hundreds of optional activities to consider within each destinations. Prices given here are the tourist price advertised. Travel with a local (like me:) and you will see the inflations melt away.

Zona de Riesgo - Risk Area - on the summit to the active Volcan Pacaya -- Guatemala -- Karina Noriega

Zona de Riesgo – Risk Area – on the summit to the active Volcan Pacaya — Guatemala — Karina Noriega

Mayan Stella -- Guatemala -- Karina Noriega

Mayan Stella, excellent preservation by the Museo — Guatemala — Karina Noriega

Climbing Volcan Pacaya, roast marshmallows over on a live volcano – $12 per person including transport and guide.

Tikal, epic Mayan city of magnificent pyramids towering above the jungle canopy- $25 entrance fee plus guide if you are so inclined (starting at $20 for 4 hours).

Tour Lake Atitlan by boat, explore Mayan communities and shop for local made souvenirs – $15

From Antigua: Tour a coffee farm, learn to make tortillas or make your own Guatemalan souvenir like a Huipil – $13-35

Shop at renowned Guatemalan markets like Chichicastenango market- $ Test your haggling skills for the best price.

Vegetable Market, Chichicastenango -- Guatemala -- Karina Noriega

Vegetable Market, Chichicastenango — Guatemala — Karina Noriega

Sublime Semuc Champey – lounge in the jungle walled pools, hike for unforgettable views – $7

Lower pools, panoramic @ Semuc Champey, Guatemala -- Karina Noriega

Lower pools, panoramic @ Semuc Champey, Guatemala — Karina Noriega

These are just the beginning.

Extras 

The sheer grandiosity of history and culture here means a knowledgeable guide will completely shape your understanding and enjoyment at key locations. Again, traveling as a group increases affordability. So grab some friends and make Guatemala your next adventure destination.

Typical Market -- Guatemala -- Karina Noriega

Typical Textile Market — Guatemala — Karina Noriega

Temples of Tikal Tower above the jungle canopy -- Guatemala -- Karina Noriega

Temples of Tikal Tower above the jungle canopy — Guatemala — Karina Noriega

~ A Wisdom Guide by Karina ~

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