Adventure, Central America, Guatemala

Lessons I learned hiking with Quetzaltrekkers: Part 3

August 15, 2011

Waiting for dawn over Lake Atitlan, GuatemalaTrekking in rural Guatemala leaves a lasting impression on the mind, body and spirit.

So my previous two posts (Part 1, Part 2) have probably made my hike from Xela to Lake Atitlan with Quetzaltrekkers sound like some kind of survival experience.

It wasn’t. I am just really crap at hiking. 

So why do I keep doing it?

Because it’s challenging and ultimately, rewarding. I guess trekking for me is like mountain climbing for mountaineers – at the end I always feel a supreme sense of accomplishment that I didn’t, you know, die. And I’m always surprised at what my body is capable of.

And then there’s the friends you make along the way and the amazing scenery not visible from a bus or plane.

Making friends with local dogs in rural Guatemala

A local child stares at us dubiously in the village of Santa Catarina during our hike with Quetzaltrekkers

Sunrise from the mirador overlooking Lake Atitlan on the penultimate day of our Quetzaltrekkers hike

A cheeky smile as we walk through a village during our Quetzaltrekkers hike to Lake Atitlan

Ant and Elise from Positive World Travel watch the sunrise over Lake Atitlan

A sweet new friend made on the hike to Lake Atitlan with Quetzaltrekkers

Tired and sore but still smiling on the last day of our Quetzaltrekkers hike

So did I enjoy it? Sometimes. Was it difficult? Very. Would I do it again?


Jubilant trekkers jump into Lake Atitlan in the Guatemalan town of San Pedro la Laguna

This is part three of a four part series about my hike with Quetzaltrekkers. Read Lessons I Learned Hiking with Quetzaltrekkers Part 1 and Part 2. The three of us received the trek at a discounted price but all opinions are my own.

Want to read more about my 3 day trek from Xela to Lake Atitlan and about the great work Quetzaltrekkers is doing in the community in Guatemala?

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  • Reply Kyle August 15, 2011 at 9:19 am

    That first picture is AMAZING.

    And I do things that I really suck at too and actually don’t always like all that much too just because I feel a sense of accomplishment at the end. Good to know I’m not the only one who believes in self-torture 🙂

    • Reply MeganRTW August 17, 2011 at 1:21 am

      It seems like the harder something is the more worth it it seems in the end!

  • Reply Stephanie - The Travel Chica August 17, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    I’m glad you had a good experience with Quetzaltrekkers. I have heard from several other travelers that their organization in Guatemala is fantastic.

    Unfortunately, I got introduced to them in Leon, Nicaragua and had a bad experience. The guides were unprofessional and did not bring enough food. Even the people on the same hike with me said their experiences in Guatemala were completely different. It is a shame because I think it is great how they give back to the community.

    If I go back to Guatemala, I would definitely do some hikes with them.

    • Reply MeganRTW August 19, 2011 at 12:21 am

      Hey Stephanie – thanks for your feedback on the Nicaraguan arm! That sucks that you had a bad experience. Guatemala definitely sounds quite different – our guides were very knowledgeable and patient and we always had more than enough food (as the weight in our backpacks could attest!).

  • Reply Kristina August 18, 2011 at 7:59 am

    This may sound so weird, but I am so happy to read that you are not as athletic as other travel bloggers. I read more blogs than I can count and yours was one of the few that showed a little more struggling while enjoying everything around you. I liked your series and, trust me, we would be in the same boat (all the way in the back of the line).

    Congrats on making it to the end without giving up and no shortcuts!

    – Kris

    • Reply MeganRTW August 19, 2011 at 12:24 am

      Hey Kris! Haha I think there are plenty of travel bloggers out there who aren’t very athletic! We just like to throw ourselves into difficult situations and see how we make it out the other side. Thanks for the kind words 🙂

  • Reply Kirk August 18, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    Never really hiked before but I heard it is both fun and difficult at the same time. Glad to see you enjoyed yourself and would do it again. The photo of the sun and clouds is very nice!

    • Reply MeganRTW August 19, 2011 at 12:23 am

      Thanks Kirk. I did mostly enjoy myself but it’s always on reflection that I realise I enjoyed it more than I realised!

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