If we’re being honest…it all started with a bottle of bourbon. Talking one night over a few glasses of brown water, we asked ourselves, “I wonder if you could hike from Antigua to Lake Atitlán?”. We were certain that no one else was offering a trek between two of Guatemala’s most scenic destinations…but it seemed improbable that if it was possible, somebody would certainly have pieced it together.
Our first step was to start researching via satellite imagery, looking for potential routes. Two massive river valleys dissected the way, but we could see ancient traditional footpaths used by farmers that indicated there might be hanging bridges. With a basic understanding of the landscapes, we set out on weekends with our dogs and camping gear in tow to see the trails for ourselves.
There were plenty of dead ends. Trails that disappeared into overgrown forest or simply didn’t exist at all anymore. We talked to local farmers who knew better ways, some of which have become local Mayan guides for Trek Guatemala tours.
The villages we passed through were quiet, peaceful places…Mayan farming communities. Most had only seen a handful of outsiders before, so you can only imagine how two gringos looking for a way to walk to the lake must have appeared. At first they were apprehensive, but we took the time to meet with community elders to share our vision. We wanted to integrate local people, not ignore them. They heard our ideas and we heard theirs, and via countless visits and long discussions, they welcomed us – as they will welcome you.
We look forward to you joining us to explore the beautiful country that is Guatemala.