Hello, fast-paced travel!
Month 9 was definitely a fast one, both in the sense that it flew by and the sense that we moved quickly and covered a lot of locations.
I’m glad we did it this way: neither Belize nor some of our first stops in Guatemala really need a lot of savoring–but I’m equally glad that we are now parked for two weeks.
As of a few days ago, Jeremy and I have arrived at a beautiful Airbnb at Lake Atitlan, which is complete with a full kitchen and stunning views of the lake and surrounding volcanoes–in other words, we may not be checking a lot of activities off for the next couple of weeks. Oddly, we’re not concerned!
Where We’ve Been:
Placencia & San Ignacio, Belize
Flores, Lanquin, Antigua & Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
Highlights of Month 9:
We had many epic days this month–lucky us!
At the top of the list is our tour of the ATM Cave in Belize: part adventure tour including swimming in an underground river and squeezing ourselves through very tight cave passages, and part archaeology tour where we got to observe the remains of Mayan rituals in the cave–including the skeletons of human sacrifices–the ATM Cave definitely lived up to the hype.
Our day spent exploring Semuc Champey independently also makes the list of highlights. I had worried that this would be a travel letdown, given that we had to spend 8 hours each way on a bumpy minibus and give up wifi for 3 days in order to access it, but Semuc Champey was definitely worth the trouble.
Challenges of Month 9:
There’s an easy winner here: hiking Volcano Acatenango near Antigua, Guatemala.
The grueling two day/one night hike was easily one of the most physically and mentally challenging things we have done while traveling–but it did reward us with some incredible views of erupting Volcano Fuego.
Best Money Managing Move of Month 9:
Without a doubt, the best thing we did for our money management this month was limit our time in Belize. I talked a little bit about this in our post on Placencia, but Belize’s costs are significantly higher than surrounding Mexico and Guatemala–and, though it is a pretty country, for us it didn’t have enough added value to counteract the extra cost.
The 12 full days that we did spend in Belize were a lesson in stretching our pennies, but due to high food and lodging costs, our time in Belize was still more expensive per day than our time in Mexico–and outside of the ATM Cave tour we didn’t pay for much entertainment at all.
Most Popular Instagram Post of Month 9:
This amazing sunset on Isla Holbox makes the list of the top ten sunsets our lives.
Three Favorite Posts of Month 9:
35 Ways We Saved $40,000 to Travel the World — I hesitated over writing a post on this topic for almost a year, but I’m so glad that I finally shared it. This is the type of content I love reading on other blogs, and I’m happy to contribute some of my own.
12 Tiny Items Under $50 to Add to Your Travel Packing List — For two people who try not to purchase a lot of “travel specific” items, we’ve managed to amass quite a list of favorites! Each one of these guys gets regular use on the road, without weighing us down much.
25 Reasons Mexico Should Be Your Next Backpacking Destination — Targeted mostly at Americans, this is my ode to Mexico–one of our favorite countries and one that is home to a lot of incredible areas that are often overlooked by those of us are from a little further north.
After leaving Lake Atitlan, it’s going to be time for a new country!
If all goes as planned (in other words, no promises), we’re planning to hit El Salvador next, before doubling back into Guatemala for a few extra days and moving onto Honduras.
In El Salvador, it’s going to be all about the beaches: if the waves cooperate enough for us beginners, we hope to try our hand at surfing again!