Quick Lunch near the Bus Station
This Subway Restaurant is located a few doors down from the Tika Bus Station and was a welcome place to grab a quick lunch while I waited for the bus.
My Bus from Guatemala City to San Salvador was scheduled to depart at 1:00 p.m., but I arrived at the station at 11:30 a.m. to be sure I got a seat since I did not have a reservation. This was the only restaurant I saw in close proximity to the station. The menu and service was essentially the same as that which one would find in a Subway in the United States. The prices were slightly lower.
Subway has more than 29,000 restaurants in 86 countries of the world.
Fountain at Plaza Mayor
The centerpiece of Plaza Mayor de la Constitution is the Plaza Mayor Fountain. The first fountain to be placed on this spot was in 1789. The current fountain, designed by the sculptor Rudolpho Galeotti Torres, was erected in the park in 1943.
This large, sparkling water feature is a fitting hub for the circus of activity which engulfs the plaza, especially on Sundays and holidays.
Adopting in Guatemala City
We chose to adopt from Guatemala because of the beauty and diversity of the country. The adoption process in Guatemala allows for the adoptive parents to visit their referred child prior to the completion of the adoption. We took this opportunity to visit our child and experience a little bit of her heritage.
"2nd Visit, La Casa Grande"
We chose to stay in a family run hotel this time and it was great despite the fact that there were protesters in front of the US Embassy next door during President Bush's visit.
Guatemala's breathtaking beauty owes much to the 37 volcanoes standing like sentinels over the country's fertile farms, colonial towns and azure lakes.
While most of these volcanoes are dormant, the Pacaya, Fuego and Santiaguito Volcanoes are active, providing a glimpse of nature's awesome, subterranean power.
You may wish to climb at least one volcano while in Guatemala.
Antigua & Guatemala City
1. Pacaya (2550 m - 8,366 ft)
Pacaya is an active volcano located just 30 kilometers south of Guatemala City. A short hike quickly brings visitors to the summit, where they can observe eruptions of ash and lava at close range. This is a dangerous volcano, best visited in the company of responsible guides.
2. Agua (3766 m - 12,352 ft)
A climb up this volcano is recommended for spectacular views of Antigua Guatemala. Hiking time is about 5 hours from Santa Maria de Jesus, or 2 hours from the end of a road that climbs partway to the top
3. Fuego (3763 m - 12,343 ft)
Constantly spewing small ash clouds, this monstrous volcano's last major eruption occurred in 1974. The hike up its barren slope is grueling, and most visitors will be content to admire Fuego's beauty from the safety of Antigua's cobblestone streets.
4. Acatenango (3976 m - 13,041 ft)
The third volcano that watches over Antigua Guatemala, Acatenango is Fuego's dormant twin. A hike to the top takes about 6 hours.
5. Atitlán (3537 m - 11,601 ft)
The tallest of the three volcanoes dominating the lake, Atitlán's summit takes about 8 hours to reach. The reward is a breathtaking view of the world's most beautiful lake and Guatemala's Pacific coast.
6. San Pedro (3505 m - 11,496 ft)
Perhaps the most frequently photographed of all Guatemala's volcanoes, San Pedro's beautiful cone seems to rise from the waters of Lake Atitlán. The hike to the top takes about 6 hours, and views are limited due to vegetation on the summit.
7. Tolimán (3158 m - 10,358 ft)
A small group of Horned Guans survives in the forest near the summit, about a four hour hike from San Lucas. Plan on camping out for a better chance of sighting the birds.
8. Santa Maria (3772 m - 12,372 ft)
One of Guatemala's most beautiful volcanoes, Santa Maria towers over the city of Quetzaltenango. The hike to the top takes about 4 hours. Camping on the summit is recommended, to witness a spectacular, night-time lava show from Santiaguito Volcano below.
9. Santiaguito (2500 m - 8,200 ft)
The most dangerous volcano in Central America, Santiaguito first erupted on Volcán Santa Maria's southern flank in 1922. It constantly spews spectacular ash clouds and lava, and may be safely observed from Santa Maria's summit.
10. Cerro Quemado (3197 m - 10,486 ft)
A popular day hike from Xela, this volcano offers fields of broken lava and steam vents.
11. Zunil (3542 m - 11,618 ft)
Horned Guans have been sighted in the protected forest on the slopes of this volcano. Further down the slope, Azure-rumped Tanagers are frequently seen.
12. Chicabal (2900 m - 9,512 ft)
Chicabal's summit and magical, crater lake can be reached in about two hours from San Martín Chile Verde, near Xela. The lake, a sacred spot for the Maya, is surrounded by forest, with family altars tucked among the trees.
13. Tacaná (4093 m - 13,425 ft)
Located on the Mexican border, Tacaná provides a challenging hike to Mexican and Guatemalan mountaineers alike. It's a tough climb - at least 10 hours to reach the summit.
14. Tajumulco (4220 m - 13,842 ft)
This is the tallest volcano in Central America, but the hike to the top, which begins at a high altitude, is relatively easy. Good (but cold!) camping in pine glades near the summit.