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Category: Tales of a Backpacker

Cooking Guatemalan Food with La Tortilla Cooking School Antigua

Cooking Guatemalan Food with La Tortilla Cooking School Antigua

I am attempting to take part in a cooking class in every country I visit.  I have so far only managed a cooking class in Mexico City, Barcelona and La Paz in Bolivia, so I wanted to do a cooking class in Antigua Guatemala.  I had no idea what Guatemalan food was like.  Tortillas, of course, and frijoles (black beans) and plantains.  But aside from that, I had no clue, so I wanted to learn more about typical Guatemalan dishes….

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Motion Sickness: Don’t Let Car Sickness Ruin Your Travel Plans!

Motion Sickness: Don’t Let Car Sickness Ruin Your Travel Plans!

Motion sickness, car sickness, travel sickness, sea sickness; all names for that awful affliction that strikes fear into some of us at the mere thought of taking a journey.  Those who don’t suffer from it have no idea how it feels, and those that do dread long trips, windy roads and rough seas. Even typing the words makes me feel queasy!  Having suffered from severe motion sickness since childhood, over the years I have learned various tricks and tips that…

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Horse-riding to Xunantunich with Hannah Stables

Horse-riding to Xunantunich with Hannah Stables

San Ignacio in Belize, close to the border with Guatemala, has plenty of things to do, from exploring caves with Mayan skeletons, to tubing, swimming and eating delicious street food!  One of my favourite activities in San Ignacio was horse riding to Xunantunich. Xunantunich, also known as the Mayan ruins that no-one can pronounce, are actually closer to the Belize-Guatemala border than San Ignacio, near the town of Benque.  It is easy to reach by public transport from San Ignacio,…

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11 Reasons Why Hostels are Awesome

11 Reasons Why Hostels are Awesome

I feel like I’ve been bashing hostels lately; from sharing some horrible hostel nightmares to drawing up a list of unwritten rules for hostel etiquette for those who stay in a hostel for the first time.  However, it is not all bad!  I feel I now have to tell the other side of the story and emphasise why hostels are awesome and why I still stay in hostels despite everything you might have read in the other posts!  There are definitely…

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A Galapagos Cruise or Island Hopping?

A Galapagos Cruise or Island Hopping?

Most visitors to the Galapagos Islands choose to take a cruise; and many people believe that this is the only way to visit the islands in Ecuador.  It is, in fact, quite easy to visit the islands independently then ‘hop’ between the islands and take day tours to see more of the incredible nature on offer.  Both options have positives and negatives, but how do you choose which option is best for you?  I’ve summed up some key points to…

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Tikal Sunrise: Sleep in a hammock and hear the jungle come to life!

Tikal Sunrise: Sleep in a hammock and hear the jungle come to life!

Tikal in Guatemala is the most impressive Maya site I have seen so far, compared to others like Lamanai in Belize for example.  It comes close to Machu Picchu in grandeur, although sadly there is no viewpoint to overlook Tikal, partly because it is surrounded by jungle!  This vast Maya site is actually closer to Belize City than most popular destinations in Guatemala, like Antigua and Lake Atitlan, so it makes sense to visit Tikal on your way to or…

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Hostel Nightmares: When Hostel Stays Go Bad

Hostel Nightmares: When Hostel Stays Go Bad

Hostels are wonderful places to stay.  Cheap, sociable, and perfect for backpackers, I have stayed in some amazing hostels all over the world.  However, sometimes hostel stays don’t work out quite as we’d hoped!  After a couple of terrible experiences in hostels, including having all my stuff stolen from a hostel locker, I asked fellow female travellers to share their hostel nightmares.  Read on, if you dare! Hostel Nightmares: Horrible Roommates By Claire from Tales of a Backpacker In Stockholm I…

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Semuc Champey Tour or Visit Independently?

Semuc Champey Tour or Visit Independently?

Semuc Champey is one of the highlights of most backpackers’ visit to Guatemala.  Beautiful turquoise pools amid the lush Guatemalan jungle certainly is a sight to behold.  However, a 2-day detour between Antigua and Flores, if you are on a tight schedule, think very carefully if you have time to fit in this little slice of paradise.  Once you have decided to go, the next decision is whether to take a Semuc Champey tour, or to visit independently. How to…

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What to Pack for La Ciudad Perdida Lost City Trek

What to Pack for La Ciudad Perdida Lost City Trek

The trek to the Ciudad Perdida, or Lost City Trek, in northern Colombia is an incredible hike.  It is not an easy walk though, and involves steep climbs and descents, two river crossings and hoards of mosquitos.  Here is a handy guide of what to pack for La Ciudad Perdida Trek to help you prepare, and handle it like a pro! I recommend Wiwa Tours for the trek, I went with them and had a great time, learning a lot about…

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24 Hours in Guayaquil – My First Taste of Ecuador

24 Hours in Guayaquil – My First Taste of Ecuador

I wasn’t sure what to make of Guayaquill.  I arrived at the bus station a couple of hours later than planned and it was starting to go dark.  Buses never arrive when they say they are going to, I had already learned about bus travel in South America so I wasn’t surprised!  The bus station in Guayaquil is in a huge shopping mall, and I walked through as quickly as I could, following signs for taxis into town. Find accommodation…

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