Guatemala is a special place. Nowhere else has the same magical combination of breath-taking scenery, natural wonders and rich indigenous culture. Going backpacking in Guatemala is an adventure that will stay with you forever. However, it is underrated compared to neighbouring Mexico, as are the majority of Central American countries which are often overlooked in favour of more popular countries in South America.
Guatemala had a troubled past, the results of which are still visible across the country, reflected in the poverty of the indigenous people. However, if you take the time to explore this beautiful country you will also find the magic that flourishes here, among the Mayan ruins, limestone pools and fiery volcanoes.
I spent 3 months backpacking around Guatemala, and I spent a large portion of that in Antigua Guatemala. Antigua is a lovely city and I fell in love with it, taking the time to volunteer at a hostel there and catch up with some work. Although there is still so much I want to experience in Guatemala, I had a great start.
I recommend you start with the Backpacking Guatemala Guide below which covers all of the basics including entry requirements, safety in Guatemala and a suggested Guatemala itinerary.