8 People. 10 Days. 1100kms. 6 Flights. 80 Tacos. 4 Volcanoes. 23,000 speed bumps.
From the depths of Sumidero Canyon to the steep mountain sides of Panajachel, the street food of Mexico City to the Rum Cellars of Antigua; we we’re given an incredible taster of Mexico and Guatemala with Intrepid Travel.
The journey began in Mexico City, after two short flights from Calgary International Airport. From the wilderness of the Canadian Rockies to one of the most populated cities in the world, it was an intense change of pace, one I’ve always struggled to adjust to but I welcomed the energy and vibrancy of it.
Our first full day was spend exploring the pyramids of Teotihuacan, one of the most surreal locations Ive visited. Getting there early we had the place to ourselves which gave me so much creative freedom photographing the area. The view from the Pyramid of the Moon was by far my favourite, built over 2,400 years ago.
Our second day was spent exploring food markets in the morning and on the road to Oaxaca in the afternoon. At an unexpected highway pull off, I found the best light of the trip. @twheat and I went exploring to a random farm where we introduced ourselves to the workers who were so proud to share their farm with us. Growing vegetables and farming fish in the middle of nowhere, I couldn’t help but feel impressed with these people who created an impressive piece of land out of nothing.
Day three had us visit Hierve el Agua, a petrified waterfall in the middle of the Oaxaca mountains. This stunning place was practically a natural infinity pool overlooking the lush mountains. With the weather indifferent, only Eliza decided to go for a swim (or more like I made her go for a swim so I could take some photos). One of the more unusual locations I’ve seen but a lot of fun to photograph.
Day four was spent flying from Oaxaca to Mexico City then from Mexico City to San Cristobál. A long day traveling and getting after flight delays but a great opportunity to work on some photos and get to know everyone else a little better. An early start to day 5 took us to Sumidero Canyon, surprisingly only 3 of us decided to go in what was easily the highlight of the trip for me. Speeding through the canyon in a boat, seeing the famous ‘xmas tree’ waterfall. The only way I can describe this place is like you’re in Jurassic Park mixed with Norwegian Fjords. A few hours later and we were back in the beautiful town of San Cristobál, a place I could easily spend weeks exploring. The food and arts culture here is one of a kind.
Day six had us back on the road, this time for 11 hours and it was a rough journey. Speeding drivers, thousands of speed bumps and some interesting road works kept us entertained for the whole time. Arriving more exhausted from the journey than rested we all had an early night. Day seven was a beautiful surprise, waking up along the shores of Lake Atitlán, we caught sunrise, everyone feeling refreshed and rejuvenated about being in Guatemala. We spent the day on a boat visiting nearby towns and experienced a lot of the local culture. Later that evening we we’re visiting a Mayan town for dinner, this was by far the most unique experience of the trip. We ate with the Mayan families of San Jorge La Laguna, shared stories, played games with the children.
Day eight and we hit the road again, this time to Antigua, Guatemala. A three hour drive brought us to this little town nestled at the bottom of a Volcano. Unfortunately there wasn’t much opportunity for adventures here, our time was spent in the town exploring its streets. Antigua had by far the best food, coffee and rum on this trip. Although I don’t photograph food, its one of the main reasons I travel. I love locally sourced well prepared food and this town had lots of that. The rest of the day was spent exploring the town.
Day nine was a free day, not having a vehicle left us in the town again so myself and fellow adventurer Rachel of @rachelroams decided to set up our own experience. We decided to go on a food tour of the town with La Mesa Food Tours. We managed to get on the Foodie Dream Tour and I can tell you this was my food highlight of the entire trip. Incredible food, great wine pairings, fun hosts and some delicious rum tasting would be the best way to describe the night. I wouldn’t have even known these restaurants or the Rum cellar even existed which made the experience even more unique. An experience that shouldn’t be missed in Antigua.
Day ten was our final day in Guatemala. A forty-five minute drive to the airport from Antigua and we’re ready to say goodbye to each other. Two short flights back to Calgary and a three hours drive back to Banff and I was home in 140cms of fresh snow, a brutal climate adjustment but well worth it.
Don’t forget to head to http://adventure.intrepidtravel.com and vote for your favourite photo, the adventurer with the most votes will be donating $5,000 to their charity on behalf of Intrepid Travel. You’ll also have the chance to win $10,000 worth of travel!