What do you do when you have extra time in El Salvador? You rent a mini van with a bunch of your pals and drive the 5 hours to Guatemala. (Note to all travelers in Central America, however long they say a trip will take, add 3 hours). You breeze through the boarder crossing, so easy a dog can do it.
Then you hold your breath while driving across the El Salvador-Guatemala border bridge under repair.
You are amazed at how huge and modern Guatemala City is.
You rent an over the top house, party with your friends and of course order delicious Chinese food.
You hang on for dear life as you take the local bus into town. Minimum speed 70mph
You enjoy a beautiful day exploring the Spanish baroque style 16th-century buildings, churches, cobble-stoned streets and the many ruins throughout Antigua. Earthquakes have destroyed many structures, but they’ve done a wonderful job preserving the ruins and even incorporating them into functioning businesses.
If you are Peter, you jump out from a dark corner of the catacombs and scare teenage kids on a field trip.
You renew your wedding vows…
But you do crash a wedding at Santo Domingo, which was an old monastery that they’ve repurposed into a museum and hotel. The old alter which was destroyed in an earthquake is now used for special events.
Take a 2 hour coffee break, because Peter and Mike found this woman who was a coffee guru.
You take a beautiful drive to Lake Atitlan. A bit too touristy but stunning countryside and the opportunity to see the colorfully dressed indigenous people.
You marvel at the vibrant and exuberant colors of the cemeteries. Families think of the afterlife as something to celebrate, so why not make the graveyards a cheerful place.
And you are so thankful you have the opportunity to explore another fascinating country.