After one heck of a bus ride adventure getting from Nicaragua to Guatemala City we couldn’t wait to put our backpacks down and get back to work. As we got off the bus, we realized that the climate was significantly colder. We were freezing and literally only had one sweatshirt between us both. We bundled up and looked for the fastest way possible to get out of the big city. The only problem was that we didn’t have any Quetzales (Guatemalan Currency).
Before we departed for Guatemala, we researched opening an international bank account to prevent any currency exchange issues from happening in Central America as we traveled through the various countries. We hadn’t experienced too many issues with the banks in Nicaragua, but we had heard that Guatemalan banks were a bit different so we were happy we did the research. After a few hours of walking around we finally found an ATM, pulled out money for our bus fare without any issues and headed towards the next city: Antigua.
The bus was packed. We squeezed on with all of our belongings in hopes that this bus ride would be quick. The bus driver must have telepathically understood our wish for a quick bus ride as he drove like an absolute mad man down the Guatemalan freeways. As we sped along the freshly paved streets, we couldn’t believe what we were seeing out of the windows: brand new American stores from McDonald’s, Little Cesar’s Pizza and even Walmart. We felt like we were right back home road-tripping in the US. This was not at all what we expected Guatemala City to look like. It was a very different environment and much more developed than the Nicaragua we love. Neither was better nor worse, just very different and that caught us a bit off guard.
A few hours later, we arrived. We got off of the bus and were surrounded by beautiful old colorful buildings with cobble stone streets that made us feel like we were in a cute little European town.
We instantly felt safe. We found a cheap hostel in the center of town, locked up our belongings and set out to start our new exciting Guatemalan journey.