I had a pretty early flight to Guatemala this morning. So early that breakfast was not yet being served, but thankfully the wonderful people at Nima Local House Hotel in Mexico City, Mexico packed me a nice little to-go breakfast. I cannot thank them enough for all of their hospitality at Nima!
The flight was about two hours and upon landing customs and immigration were both simple. My hotel in Guatemala City had a free shuttle and I met the driver outside. The drive into the city was interesting for sure, as the surroundings were definitely a mix of things. Many buildings were dilapidated and rundown but I also saw some newly built restaurants and malls.
I arrived at my hotel, the Grand Tikal Futura Hotel, and had to wait a few hours before checking in. It was a very rainy day in Guatemala (downpours not drizzles) so that only helped my decision to stay indoors. There are definitely safety concerns with Guatemala City, so I decided to stay in and explore. My hotel is pretty new and actually has a mall in the bottom where I spent most of my day. It was pretty much what you would expect, and the food court was almost entirely American brands. I walked around the mall for a little while before deciding to eat Taco Bell. Not ideal, I know. But at least it wasn’t McDonald's? My options were definitely limited, but I was able to get some churros and chocolate for desert so that was definitely a plus!
I felt very safe in the mall even though I was definitely an anomaly. Everyone was so nice, however, and no one even gave me a second look. After a few hours I went back up and checked into the hotel. I was given a high floor that had a really cool of a volcano. I had no idea at first because there were so many clouds, but once they cleared a bit it was so cool to realize I was so close to a volcano!
After my early morning it was no surprise that I fell asleep so quickly after going to my room. I did not anticipate, however, taking a four hour nap. I accidentally set my alarm for AM instead of PM, but I would much rather this mistake happen when I have nothing to do in a hotel than early in the morning when I have a flight to catch. I apparently really needed some sleep!
After I woke up I decided to order room service instead of exploring the food court again. I ordered a cheese pizza that was surprisingly really good! After a few hours of working and watching TV, I went to sleep for the night once again quite easily. While I wish I could have seen more of Guatemala, safety and the rain helped me make the decision to rest instead. It was actually pretty cool to just hang out in the mall and see locals going about their normal lives instead of the usual tourist destinations. Overall, it was a good day in Guatemala!
16 countries down, 181 to go.