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For Guatemalans, the Pacific Coast starts once you pass over the volcanic mountain ranges that divide the rest of the country from these western flatlands. The actual coast is still several hours journey away but already the air changes from cool and crisp to hot and steamy, the dramatic landscape turns into a rolling one, covered in farmland, and time seems to slow down as nature rides the languid rhythms of life on waterways and canals. Unless, of course, it is a weekend in one of the tourist towns and then life is jumping to the energetic and loud rhythm of the best ladino pop music.

To sum up the Pacific Coast in a nutshell would require a nut of diverse extremes. It has a little bit of everything – ancient archeological ruins, surfing, farmstays, adventure parks, volcanoes, mangrove tours, turtle watching, volunteering projects, deep sea fly fishing and more. You can stay in a tiny village that rarely sees a tourist, one that has built up to cater just for them or encapsulate yourself in an exclusive lodge.

Accommodation varies from the divine to the squalid but invariably comes with a swimming pool. Fresh fish and seafood can be found in abundance, but, apart from a handful of exceptions, there are few alternative options. Transport is local style but in a part of Guatemala that is predominantly visited by locals, what better way to understand the heart of its people.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Guatemala's Pacific Coast: Safety, Accommodation Overview, When To Go and Tours.

By Kathryn
Independent and optimistic, I believe in following your dreams and have been doing just that, traveling the world for the last 9 years. British by...
10 May 2010

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