Category Archives: Solo travel

One-week Guatemala itinerary

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

By Karlie Marrazzo

Guatemala, the northernmost country in Central America and one of its largest, had been at the top of my list of places to visit for years before I finally made my way south from Canada. The combination of volcanoes, Mayan ruins, Colonial architecture, fabulous food, the promise of no jet lag and fewer tourists than other parts of the world are just a few of the reasons I wanted to visit this captivating country. While I am fascinated with this part of the world, it still remains off the radar and a country of concern for a lot of travellers out there. It is my hope that this one-week Guatemala itinerary will help to inspire you and to put your own Guatemala trip together!

Continue reading One-week Guatemala itinerary

Tikal National Park: Guatemala’s mystical Mayan ruins

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

anicent mayan pyramids set in lush greenery against a blue sky

By Karlie Marrazzo

I rose before the sun on another tranquil day in Antigua, Guatemala’s magnificent crown jewel, on the penultimate day of my solo trip through the Central American country that had already captured my heart. My alarm went off at 5:30am; I rubbed my eyes, stepped into the clothes I had laid out the night before, and ate a quick breakfast on the rooftop of my hotel before catching a pre-arranged shuttle to Guatemala City. For the final leg of my week in Guatemala, I would base myself in the small city of Flores. From there I would visit the mystical Mayan ruins of Tikal.

Continue reading Tikal National Park: Guatemala’s mystical Mayan ruins

Antigua: Guatemala’s charming crown jewel

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

By Karlie Marrazzo

My first trip to Guatemala began with a blissful three days in the spiritually charged village of San Marcos, peacefully tucked along the shore of Lake Atitlán, one of the most gorgeous places I have been lucky enough to experience thus far in my travels. Even though I could have stayed there for weeks, months, forever, I only had a week in Guatemala and my itinerary told me that it was time to move on. Next stop: Antigua, a UNESCO World Heritage city bursting with colonial architecture at the base of three volcanoes; Acatenango, Volcán de Agua and Volcán de Fuego, an active stratovolcano that erupted twice in 2018 alone.

Continue reading Antigua: Guatemala’s charming crown jewel

Soul searching in San Marcos, Guatemala

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

By Karlie Marrazzo

Ever since my first trip to Central America on a trip to Nicaragua in 2015, Guatemala has been at the top of my list of destinations to visit. The combination of volcanoes, Mayan ruins, Colonial architecture, fabulous food, the promise of no jet lag and fewer tourists than other parts of the world are just a few of the reasons I wanted to visit this captivating country. Other people didn’t see it that way, though. Whenever I was asked where I wanted to go next, and I answered with Guatemala, I was met with blank stares, quizzical looks and sincere expressions of concern. But since when have I ever let people’s opinions stop me from doing something I wanted to do?

From the moment I returned from my first solo trip to Los Angeles in November 2017, I couldn’t stop thinking about Guatemala. I had just taken a huge step in my personal life and development – after traveling with someone else for over 10 years, I had conquered my fear of doing things alone and rocked a badass trip to LA. I was now prepared to do anything, and not let anything hold me back from traveling anywhere I wanted to go. On Boxing Day 2017, three years to the date since I booked my Nicaragua trip, I made my decision and booked one round trip plane ticket to Guatemala.

Continue reading Soul searching in San Marcos, Guatemala

Curating Calgary’s hidden gems and classic icons

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

By Karlie Marrazzo

Alberta, the province that I call home, is the land of diverse and gorgeous landscapes – the Rocky Mountains in the West, the Badlands in the South, and vast fields of canola throughout. Dotted randomly somewhere in the midst of all this natural beauty are Alberta’s two major cities, Edmonton, my hometown, and Calgary, 300km to the south. Although Calgary is a 3-hour straight shot down Highway 2, I hadn’t visited the city since 2011, always passing by on my way to the Rockies but rarely stopping. When I was invited by the Ramada Plaza Downtown to check out their Calgary Made Guest Room Package, I was eager to head south to discover some of Calgary’s best local businesses.

Continue reading Curating Calgary’s hidden gems and classic icons

Pilgrimage to Los Angeles: Reflections on my first solo trip

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinteresttumblrmail

A view from the water of Santa Monica Pier, with roller coaster, blue sky and beach

By Karlie Marrazzo

Boarding pass in hand and backpack on my back, I walked across the chilly jet bridge at Edmonton International Airport and boarded the 737 like I had done dozens of times before. I sat down in my seat, buckled my seatbelt and gazed out the window, contemplating the trip I was about to take. It was the first day of November and I was heading to Los Angeles, a city I had never visited before. There is nothing unusual about a Canadian heading south in the winter, just like there was nothing unusual about me jetting off to somewhere new – I did achieve my goal of traveling to 30 countries before the age of 30, after all. But this trip was going to be different. After traveling around the world with someone else for the past 10 years, I was setting off on my first solo trip.

Continue reading Pilgrimage to Los Angeles: Reflections on my first solo trip