All Inclusive Vacation to Guatemala (The Hidden Gems)

February 22, 2024

As I stepped out of the airport into the humid Guatemalan air, I opened the Uber app on my phone and quickly requested a ride to my resort. Within minutes, my driver pulled up and greeted me in fluent English – a welcoming luxury made possible by having a working local SIM card in my phone without any hassle upon arrival. 


It was in that moment that I fully appreciated the power of modern eSIM technology to solve so many of the frustration points faced by frequent international travelers like myself. With remote access to data provided by my eSIMple eSIM, that had stress-free airport pickup foreshadowed the smooth, connected travel experience I would enjoy throughout my trip.

Booking My Guatemala Vacation

When deciding on a Central American destination for my latest solo adventure, I was drawn to Guatemala’s perfect combination of rich cultural history, stunning natural beauty and affordability. I wasn’t looking for some cookie-cutter resort vacation – I wanted an experience that immersed me in all that makes Guatemala such a vibrant, inviting country. 


I started my planning on TripAdvisor, scoping out the top all-inclusive properties based on reviews, amenities, location and value. I landed on the Barceló Guatemala City hotel for its modern rooms with impressive volcano views, 4 specialty restaurants and a world-class spa – all in close proximity to Guatemala’s iconic landmarks. Travelocity had a phenomenal package deal; for just $850 for 7 nights, I was set with lodging, airport transfers, meals and beverages at the Barceló.  


With my Guatemala vacation booked, I eagerly counted down the days til departure – and set out to ensure my trusty iPhone would serve me well as my travel companion.

Preparing My Devices for International Travel

As an avid wanderluster, I’m constantly learning new tips and tricks to make travel easier. Recently I discovered that my iPhone has dual eSIM capability. This was a total game changer! eSIMs provide data plans digitally, without the need for a physical SIM card. Beyond convenience, I appreciated their security, flexibility, and signal prioritization. 


Doing more research, I evaluated my different options for international eSIM providers compatible with iOS. Ultimately, I selected eSIMple for their outstanding value and sheer simplicity of getting set up. I ordered my Guatemala eSIM directly through the user-friendly eSIMple app. At only $12 total, 1 GB of high-speed data would sufficiently cover maps, travel planning, some work emails and the occasional social media scroll for my weeklong trip.  


Installing eSIMple’s eSIM took less than 60 seconds. I just followed their crystal clear instructions within my phone settings to get it successfully enabled and data activated. With my eSIMple Guatemala eSIM in place, both my primary and secondary SIM slots were occupied – meaning I could utilize eSIMple for unlimited data in Guatemala, while still sending/receiving calls and SMS messages using my regular US mobile carrier. 


At last, my devices were prepped for 7 days of smooth connectivity in Central America! Now to pack my suitcase…though rather light without bulky chargers, heavy adapter plugs and tangle-prone cords that I anticipated not needing thanks to my efficient new eSIMple eSIM set up.

Guatemala is a mosaic of stunning landscapes, vibrant cultures, and ancient traditions. My travels through this breathtaking country revealed the deep connection between the land and its people. From the mystical Mayan ruins hidden in lush jungles to the colorful markets bustling with local artisans, every step was a step back into a rich historical tapestry, alive with the spirit of the ancestors.

A Home Away from Home: Oceana Resort & Conventions

The Oceana Resort & Conventions was more than just a place to stay; it was a realm of relaxation and joy. Set against the backdrop of the glistening Pacific, this resort offered a slice of paradise with its sprawling pools, exotic gardens, and endless stretches of sandy beaches. The all-inclusive package meant that from dawn till dusk, I was treated to a symphony of flavors, entertainment, and sheer relaxation, all while the soothing sound of waves provided a constant, calming soundtrack.

Beyond the Traditional: Discovering Guatemala’s Hidden Gems

The heart of Guatemala’s allure lies in its hidden gems. The Laguna Lodge Eco-Resort & Nature Reserve allowed me to wake up to breathtaking sunrises over Lake Atitlan, surrounded by volcanoes. This eco-friendly sanctuary, built from natural materials and perched at the lake’s edge, was a perfect base for exploring the surrounding Mayan villages and immersing myself in the tranquility of nature.

The Bolontiku Hotel Boutique, on the other hand, offered an intimate glimpse into Guatemala’s mystical past. Inspired by the ancient Mayan civilization, this secluded retreat nestled in the jungle provided a tranquil escape, where modern comforts met traditional spirituality, allowing me to disconnect from the world and reconnect with nature.

A Retreat for the Senses: Villa Sumaya Retreat Center

Villa Sumaya, on the serene shores of Lake Atitlan, was a sanctuary for the body, mind, and spirit. This retreat center, with its holistic approach, offered an array of rejuvenating activities, from yoga classes overlooking the lake to meditative walks in the lush gardens. The personalized retreat packages were designed to nurture the soul, offering a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Urban Exploration: Piedraluna Hotel

Nestled in the heart of Guatemala City, Piedraluna Hotel offered a different kind of adventure. Its modern, comfortable suites were a stone’s throw away from the city’s cultural landmarks, gourmet restaurants, and vibrant nightlife. Staying at Piedraluna meant experiencing the urban side of Guatemala, with the convenience of a cozy, welcoming base to return to each evening.

Romantic Escapes: Posada Del Angel

In the colonial city of Antigua, Posada Del Angel stood out as a testament to love and history. Each room, with its unique décor and inviting fireplace, told a story of romance and elegance. The hotel’s quaint courtyards, blooming with local flowers, offered a serene setting for quiet reflection or intimate conversations, making every moment spent there a memory to cherish.

A Blend of Business and Pleasure: El Convento Boutique Hotel

El Convento Boutique Hotel in Antigua was a harmonious blend of luxury, culture, and comfort. Ideal for both leisure and business travelers, this hotel combined the charm of Antiguan architecture with modern amenities. The on-site restaurant served exquisite dishes, while the tranquil courtyards and stylish rooms provided the perfect backdrop for relaxation after a day of meetings or exploring the city’s cobblestone streets.

Community and Creativity: Eco Hotel Uxlabil

At Eco Hotel Uxlabil, located just outside the bustling streets of Guatemala City, I found a community dedicated to sustainability and creativity. This unique hotel offered a glimpse into local life, with workshops, cultural events, and a friendly, welcoming atmosphere. The comfortable, eco-friendly accommodations were complemented by beautiful views and an authentic connection to the local community.

In summary, each spot and resort in Guatemala offered its own unique blend of beauty, culture, and relaxation, making my journey through this magnificent country an unforgettable adventure.

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