Laguna Magdalena & Todos Santos

Is Todos Santos overrated? Maybe. But it’s an interesting journey to get there (especially if you choose to hike).

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I was drawn to visiting because it’s supposedly the only place in Guatemala where men still wear traditional dress: notably red and white striped pants, a shirt with large embroidered collars and occasionally a pair of black “shorts” over their pants. A distinctive straw hat and crocheted shoulder bag often accompany the look. Once you get over the novelty of walking around the small market and seeing all the men in traditional dress…well there’s not much else to do.

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The town is tiny and the presence of the Evangelical Church is huge. There’s only one hostel that I would suggest staying at- Casa Familiar- and in terms of eating, good luck. If you have a strong stomach, try Comedor Katy ( next door to Casa Familiar). If you’re too scared, do yourself a favor and just stay at Casa Familiar.

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What’s impressive is the drive from Huehuetenango to Todos Santos. Give yourself time to visit some points of interest in the region, including the Blue Unicorn Ranch and El Mirador Dieguez Olaverri.

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If you want to experience pure off road Guatemala, go to Laguna Magdalena. The 45 minute drive from the main road to the laguna is a journey into another realm of this universe. You will past a couple of houses and then nothing but raw nature. Do you like giant cactus? Dense fog? The occasional herd of sheep ? You’ll find all of that along the way. Make sure to get a 4×4 pick up truck and ride in the back of the pickup– Guatemalan style.

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