Runaway Tours Guatemala: A Deeper Look

dsc00866-2We started Runaway Tours in Jan 2015. Since then I’ve hightail it with over 50 people through 3 of my favorite nations, Thailand, Japan, and Guatemala.

In Thailand we discovered a unique blend of Buddhism, learned just how to drive scooters, and of course 6$/hour massages.

In Japan we gained understanding of the Japanese philosophy of life. We discovered to call home just, considerately plus in the current, and ate lots great food in the process.

In Guatemala, we found the Maya, their sacred Lake Atitlan, and their ancient traditions. We met a unique band of expatriates that has carved down fruitful, frequently eccentric, but constantly symbiotic lives on the list of stunning indigenous Maya. So we witnessed what is arguably the most amazing sunset on earth.

On October 25th, 2016 Runaway Tours: Guatemala is occurring once more. Although this could be the 5th tour in Guatemala, it nevertheless continues to be the best Runaway Tour.

Here’s Why!

Lake Atitlan

Lake Atitlan is a 5 celebrity feast for all the sensory faculties. Turquoise waters and mammoth volcanoes overwhelm the eyes. A melange of tropical flowers and coniferous pines arouse the nose. The spring climate invigorates the body. Getting up toward cheerful laughter associated with Maya individuals tickles the ears. And hot tortillas with your 2$ break fast tipico delights the tongue plus the budget.

Some individuals declare that the actual magnificence for the pond resides in those ideas that may never be seen; the deep waters, the vast magma chamber below and powerful geomagnetic industries. It’s due to these known and as yet not known phenomena that lots of think the lake to be a source of a sacred energy, the kind of which can cause vivid dreams, changed idea patterns, and an attraction on lake it self. Which is excatly why Runaway Tours Guatemala features the lake and it’s diverse towns as it’s primary location.


The view from Santa Cruz


The sunset from Panajachel



But before heading to the lake, we begin our journey in Antigua. With over 30 ruins dating back to toward sixteenth century, this ancient capital for the Spanish “” new world “” is similar to the Rome of Central America. it is got history, nightlife, the finest Guatemalan dishes, and it’s surrounded by volcanos, one of which erupts each and every morning around 9am. It’s an ideal introduction to Central America at large and of course, Guatemala.


Cerro De Los Angeles Cruz


10$ Drug rugs through the neighborhood market


Hanging in front of the church regarding the Merced


Checking out the Convent Of This Capuchinas


Wicked Nice Accommodations

Runaway Tours is all about value, and no spot is this more real than through the unique accommodations I’ve secured in Guatemala. From gorgeous colonial domiciles and cliff part bungalows with uninhibited views, up to a hotel that really sits in lake it self, everyone enjoys a level of privacy and luxury that many tours don’t provide.


The Volcano Lodge in Jabalito


The Hideout in Panajachel


The Mirador on Hideout


The Activities

Most of the adventures I’ve prepared up for this tour are activities that I’ve developed myself throughout 4 years of backpacking in Guatemala. From motorcycling towards the key hot spring to descending to the lake by vehicle, you’re gonna find out Guatemala like few others have.

Personal Boat Tour/Dance Party in Panajachel


The 8m high cliff jump in San Marcos


The hike toward top of Volcan San Pedro


The Kayak Pub Crawl in San Pedro Los Angeles Laguna


The Maya

Within each of Lake Atitlan’s unique towns live a individuals whose languages and traditions have actually survived millennia. Although Catholicism, the Spanish language and other Spanish influences is evident throughout the highlands, numerous Maya still maintain their conventional languages and religions. Numerous also continue traditional livelihoods centered on hand crafts and agriculture.

In lots of ways, the Maya are particularly much like the Japanese. Many people are friendly enough to foreigner tourists but often prefer to keep a comfortable distance. More, public shows of thoughts, especially anger, is perceived as weakness and frequently met with smiles and laughs in embarrassment. Harmony in the home and community is just a pillar of everyday life and society. Finally, similar to the Japanese, although a lot of people practice Christianity, the ancient animistic traditions remain strong.

My pal & favorite road merchant


Riding local trucks


The Expats

Lake Atitlan hosts a large expatriate community. Most hail from the USA but you can find many from around European countries too, most notably Norway. These expats range from senior snow wild birds and all year round business owners to people offering jewelry and tourists who got stuck and became property owners.

During our trip, we’ll fulfill a lot of these expats, learn their particular stories, and see new lease of life paths.

Mike from ny & who owns the Crossroads Cafe


Joseph & the gang chanting within Tzununa Ashram


Joseph & I using the boat straight back


Guatemalan/American couple & recycled products musicians


Owner regarding the Volcano Lodge, Gustav from Norway


Brazilian & Uk jewelry makers 


Part time expatriate/Photo Bomber Leif  from ny


Sign Me Personally Up!

If you’re finding unique expertise in an old land with a group of likeminded friends become, We welcome you to definitely join us on our next tour of my personal favorite place in the entire world, Guatemala.

Runaway Tours: Guatemala

Dates: Oct 25 – Nov 3rd
Duration: 10 Days
Destinations: 1) Antigua 2) Panajachel 3) Jaibalito 4) San Pedro
Tour Leader(s): Leif (The Runaway Guide)
Trip Style: 20percent Adventure,  20per cent Party, 25percent Spiritual, 25percent tradition, 10% Swimming/ Hot tubs
Max Group Size: 8 (3 Spots left)
Total cost: 1195$

How Exactly To Piece Together The Lowest Priced Flight

mt-fuji-3-friendsIn March i do want to travel from my hideout right here on Lake Atitlan, all the way back once again to Japan for Runaway Japan 2016.

At first glance, placing Guatemala City to Tokyo Narita on Kayak, Google Flights and Skyscanner provides dismal prospects; 18 to 40 hour routes which can be all over 1000 USD.

For my spending plan and me personally that’s definitely unsatisfactory.

So what do I do?

We duct tape together a crazy collage of various flights that in some way perfectly collide at the edges


1: Don’t Forget Of Piecing Together Routes

There’s nothing that states you can’t purchase a number of one-way flights on different air companies to get towards last location. Actually, it’s how I’ve been traveling all over the world my life.

Because more times than perhaps not, you won’t discover the cheapest journey regarding giant flight the search engines. Despite the fact that they now offer search features such as for instance hacker fares, it’s almost always possible to patch together one thing more affordable. This is especially valid if you’re flying to and from less traveled parts of the world, particularly Central/South America, Africa, and Central Asia.

Trust in your logistical skills, and don’t forget to locate one thing cheaper than what’s promoted.


2: Always Check Budget Airlines

Initial spot to check out whenever piecing together routes is by using spending plan airlines.

Head up to the internet sites of Norwegian Air, Spirit Air, and Air Asia. Together these spending plan airlines link the world’s most readily useful backpacking areas. More importantly, they are doing it on the ultra inexpensive, as well as for that i will be forever indebted.

In the event that you don’t know much about budget airlines, their restrictions, fees, and policies, definitely offer this guide a read, Ultimate Guide To Flying On Budget Airlines.

Coconuts for 2.50$ each!!

Coconuts for 2.50$ each!!

Step Three: Research Popular Routes On Regular Airlines

In the event that you weren’t in a position to patch together one thing decent using budget providers, it is time and energy to consider those big overpriced air companies as an alternative.

Luckily regular air companies usually offer some remarkable deals on popular routes. This usually takes place during the low period when airlines try to fill empty seats.

As an example, Aer Lingus, an Irish flight, sometimes has deals from Boston to Dublin for less than 140$.

Assuming you’re wanting to get from British and Europe to South America, LAN Airlines often has some wicked low fares aswell.

Unfortuitously, it’s difficult to understand which airline to consider and when these discounts will actually happen, this means you’re likely to need to invest the investigation.

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Step Four: Make Sure Everything Fits Together

Undoubtedly the largest hurdle to piecing together an excellent inexpensive journey is making certain all the routes connect properly.

Check and make sure the trip times and give yourself at least 2 hours between connecting routes. This is especially crucial on longhaul West to East flights, in which you often loose daily in transportation.

Just How Much Is My Flight?

  • Aculpolco >> Tijuana 75$
  • Tijuana >> hillcrest on foot 0$
  • San Diego >> San Francisco by 1 week automobile leasing 127$
  • Bay area >> Seoul 433$
  • Seoul >> Tokyo 100$

Total Price: 735$

Okay, so I’m type of going the good way around but it’s absolutely cheaper! O, and you’re probably wondering the way I teleported to Aculpoco also.


Here’s What I Decided 

Since flying direct from Guatemala To Japan at once is costly, and never to say incredible long, I figured I’d make an adventure from it.

For January & February I decided on working from my hideout on Lake Atitlan.

Then come early March it is time for you head to Meixco. I’m going to take a shuttle or possibly hire a van and drive around San Cristobal, after which to Puerto Escondido in Oaxaca in which I’ll park myself in certain hammock in certain beach part bungalow.

After that I’ll take a bus to Alcopoco, in which I’ll get that 4 hour flight to Tijuana, stroll across the border, hire an automobile, visit my Grandma in Paso Robles, search well for a buddy in Santa Cruz, fly to Korea for a week for eating Kalbi, and lastly arrive in Japan a month down the road April 29th for Runaway Japan 2016!

It just goes to show that when you are flexible, plus or minus several days, weeks as well as months, you may get some low priced flights too, having an extra adventure privately.

Do it now!


Lake Atitlan Hideout

DSC01949Lake Atitlan Hideout is an exclusive apartment nestled among pines and palms privately of the mountain with epic and unobstructed views of sunrise & sunset. it is in which perspective altering views meets pure living, deep sleeps and hammock relaxation. It’s a location to simply decelerate, de-stress, discover the Maya, live cheap, and enjoy springtime like climate every day.

The Room

Lake Atitlan Hideout is a 2 room studio apartment. The interior living area is around 40 m2/ 430sqf, and outside porch and garden is about 5 m2/60sqf. The bed room features a comfortable double sleep, satellite tv with 30+ english networks including HBO, NBC 4, ABC 7, History, TV5 Monde, RAI, DW and so many more. The bedroom and kitchen/dinning space function almost flooring to cieling windows with epic views of the sunrise and sunset throughout the lake (also from sleep!).

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The kitchen/dinning room possesses complete size fridge, 4 burner stove, fresh water dispenser, and aside from an oven, everything needed seriously to cook up anything you want.


The restroom contains a sink, lavatory and bath. According to the toilet, the sole issue/difficult thing for used to just isn’t throwing rest room paper in it. Like most developing countries, plumbing systems in Guatemala aren’t created to handle paper. Additionally, since the bath is electric it may be very fickle. It can get hot but generally speaking possesses sluggish flow. 

Finally, there’s additionally a semi-enclosed porch area. It’s the perfect place for eating break fast, getting prompted, relaxing in lawn chairs and/or being productive on your computer if that’s your thing.

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The Hideout On Lake Atitlan features use of a dedicated beach on the lake, where you could just take early morning swims.

You also have access to a massive mirador (a lookout). Initial flooring the mirador is partially enclosed although the second flooring is open air and will be offering unobstructed views of the very most gorgeous sunset on the planet.DSC01949 2

Where Do We Live?

we reside in 1 of 6 hideouts from October to February.

If you need to drop, I will do all that I am able to to make your stay as comfortable, relaxing and sublime as you can.

Why? Because that is my favorite devote the planet and I’m stoked to have the chance to show others just how good life is on pond. 

If you want to volunteer for the humanitarian organization assisting Maya families, let me know. If you’d like to just take Spanish lessons i will easily assist work it for you personally. If you’d like to go explore the pond together, let’s hop the following ferry motorboat.

I will help introduce you to Lake Atitlan, the Maya individuals, a number of eccentric and interesting expat friends, and everything you need to understand to take pleasure from a short term stay or start a long-lasting moving.

The Neighbor Hood

Lake Atitlan Hideout can be found within private and protected apartment complex having a evening manager/guard. Although guests come and go, there are some longterm tenants who are all extreamly friendly, wanting to help with any such thing, wellness concious and generally speaking of the joyful disposition, without doubt fueled by your head blowing view. 

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Family type breakfast buffet.

Getting Around

Lake Atitlan Hideout is located simply 15/20 mins walking from Lake Atitlan’s most convenient, delicious, and expat friendly city Panajachel (Pana for brief). But if you don’t feel walking, you are able to either phone a Tuk Tuk (10Q / 1.30$) or hail a pickup truck-collectivo such as for instance a neighborhood Maya just for 2Q / 25 cents. The hideout is far enough from noise and air pollution of town but close sufficient to easily run in for groceries or a eleventh hour wine.

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Whether you’re attempting to detox or just want to get healthier, my nutritionist neighbors provide anything from personalized meals to training as well as expert consoling (especially for those experiencing addiction) for an incredible value. Let me know if you’re interested.

So How Much Does It Price?

The manager/owner with this spot has been raising rates each year. They’ve additionally made the daily and once a week rate only a little unreasonable. If you’re planning to stay, the greatest value is unquestionably by the thirty days.

  • 39$/night (2 individuals +0)
  • 229$/week (2 individuals +25$)
  • 599/month (2 Many +50$)

There are only 4 hideouts available and they’re going fast, therefore make sure you get in touch earlier than later on.

Hideout With Us! 

It’s a good time  


If I Could Get Anywhere…

ice-cave-tunnel-tour-from-langjokull-glacier-0in which would we get?

The answer for me is a simple one.

The birthplace of the best explorer with who I share exactly the same title.

The most historically enigmatic and geologically epic islands on earth.

A nation that I’ve flown over more times than I am able to count though haven’t blown open the plane doors and parachuted right down to it is shores to explore.

I might go right to the icy land of Iceland.

I’ve been fascinated about it destination also it’s Viking origins from the time We learned that Ingólfr Arnarson, initial Norwegian settler, known as it “Ice” land to dissuade other people from coming.

But you can’t dissuade me personally Viking Ingólfr. Ice or no ice, I’m likely to come.

Here’s Why:

Icelandic Community

I want to witness what sort of nation of simply 300,000 individuals gets on with one another. I’m fascinated with the fact that you nevertheless speak Old Norse, the language of this vikings. I love that you’re required to learn Viking sagas in school. And I can’t get over the fact one of your most famous museums is your penis Museum:  a bizarre collection of animal penis’s that merely a Scandinavian country could conceive. Option to remain weird Iceland.a-history-of-reykjavik-4

The Capitol Reykjavik

I’ve heard a lot of cool reasons for having Reykjavik, as a result’s quaint pubs and small city vibes to it’s charming structures. I’m specially excited to check out The Settlement Exhibition, a museum dedicated to the 2001 archeological excavation that uncovered proof of Iceland’s earliest Viking settlers. I’m also looking forward to simply hanging at a Reykavik Hostel/Pub, cause there’s no better method to get acquainted with that locals and their history, specially previous viking locals, than by sharing a handle of honey mead.


Geothermal Hot springs

Iceland hosts a huge selection of hot springs, but there’s one that appears to be noticeable. It’s the one that i see in my fellow travel blogger’s Instagram photos. And the one which we can’t wait to immerse set for myself one day, the Blue Lagoon.  Though it appears expensive, i then found out so it’s  just 35 Euro’s to have in and simply a 1 hours bus ride from the capitol Reykjavik.


Icelandic Horses!

In all honesty, I’ve never been a big fan of horses. They’re minds, eyes and farts are just too big for comfort for me personally. Which until we saw several images of those little Icelandic ponies. They appear like they just wandered from the group of Lord Of The Rings. Now all i wish to do is ride away over a lava industry and move on to understand one.


Caves, Glaciers & Geysers

I do want to experience the geological magnificence of an island that sits between two tectonic dishes in the center of the Atlantic Ocean just south for the Arctic Circle. I’m either planning to rent a car or join a group to experience Iceland’s notorious Golden Circle trip. If Iceland’s tourism board ever would like to sponsor me personally, I definitely won’t state no 😉


I Dig Your Official Tourism Movie

The whole video clip is really a bit corny and quirky in a unique Scandinavian means however it absolutely works. I Wish To dancing on the list of Fjords!


I don’t understand why this has taken me way too long to consult with this remarkable looking country, a country that i’ve constantly desired to go to. Easily have the money, I’m bound to go next summer time round the solstice.

Anyone want to show up? Let me know within the comments below!

The Cost Of Traveling Japan

IMG_4326Japan is the only nation in Asia that governmental experts really label as a western. Or in other words, it’s since costly while they come.

So when a few of my new buddies on Runaway Thailand trip asked me personally to lead an impromptu trip through Japan, I happened to be pretty hesitant.

Heck yea we wanted to go back to mom land and feed rice balls to kittens in pet cafes. I wanted to try out my beautifully crafted route that I had spent days formulating the formal Runaway Japan tour. We also wanted to hangout with my crazy cousins in Kobe and extremely good host family in Yamanashi.

Unfortuitously, we knew i simply couldn’t pay for it.

Luckily, my friends Ali, Watson, & Stephanie wouldn’t I would ike to perhaps not manage it. (Thanks ganstas!)

Before we knew it we had teleported from eating pork pad thai inside our beach bungalow to fish egg filled rice balls in a sky high apartment covered in anime figurines.

osaka apartment in namba on airbnb

Although Japan is expensive, because of super oily filling convenience store fried chicken, shared homes on Airbnb, and this years exemplary exchange rate of 120 yen/ 1USD, we been able to go through the best of Japan for a fairly decent spending plan.

Here’s where we spent nearly all of our money during our 10 time trip of Japan. 

Accommodation: 4000円/34.50$/night

Although Japan has a hostels, at 3500 円/29$/night, they aren’t all that low priced. So we made a decision to hire homes on Airbnb alternatively. Not merely ended up being it the lowest priced option nonetheless it had been undoubtedly the most comfortable and private. If you are new to Airbnb, you can make use of this link to get 20$ Off very first stay.

1)In Osaka we remained during the “One Piece House,” a 2 floor apartment in Namba, one’s heart of Osaka. This place had been massive, covered in One Piece memorabilia and super comfortable. Easily certainly one of the most effective value Airbnb apartment rentals in Japan. Cost: 35$/person/night

2) In Kyoto we remained in a fairly old-fashioned Japanese household. It had 3 spaces and had been located fairly near the famous Kawaramachi street. Unfortunately it rained quite a bit, so we invested nearly all of our time having a sake celebration in tatami (Japanese pad) room. Cost: 50$/person/night

3) Around Mt. Fuji we stayed in a sizable home on Lake Kawaguciko. It had 4 spaces, a view of Fuji-san, and ended up being simply steps from Kawaguchiko station. The dog owner, Shota-kun, ran a dumpling vehicle out of the parking great deal, which mayn’t have been easier for the dumpling loving team. Price: 30$/person/night

4) In Tokyo we stayed in a big dump. It was much further from Shinjuku than promoted. And unlike the appealing photos, this destination had no beds, a mildew filled fridge with no wifi. But hey, you will get everything you buy.  Price: 16$/person/night

tatami space in kyoto japan

Food: 3000円/25$/day

We could have saved significantly by shopping at the supermarket and cooking our personal dishes. But since we only possessed a restricted period of time, we consumed every meal out.

Here’s an idea of the foodstuff we consumed and how much it cost united states:

  • Tuna & Mayo Filled Riceball: 140円/1.17$
  • Sushi Bowl with seared salmon and tuna: 750円/6.25$
  • Bashimi (Raw Horse): 500円/4.17

eating natural horse meat in japan

  • 6 Octopus Balls: 500円/4.17
  • Big Beer: 500円/4.17
  • Ice cream crepe: 500円/4.17

japanese icecream crepe

  • Bowl of cool Soba Noodles: 600円/5$
  • Average full bowl of Ramen: 800円/6.67$
  • Udon: 3oo 円/2.50$

trying houtou soup in yamanashi prefecture japan

  • Conveyer gear sushi dinner average: 1000円/8.34$
  • Mcdonald’s Big Mac Dish: 950円/8$
  • Family Mart Fried Chicken: 160円/1.33


Adventures: 19,000円/160$/ 10 days

Luckily, temples, shrines, museums and parks throughout Japan are very inexpensive if not free. Unfortunately, Karaoke just isn’t.

Here’s some of the highlights through the trip:

  • 1 1/2 hours of Karaoke: 2300  /19$
  • Kiyomizu-dera Temple: 3oo 円/2.50$
  • Mount Fuji ancient pilgrimage climb up to fifth place: 0   /0$
  • one hour Row Boat In Mt. Fuji’s Lake Kawaguchiko: 2000  /16$

row watercraft around mount fuji

  • 2 hours of Hotsprings: 900   /7.50
  • Aki-Matsuri/Fall Festival: 0   /0$


  • Daibutsu Buddha (Big Buddha): 3oo 円/2.50$
  • Mariokart Arcade single game: 2oo 円/1.67$
  • Getting Together With my old host household: 0   /0$


Transport:  26,440円/220$/ 10 days

Japan murdered united states on transport. The Bullet train are priced at us around 100$ together with Tokyo Metro actually added up. Although busses as well as routes are cheaper whenever traveling long distances, they nevertheless aren’t that inexpensive.

Here are all our transportation expenses over 10 days:

  • Coach from Osaka Airport to Namba Station: 1540 円/12.84$
  • Train from Osaka to Kyoto: 1000 円/8.34$
  • Bullet Train from Kyoto to Mishima: 11, 000円/91$

looking during the japanese country side through the screen associated with the bullet train

  • Bus from Mishima to Kawaguchiko: 2,400円/20$
  • Coach from Mt. Fuji fifth station back down to Kawaguchiko: 1500円/12.50$
  • 3 Times Of Tokyo Metro: 3600円/30$

yurikamome line

  • Train from Kawaguchiko to Otsuki: 0   /0$(host parents drove united states)
  • Express train from Otsuki to Shinjuku: 1400円/11.68$
  • Nartia Express to Narita airport: 4000円/33.36$

 plane taking off from osaka kansai airport

How Much Did We Spend?  ( p′︵‵。)

Too much >< (Japanese emoticon to state frustration, humiliation, and basic dissatisfaction)

  • Accommodation: 365$
  • Food: 250$
  • Tasks: 160$
  • Transportation: 220$

Probably somewhere around: 1,000$ or 120,000 円 /person for 10 times. 

We could have consumed cheaper by hitting up more super markets. We’re able to have saved on transport if only we took more busses. We also may have selected cheaper and less spacious AirBnbs.

We surely could have spent not as. But whenever you’re having group, it is simply too very easy to splurge.

Although most of us finished up a little broke, we certainly reached go through the most useful of Japan any way you like.