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$

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.