When to Visit Guatemala
The best time to visit Guatemala is during the dry season – November to April. This is summer for Guatemala. Clear blue skies and warm temperatures are ideal for trekking in the mountains. Exploring the country from sunrise to sunset. The rainy season can bring rain for several weeks in a row.
Muddy conditions during the rainy season can make trekking more precarious and dangerous. At the end of April 2019, I surprised my love Emma with a horseback adventure. A unique adventure rarely found in Guatemala. Horseback riding! Found within San Andres Itzapa, driving from Antiqua will take over an hour as the slow natured windy roads. (Google Maps) This beautiful horse ranch with mountains and vistas you can explore on horseback.
Finca in the Clouds – fincaintheclouds.com
We spent two nights getting to know the owners. Connecting with animals and nature while learning more about ourselves.
Starting our journey in Antiqua we found a driver via Uber. We formed a relationship with Marvin in a Green Sedan. He became our fun, informative, and trustworthy driver for several adventures.
Marvin lives in Guatemala City raising 3 young children with his wife. We would communicate with him via WhatsApp and pay him cash like a Taxi driver. The main difference is, this initial stranger was an important member of our team. Paying him directly and scheduling pickup times allowed us great flexibility, allowing for more enjoyment.
Meeting Nicole Kristmann at a nearby tienda in Antigua. We then stocked up on food for a 2-night stay at the mountain horse ranch. Nicole is the operator and guide for Finca in the Clouds. She is a wonderful horse trainer, kind, loving, and has a true connection with all horses she has in her life.
Handmade Quality Leather Products
On our way to the ranch we passed through a town called Pastores, known it beautiful handmade leather products. These beautiful hand crafted leather goods give many locals their livelihood. I was learning all I could about the crafted items made in this small town. Many goods made their way to high end boutiques and sold throughout the world.
Picking up a pair of boots was an important necessity, a practical buy for my traveling lifestyle. Bartering is important, you get what you negotiate in life. After a few words from the shop keeper I learned quickly the price was flexible and that I should take my time before taking cash out of my pocket. The price of 600Q ($80US) was final for the pair of boots, warming in my heart.
After our horsing around adventure was over, we traveled through Pastores again, and I stopped at the shop. This time I the price agreed to was 380Q ($50US). SOLD!!
A year later and these boots have been on my feet through amazing adventures. Burning Man, Costa Rica, hiking trips in Colorado, the list goes on. I will visit Pastores again and when I do I am going to buy 2 pairs!
Day 1: Arriving a Finca in the Clouds
Experiencing this adventure was the first to ever happen. I keep this in my mind as everything was unfolding for the first time. For guests, guide, and owners. We were wonderful genie pigs, this is what I love about traveling and living a life of light and love.
On the first day we took a short ride to get comfortable. the entire property was over 300 acres. There was plenty of ground to cover.
A newborn horse arrived a few days earlier. This was the first time the horse was introduced to the youngest of the nine mastiffs.
Mastiffs typically have a gentle demeanor by nature, they can become aggressive. These large loyal dogs protect the horses from predators and those who might trespass on the property. There are nine mastiffs living more as guard dogs and less as pets on this expansive property.
Day 2: Finca in the Clouds
On the second day Nicole upgraded our horses to a reach a higher level of riding. The horses were faster and more keen to our guidance while riding. We played and laughed sharing one final lunch with our guide and ranch owners.
How unique it is to ride horses at a beautiful remote ranch. Nicole was a gift, provided to me by living bold and curious along my travels. Traveling on a plane from Orlando, Florida to Guatemala City we shared a fun conversation on a plane. Soon I would be spending two night in the clouds, reconnecting with my love and life.
What you should bring:
- Shoes able to fit in a saddle stirrup
- Flashlights it gets dark early, there is very limited lights at the ranch
- Layers of warm clothes
- Reusable water bottles
- A loving spirit and positive energy!