101 Kms from Retalhuleu
An ideal starter country, Guatemala is small enough to be easily navigable on a short trip. The Spanish spoken here is largely intelligible (unlike, say, Chile), it's cheap, and there's an awesome mix of sights and activities -- from partying in Panajachel to climbing volcanoes to wandering the ruins of one of the world's greatest ancient civilisations.
75 Kms from Retalhuleu
The weekend markets here may be derided as touristy, but they're also a fun and accessible spot full of local colour. Hone your bargaining skills while you wander the lanes checking out carved wooden masks, colourful textiles, and everything else under the sun.
123 Kms from Retalhuleu
Antigua, once a colonial capital is rich in history, cultural and natural disasters. After a large earthquaked hit the capital the King of Spain moved the capital to Guatemala City. The town is surrounded by three active volcanoes. The last larger eruption came out of Volcano Fuego in September 2012. Most days you can see smoke coming out of this volcano. For those brave enough to go in for a closer look, tourist offices can arrange day hikes up the volcanoes. A walk through the city displays historical colonial monuments, vibrant markets and street vendors, a diverse mix of Catholic churches (both modern and from the Spanish colonial era), and a an array of restaurants catering to locals and foreigners. Of course with this boom in tourism here, prices are more expensive in Antigua than the rest of Guatemala. For those wanting to stay longer there are many options including volunteering, working at chocolate or coffee farms, dance classes, Spanish language centers, and cooking courses.