Sleeping in for the first time on the trip, we eventually make our way onto the streets to explore the city and check out a few locations that peaked our interest after talking to other travelers we meet along the way. We start off by heading to the Finca Santa Margarita coffee plantation. With Guatemala being one of the world leaders in producing quality coffee, seeing the cultivation process first hand was important to understanding Guatemala. Finca Santa Margarita has been around since 1888 and is one of the longest standing plantations in this part of Guatemala. We were given a tour of the grounds and walked through the entire process, from cultivation to post production. Who knew that it is the altitude in which the coffee is grown that determines its strength?
From there we headed for the Vivero Verapaz orchid nursery to do shoot some macro photography. As I have said before, Guatemala is known for its amazing diversity of flowers and plant life. Chances are that if you ordered a bouquet of flowers for your wife or girlfriend, some of the flowers came from Guatemala. The nursery produces over 700 indigenous varieties of orchids as well as a handful of hybrids that they have created themselves. The nursery itself is located just outside of town in the shade of multiple prehistoric trees, providing a canopy like atmosphere for the plants.
That night we grab a bite to eat at our favorite local restaurant, “Santa Rita” located just off the main plaza. If you are ever in town, this place is a must!