What do you know about MALT? No, not the grain that’s used to make whiskey and beer.
When did we forget how to go on vacation? These days, a week off means an opportunity to do more stuff. From paradise, we Instagram and tweet every last relaxing moment, never escaping long enough to untether from the chatter. What if there were a place somewhere at the end of the world where there is gloriously nothing to do?
Around the glass-walled pool at the envy rooftop bar, ripped boys and glossy-legged girls with straightened hair and skyscraper heels pick cocktails from a glowing menu. This is Medellín, cultural capital of the new Colombia—flush with oil money, cleaned up and ready to party (as seen on TV). But I am here for more than a caipiroska (a vodka-laden variation on the caipirinha). I want to know whether Medellín’s new image as innovation central goes deeper than the lip gloss.
Gentle splashes of fresh water sprinkle over the bow, reviving us as we breeze through islets—more like dollops of jungle spooned from a batter of rainforest than beachy outcroppings. Egrets soar past our path and skid into landing, loons drag their knuckles on the placid waves, and somewhere beneath, bull sharks silently drift along, having adapted to the lack of salt water over thousands of years. My husband and I are on a small skiff traveling through an archipelago of 365 atolls off the coast of Granada, formed from the last reaches of an eruption thought to have happened thousands of years ago, when nearby Mombacho Volcano blew its top near the northwestern tip of Lake Nicaragua.
On July 15, expert adventurers Cameron Webb, 37, and Matt McFadyen, 31, will journey to the Arctic Circle in a 17.5-foot rowboat.
The first time I travelled to Lake Atitlan I was not quite 20-years-old. It was 1973, and up to then, my experience of travel was visiting my grandparents in the prairies of Canada. I was trying to get over a broken heart—an experience that inspired a certain boldness.
Phoenix’s perpetual sunshine might tempt you to spend all your free time sipping frozen beverages next to a swimming pool. Don’t give in. Exploring the Sonoran Desert’s horizons will broaden yours.
Fly into Guatemala City. The airport’s clean, modern, easy to navigate. Don’t change your money there if you can help it. The kiosks here give the worst exchange rate in the country. Bring US dollars to change, or use your ATM card to get cash.
A word on safety here: Follow basic precautions. Lock up your possessions when you leave your hotel room, keep your passport in a hotel safe, and don’t display flashy, expensive gear. Don’t walk alone at night or loiter in remote areas in daytime without a guide.
Getting to the Lake