Exploring Belize and Guatemala One Geocache at a Time

Mayan Ruins
Mayan Ruins

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

 Whenever you get the chance to travel somewhere new, do it. If you add geocaching to the mix, trips become even more adventurous and rewarding. I had the opportunity to travel to Central America  and explore two fascinating and beautiful countries: Belize and Guatemala. Along the way, I geocached underwater, through a rainforest and next to a smoking active volcano.  Here are six amazing geocaches that I found and believe all geocachers should add to their bucket list.

First stop was in Belize where the people are friendly, the way of life is chiller than an ice cube, and the geocaching is a blast. There are only 110 active geocaches in the entire country of Belize (yes that’s right, 110.)


  1. Kerstin and Melanie go deep (GC4V72V)-  Caye Caulker, Belize

The small island of Caye Caulker is the perfect place to sit back, grab a beer, and truly relax.  Home to only a few geocaches, you’ll be able to track down all of them in one day if you’re up for it. The only way to get around the small island is by bike or golf cart but bike is the preferred method.

Caye Caulker, Belize
Caye Caulker, Belize

GC4V72V requires swimming and complete discretion. This geocache is located at the famous “Split” where many locals and travelers alike swim and hang out. This can also be a challenging one (T2/D4 to be exact).

  1. The Best Guide Cache (GC324GD)- San Ignacio, Belize

San Ignacio is an amazing and unexpected treat tucked away in the rainforest. This little town in the Cayo district has some of the best day trips right outside the town. You can explore the nearby Mayan ruins, journey through ancient caves (ATM is a must-do!), and soak in the beautiful rainforest.

Cahal Pech in San Ignacio
Cahal Pech in San Ignacio

You may have to walk 1.5 miles to find GC324G in neighboring town Santa Elena, but the long walk is worth the find! Meet Feliz, the sweetest “geocache watcher” you will ever meet. She awaits geocachers in her little stone house and will shout clues as you search her front yard for the smiley.

Meet Feliz
Meet Feliz

Just across the border lies Guatemala, a country full of history, volcanoes, colorful textiles, and approximately 100 geocaches.

  1. Hot Jungle (GC2A86)- Tikal, Guatemala

Spend sunup to sundown in Tikal National Park where the ancient Mayan city will leave you in an enchanted daze.  Travel back to 300 BC when Tikal was a thriving capital with pyramids, temples, and competitive sports events.


GC2A86 was the first physical geocache placed in the country of Guatemala. It was hidden in 2001 and has been found by only 155 lucky geocachers. On the way to the geocache, you’ll encounter howler monkeys, wild turkeys, and some of the most spectacular structures you will ever come across.

Wild Turkey
Wild Turkey

Additional find: Virtual geocache GCGCX7 takes you to Mundo Perdido or the “Lost World.”

  1. Bienvenidos a la Antigua (GC39G2Y)- Antigua, Guatemala

Antigua is a city of great historical importance in Guatemala (and it’s surrounded by three volcanoes.)You could spend days wandering the cobble-stoned streets, eating delicious food, and  learning spanish at one of the local schools.


Pack your walking shoes because Multi-Cache GC39G2Y will take you all over the city. The final coordinates will lead you to a stellar view.

History awaits
History awaits

       5. Volcan de Pacaya (GCGCXA)- Pacaya, Guatemala


The  volcano Pacaya is an active and complex volcano just south of Guatemala City. It first erupted 23,000 years ago and has erupted at least 23 times since the Spanish invasion in Guatemala. The last eruption was in 2010 and the evidence is there.



If you’re up for a challenging hike, this will be your favorite of the six geocaches.  You can choose to go at sunrise or  sunset, and they both are breathtaking experiences. The  molten rocks up at the top are very hot, so bring your leftovers to heat up or some marshmallows to roast.


          6. Santiago Atitlan (GC10TNF)Santiago, Guatemala


Lake Atitlan is a crystal blue lake located in the Guatemala highland. Atitlan is the deepest lake in Guatemala and also the most picturesque with its surrounding volcanoes. It is ringed by small lake towns, all great places to visit.


You can take a boat from Panajachel to Santiago to grab this geocache. Soak in the beautiful surroundings and enjoy the unique village of Santiago. You won’t regret it!

Myself and Lake Atitlan
Myself and Lake Atitlan

No matter where you go in the world, adventure is waiting and there’s always a geocache to be found. What is your dream geocaching vacation?

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It’s Always Sunny in Geocaching HQ


There’s some serious Geocaching going on in this family.

Brothers Sterling and Ethan are avid geocachers, and it seems to run in the family. Their mother, Candice, wanted to teach a Geocaching unit to the 120 students in her school’s gifted children program. At the time, though, there simply weren’t enough caches within walking distance of the school.

It’s always sunny at Geocaching HQ.
Sterling and Ethan are pictured in the middle, with dad David in the center back, and mom Candice on the far left.

Like a true geocacher, Sterling came to the rescue.

Once he had 100 finds, Sterling hid four geocaches that his mother could take her students to. The class was undoubtedly a success. Within several months, many of the students had over 100 finds (and their parents were getting in on it too). Sterling and his younger brother Ethan maintain their caches carefully, and Sterling himself now has over 200 finds, with 250 in sight.

We were so excited that Sterling, Ethan, Candice, and David decided to spend the day at Geocaching HQ…especially since it was Sterling’s 10th birthday. Happy birthday Sterling, and best of luck to everyone!





Give Your Cache Page a Makeover



See this cache page? It’s pretty snazzy.

While the bright blue tiled image has the potential to disorient a geocacher, the photo in the center column and the color of the text tie the whole thing together.

Bright blue looks good on Phil Harris…and this cache page.


How do you transform your cache page from blah to rah?

Can you say “Hypertext Markup Language” five times fast?

Check out GC57KW3...it literally sparkles.
Check out GC57KW3…it literally sparkles.


That’s right, we’re talking about HTML, baby.

And we’re talking about it with as much spice as possible, because we know some of you are about to fall of your chairs at the sheer boringness of it all.

handsintheair (1)
Even the HQ’ers think so.


HTML 101

HTML code is created using tags framed by the greater-than and less-than signs: < and > .  A piece of code usually uses two of these tags to change the text between them.

You can have colors too. Keep reading.


To make a paragraph break

Enter <p> and </p> on either side of the text in your paragraph.

Give your eyes a rest. Take a (paragraph) break.
Give your eyes a rest. Take a (paragraph) break.


To make something bold

Enter <strong> and </strong> on either side of the text you want to emphasize.

Be bold. Is there any other way?


To add italics to your text

Do basically the same thing as with bold text, only use the <em> and </em> tags.

Italics add a little spice, I think we can all agree.


To add both italics and bold

Use both the <em> and the <strong> tags, with their closing tags: </em> and </strong>



To add an image to your page

Make sure your image is saved to your cache page gallery or is available on the internet somewhere. Find the URL of the image.
To find the URL, open the image in your browser, and right-click to get the URL.


For more information on how to add…

Fonts, hyperlinks, fancy spacing, and more, visit http://www.follow-the-arrow.co.uk/resources/htmlcodes.html


Soon you’ll be embedding geocaching video games on your cache pages, like this cache of the week.



3 Reasons to Rediscover Your Home Coordinates


You might think this is an ordinary pier in Blaine, WA, but GC2VW16 is nearby.
You might think this is an ordinary pier in Blaine, but GC2VW16 is nearby.

You’ve read about geocaching in far off lands, on ships and mountains…even in space. Wild, exotic geocaching stories make the news so often, that sometimes they seem more common than, well, the commonplace.


But for once I’m tired of palaces and underground tunnels! I’m even tired of spaceships! We’re going geocaching in the most exciting place of all—this geocacher’s home coordinates.

The small town of Blaine is packed so tightly into the northwestern corner of Washington state that it looks like it’s hiding from the rest of the country. The town itself feels that way too—which is odd, considering a population of around 5,000 and the presence of two international border crossings. It doesn’t seem like the type of town where anything terribly exciting is likely to happen. I grew up in Blaine, so you’d think I would know.

Turns out, all it took was a weekend of geocaching in Blaine to completely derail my perspective.

Over the course of two days, my mom, dad, sister, and I made 15 finds and 4 DNFs. (For all you hard-core geocachers out there, stop your scoffing! These are impressive numbers. My 16-year-old sister had recently come into possession of her learner’s permit and was driving us for the very first time. For once I was appreciative of my town’s severely conservative speed limits.)

Those 15 finds were accompanied by three realizations about why my hometown was the best place I could possibly go geocaching—and why the same is probably true for you.

1)  Learning new things about old places

GCD65A, Canada, and the United States of America all share this area of land.
GCD65A, Canada, and the United States of America all share this area of land.

The Peace Arch (yes, there’s an actual arch) that stands on the international boundary between Blaine, Washington and Douglas, British Columbia, is supposedly one of the first earthquake-proof structures in North America. Had I not gone geocaching at the Peace Arch, it’s likely I would have continued to lose sleep over the fate of unsuspecting border-crossers in the event of an earthquake.

2)  Writing logs with a personal touch

It turns out writing a log for a geocache in a place you know is very different to writing a log for a geocache in a place that’s new to you. When caches take me to new places I find myself writing with much the same sentiment: “Beautiful spot! Never been here before, but now that I know it’s here…” And so on. In Blaine, I found myself adding my own memories of places to my logs. I wanted the CO’s to know that I too really loved this spot, because of that one time we jumped off this pier in the middle of winter…

3)  Revisiting old memories

Blaine is a small town. Spend fifteen years there and you’re bound to have a memory tied to every lamppost, street corner, and homeland security office. One geocache took me to the forest where I first met one of my best friends on a field trip. Another took me to the sewage treatment plant they built to replace the one near my house. Both good memories, happily re-lived in the name of geocaching.

So what’s the take-away here?

Blaine really is a lovely town, worth more than a drive through on your way to Vancouver or Seattle. Geocaching at home can be as rewarding an experience as something more fanciful and exotic. And, whoever decided that learning to drive at 16 makes sense clearly never met my sister.


What’s your geocaching at home story?


This is right between a sewage treatment center and GC3A175,
This is right between a sewage treatment center and GC3A175,

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Nightcaching at Sweden’s largest Mega-Event

Andrea, representing Geocaching HQ. Photo: Marcus Bengtsson

Editor’s note: Geocaching HQ staff are joining geocachers at Mega-Events around the world to celebrate and share the adventure of geocaching. Andrea Hofer attended Swedens oldest and largest annual Geocaching event – FUMBLE AFTER DARK 2013. This is Andrea’s account of her trip.

After attending Florida Finders Fest, I hopped on a plane and made my way to Fumble after Dark in Sweden, getting a chance to see two different communities back to back! Sweden in November feels much like Seattle in November – short, drizzly days and long, chilly nights. That’s why Fumble after Dark is so great: 900 participants come together to embrace the long nights and make them into an opportunity for amazing geocaching!

Photo courtesy of Marcus Bengtsson


The event was in Sodertalje, a one-hour drive from Stockholm. After my 22 hour travel from Florida, I gratefully settled in at the adorably Ikea-esque Scandic hotel. A few fun facts about driving in Sweden:

  • You have to keep your Headlights turned on 24/7 by law.
  • Traffic lights briefly turn orange after red to warn that green is coming.
  • In a Peugeot, “A” means “drive” and when you brake, the motor goes completely silent.

The Fumble After Dark event ran from 10 AM to midnight. Noon to 5 was reserved for presentations, which included puzzle cache tips, a fascinating presentation on “lost places” (especially Detroit), and cache hiding tips from the Swedish Reviewers. I gave a presentation focusing on what the Geocaching HQ Community Team does and our plans for 2014. I also learned that the majority of the attendees are on Facebook and completed the entire #31in31 August challenge!

Swedish reviewers presenting. Photo: Marcus Bengtsson

Next it was time to load up the night caches’ GPS coordinates (including the 10 lab caches) and head out into the woods for 3-4 hours of spooky excitement celebrating All Souls’ Day.

Setting out. Photo: Marcus Bengtsson


The only light is the one you bring. Photo: Marcus Bengtsson
The only light is the one you bring. Photo: Marcus Bengtsson
A knot-based puzzle off-trail in a forest.
Climbing to get the find code for one of the Lab caches. Photo: Marcus Bengtsson

It was utterly dark, chilly, off-trail in a forest, muddy, hilly, scary, and exciting, and I was glad to have been invited to tag along with the Swedish Reviewers. Much of the cache terrain was higher than one would see at a similar event in the U.S. and the geocaches were all clever, especially the haunted kindergarten lab cache:

Many thanks to organizer Fredrik Wellener and all the geocachers who helped create this very special experience.

Click here to see more pictures from Fumble After Dark.

 Have you ever gone nightcaching? Share your best experiences with us in the comments below!