I decided to sell up, and to go and world-school my son. People thought I was crazy. Now sleeping in a Tree House perched high and overlooking a Guatemalan volcano, they really might think I am. But I am determined to live life to the full. To travel and to explore, and to share these experiences with my son – and on a budget.

This post is part of the series called ‘Sleep less, dream more’ in which we share uncommon sleeping places and circumstances travelers encountered during their trip.

Written by Ruth Johnston 

This is our second night at Earth Lodge in Antigua, with the first night being in a Canopy Cabin amongst the trees. Last night we slept in and above an old oak tree. I loved the experience, but we were really here for the Treehouse. And tonight was the night.

The Treehouse is small. Tiny. Companct. Matchbox sized. The bed consumes most of the Treehouse. And the bed is high, so the backpacks can go under the bed. And really all you need is the bed – and a view. Opposite is 2 giant glass opening windows, that look out toward two volcanoes.

I seem to always wake each morning of our travels before 6 a.m. And I love it. I love to be up to watch the sunrise, or in this case the reflection of the sun in the clouds over the left volcano. It is just magnificent. Still and quiet. The sky is still misty, so I wait in hope that the clouds roll away and the volcano tops are exposed. Every half an hour or so, we hear the crack and bang, but so far no steam has been visible. We can’t wait for the magma to vomit itself out, onto the earth’s surface.

Now you may ask? So what was it like to sleep in a tree house? Well, it is really different! One good thing is my son gets to climb. Boys are boys, and he is not a big climber, so I am a little nervous when he is already up the tree, and is going higher. This is the tree that houses where we sleep.

Firstly the acorns drop loudly and frequently on the roof with a ping or a bang, depending on the wind and quantity. Secondly, I had to kill 2 spiders before we went to bed that were inside, as we have had a couple of nasty spider bites in the past, and didn’t want that again. So out came the shoe, and a firm ‘thump’. Then there was a raccoon or similar animal walking on the roof in the middle of the night, and that completely ‘freaked me out’.

But the weirdest thing? There is also the swaying. Swaying? Yes, the Treehouse moves quite a bit when the wind blows. Then there is the view. As you lie in bed there are no curtains on the main windows. So we were able to look down onto the lights of Antigua, Guatemala below – a postcard picture of an ancient city in Central America.

Sunset vulcano view. ©Exploramum

I then awoke several times in the night – and actually loved waking up, as the view was a ‘million dollar’ one. I would sit up enthralled at the twinkling lights that backlit the beauty of nature, and the side curtains – were 2 magnificent volcanoes. There was only one slight drama, and that is the bathroom was downstairs, below the tree. But one side of this bathroom is clear perspex, so you get to shower overlooking the valley!

That evening with the aid of a flashlight to find our way, we had gone to bed quite late. So, we soon slept with exhaustion.

I am so glad we were able to sleep in our own Treehouse. It is a part of our world journey I will never forget. If you get the chance to go to Antigua, please book ahead for this experience. You will be so glad you did!

Relaxing in a hammock. ©Exploramum.
Terrace of the Earth Lodge. ©Exploramum.

Location: Foothills of Antigua, Guatemala – refer to web-site for details
Telephone: (+502) 5664-0713 | 4980-2564
email: earthlodge@gmail.com
Website: http://earthlodgeguatemala.com
Date stayed: November, 2013
Breakfast: Not included but available til 2 p.m.

About the author

Exploramum Ruth JohnstonWe are a duo of an Australian older Mum, and an 9 year old son. This is our third year of world travel. And we are out for adventure and fun exploring the world with random acts of kindness along the way. Find us at Exploramum.com or at Facebook.


Read about the costs to travel in Guatemala! 


  1. Sounds amazing! And what an incredible experience for your son to be seeing the world at this age – he’ll probably learn more about people and different values than he will in school!


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