Central America’s most diverse country captivates travelers having its extraordinary landscapes and also a civilization-spanning culture that will reach back centuries.
Land in the Maya
The dizzying pyramids of Tikal are Guatemala's most popular tourist drawcard. And what's never to love with this mighty monument to Central America's greatest civilization.
But those that stop to ask whatever happened for the Maya are now and again surprised by the basic answer: nothing. Maya culture will continue to evolve today.The Maya villages inside the highlands, where locals still wear traditional dress, would be the most visible indicators of the centuries-old culture. But look closely if you're visiting an archaeological site and you will probably see altars with modern offerings to ancient spirits.
The Spanish that is left behind plenty of footprints using their colonial conquest of Guatemala, by far the most visible being the frequently stunning architecture. The best are dotted around Antigua, that old capital, using its neat plazas and crumbling ruins. From the grandiose coffee-boom buildings of Quetzaltenango, to Guatemala City’s stately cathedral, to your churches and municipal buildings clustering around central squares in the smallest towns, Guatemala bears the marks of that European encounters in vivid brick and tile.
With barely 2% of their landmass urbanized, it’s unsurprising that Guatemala offers some superb natural scenery. National parks are few but impressive, particularly within the Petén region, plus the lush canyons from the Río Dulce alllow for an unforgettable boat ride. The natural beauty with the volcano-ringed Lago de Atitlán is captivating travelers for years and years, and you may get high from the Cuchumatanes
mountains or below ground with all the cave-riddled Verapaces. The swimming hole that launched lots of postcards, Semuc Champey, needs to be seen being believed, and you may dip your toes both in the Pacific Ocean and also the Caribbean Sea.
Active souls often find their agenda very full whenever they get to Guatemala. Stunning trekking routes with the jungles or more volcanoes, world-class white-water rafting, miles of caves to discover, and appears like a zip line strung between every two trees from the country are simply the beginning. Like to start out up a notch? How about paragliding round the high-altitude Lago de Atitlán? Or scuba diving inside the same place? You might even luck onto the right swell around the surfer-friendly Pacific coast. Or you could just get a hammock and languidly consider what you can do.