Guatemala Holidays & Accommodation
Guatemala is a phenomenal travellers destination with a vibrant traditional culture, bustling market towns in the mountains, crazy festivals and above all else, some of the most accessible Mayan temples to visit including world famous Tikal in the far north. The Spanish town of Antigua offers a mix of colonial architecture and hip cafes to sample the country's renowned coffee and is surrounded by active volcanoes that can be climbed. Lake Atitlan is another popular destination where you can hike or take a tour around the vast lake.
Guatemala Holidays Planner
Guatemala may lie in the tropics, but thanks to its many mountains, it enjoys a very temperate climate leading to its being dubbed the Land of Eternal Spring. The country is a volcanologist's dream, containing over 37 volcanoes, many still active, and many parts of Guatemala are full of wildlife and lush forest.
Located in the Western Highlands, Guatemala City, the capital has a lot to offer the visitor. There is the Zona Viva which is known for its thriving night life, and for daytime activities (if you wake up in time) there are plenty of museums to explore. There are also Mayan ruins in the heart of the city called Kaminaljuyu. Once part of quite an extensive complex, much of these ruins were built over by developers, but a small portion remains and can be viewed by the public. The ruins are a bit degraded as they were built out of adobe rather than stone but are worthy of a visit.
Antigua, also on the Western Highlands, was once the capital of Guatemala. This city contains numerous evocative examples of colonial architecture and cobblestone streets. It is a very picturesque town. Like most areas on the Highlands, it is also known for its well-spoken Spanish, and many visitors come here to learn the language. It is a great place to take classes in the morning and spend the afternoon in a sidewalk café studying with a language buddy. Just outside the city limits are several volcanoes that can be hiked and explored, including the still-active Pacaya. Antigua is a place of learning and many come here from around the world to take yoga classes, learn Spanish at the University or even take a course in regional cuisine at a local cooking school.
Lake Atitlan, whose shoreline is dominated by volcanoes, is home to a thriving ecosystem of coatis, monkeys, and bird life. Many of the areas can only be visited by boat, and there are plenty of opportunities to hike and seek adventure in the area.
At Tikal National Park in the tropical lowlands you can visit the largest Mayan ruin complex in the Americas. These ruins are still being excavated and make up a great opportunity for exploration. Once you have explored the ruins, you can take a canopy tour and zipline above the jungle to cool off.
The culture of Guatemala is a blend of Spanish and Mayan influences, and there are a lot of distinctive handicrafts that can be picked up by the interested shopper throughout the country. Colonial architecture is a major feature of the sights to see in Antigua in the Western Highlands, while certain venues and restaurants in Guatemala City are known for being frequented by Che Guevara.
Colourful handicrafts, including weavings and fabrics in everything from handy slings to clothing are available for sale. Other products with a strong cultural heritage include woodwork, pottery, leatherwork, and basketwork. One of the major products of this country is its coffee, and while you're visiting, you may want to sample some. You can also bring some of your favourite blend home with you, the coffee is world famous.