Guatemala is a very colourful and diverse destination with breathtaking nature, colonial cities and ancient temples. Full of natural beauty, with active volcanoes, caves, lakes and forests, this country bears an impressive legacy of pre Columbian civilizations.
The deepest lake in Central America, filling an enormous caldera, has a maximum depth of about 340 metres (1,120 ft.)! This magnificent wonder of nature is surrounded by three volcanoes – San Pedro, Toliman and Atitlan. Enjoy the green hills, cornfields and traditional Mayan towns. Hike nearby Volcan San Pedro for absolutely breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding towns below.
Boat trips can take you around to any of the small lakeside villages - the best spots to see the colourful regional costumes of people from the highlands. In the west of the country people still wear the traditional handmade clothing, known as a huipil. It's hard not to admire how the pre-Colombian culture survived after centuries, along with the still-spoken indigenous languages and ancient Mayan religious rituals.
Photo: Dorothy Olender
How to get there:
Take a look at the flight deals to Guatemala:
- Flights from Lisbon to Guatemala City for €354 >>
- Flights from Belgium and Luxembourg to Guatemala City from €359 >>
- Flights from Luxembourg Guatemala City for €361 >>
- Flights from Las Vegas to Guatemala City for $228 >>
- Flights from Vancouver to Guatemala City for CA$409 >>
Where to stay:
In Antigua Guatemala we encourage you to stay at 3* Hotel Casa de Las Fuentes with excellent reviews. This colonial style hotel is located a 5-minute walk from Santa Catalina Arch and a 10-minute walk from the Main Plaza. Each room here will provide you with a cable TV and a private bathroom with a shower and free toiletries. You can enjoy garden view from the room. Extras include bed linens. At Hotel Casa de las Fuentes you will find a 24-hour reception. Free WiFi access in all areas and free parking are available.
In El Jaibalito (Atitlan) we recommend you to book exceptional 5* Hotel y Cafe La Casa del Mundo. At this top rated hotel you will find a garden, a terrace and a bar. Other facilities offered at the property include a tour desk and laundry facilities. This superb hotel is also offering a restaurant and a private beach area in Atitlán Lake. Free WiFi access is available in all areas. The rooms feature hand-crafted Mayan décor and a private or shared bathroom with free toiletries and solar-heated water. Some of the rooms also offer stunning views of Atitlán Lake.
What to do:
Trekking through the depths of the Central American jungle to emerge in a lost Mayan city is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Climb the steep steps of the Tikal temples.
Go sail fishing in Iztapa, on the Pacific Coast of Guatemala. Visit black volcanic beaches in Monticerro, Livingston or Puerto San Jose. During the appropriate season you can actively take part in saving a sea turtle by visiting one of the ocean sanctuaries.
The northwest of the country has some really remote jungle reserves, where you can take a multi-day trek. Quetzaltenango (“Xela”) is a perfect base for multi-day mountain excursions, hot spring relaxation trips, and volcano hikes.
Travel the Río Dulce by boat, walk the cobblestone streets of Flores and wander colonial Antigua. Shop for local handicrafts and souvenirs at Chichicastenango Market. Guatemala is a great place to learn about coffee cultivation. The local coffee is world renowned, and plantations can be found all over the country.
Rent a kayak or go swimming in the clean waters of Lago de Atitlan or Semuc Champey. Zipline over the Guatemalan jungle at Chuiraxamoló Ecological Park. At Atitlán Natural Reserve in Panajachel there are 8 ziplines, a waterfall, suspension bridges, and butterfly area.
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