A country that leaves travelers spell bound, Guatemala has beautiful vistas to welcome one and all. Almost half of the population here is of Mayan descent, and many of them still wear indigenous clothes. Some of the attractions here are culture, towering volcanoes, forested mountains, and Mayan ruins. The beaches here might not be as good as at other places but Guatemala is one of the most favored destinations in the itinerary of travelers to Central America.
Most of the travelers to Guatemala head to Antigua Guatemala or “Ancient Guatemala,” which attracts majority of the travelers. It is famous for its colonial architecture, cobbled streets and smoky volcanoes. Antigua and Quetzaltenango (Xela) are among the most popular Spanish study and study abroad destinations.
Another attraction of Guatemala is the Mayan ruin of Tikal, which is in the northern province of Peten. You can easily get enchanted by the unforgettable facades of ancient temples here and a walk through rainforest to reach one temple after the other will leave you with beautiful experience. The temples here are surrounded by thick forest and you can spot huge butterflies, monkeys and other wildlife. If you love nature then you will love Lago de Atitlan (Lake Atitlan), which is surrounded by volcanoes and Mayan villages. A lot of travelers also visit lake vistas of San Pedro la Laguna, Panajachel, and Santiago.
Then we have Livingston, Caribbean coastal town, for the motorboat ride through rainforest down the Rio Dulce. If you are going on a motorboat ride between Rio Dulce and Livingston then you can be sure of witnessing best bird watching. While travelling you will wade through beautiful rainforest on both the banks and you might also chance upon seeing manatee.
For a good splash do remember to go to Semuc Champey for a swim in emerald pools. One can also visit highlands village Chichicastenango during (Thursdays and Sundays) for best shopping experience in Central America, but do remember to employ good bargaining skills.
There is an option to travel through the chickenbus, Guatemala’s legendary transportation option. They are a little uncomfortable but you have travel in it once to get a true Guatemala travel experience and the advantage is that they go almost everywhere. However, for long distance travel you can always hire a minibus, minivan, or a cab. For a travel between Guatemala City or Antigua and Flores one can reserve First-class night buses.
Guatemala is inexpensive and one can find cheaper accommodations with hot water, private bathrooms and even air-conditioning. However, tourist attraction places such as Antigua are expensive. As far as currency is concerned, in Guatemala US dollars are also legal tender.
The best time to visit is during Antigua Guatemala’s Semana Santa (Holy Week) if you want to witness the vibrantly colorful fiesta.
Rains are pretty bad in Guatemala, it not only pours here but you can see thunder and ground turning into dirt. During this season every beautiful vista seems to get destroyed by water.