Are you looking for an excuse to go to Guatemala? Guatemala is the place for you if you’re searching for an adventurous, breathtakingly gorgeous location rich in culture, Mayan heritage, lush rainforests, breathtaking lakes, vibrant colonial cities, active volcanoes, and unending outdoor adventures.
This Central American nation has it all, whether you want to see the Tikal Ruins, hike up an active volcano, unwind on a sunny beach, or hang out lakeside in a traditional Mayan town.
Guatemala Has So Many Ancient Mayan Ruins
Your imagination will be blown exploring one of Guatemala’s 1,500+ ancient ruins! But in particular Tikal, the most important of all the Mayan sites.
One of the most well-known and significant Mayan civilizations in Central America is represented by this UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was first inhabited approximately 400 BC, and by the end of the Classic Period, it had developed into a significant city (around AD 800).
You’ll come across a lot of native folks as you go and come across a variety of Mayan dialects. You should therefore travel back in time to discover the origins of Mayan culture after knowing about it today. You have a ton of alternatives, including Tikal, Yaxha, El Mirador, and countless other locations!
Antigua is truly stunning, with its cobblestone streets, colonial architecture painted in a rainbow of colors, wrought iron accents, charming hotels, limitless trees, colorful blossoms, and looming volcanoes. The primary means of transportation is the amusing and affordable tuk-tuk.
In Antigua, the nation’s cultural hub, you won’t be short on handcrafted items, fine art, crowded markets, neighborhood restaurants, folk music, traditional clothes, or Mayan languages.
The place to go to learn Spanish is Antigua. Locals in Antigua speak a very pure, clean version of Spanish, making it considerably easier to understand and learn the language than it is elsewhere. You will also have an easier time mastering a neutral accent.
Some contend that Lake Atitlán is more magnificent than Lake Como and the most beautiful lake in the world. Additionally, it is Central America’s deepest lake, and its depths have been where intriguing Mayan ruins have been found.
Lake Atitlan is truly beautiful, with its deep blue waters, fiery orange sunrises and sunsets (literally every time), three towering active volcanoes, and the charming Maya communities scattered around its borders.
Traveling Is Very Affordable
Guatemala is still a pretty affordable travel destination, even though it is by no means inexpensive (when compared to Southeast Asia or other Central American nations).
Traveling on a budget is simple… But you can also spend more money for a plusher, more pleasant experience. Here are some examples to give you an idea of the costs:
For about $80 per night, it’s simple to find good lodgings.
Dorm rooms in hostels cost around $10 per night. It costs only $12 for the four-hour shuttle from Lake Atitlan to Antigua, while meals cost between $10 and $25 in upscale eateries that serve Western tourists (including a drink or two). Local cuisine and street food might cost between $1 and $5.
Guatemala is the place to be if you enjoy the outdoors and being in nature.
There are 37 different volcanoes in the nation that can be hiked, some of which are simpler than others.
In order to reach the top of Volcán Pacaya (also known as the Pacaya Volcano) for the breathtaking views of the valley below, you will hike through muck, fog, mist, and icy winds. The overnight walk up Volcán Acatenango is likewise quite well-liked.
Other outdoor pursuits in Guatemala include white water rafting on the Ro Cahabón (Cahabon River), mountain biking, going to the beach on the Caribbean coast, surfing in the Pacific, and tracking wildlife through the jungles. The country has many lovely lakes where you can go kayaking and paddle boarding.
Diverse Wildlife and Rainforests
Guatemala is home to some of the world’s most diversified flora and fauna, including jaguars, pumas, quetzals (Guatemala’s national bird), oscillated wild turkeys, and huge tarantulas.
I encountered numerous animals that I had never seen before throughout my time in Guatemala. some of whom I’d like never to see again!
At Tikal, I adored observing spider monkeys swinging through the jungle. The scorpion that slithered across my balcony in Lake Atitlan, however, I can’t say the same about.
Guatemalans Are Warm and Welcoming
The inhabitants of Guatemala are kind, hospitable, and friendly, just like those of many other Latin American nations. They are eager to share with you everything about their nation and culture, whether it be Guatemalan Hispanic or Mayan.
I met so many nice people in Guatemala, whether they were waiters, hotel concierges, drivers, or just random strangers on the streets and in the markets. One of the reasons I fell in love with the country so much was that everyone was so ready to talk, crack jokes, tell me about themselves, and share their culture!