Mayan culture is alive and well in Guatemala. From the spectacular archaeological sites to the Mayan communities that still exist, Guatemala travel is all about exploring the past and Guatemala holidays are the best way of uncovering the secrets of this extraordinary society.
The capital Guatemala City is a sprawling, chaotic place but is home to some good museums with stunning Mayan artefacts. The town of Flores is the access point for the Tikal National Park, which is home to the majestic and massive ruin of Tikal. A vast complex of pyramidal temples, causeways and plazas it was inhabited for a thousand years before being overrun by the jungle. It's now also a good place to see wildlife and spot tropical birds.
Aside from Mayan monuments, Guatemala's natural wonders also clamour for attention. Lake Atitlán is the deepest lake in Central America; the Tajumulco Volcano, which you can walk to the top of, is Central America's highest point and the Caribbean Coast, with its unspoilt villages and a shoreline offering sailing, fishing and scuba diving is one of the best in the region. Visit Tilapita or Monterrico to enjoy the beaches.
The Practical information displayed here is taken from The Traveller's Handbook, published by WEXAS (2009). While all possible care was taken to ensure accuracy at the time of publication, we are aware that situations change, so for the latest information and up-to-date visa requirements, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0617.
Climate affected by altitude. Coastal regions and northeast hot all year. Rainy season May to October and up until December sometimes in the north and east.
A number of official public holidays, including Independence Day on 15 September and the period of Semana Santa, the four days of Holy Week leading up to Easter. Additionally, fiestas are a major part of Guatemalan life, with celebrations often connected with local saints' days. They are frenetic and joyous affairs, with processions, beauty contests and salsa music. Often participants will don costumes and perform traditional dances. It's all capped off with drink, dance and fireworks. The Easter processions in Antigua, the Day of the Dead Kite festival in Santiago Sacatepéquez in November and the Day of the Dead festival in Todos Santos in December are among the most captivating events.
Usual Central American food such as tortillas and tacos. Specialities include chiles rellenos (stuffed chiles) and pepiá¡n (meat stew with vegetables).
Spanish influence, but also a strong ethnic culture, as the only Central American republic with a predominantly Indian population.
Guatemala City-La Aurora (GUA) 4 km from the city.
Internal flights between Guatemala City and Flores. Buses link most places but roads can be impassable in rainy season. Chicken buses are the local way to travel, there are also more luxurious long-distance buses. Car hire available in Guatemala City.
The itinerary ideas listed below are designed to give you a flavour of the things to do in Guatemala. We can adjust any element and tailor-make your trip though, to suit your individual needs and available time. To start planning your trip, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0617.
Patrick Griffin - Central America Specialist
To make an enquiry or to start planning your trip talk to our team of specialists on 020 7590 0617