This diminutive Central American country is smaller than the south island of New Zealand yet is extraordinarily diverse - from live Volcan Pacaya with its river of glowing molten lava to vast rainforests teeming with howler monkeys, leaf cutter ants, scarlet macaws, pumas and jaguars. In the heart of Tikal National Park, surrounded by lush vegetation, lies one of the major sites of Mayan civilization and an absolute 'must see'. Discover superb temples and palaces, religious monuments decorated with hieroglyphic inscriptions, tombs and public squares amidst dense, tumbling jungle. Because of its extraordinary biodiversity and archaeological importance Tikal has the rare honour of being listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site for both its natural and cultural criteria.
In the Guatemalan Highlands of the Sierra Madre mountain range lies Lago de Atitlan. Possibly one of the world's most beautiful lakes it is also the deepest lake in all of Central America and is surrounded by the San Pedro, Toliman, and Atitlan Volcanoes.
Also surrounded by now-dormant volcanoes the city of Antigua is one of the best-preserved Spanish colonial cities in Central America. Famous for its well-preserved Spanish Barquoe influenced architecture, as well as a number of spectacular ruins of colonial churches, it has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered Guatamala's culinary capital. Here you will find a diverse food landscape with smart restaurants, traditional eats, coffee, chocolate, and so much more. Hike up to one of the now-dormant volcanoes for 360-degree views of the city.
A trip to Guatemala would not be complete without visiting the town of Chichicastenango (“Chichi”) to shop in its magnificent market. On Thursdays and Sundays you can shop for everything from fruit and vegetables to tapestries, wood masks and exceptional coffee.
Why we like it
- The friendly & hospitable people
- Antigua & Lake Atitlan
- Corn tortillas Central American style
- Chichi Markets
- Pumas, jaguars, monkeys & more