The Mayan culture is still very apparent and strong in Guatemala. There are many Mayan ruins, such as Tikal and El Mirador, that are fantastic to visit. Lake Atitlan provides a beautiful landscape surrounded by many Mayan pueblos. The rainforests, animals, volcanoes (including 3 active) await you in Guatemala. One of the most noteworthy attractions is the ability to roast marshmallows on a lava of an active volcano.
Discover the Mayan World
This small Central American country is a paradise for anyone who’s into Mayan archeology and history. With a wide variety of Mayan and pre-Mayan cities and archaeological artifacts waiting for you to explore, the richness of the culture, history and tradition of this country will certainly amaze you.
Known for being home to the iconic Mayan City of Tikal, Guatemala holds hundreds of other Mayan cities that are worth visiting. With so many to choose from, find here a couple of examples of what you can choose for your next Mayan adventure:
1. Mayan Temples and ruins in islands
Yaxhá is the third-largest Mayan site in Guatemala that offers some of the best and least-visited camping sites. Behold an unrivaled view of the Yaxhá lagoons and jungle and its important former ceremonial center that includes over 500 structures, many of them still covered by jungle foliage.
Furthermore, you will embark on a half hour ride to explore the nearby island of Topoxte, a small archeological site with six temples placed on a little island. Let yourself be immersed in the magic atmosphere and mystery of the Maya who occupied these sacred centers.
2. Jungle Trek to El Mirador
Known as The lost city of the Mayans, it is one of the oldest cities and home to the largest Mayan pyramid in the world, La Danta. One of the most exciting ways to reach this ancient archaeological site is to embark yourself on an indescribable 5-day jungle trekking adventure.
Walking surrounded by a deep jungle to finally reach and explore this hidden Mayan city will leave you with the feeling of a true explorer. However, this is not an easy journey. You will need to hike an average of 30 kilometers of jungle in a day, but the prize will surely be worth the effort. Above all, the feeling of standing on the top of La Danta Pyramid and surrounded by a tree-sea that does not seem to have an end is unspeakable.
Antigua Guatemala Treasures
Its brightly coloured colonial buildings lined up with the cobblestone streets, attracts visitors around the world. The ‘postcard prettiness’ of Antigua Guatemala with its jacaranda-wreathed central plaza, its 16th-century ruins and volcanoes surrounding it is truly outstanding. Travel Guatemala and discover Antigua’s treasure.
This city is about much more than surface charm, as you can explore its ancient traditions and culture. As a result, there is a wide number of interesting activities and workshops around. Here is the information of a couple of them:
1. Macadamia Farm Experience
Take this wonderful and unique experience visiting an organic macadamia nut farm committed to sustainable practices and located in the beautiful countryside, ten minute drive outside of Antigua.
Learn everything about macadamia nuts from harvesting to processing. Furthermore, take a sample of some of the macadamia farm’s products, like different types of nut chocolates. Hang out in the beautiful gardens surrounded by lush and gorgeous vegetation.
2. Coffee Farm Experience
One of the many reasons Antigua Guatemala is known worldwide is for the quality of its coffee. Therefore, an experience that cannot be missed on a Guatemala trip is to visit a coffee farm. You can visit a coffee farm with more than 130 years of tradition where you will learn about the whole coffee process.
From the nursery to the plantations, you will learn about the cultivation and process to finally the roasting and package area. Furthermore, you will enjoy a taste of one of the best coffee in the world!
Lake Atitlan and the Secrets of its little villages
Considered to be the most beautiful lake in the world, its three volcanoes and hills make a really impressive landscape. The little towns around the lake offer different environments to tourists, each one possesses its own culture and attractiveness. Find below the information of a few activities that you must certainly do if you travel Lake Atitlan Guatemala.
1. Birdwatching at Lake Atitlan
The hills and volcanoes around the lake offer dense forests, which allows for the observation of a wide variety of birds from the timid little woodpeckers to the Resplendent Quetzal.
Lake Atitlan area offers the ideal humid subtropical mountain forest that serves as home to about 300 species of birds. Explore the routes and ‘hotspots’ while you enjoy the breathtaking landscapes.
2. A Journey Through Traditional Mayan Cuisine
The authentic Guatemalan cuisine and local dishes are part of its rich and Mayan ancient culture and tradition of this country. If you want to visit the little towns around the lake and get a closer encounter with its particular way of living, a cooking class is the ideal way to do so.
A local Mayan instructor/chef will guide you throughout the whole process from choosing the ingredients on the local market to the preparation of the final dish. Therefore, this is an opportunity to live an authentic experience and learn how to prepare the traditional Guatemalan food. In addition, there are lots of options for cooking, including for vegetarians and dessert lovers. In summary, this will not only be an instructional experience, but also a really fun one.
For Nature Lovers
Guatemala is Central America’s most diverse country with tons of natural wonders from lush rainforests to great volcanoes and lakes. With impressive natural parks, lush canyons and breathtaking landscapes, this is, without a doubt, a nature lover’s paradise.
Travel Guatemala and discover the beauty of Semuc Champey or Rio Dulce. Go high into the Cuchumatanes mountains or below ground in the cave-riddled Verapaces. Follows is the information of a couple of adventures you may do:
1. Natural Pools & Caving by Candlelight
If you fancy adventure, Lanquin Caves offer you the opportunity to stroll around in the dark, following a guide while holding a candle. These caves are simply impressive with stalagmite towers of six or seven meters high, and stalactites in ripple formations that hang down. An adventure that will require a certain physical level, it is certainly not for the claustrophobic or the faint of heart.
In addition, the underground river will give the brave the chance to do a small cliff jump into a deep pool. The water is very cold and blue-green. Besides the usual visit to the popular and beautiful natural pools of Semuc Champey to enjoy and refresh, taking the journey through this series of caves while holding a lit candle is a chance you have must take.
2. Rio Dulce Best Spots
Located in the most wild and exotic regions of the country, ‘Sweet River’ (English for Rio Dulce) is the gateway to the Caribbean Sea. Refuge for various native and migratory birds, its scenic beauty is unique for its vegetation and is home to a great diversity of fauna, such as manatees and crocodiles. There are lots of fun things to do in Rio Dulce area, so we listed some for you below:
˃ San Felipe Castle
Explore this historical fort and its war cannons built by the Spanish in the narrowest part of the river for the purpose of stopping the pirates. It is only a boat ride away.
The Afro-Caribbean town where you can appreciate the Garifuna culture and enjoy its calm and relaxed life rhythm. Have a taste of the local food and learn about the history of these unique people and their African origins.
˃ El Boqueron Canyon
This is the perfect non-touristy natural park with a narrow limestone canyon whose 180 meter walls are covered in foliage heavy with hanging moss. Enjoy the boat ride around or swim through the shallow waters. In summary, this is a mystical place where caves meet water creating an unforgettable experience.
˃ Paradise Farm, Hot Waterfall
There are many hot waterfalls scattered around the Rio Dulce area. One of them is close enough for you to visit it and enjoy the soothing waters. Just a little hike through the woods will take you to the small mountain spring-fed river where you can spend a wonderful time.
Guatemala is the ideal country for volcano lovers by being in the ring of fire with 37 volcanoes spread along. Three of the volcanoes are active. It is also the home of the top two tallest peaks within all of Central America, both of which are volcanoes.
In other words, travel Guatemala and choose from the active, dormant or extinct volcanoes for your next hiking adventure. Find below the information of a couple of volcano hikes:
˃ Unforgettable Sunset over Fuego Volcano
One of the adventures unforgettable experiences for those who love trekking volcanoes is camping in Acatenango, Guatemala’s third largest volcano. Although you will certainly enjoy the ascent through the diverse ecosystem and exhilarating microclimates, Fuego is the real star of the show.
Every few minutes you will behold the volcano next door billowing out smoke from the top and sometimes even lava. It’s like being in the middle of clouds while witnessing an epic sunset over the ever-erupting neighbour Volcano de Fuego.
˃ Full Moon Hike to Santa Maria Volcano
It takes about four hours to hike to the top of this volcano in Quetzaltenango; however it is well worth the effort. The night hike under the light of the full moon with finally reaching the summit in time to see the spectacular sunrise is an indescribable experience. Be rewarded at the summit with breathtaking views of the smoking crater of the Santiaguito Volcano that erupts about every half hour or so.
This is a challenging trek, but you will enjoy beautiful pine forests, spectacular views, and even volcanic eruptions along the way. Most of the activity now takes place in Santiaguito Volcano. This little active volcano joined the Santa María and regularly erupts ash and lava, giving the travelers a good shot at seeing a close eruption.