Guatemala: Stunning and diverse destination
Guatemala is an incredible country for any visitor, with a great mix of cultures and an impressive variety of natural lands.
In its extensive 108,889 square kilometers, the country has a marvelous variety of climates and landscapes, including volcanic mountains, picturesque lakes, and beautiful beaches. The natural wealth of its land combined with the indigenous heritage of its people make Guatemala stand out as a tourist experience like no other.
In the same country you can find the highest volcanoes in Central America, Mayan ruins and heavy-traffic harbors. In major cities there are large centers of technology and modern architecture, but also colonial structures that have been maintained over time.
The influence of indigenous peoples in everyday life will cause an immediate impact on any visitor. Popular markets become major centers for buying and selling groceries to any local, while for the tourist it presents a unique opportunity to learn about the vast mix of cultures in the country.
The first inhabitants of the Guatemalan territory were Indians, mostly Mayas. Throughout history, in addition to the division that existed among different tribes, the Spaniards had a lot to say. From there, the multiethnic and multilingual story grew steadily.
Whether you are looking to soak in the local culture, learn about the history of both the Mayan’s and Spaniard’s that once inhabited Guatemala, or simply to explore the great volcanoes, lakes, rivers, and jungles, there is sure to be an attraction for everyone.
Guatemala is home to 9,000 species of plants and animals. It also has seven sites considered wetlands of great global significance.
The other most popular destinations are the coasts in the Pacific and Atlantic. Despite the various climates in Guatemalan territory, the beaches enjoy warm temperatures and can be visited throughout the year.
Two thirds of the territory consist of mountains with most of them being of volcanic origin. Tajumulco Volcano is the highest mountain in Central America with a height of more than 4,220 meters.
Very close to Tajumulco is Tacaná Volcano, which serves as a natural border with Mexico. These incredible places are accessible to the visitor and have become imposing structures in the attractions list.
The Guatemalan people are themselves an attraction for any visitor. Sixty percent of the population is mestizo (mixed heritage) but forty percent inherit directly from the Indians, making an interesting mix in the social and work life throughout the country.
In major cities there is a significant urban development and it is normal to see descendants of Indians that have adapted to more modern “Western” ways of living. However, in remote villages, indigenous traditions are deeply rooted and make an unforgettable impression on visitors.