The 10 Must-See Tourist Destinations of Guatemala

Guatemala the country of eternal spring, heart of the Mayan world, but where is this heavenly destiny? Many people reading this will not know if it is an island in the Pacific or some country in Africa, but the reality is different, this beautiful country is located in the geographic region within the American continent called Central America between North and South America. Guatemala is a small country (with only 108,889 km² of surface area and an approximate population of 17, 358,245 Guatemalans) but do not be fooled by its small size, Guatemala has an exuberant natural, cultural and gastronomic beauty. Guatemala has very well earned the slogan: The country of eternal spring, due to its privileged geographical position, since it is located in a tropical zone of the planet, in the capital city (Guatemala City) the average temperature during the year is 60 ° F, Guatemala has the peculiarity of having diverse climates throughout the country, from beautiful beaches with black and white sand, magical tropical jungles and brimming with life, beautiful mountainous forests, imposing colonial constructions that resist the passing of the time, volcanoes that you can ascend and camp, to Mayan temples with centuries of history, delicious food with sacred character that you can taste and much more.
The Top Ten
1 Sipacate

If you love the Sea, Heat and Surf you should visit Sipacate, the place par excellence for surfing in the Guatemalan Pacific coasts.

Located at 140 km from the capital city, in the department of Escuintla, the municipality of Sipacate has beautiful black sand beaches (do not think it is because the sand is dirty, of course not, the sand is black because it is a beach of volcanic origin), in which you will see incredible waves, the way in which the sea water mixes together with the sand causing a wonderful landscape worthy of a postcard. Among the activities you can do when visiting Sipacate are:

• Fishing offshore with net (as the locals do).

• Stroll along the beach feeling like the sand mixes with your feet (be careful if you have sensitivity to heat, because the sand will be hot).

• Sail in a boat through the Chiquimulilla channel, crossing this beautiful artificial channel, you will be able to appreciate the mangrove forests and enjoy the ...more

2 Almolonga

We leave the south of the country, its beaches and its heat to travel to the west, the landscape has changed to mountainous forests and a much colder climate, if you love the macro-vegetables and the 100% organic food, Almolonga will be your Eden's garden.

Located at 200 km from the capital city, in the department of Quetzaltenango, the municipality of Almolonga is also known as the Hortaliza de America and this is not an exaggeration, because by the fertility of its soils, you can find carrots up to 12 inches and more (this is a monster-carrot), cabbages 6.5 inches in diameter, like the huge beets.

When you get to Almolonga you can do:

• Visit the market of Almolonga, let yourself be impressed by the enormous vegetables, bewitched by the smell of freshly harvested vegetables and fresh fruits.
• Inspect the crops and see how everything is grown in an artisanal and organic way.
• Visit the Almolonga Volcano or Cerro Quemado, it is one of the 288 ...more

3 Castillo de San Felipe de Lara

In the Eastern part towards the Guatemalan Atlantic, we return to the heat but this time from the Caribbean, located at the mouth of the Rio Dulce with Lake Izabal, in the village Río Dulce, municipality of Livingston, department of Izabal, 215 km from the capital city, is this fortification of the Spanish colonial period in Guatemala.

At the time it was built it had 3 functions: being a military fort, a prison for pirates and a customs center, the most emblematic construction inside the castle is the Bustamante Tower. It contains 17 iron cannons and 2 bronze cannons.

In the Castillo De San Felipe De Lara you can do:

• You can take a boat tour through the Castillo De San Felipe De Lara for GTQ 50 (US $ 7 approximately).
• The entrance to Castillo de San Felipe for tourists is GTQ 50 (US $ 7 approximately), a very economical price for the fortified beauty you will visit.

4 Antigua Guatemala

Time has stopped, the facades of the houses have become Spanish colonial, the roads are of stone, the buildings with Spanish colonial touch populate the landscape and we have arrived in Antigua Guatemala a place where Guatemalan legends of yesteryear come to life.

Only 39 km from the city of Guatemala, in the municipality of Antigua Guatemala, in the department of Sacatepéquez, when you arrive in the city, you will be receive by the 3 imposing guardians, the 3 volcanoes that crown the beautiful landscape: El Volcan de Agua, El Volcan de Fuego and the Acatenango Volcano, your vehicle will start jumping but do not be scared, it's the cobblestone streets of the colonial city that are welcoming you. Magic reigns in Antigua Guatemala, it is like transporting you to the colonial past of the country, it is such an emblematic place that you can get lost only by observing the details of a door carved in wood with wrought iron.

Antigua Guatemala has many things to do, from ...more

5 Grutas del Rey Marcos

The magic of the Mayan worldview begins to take hold of us, now we are in the northwestern part of the country, cloud forests, pines and quetzals take over the landscape, we have started the way to the bowels of the earth.

225 km separates the city of Guatemala, the municipality of San Juan Chamelco, in the department of Alta Verapaz, the aroma of pine forests is totally seductive, the scent of the beloved land is breathed and reaches deep into our souls.

• The adventure begins in the Cecilinda Spa, the entrance costs GTQ 50 (US $ 7 approximately) where you can start the journey in the rainforest, crossing bridges and waterfalls, increasingly entering the hill.

• Remember to maintain the respect when entering the caves since this is a ceremonial and sacred place for the residents of the place, on the tour they will give you a kit with a protective helmet, light in the helmet and boots that will help you not to slip in the inside the grottos, the experience ...more

6 Monterrico

Another beautiful black sand beach is Monterrico; here everything will be peace, tranquility and beauty.

Located at 131 km from the capital city, in the department of Santa Rosa, Monterrico has a tranquility and beauty perfect to be accompanied with a beer, alone as a couple or with many friends. A beautiful and paradisiacal place where you can detoxify yourself from the smog, stress, routine and bustle of the city, among the activities you can do in Monterrico are:

• Rent a house on the edge of the beach and enjoy the waves, the heat and the sand together with your loved ones.
• Explore the channel of Chiquimulilla, if you go by car you can rent a ferry with a cost of GTQ 40 (US $ 5.45), a very accessible price, this way your car will become temporarily your personal boat.
• Observe and delight with the mangroves, this is part of the adventure you will experience when navigating the Chiquimulilla channel, beautiful and imposing, homes of hundreds of ...more

7 Fuentes Georginas

More to the west of the country we find the department of Quetzaltenango, the predominant landscape invites us to imagine that we are in a land of goblins, elves and fairies.

Located 220 km from the city of Guatemala in the municipality of Zunil, Quetzaltenango department is this wonderful place of thermal and sulfuric springs, these miraculous waters are credited with healing powers and where you can heat boiled eggs (impressive you can take a healing bath while you eat), the name of the sources is in honor former President of the Republic of Guatemala, General Jorge Ubico.

The pools of natural origin in total are 7, at the top you will find 5 and 2 more on the ecological trail, you can stay to rest in one of the 9 cabins equipped with private bathroom, 2 double beds, a small pool inside the cabin with thermal water, a fireplace and wood for the night, energy is limited, the service is provided until 9:00 pm, but do not worry you can relax with your partner in the light ...more

8 Semuc Champey

If you love magical wooded places and beautiful pools of green water, this is your destination par excellence.
300km from the city of Guatemala or capital city, in the municipality of Lanquín, belonging to the department of Alta Verapaz, these natural pools are located, monuments to creation and nature, where the Cahabón River passes and feeds the natural landscape, it is a forest subtropical with an enormous ecological wealth, the name of Semuc Champey means: where the river hides under the stones.
When you arrive you will notice that beautiful green color of its waters (do not think it is due to pollution, it does not exist here, the reason for the green color is due to the fact that its waters are rich in calcium bicarbonate which, when heated, produces calcium carbonate in form of calcareous tuff, in the calcium carbonate crystals microorganisms that live in the water adhere, which little by little become small micro crystals and these in turn produce a refractive effect ...more

9 Tikal

We leave behind the magic of the colonial city, to advance to the northern part of the country, to the emblematic jungle of Guatemala where you can become an explorer in the style of Indiana Jones.

The distance that separates Tikal from the city of Guatemala is 530 km. The Tikal national park is located in the municipality of Flores in the Petén department. In the middle of the Petenera jungle, you can hear the howler monkeys colloquially known as Saraguates (If you hear strange cries when arriving, do not be scared, it's the way the Saraguates welcome you to his home).

The Tikal National Park is one of the largest archaeological sites and urban centers of the pre-Columbian Mayan civilization, was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979.

The cost to enter the park is GTQ 150 (US $ 21 approximately).

Here you can tour the entire Mayan megalopolis with its 16km² and its 3000 buildings. Do not forget to climb the Temple IV or also known as the ...more

10 Panajachel

We have reached number one on this list, if you have arrived here you are an adventurous explorer at heart.

Here you will find the most beautiful lake in the world Lake Atitlan, Panajachel (or Pana as colloquially known) is located at 140 km from Guatemala City, it is a municipality that belongs to the department of Sololá and it is jealously guarded by 3 volcanoes: San Pedro Volcano, Toliman Volcano and the Atitlan Volcano. Lake Atitlan was nominated to be selected as part of the seven natural wonders of the world.

Panajachel hides under the lake of Atitlan to the Mayan Atlantis known as SAMABAJ (this was a Mayan settlement on an island that existed on "the most beautiful lake in the world" discovered in the year 1996, which makes it a unique place in Mesoamerica) that was submerged approximately 2000 years ago in mysterious conditions almost like an apocalypse.

You can do many activities in this beautiful place, some that we recommend are:
• Visit the ...more

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