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Whether you want to immerse yourself in the jungle and solemn Maya ruins of Peten, get in touch with the alive Mayan Culture, get enchanted by the Afro-Caribbean Garifuna people who claim a rich cultural heritage of music, dance and spirituality, unwind with the stunning beauty of Lake Atitlan with three dramatic volcanoes circling the lake, or walk back in time through the cobblestone streets of colonial Antigua surrounded by small-scale coffee farms, indigenous villages, and three imposing volcanoes, Guatemala is a seamless fusion of cultural and geographic diversity.
If you are looking for multi-sport activities, adventure tours, nature & wildlife, archaeology,history, arts & crafts, culture, community tourism, birdwatching, agri-tourism, religious travel, educational trips, and honeymoon getaways, this is the place to visit.
To visit Guatemala is to travel in time, and witness the evolution of an astonishing country right before your eyes.
Antigua’s beauty starts to seduce visitors the moment they arrive. Once the capital of Guatemala, its streetscapes of pastel facades unfold beneath the gaze of three imposing volcanoes, beautifully restored colonial structures and picturesque ruins in park-like surroundings.
While Antigua’s churches, plazas, and markets throb with activity, the town is also a global hot spot with a laid-back vibe, time doesn’t seem to pass by, and it is a lovely feeling. Outside the city, Maya communities, coffee plantations and volcanoes offer ample opportunities for exploration.
Through the course of its history, this city has suffered earthquakes, floods, and volcanic eruptions. In recent decades, its touristic potential has re-emerged stronger than ever, buoyed by the pride of its inhabitants. It’s no wonder Antigua remains Guatemala’s most visited destination.
There’s no doubt there’s an energy here unlike anywhere else in Guatemala. It’s a place where dilapidated buses belch fumes next to BMWs, and where skyscrapers drop shadows on shantytowns.
Guate (as is also called) is currently reinventing itself as a people-friendly city. Downtown Zona 1, for many years it was a no-go zone of abandoned buildings and crime hot spots, however, it is currently leading the way with the pedestrianized 6a Calle attracting bars, cafes, and restaurants.
Many travelers usually skip the city altogether, preferring to make Antigua their base. Still, you may want or need, to get acquainted with the capital, because this is the hub of the country, home to the best museums and galleries, transport hubs, venues for upscale events, and many other traveler services.
Definitely the most magnificent spectacle your eyes will ever see, even seasoned travelers marvel at this incredible environment. Fertile hills dot the landscape, and over everything looms the astonishing volcanoes, permeating the entire area with a majestic beauty.
The main lakeside town is Panajachel and most people initially head here to launch their Atitlán expeditions. Around the lake, Santiago Atitlán has a strong indigenous identity being known for their religious syncretism of Catholicism and Mayan beliefs, San Pedro La Laguna has a reputation as a backpacker party haven, San Juan La Laguna is recognized for their local weaving cooperative of Mayan women, San Marcos La Laguna is a refuge or new-agers. Santa Cruz La Laguna and Jaibalito, nearer to Panajachel, are among the lake’s most idyllic, picturesque locales.
Peten is bordered on the east by Belize and by Mexico, it is geographically the northernmost department of Guatemala, as well as the largest by area, includes a large number of archaeological sites belonging to the ancient Maya civilization. The sites with some level of restoration and accessible infrastructure for a tourist visit are Tikal, Uaxactún, Aguateca, El Ceibal, Yaxhá, Topoxté.
The most impressive attraction in Petén is Tikal, which maximum striking feature is its towering, steep-sided temples, rising to heights of more than 44m. Its many plazas have been cleared of trees and vines, its temples are uncovered and partially restored, but as you walk from one building to another you pass beneath a dense canopy of rainforest. By stepping softly you’re more likely to spot monkeys, agoutis, foxes, and ocellated turkeys.