Tikal is great, but everyone knows that. For something completely unique, head to the lesser known site of Uaxactun, where you can 'glamp' in the shadows of a Mayan temple.
Saskia, Original Traveller
Guatemala is one of the smaller Central America countries but the local indigenous population is the largest of any Latin nation, making for a particularly 'authentic' experience. The country offers the best of Central America under one roof - volcanoes, protected tropical jungle, mountainous highlands, impressive Mayan ruins, vivid colonial towns (including the wonderful Antigua) and beaches on the Caribbean and Pacific coastlines. Altogether, it makes a great destination for those fond of eco-tourism, adventure and culture as their traditional dress and culture are very much still evident.
Why we think you’ll love it
- With an abundance of colourful local towns, indigenous markets, Mayan ruins and colonial cities, and a fascinating religion that's a hybrid of Catholicism and ancient Mayan beliefs, Guatemala is the ultimate Central American experience
- It's an outdoor adventure playground: you can hike volcanoes, kayak on lakes, trek through jungles and fly through the canopy on a zip line
Our guide to holidays in Guatemala
The best time to visit Guatemala is in the dry season, between November and April. Located at the heart of Central America, Guatemala is one of the most culturally and geographically diverse countries in the world. Guatemala is an interesting and exciting country to travel in. One can marvel at ancient temples, spectacular lakes, smoke - ringed volcanoes and bustling indigenous markets. Formerly visited by the intrepid traveller, it now has a number of excellent boutique hotels and posadas which make it a fantastic country to visit without sacrificing basic creature comforts.
The hotels are mainly family run and are often converted haciendas maintaining their original charm and style. One of the highlights is to immerse oneself in the charming colonial town of Antigua, with its labyrinth of cobbled streets, museums and stunning architecture followed by a visit to the crystalline waters of Lake Atitlan or head North East, slightly off the beaten track, into the depths of the jungle to discover one of the impressive Mayan archaeological sights and admire the spectacle of exotic wildlife and birds.
Did you know
- Guatemala means 'Land of Trees' in the Mayan tongue
- Guatemala has the largest collection of World Heritage Sites in Latin America
- There are 21 different varieties of original Mayan languages that are still spoken today
- The first chocolate bar was invented in Guatemala during Mayan times