To prepare for your holiday to this pocket rocket of a country, immerse yourself in ourGuatemala travel guide. First, think about the colours you can expect; the vibrant fabrics of the indigenous ethnic groups: a riot of blues, reds, fuchsias and greens, with different weavings patterns denoting different groups. Then there are the multi-coloured markets where you’ll see mountains of bananas, avocados, tomatoes, pumpkins and flowers that rival the outfits of both traders and buyers. In the jungle, see giant and brightly coloured tropical plants and the lightning flashes of passing birds. Your sense of smell will also be awakened by the fragrances that accompany these colours, from the unmistakable scent of the jungle to the scents of different stalls in a local markets.
And then there’s the sound. The dawn shrieks of howler monkeys in the forest are nature’s most insistent alarm clock, while an altogether gentler sound is that of oars dipping into the waters of Lake Atitlan as you cruise along in the shadow of volcanoes. As for touch, feel fine sand under your feet on the beach; or cooling water as you dangle your feet in a jungle pool on a hike. Finally, taste. Drink freshly squeezed fruit juices; eat a street food tortilla with that signature blend of unique tomatoes, chilli, sesame, almonds and more that accompanies pork in a pepían, a delicious meaty stew that pre-dates the arrival of the Spaniards.