Reasons to Visit
Guatemala is all about its people, especially in the highland regions. Their tightly knit Mayan communities, centuries old in tradition with their colourful cultures and costumes, are fascinating for the visitor and getting an insight into the lives of these wonderful, friendly people is one of the main reasons to visit this incredible country.
Easter week is a colourful and fascinating time to be in Antigua. Thousands of visitors come each year to watch the processions and religious festivities. Lavishly decorated floats are carried through the streets followed by musicians and the residents create elaborate carpets of flowers along the route for the processions to walk over.
A quarter of Guatemala is covered by forest and the wildlife, especially in the El Peten region, is prolific. Barking howler monkeys, swinging spider monkeys, screeching parrots and nosy coatis are just some of the wonderful species you will experience here.
Most days of the week you’ll find a market open somewhere in the highlands of Guatemala. They are the main economic focus for scattered mountain communities and locals flock in their hoards in search of a bargain. Everything is sold here, from food to souvenirs to clothing and livestock - you name it, you can guarantee you’ll find it in a market!
Spend a day at the Mayan ruins at Tikal. Surrounded by rainforest, not only is it a haven for wildlife including spider monkeys, howler monkeys and many tropical birds, but there are remains of royal palaces and temples that can be climbed for magnificent views.
Clear, still lakes, steaming volcanoes, lush rainforests and spectacular highland views all make up the stunning and diverse scenery you can experience in Guatemala. It is an absolute joy to travel around the country.
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Explore the lost city of Tikal.
Explore the main sights in Guatemala including Antigua, Lake Atitlan and Tikal.
Recognised and protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, Antigua is one of the most atmospheric cities in Central America.
The two hour drive heading west from Antigua leads through the central highlands, dotted with colourful traditional villages to the stunning Lake Atitlán.
Travel across the calm waters of Lake Atitlan by boat to the lively village of Santiago de Atitlan. Here you can explore the fascinating Catholic church and haggle for a bargain at the bustling market.
Visit coffee farmers in the lush plantations surrounding Antigua and see how the families pick, pulp, ferment and roast the fresh beans to produce some of the finest coffee in Guatemala. Your visit will also help support a local charity working to improve the lives and pay of the farming families.
Guatemala is an awe-inspiring country where you will find natural beauty, with highland lakes ringed by perfect volcanic cones and steamy jungles teeming with wildlife and beautiful birds. Delightful colonial architecture with flashes of highland culture contrast with brightly coloured markets and impressive Mayan ruins. ‘The soul of the earth’ as it is known touches the heart unlike any other country in Central America.
11 Days from £2,280pp
15 Days from £2,840pp
A classic 2 week trip to Guatemala and Belize, including time in Antigua, Lake Atitlan and a visit to the Mayan ruins of Tikal, before heading to the lush Cayo district and relaxing in Ambergris Caye.
14 Days from £3,170pp
A 2 week trip to encompass all that Guatemala has to offer including the ancient capital of Antigua, Lake Atitlan, the western highlands, Copan and Lanquin ending in the wonderful steaming forests of El Peten to explore the spectacular mayan ruins of Tikal.
Approx. 13 hours (via the USA or Europe)
American Airlines, British Airways & United Airlines
The best time to travel.
A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of.
Travel is possible, but this is not the best time of year.
Travel is not recommended.
Snow or ski season.
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Further reading:When to GoHighlightsItinerary IdeasPlaces to GoThings to DoAccommodationAbout GuatemalaCountry Guides
Other countries in Central America, Mexico & Cuba:BelizeCosta RicaCubaHondurasMexicoNicaraguaPanama
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