Guatemala-1
Discover Guatemala
The homeland of the Maya Indians

The largest and most exotic state in Central America, full of mysteries and secrets

General information

Capital:

Population:

Official language:

Currency:

Territory:

Guatemala City14 373 472SpanishQuetzal108 889 km²

Geography

The Republic of Guatemala is situated between two oceans, the Pacific and the Atlantic. The country is bordered by Mexico, Honduras, Belize, and El Salvador. More than half of its territory (about 54%) is covered by a tropical jungle with volcanoes rising among them. Only three of them are active — it is their activities, combined with the specific structure of the Pacific floor, that cause frequent earthquakes. The highest point in the country is the peak of the extinct volcano Tajumulco (4,211 m).

Guatemala has quite a few lakes, the largest are Atitlán, Izabal, Amatitlán and Peten Itza.

Guatemala is divided into 22 departments, which vary significantly in size and the density of its population. Petén, for example, occupies about one-third of the country but is very poorly populated. But a relatively small department of Guatemala is home to more than 20% of the country's total population. The main administrative units, in turn, are divided into municipalities.

Map Guatemala

Where to go and what to see in Guatemala?

The name of the capital of Guatemala is the same as that of the country. It is the largest (more than one million people) city in Central America. The most visited attraction is Tikal National Park. On its territory, there are ruins of an ancient town and sanctuaries, built more than 2000 years ago. Here you can also see the famous pyramids, the purpose of which is still a mystery.

Quetzaltenango (Xelajú) is the second-largest city in Guatemala. Tourists come here to visit the hot springs in its neighborhood and take a stroll to the nearby villages. There you can buy national costumes and even see how the local wool they are produced from is made. There is almost nothing exciting in the town itself, except for the beautiful park in the central part. From here, you can enjoy a magnificent view of the volcanoes that surround Quetzaltenango from all sides.

The city of Antigua Guatemala was the capital during the colonial period, and now it has become a huge museum. It has preserved many Spanish buildings and monuments in the Baroque style. If you like a leisurely holiday without noise and extremes, then this is the right place. There are many ancient buildings, cozy restaurants, and almost no crime in the city. It is also worth noting the beautiful climate of Antigua Guatemala — the eternal spring reigns here.

Monterrico (the Pacific coast) and Playa Blanca (the Caribbean Sea) are considered the most attractive beach resorts. Another one of the most beautiful beaches in the country is called Punta de Palma. It is located in the southern part of the Caribbean — in the city of Puerto Barrios. The beaches of Guatemala are not very well adapted for recreation — many of them do not even have sun loungers and basic facilities.

Things to consider when going to Guatemala

  • The country has a rather tense criminal situation, but this does not apply to all cities. Walking around the capital of Guatemala, try to control the situation all the time — street gangs or cartel members can arrange a shooting with the police even during the day. Small towns are much calmer. But it would help if you did not go out for a walk at night or wander deep into poor neighborhoods. Traveling to the villages is absolutely safe, you won't even encounter theft there unless the locals can be a little tricky in their calculations.
  • In Guatemala, it's easy to face racism. This mostly applies to white girls dressed too bright and provocative. In general, locals don't like gringos unless they can make money from them.
  • You may have problems paying with MasterCard and Diners Club. Other payment systems are freely accepted in large hotels, shops, and entertainment facilities.
  • The local power grid operates with a voltage of 120 V. Sockets are of four types: A, B, G, I. Therefore, it is better to bring the necessary adapters. But if you stay in a large hotel, you can rent everything you need.
  • Shops of Guatemala sell very high-quality leather goods. Tourists tend to choose national clothes, ritual attributes, various knickknacks made of semiprecious stones as souvenirs.

Map Guatemala

Hotels in Guatemala

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