Guatemala is one of the less-visited countries in Central America and I just cannot figure out the reason why. Amazing volcanoes hikes? Check. Beautiful lakes and pools to relax in? Check. Amazing history and culture? Check. There are too many reasons to visit Guatemala. I think it's about time that this hidden gem of Central America gets some recognition, though I definitely wouldn't mind keeping it a secret.
Watch a Volcanic Eruption on Volcano Acatenango
Was it ever your dream to watch a volcanic eruption (and survive)? Was it ever your dreams to hear the loud roaring of a volcano as you see lava spewing out from the top, slowly making its way down to the bottom? You can make your dream into a reality in Guatemala. Hike Volcano Acatenango on a 2- day trek and you can watch Volcano Fuego erupt periodically.
Learn Spanish From Total-Immersion Programs
Guatemala is one of the many countries in the world that speaks Spanish as its official language. But did you know it is also one of the best places to learn Spanish? A lot of travelers think the experience of learning Spanish is the same in every country, but they cannot be more wrong. If you have ever studied Spanish in Chile, you will know they have a lot of slangs and words that aren't used in other parts of Latin America, such as pololo for boyfriend.
Once The Most Powerful Capital of the Mayan Civilization, Tikal
If you are a history buff, you will surely fall in love with Guatemala culture and its Mayan history. The area of Guatemala used to be the land of the Mayans, a group of indigenous people that just vanished.No one knows what happened to them exactly, but a lot of their systems such as the calendars were very advanced. Located in the Northern rainforest region of Guatemala is Tikal Mayan Ruins, once upon a time the beating heart of the Mayan civilization. Tikal was the capital of a civilization so powerful and advanced than even the Greeks cannot compare in many ways. Nowadays the Tikal Mayan Ruins are opened to the public to visit. A trip to this historic Mayan Ruins will surely give you insights into the Mayan's sophisticated culture. Unlike Chichen Itza in Mexico, many of the temples in Tikal are climbable, at least for now!
Antigua, the Heritage Colonial Towns
Antigua is probably the most popular tourist destination in Guatemala. A cobblestoned colonial town filled with relics of the past, Antigua is a place you must visit on any Guatemala itinerary. Many of the historical buildings have been rebuilt in Antigua due to the devastating 1773 Guatemala earthquake that destroyed a big part of Antigua. Churches such as Catedral de Santiago and Iglesia de La Merced have been damaged by earthquakes but the Spanish influence on its architecture is still prevalent. Stroll around the streets lined with antique colonial buildings, observe the day-to-day lives of the locals, and shop at the local market. Antigua is the perfect balance between tourist-friendly and culturally enriching. This is a place you must visit in Guatemala.
Chill on Lake Atitlan
Lake Atitlan is the ultimate chill-out spot in Guatemala. A volcanic crater lake near the Guatemala City airport, travelers wanting to visit Guatemala just to relax and bathe in the sun can head directly to Lake Atitlan. Surrounded by numerous volcanoes (some of which you can hike), the view is literally something out of a travel magazine. But we know that a lot of places offer stunning views on a lake or the ocean, what makes Lake Atitlan so special? We are glad you asked. Tiny towns and villages around the lake make up the whole area called Lake Atitlan. Each little town has something different to offer. For example, San Marcos is known for its hippie vibes.San Pedro is the most touristy out of all the towns. It is known for its cool cafes and amazing nightlife. You can spend days exploring Lake Atitlan
Did you know that there are at least 37 volcanoes in Guatemala? For a small country like Guatemala, that is a huge number of volcanoes! The crazy part is that many of them are hikable! If you are an outdoorsy person that enjoys hiking and adventure, Guatemala will be a heaven for you. Tajumluco, the tallest peak in Central America at 4,202 meters above sea level, is a popular hike from the second-biggest city in Guatemala, Quetzaltenango. Volcano Acatenango, as we mentioned above, is 3800m above sea level. San Pedro Volcano in Lake Atitlan is also a popular hike that travelers do.
Reasons to Visit Guatemala
February 13, 2021