Guatemala, a Central American country, draws visitors for its ancient Mayan sites, tropical rainforests, and active volcanoes. The influence of the former Spanish rule is still evident in Antigua, a scenic town where there are many colonial buildings. Take a tour around Guatemala City, Flores, and Antigua, to get a better perspective of this fascinating country. Enjoy shopping for local handicrafts, jewelry, and coffee beans at the Chichicastenango Market, located near Guatemala City. Brave hearts can even indulge on a hike to the top of Volcan Pacaya, from where the view is just amazing.
Best time to visit Guatemala
The months of December and January are ideal to visit Guatemala when there is a lesser chance of rain. Guatemala’s tropical climatic conditions are marked by distinct dry and wet seasons. Usually, tourists visit the country from December to March, around the dry months in Guatemala. Steer clear of the wet months (May through October), if you are not a big fan of damp weather.
How to reach Guatemala
Make use of major domestic and international airlines like Air India
, Jet Airways, and Lufthansa
, which offer flight services to Guatemala. Currently, there are no direct flights from India to La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City. The flights may stopover at Newark, Mumbai, Houston, or London. You can travel within the country by buses, vans, picops (pick-up trucks), rental cars, planes, trolleys, or trains.
Hotels in Guatemala
Guatemala offers a gamut of accommodation choices, which include hotels, hostels, and villas. Some of the cities where you can stay comfortably for a moderate budget are Guatemala City, Antigua, Flores, Coban, and Livingston. The starting price for an overnight stay at these places is INR 2,500, INR 2,400, INR 3,100, INR 2,000, and INR 1,500, respectively. In Monterrico, you can stay at hostels with basic facilities for INR 3,500.
Must-visit places in Guatemala
Guatemala is known for its ancient Mayan sites, tropical rainforests, and volcanoes. El Mirador and Tikal are the top tourist attractions of Guatemala.
Explore Petén Basin region in Guatemala for the ruins of Tikal which is believed to be a major center of Mayan dynasty. You will be amazed by the number of temples, palaces, pyramids, and administrative buildings found in Tikal.
Guatemala City, the capital of Guatemala, is known for its antique churches and ancient archeological sites. Mapa en Relieve (a relief map depicting Guatemala’s topography), Ixchel Museum of Traditional Costumes, Popol Vuh Museum, Archaeology and Ethnology Museum, Museum of Modern Art, and Aurora Zoo are some of the interesting places to visit in the capital city.
In Flores, visit Ak'tun Kan, also known as the Cave of the Serpent, ARCAS (a wildlife rescue center), and Petencito Zoo.
Proceed for a tour from Antigua, a scenic Central American town, to Pacaya National Park and enjoy the view of Volcán de Pacaya. Enjoy visiting Chichicastenango (a vibrant street market), Lake Atitlan, Semuc Champey (limestone pools), Rio Dulce (also known as Sweet River), and Akazul (a center for natural resources protection).
Shopping in Guatemala
The Chichicastenango Market, located to the southwest of Guatemala City, is an ideal place to shop for local products. Masks, wood crafted items, ethnic attires, local fabrics, and pottery are sold in this market. Ron Zacapa Centenario (a type of rum), coffee, and cardamom are perhaps the best gifts for your loved ones.
Cuisine of Guatemala
Guatemalan cuisine incorporates corn, beans, rice, chicken, cheese, pork, beef, and tortillas to its dishes. Fiambre, a traditional salad-type food, Tamales Colorados (a corn-based dish made of tomatoes and annatto seed), Tapado (seafood soup), and Pastel de banana (a type of banana bread), are the top delights to savor.
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