Guatemala is a small country located in the heart of the ancient Mayan world that offers a spectacular range of attractions. Discover beautiful colonial cities with cobblestone streets and Mayan sites with towering pyramids.
The region’s natural beauty includes highland mountains, shimmering lakes bordered by volcanoes, and jungles teeming with birds and wildlife. Indigenous Mayan people, who make up sixty percent of the population, proudly maintain their traditions and languages, and wear traditional colourful textiles.
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Capital Guatemala City
Flying time from London 13.5 hours
Official language(s) Spanish
Time difference -6 GMT
Visa requirements Visa required for UK passport holders
The Guatemala Experts
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Set amidst surrounding coffee plantations and volcanoes, Antigua is perhaps one of Central America’s most beautiful colonial cities. Its cobbled streets are best explored on foot with many impressive churches, convents and monasteries, as well as fountains, parks, gardens, and beautiful private mansions.
Visit Mayan ruins
El Petén, in northern Guatemala, is a lowland jungle region scattered with many Mayan ruins, lost cities and ceremonial centres. The magnificent Mayan site of Tikal has a collection of huge temples spread across a protected rainforest reserve, home to howler monkeys, coatis and birds such as toucans, parrots and hummingbirds. The country’s other spectacular Mayan ruins include Yaxha, remote Aguateca – reached only by river – and Ceibal, which features well-preserved carvings.
See Lake Atilan and markets
Lake Atitlan is located in Guatemala’s verdant highland region surrounded by perfectly shaped volcanoes. From Panajachel, take a boat trip across the lake to visit the traditional Mayan villages of Santiago Atitlán and San Juan la Laguna, where colourfully dressed locals go about their daily routines. The Chichicastenango market, situated to the north of Lake Atitlan, sees local people trade textiles, pottery and food, sell local handicrafts and perform religious ceremonies.
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"Our trip to Guatemala was a great success. Thanks for organising such a great itinerary. There was plenty of contrasts, changes of pace etc to ensure there was always something of interest without being rushed around from sight to sight.
Travel in Central America, Mexico & Cuba
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