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Over half the population of Guatemala today is pure Indian;
descendants from the great Maya Civilisation.
Flying to Guatemala, Guatemala
Background, Guatemala City,
Guatemala in Pictures, Guatemala
Tours, Guatemala Travel Guides, Map of
Guatemala, Mayan Ruins.
Available for Travel
Countries neighbouring Guatemala are: Mexico, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador.
The capital of Guatemala is in the south-central part of the
country; in a valley in the volcanic highlands.
Guatemala was discovered by Cortes' lieutenant, Alvarado, in 1523;
while seeking precious metals to finance the Spanish war effort in Europe.
Some silver was found at Huehetenango, but little else, so few
conquistadors stayed and the indigenous people survived in larger numbers than elsewhere.
Weather in South America:
Local weather forecasts for destinations around Latin America.
Guatemala City became the country's third capital in 1776, after
Antigua was almost completely destroyed by the 1773 earthquake.
Guatemala City also suffered a series of devastating earthquakes in
1917-1918 and much of the city was rebuilt. Another serious earthquake, in 1976, severely
damaged northern parts of the city.
Places of interest include the National Palace and the cathedral
(partially reconstructed after damage in 1976). There's also a relief map of Guatemala in
Guatemala City Hotels.
Noteworthy Mayan ruins near Guatemala City can be found at Lake
In the lowlands of northern Guatemala, Tikal is a major attraction as
many Mayan ruins of the 3rd and 4th centuries have been excavated.
The area is one of the largest Mayan ceremonial centres and is
believed to have sustained a population of 50,000 until it was abandoned, for unknown
reasons, in the 10th century.
Interactive discovery of lost civilisations in the rainforest.
Written by the school children of Lo de en Medio, and other villages in the Rio Dulce
region of Guatemala, this short article covers: The Planting of the Maize; Making of the
Tamal, a food made from maize; Typical Costumes; and The Dance of the Deer.
Modern Mayan Lives:
Offers a brief history to the Mayans, and an insight into the situation today.
By the sixteenth century, Antigua was a major centre. The
Spaniards set about building churches, and converting the Indians to Catholicism.
Antigua became the second capital of Guatemala after Ciudad Vieja was
destroyed by flood and volcanic activity in 1541.
Antigua itself was almost completely destroyed by an earthquake in
1773, and the capital was moved to Guatemala City.
Antigua is one of the primary locations for learning Spanish in Central America. The
colonial architecture and clear mountain air are a perfect environment for study.
2-3 hours drive north-west of Guatemala City, Chichicastenango is
one of the most authentic of places in the Americas.
Tourists head for the markets on Sundays and Thursdays, but on nowhere
near the same scale as Otavalo, in Ecuador.
Airlines and Airports:
The Guatemalan airline, Aviateca, provides domestic and international services, and
several other airlines provide international flights.
Seven, twelve and twenty-one day tours to Guatemala and Honduras;
traditional tours, adventure tours and budget tours.
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