- The Online Guide to Travel Explore Guatemala - Ancient Mayan Ruins to Colonial Heritage

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Travel Notes: Latin America - Guatemala Travel Notes.

Guatemala Travel Notes

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Guatemala Travel and Tourism on Travel Notes


Embark on a spiritual pilgrimage through Guatemala's ancient temples and sacred sites, where Mayan spirituality and colonial Spanish traditions intertwine.

About Guatemala

Guatemala is a fascinating country in Central America with a rich history and plenty for visitors tto see and do; from ancient Mayan ruins to colonial towns and natural wonders.

In terms of tourist activities in Guatemala, you can take cooking classes to learn how to make traditional Guatemalan dishes, go horseback riding through the countryside, or take a coffee tour to learn about the country's thriving coffee industry.

Guatemala Markets and Volcanoes

Countries neighbouring Guatemala: Mexico, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador.

Travel Map Mapping Guatemala

Map of Guatemala

Map of Guatemala

Guatemala is a country located in Central America, bordered by Mexico to the north and west, Belize to the north-east, the Caribbean Sea to the east, Honduras and El Salvador to the south-east, and the Pacific Ocean to the south.

Guatemala City, the capital of Guatemala, is located in the south-central part of the country; in a valley in the volcanic highlands.

Guatemala Overview


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.


Guatemala  is known for its coffee, which is a major export, as well as its textiles, jade, and other crafts.

The currency of Guatemala is the Guatemalan quetzal.

History and Culture

Guatemala has a rich history and culture, with a significant indigenous influence.

The ancient Mayan civilisation once flourished in the region, and many ruins and artifacts can still be found today.

The country has also experienced periods of Spanish colonial rule and political unrest, including a long and bloody civil war that ended in 1996.


Guatemala has a diverse landscape, including volcanoes, rainforests, and ancient Mayan ruins.


The official language of Guatemala is Spanish, although there are over 20 indigenous languages spoken as well.


Guatemala has a population of over 17 million people, with the majority of the population being of indigenous Maya descent; although there are also people of European, African, and mixed heritage.

Guatemala Markets and Volcanoes.

Visit Guatemala

In such a beautiful country, there are many things to see and do for visitors to Guatemala.

Whether you are interested in history, culture, or outdoor adventures, there's something for everyone in this fascinating country.

Flying to Guatemala

Aviateca S.A. branded Avianca Guatemala is a regional airline headquartered in Guatemala City.

Sheduled flights out La Aurora International Airport (GUA) connect Guatemala City with Flores, Panama City, Roatán, San Andrés, San José, San Pedro Sula, and San Salvador.

Lake Atitlan

This picturesque lake is surrounded by towering volcanoes and traditional Mayan villages. You can take a boat tour, go hiking, or just relax and enjoy the stunning scenery.

Mayan Ruins

In addition to Tikal, there are many other ancient Maya sites to explore, including Copan in Honduras and Palenque in Mexico.

Semuc Champey

A natural wonder, Semuc Champey is a series of turquoise pools and waterfalls nestled in the jungle.


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.

Map of Antigua, Guatemala

Map of Antigua, Guatemala

Colonial Town

This colonial town in Guatemala is known for its charming cobblestone streets, colourful buildings, and stunning views of nearby volcanoes.

It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular destination for tourists.

Study Abroad

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.


Two to three hours drive north-west of Guatemala City, Chichicastenango is one of the most authentic of places in the Americas.

This bustling market town is famous for its colourful market, which sells everything from textiles to ceramics to local produce.

It's a great place to experience Guatemala's vibrant culture.

Guatemala City

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.

The country's capital city has a mix of modern and colonial architecture, museums, and cultural attractions.

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 Minerva Park.

Mayan Ruins

Noteworthy Mayan ruins near Guatemala City can be found at Lake Amatitlan.

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.


Tikal is a major attraction as many Mayan ruins of the 3rd and 4th centuries have been excavated here.

One of the most famous ancient Maya sites, Tikal is home to towering pyramids, temples, and plazas.

Tikal is located in the middle of a lush jungle in the lowlands of northern Guatemala and is a must-see for history and archaeology enthusiasts.Tourists head for the markets on Sundays and Thursdays, but on nowhere near the same scale as Otavalo, in Ecuador.

Guatemala Experiences

Guatemala Travel Guides

Belize, Guatemala & Southern Mexico (Footprint Handbook) Lonely Planet Guatemala (Travel Guide)

Guatemala Travel Guides - Guatemala Maps.

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