Guatemala: A Diverse Central American Country!

Guatemala: A Diverse Central American Country!

Written By: Carina84

It seems like a lot of Central American countries get a bad rap when it comes to being travel destinations. Sure, while it’s true that many of them have their own share of political or economic hardships, visiting these countries add so much culture and diversity to your own world experience. Guatemala is one of those countries for me -- I had many preconceived notions about what it would be like and then once I was there found it was completely different.

There is so much beauty and untouched landscape in Guatemala, but there’s also a lot of history and charm found throughout the country. Even today, you can’t help but notice the Mayan influence on various aspects of life in Guatemala, not to mention all of the historical and architectural wonders found throughout the country. If you’ve been hesitant to add Guatemala to your travel list, I have some advice for you - give it a try! Almost every country has its fair share of travel warnings and things you need to be careful regarding -- you should try to add Central American countries to your travel bucket list so that you don’t miss out on the beauty and wonder of these amazing destinations.

Not sure where you want to visit? Here are some of the key locations to visit during your trip to Guatemala:

LAKE ATITLAN

Chances are you’ve seen this breathtaking lake in pictures, but even those images can’t possibly do justice to just how serene and beautiful the lake is. Lake Atitlan has been a destination for a long time and nearly anyone that comes to the area spends time around this tranquil body of water -- if you’re in need of some rejuvenation or just need to escape from stress of daily life, the healing ambience of Lake Atitlan is perfect. Aside from the calm beauty of the landscape, there is plenty to do around the lake as it provides many resources to the inhabitants that surround it. Villages of all sizes and populations make their home along Lake Atitlan, so there are plenty of opportunities for you to explore, try some foods and just immerse yourself in the wonder of Lake Atitlan.

ANTIGUA

Throughout Guatemala, colonial architecture and influences are found in a number of beautiful places -- one of the most famous of being Antiqua. This town is quite a tourist destination and features many high-end resorts as well as shopping, dining and nightlife. While each of these aspects are amazing and welcomed during a trip to Antigua, the true reason for visiting this town is to enjoy and soak in all of the colonial beauty and architecture still present throughout the area. For a more quiet and tranquil experience, be sure to visit Antigua during the week as many people travel to the town during the weekends to enjoy the nightlife, so it tends to become even busier.

TIKAL

One of the main reasons to visit Guatemala is to view Mayan ruins and archaeological sites. Tikal is one of the most famous because not only is it easy to get to, but it’s very expansive and truly immerses you in the experience. If you really want to get a good foundation of knowledge and truly see Tikal has to offer, think about going with a tour group so they can provide you some historical context and answer questions because there is so much history and culture to unpack here that you definitely need more than one visit. If visiting Tikal is on the top of your itinerary, you might want to stay at one of the hotels located within the area so that you have easy access to the vast landscape and ruins. One of the most memorable parts of my trip to Tikal was arranging for a sunset tour and to say it was spectacular is a true understatement.

NAVIGATING THROUGH GUATEMALA CITY

Many of the questionable and concerning pieces of news to come out of Guatemala typically surrounds Guatemala City, which is why some travelers are hesitant to visit. If you are planning to travel outside of the city, the atmosphere has become a little bit friendlier and there are plenty of transportation options that take you from the airport straight to your destination -- if you’re concerned about trying to navigate Guatemala City alone, you’ll definitely want to check out these options. Private shuttles will typically be located around the arrivals section and alerting you to various destinations -- you can also choose to travel by taxi if you’re in a group.

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