Guatemala

Where to go

Guatemala is a friendly, fascinating country.  The northern-most country in Central America, it is bounded by Mexico, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.  Known as the land of the eternal spring, Guatemala offers ancient Mayan culture, fascinating folklore and spectacular natural beauty with its mountains, volcanoes, jungle, tropical rain forests, rivers, lakes and spring-like weather year round.

Highlights of the country include:

  • Antigua, a UNESCO World Heritage site, with cobbled stone streets, bougainvillea bursting from crumbling ruins and pastel façades under terracotta rooftops.
  • Lake Atitlán, one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, surrounded by three impressive volcanoes and Mayan villages.
  • Chichicastenango. The most colourful and picturesque outdoor market in Guatemala, where locals gather to buy and sell fruits, vegetables, flowers, grains, animals, textiles and handicrafts.
  • Livingston.  A colourful and relaxed fishermen’s village, home of Garífuna culture, located where the Río Dulce and Caribbean Sea merge together.
  • Tikal.  Deep in the lush jungle, Tikal is the most impressive archaeological site in the Mayan World, a UNESCO a World Heritage Site for Humankind.


What to do

  • Explore the Mayan ruins of Tikal in the wild northern Guatemala Petén region.
  • Spend time in the colonial town of Antigua with its colonial architecture, lovely parks with fountains and a dramatic setting surrounded by three volcanoes
  • Climb Pacaya volcano!  Close to Antigua and with an altitude of 2552 metres, the Pacaya volcano has been continually active since 1965.
  • Visit Chichicastenango market, a colourful, often chaotic affair that brings in the Quiché Maya and other vendors from around the country who come to sell their immaculate hand-made products.
  • Visit the jungle and the rainforest to see the wildlife and nature in Guatemala.
  • Take a boat trip on Rio Dulce and explore the charming, old fishermen’s villages.

 


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When to go

The best time to visit is during Guatemala’s dry season from December until April.  The average annual temperature is around 20 degrees C (75 degrees F).  In the coastal regions the temperatures can reach 37 degrees C (100 degrees F), whilst in the highlands it can drop to freezing.  In general, nights are quite cool at any time of the year. In the central highlands the rainy season lasts from May to October and is characterized by clear skies before and after the showers.  The rain comes in brief showers usually in the afternoon or evening so you will still have plenty of sunshine!

 

Currency and money

Guatemalan Quetzal.  ATMs are easily available in larger towns. Major credit cards are accepted almost everywhere.

 

Cuisine

There is a wide variety of cuisines, Traditional foods in Guatemalan cuisine are based on Maya cuisine and prominently feature corn, chillies and beans as the key ingredients. International restaurants as well as the usual fast-food chains can be found in the larger  towns. Perhaps the most impressive fare is to be found along the Caribbean coast, where the Garífuna serve up a mouth-watering mix of seafood, coconuts, plantains, and spices.

 

Hotels

Guatemala offers a wide range of different hotels. There are plenty of international standard hotels in the cities. Then you can find elegant colonial boutique hotels as well as tropical deluxe retreats set in the heart of the Petén jungle. 


Where to go next

A particularly nice combination is Guatemala and Mexico’s Riviera. It is easy to transfer overland to the Riviera for a wonderful Caribbean beach holiday with the opportunity to visit the Mayan sites of Chichen-Itza and Tulum situated right by the turquoise water of the Caribbean in Mexico.  The award-winning TACA Airlines offer a superb service and speedy, convenient connections within Central America and other South American countries.  A Star Alliance member, TACA has hubs in El Salvador, Costa Rica and Peru and the flight times are conveniently short within Central America and Mexico, making it easy to arrange a multi-destination itinerary.


Links

Saspo’s partner office in Guatemala is STP GUATEMALA.  For further information please see their website at www.stpguatemala.com

Contact:    TEL: +44 20 8123 1827   Mobile: +44 7989 982 210   Email: Info@saspoUK.com