A country less than half the size of the UK yet is bursting with so much cultural and geographic diversity, from Mayan temples, Spanish colonial cities, highland villages and colourful Caribbean towns. From north to south, the country is dotted with volcanoes, lakes, remote cloud forests and large expanses of jungle.
Arriving into Guatemala City, you are best off heading west straight to the town of Antigua, sitting pretty in it’s colonial splendour surrounded by active volcanoes which many travellers enjoy scaling on a sunny day. The modern day Mayan people happily sell their beautiful textiles
to the tourists all gathered together in the market place.
Further inland, Lake Atitlan, surrounded by a trio of rugged volcanoes and indigenous villages is a photographers paradise. Little boutique hotels make for a charming place to stay while soaking in the natural beauty.
The northern half of Guatemala is sparsely populated and teems with wildlife. This is where the famous Mayan archaeological site, Tikal, is located, as well as other off-the-beaten track ancient ruins. From Tikal, you can easily cross over into Belize or Mexico.
WHEN TO GO: The best time to travel is from November to April during the drier months. The green season runs from May to October where it rains for a few hours a day. December and January are the coolest months with lovely clear blue skies and sunny days.
WHO FOR: Guatemala is a very easy country to travel around making it is the perfect destination for those looking for a mix of indigenous culture, colourful markets, jungle, beautiful scenery while staying in utterly charming boutique hotels. In 5 to 8 days, you can cover most of the country and then hop over to Belize for some R&R on white Caribbean beaches.
TYPE OF HOLIDAY: Honeymoon, Culture and History, Adventure & Trekking, Nature and Wildlife.
CURRENCY: Guatemalan Quetzal
CAPITAL: Guatemala City
FLIGHT TIME: 10.45 hrs (in-direct from UK)
VISA: Not needed for UK passport holders
TIME DIFFERENCE: GMT – 6 hours
COMBINES WELL WITH: Belize and Mexico