The nation of Guatemala is so beautiful, which makes it tempting to want to see everything the country has to offer during your Guatemala vacation. This is possible, but maybe not in the span of a single trip. Guess you'll have to visit the country more than once! In the meantime, you can visit three to four destinations in a 7-10 day period, and have an entirely different experience in each of them. Whether you're looking to play in nature in Panajachel or want to explore the country's cultural dimensions in Quetzaltenango, you're guaranteed to find something you like on this list of destinations.
Guatemala is big and has a varied landscape that includes the mountains of Sololá, volcanoes in Santa Cruz La Laguna, the jungles of Baja Verapaz, the famous Lake Atitlán, and the beaches of Lívingston. This is nice for you, because this impressive variety is sure to keep you from getting bored during your vacation in Guatemala. Although, you have to search for boredom in here. One minute, you're trekking through Tikal, the next, you're dining in Antigua. When you find yourself in the great outdoors, you can go mountain biking, birdwatching, explore ruins, shop, fish...the list goes on.
The following destinations are arranged into categories that will help you decide where to go. You decide how much fun you'll have (Spoiler Alert it's bound to be a lot)!
Guatemala's adventure tours run the gamut, and offer something for everyone. Play Indiana Jones whilst you explore ruins, or work on the next 'Great American Novel' along the shore of Lake Atitlán — between mountain bike excursions, of course.
Whether your activities take you above ground as you trek through jungles or below ground whilst you venture through caves, one thing is for sure — Guatemala's adventure tours are anything but boring!
Guatemala's nature tours will help you discover why the nation is known as "The land of eternal spring." From the verdant jungles of Yaxhá to the serene beauty of Lake Petén Itzá, nature is in full force in this Central American country.
Discover the beauty of the natural world when you visit Guatemala's nature sites in Monterrico, Alta Verapaz, El Remate, and more. Ruins, mountain bike trails, mangrove tours, and wildlife of all kinds are waiting for you to book your Guatemalan nature vacation.
Go where the locals go when you take a trip to Puerto San José. Discover the beauty of Lake Atitlán — famously quoted by Aldous Huxley. This vacation is all about Guatemala travel and leisure.
Guatemala's leisure activities are in ample supply if you're planning a vacation where rest and relaxation are top priorities. From the small and traditional village of Santa Catalina Palopó to the port town of Iztapa, these are the Guatemalan getaways big on peace, quiet, and low-key adventure.
If you're booking a getaway to Guatemala, then you're already a curious traveller. Have the most authentic experience possible when you explore Guatemala off the beaten path.
Go tubing in Alta Verapaz, explore the jungles near the Mayan site of Yaxhá, and see an actual castle near Lake Izabal. These are the most unique places in Guatemala, and you'll find them only if you're willing to go off the beaten track.
From the curious blend of kitsch and culture in Chichicastenango to Santa Catalina Palopó's indigenous descendants, Guatemala's Mayan culture is alive and well.
During your vacation exploring Guatemala's Mayan roots, consider the fact that although an empire may fall, it can always find a way to leave its legacy behind.
Get your fix for vintage architecture and design in Guatemala's colonial towns. These destinations are full of history, and plenty of cultural tours to tell you the stories behind them.
If you're seeking a vacation with a more academic slant, then you'll have a great time watching the page come to life when you examine the legacy of Guatemala's colonial history in these destinations.
You definitely don't want to skip Antigua, it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site!
Are Guatemala's parks and reserves well developed?
Guatemala's national parks and nature reserves are fairly well developed. More popular parks, like Tikal, tend to have better facilities than lesser-known parks.All parks will have a basic ranger station where you can talk to a park ranger, check out maps, and learn about the park. All parks also have restrooms.
Most parks have trails with signs and picnic tables. Do note, however, that remote parks may have poorly signed trails, so be careful when you're exploring these places. For this reason we recommend using a guide when visiting a park or reserve.
Where Are Guatemala's Airports?
Guatemala’s main international airport is the La Aurora International Airport (GUA), which is located in Guatemala City. This airport recieves international flights from around the world.There is one other international airport in Guatemala. The Mundo Maya International Airport (FRS) is located in Flores and serves the northern department of Petén. This airport recieves flights from Guatemala City, Cancún, and Belize City.
Can I expect to see wildlife in Guatemala?
Yes. Guatemala has an incredible amount of biodiversity. In fact, fourteen of the 38 Holdridge Life Zones are found here.What will you see? That depends on where you go and what time of year it is. In general, you have a great chance of spotting a range of birds. Guatemala is home to over 700 different species of birds, the most spectacular of which are the resplendent quetzal and Petén ocellated turkey. A number of large cats also live here, including the jaguar, jaguarundi, puma and margay, although you'll need loads of luck to spot one of these ellusive critters.
Monkeys are often seen in Guatemala. You might hear the cry of howler monkeys or see spider monkeys playing in the trees. Smaller animals are often easy to spot, including white-nosed coatis and kinkajous.
Finally, there are lots of reptiles and amphibians in Guatemala. These include crocodiles and the red-eyed tree frog. It's especially important to be on the lookout for snakes whe you're hiking, as there are a number of deadly snakes that live in Guatemala. These include fer-de-lances, coral snakes, and tropical ratlesnakes.
Are national parks and reserves safe in Guatemala?
For the most part, Guatemala’s national parks and reserves are safe. Larger animals like jaguars keep clear of people. Snakes and spiders can be dangerous and present, but if you're smart about where you walk you should be fine. Stay on trails and be careful around piles of leaves or rocks.Mosquitos can be pesky in the jungle and also transmit disease. For this reason, when you visit a national park or reserve it's important to wear insect repellent and long sleeves/pants if possible.