The Lure of Central America 1680 , 13 Days

The Lure of Central America

On this two-week adventure through Central America we discover colonial towns in Nicaragua and El...

Guatemala is a Central American country that is known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning natural beauty. Whether you are interested in exploring ancient ruins, discovering new cuisines, or simply taking in the breathtaking scenery, a trip to Guatemala is sure to be an unforgettable experience. In this article, we will discuss some of the top reasons to travel to Guatemala, as well as offer some tips for planning your trip.

1. Explore the Ancient Mayan Ruins
One of the top reasons to travel to Guatemala is to explore the ancient Mayan ruins that dot the country. Tikal, located in the Petén region, is perhaps the most famous of these ruins. The city was once one of the most important cultural and political centers of the Mayan civilization and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Other notable ruins in Guatemala include the city of El Mirador and the ceremonial site of Quirigua.

2. Enjoy the Beautiful Natural Scenery
From its tropical rainforests to its stunning coastline, Guatemala is a country that is filled with natural beauty. Some of the top natural attractions include Lake Atitlán, which is surrounded by three towering volcanoes, and Semuc Champey, a series of turquoise pools that are nestled in the middle of a lush jungle. The country is also home to several national parks, including Tikal National Park, which offers visitors a chance to explore the ruins while also taking in the natural surroundings.

3. Learn About the Local Culture
Guatemala has a rich and diverse culture that is influenced by both its indigenous Mayan heritage and its Spanish colonial past. Visitors to the country can immerse themselves in this culture by visiting local markets, attending traditional festivals and ceremonies, and trying local foods such as tamales and chiles rellenos. Guatemala is also known for its vibrant textiles, which are made using traditional methods and often feature intricate designs and bright colors.

4. Experience Adventure Activities
If you are an adventure seeker, Guatemala has plenty of activities to offer. From hiking to zip-lining to white-water rafting, there is something for everyone. Visitors can also go caving in the underground rivers and caves of Semuc Champey, or go birdwatching in the cloud forests of the highlands.
Tips for Traveling to Guatemala
If you are planning a trip to Guatemala, here are some tips to keep in mind:

• Check travel advisories and take necessary precautions for safety, especially if traveling solo or off the beaten path
• Learn some basic Spanish phrases to make communication easier
• Pack clothing that is appropriate for the climate, which varies depending on the region and time of year
• Bring insect repellent to protect against mosquitoes and other pests
• Consider taking a guided tour to get the most out of your experience and to learn more about the local culture and history

In conclusion, a trip to Guatemala is an opportunity to explore ancient ruins, experience the local culture, and take in the stunning natural scenery. With proper planning and preparation, visitors can have an unforgettable experience in this beautiful and diverse country.

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Tour: Balkan Kaleidoscope
I just returned from a 2 week tour of the Balkans and thoroughly enjoyed the experience offered by Penguin. Communication leading up to the tour was exceptional. Our itinerary was fast paced and comprehensive and the sights were spectacular. Accommodations were were clean and amenities sufficient for the price paid for the tour. The tour leader, bus driver and the local guides were efficient friendly and knowledgeable. I would definitely recommend Penguin travel, especially for off the beaten path destinations.


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My recent trip in Iraq organized by Penguin was excellent from start to end. Both Penguin tour guide (Nessi) and the local guide (Fahad) managed all topics efficiently and facilitated an amazing experience for the group. Now I dream about visiting the Northern part of the country, too.


Tour: Socotra Island Adventures (Yemen)
Thanks for everything in terms of your work and help with this trip to Yemen. It was an amazing experience - one I would recommend to almost anyone. By the numbers of people who travelled to the island, it is only going to get more exposure. The local company was very good - so you can have no problems with them at all. I was really lucky though - there were only 2 of us on the trip - and it was a really nice experience. I will continue to work with Penguin in getting ideas for great places to travel.

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