Things to Do in Guatemala

The tourist attractions in Guatemala range from picturesque Mayan ruins and steaming volcanoes, to lush jungles and undercrowded beaches. One should never find themself at a loss for things to do in Guatemala, as this developing tourist destination is full of exciting activities.

Though the largest country in Central America, the fact that Guatemala is no bigger than Tennessee means that you can effectively see the best of what the country has to offer in one vacation. However, with its warm indigenous culture and its range of breathtaking settings, you might find yourself coming back for seconds, even thirds. Consider the following recommendations for things to do in Guatemala to help you maximize your vacation experience.

Explore Some Mayan Ruins

Mayan Ruins
Mayan Ruins

Throughout what is known as Guatemala today, the ancient Mayans erected some of their greatest cities. Tikal and El Mirador are among the greatest pre-Columbian cities built anywhere in the Americas, and visiting one or both is among the more memorable Guatemala things to do. Both of these amazing and unforgettable destinations are located in the sparcely populated, and somewhat wild northern Guatemala Petén region. While trips to Tikal and El Mirador can be arranged from most popular tourist locations around the city, the bulk of tours originate from the tourist-friendly city of Flores.

Take a Tour

Tours of Guatemala
Tours of Guatemala

The previously mentioned Mayan ruins aren’t the only tourist attractions in Guatemala that you can visit on a Guatemala tour. Mountain lakes, indigenous villages and volcanoes are just some of the other destinations you can explore on a Guatemala tour. Tours can be found throughout the country, and in cities such as Antigua, Flores and Panajachel, you will find a variety of agencies offering exciting trips. Eco-tourism is on the rise, not only in Guatemala, and Guatemala’s lush jungles, mountainous terrain and steamy lowlands provide plenty of options for an adventurous tour. Guatemala tours can often be the best way to get around to all the hottest spots and they are generally well-priced.

Chichicastenango Market

Chichicastenango Market
Chichicastenango Market

This is easily among the more popular Guatemala attractions. Every Thursday and Sunday, the Chichicastenango market is a colorful, 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. Besides the array of high-quality items you will find here, the atmosphere itself is enough to make the trip worthwhile. All sorts of textiles make the grade here, among the most popular being the women’s blouses made by the Maya women. The Chichicastenango market can be easily reached from Guatemala City, Antigua and Quetzaltenango.

Hike a Volcano

Guatemala Volcanoes
Guatemala Volcanoes

The Pacaya volcano is one of the most, if not the most climbed volcanoes in Guatemala. Rising to an altitude of 8,371 feet, the Pacaya volcano has been continually active since 1965. Found near Lake Atitlan, you can hike the volcano by yourself, but for safety reasons and for the sake of information, it is a good idea to use a guide. One of the biggest thrills to climbing Pacaya, besides the panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, is the chance you will have to peer inside its cone. Trips to this amazing entry among Guatemala attractions can be arranged most easily in Antigua and Panajachel.

Set Your Eyes on Lake Atitlan

Lake Atitlan
Lake Atitlan

Perhaps the most scenic of Guatemala attractions, visiting Lake Atitlan and taking advantage of all the area has to offer is surely one of the more popular things to do in Guatemala for tourists. Surrounded by volcanoes and found at an elevation of over 5,000 feet above sea level, Lake Atitlan is absolutely beautiful. Along the southern shore of Lake Atitlan rests the tourist village of Panajachel. Among the Panajachel hotels and the city’s array of fine eateries, the traveler will find it all at Lake Atitlan. A number of recreational activities can be enjoyed at Lake Atitlan through one of the many tour agencies.

Take Spanish Language Lessons

The cities of Antigua and Quetzaltenango offer a number of high-quality Spanish language lessons and schools. There is no better way to learn a language than immerse yourself in it. Many language programs around the country feature the chance to stay with a local family. The Spanish language schools found throughout Guatemala offer affordable one-on-one or group lessons at agreeable rates. Spanish language classes in Guatemala can be contracted for virtually any amount of time.

Relax on the Beach

Guatemala Beaches
Guatemala Beaches

While Guatemala is not among the most mentioned places to go beach hunting, along the country’s Pacific coast you will find plenty of relaxing seaside stretches that offer relaxation and wonderful sunsets. Often not mentioned among tourist attractions in Guatemala, these Pacific beaches feature black sand that is a result of the country’s volcanic countryside. Monterrico is the best known of Guatemala beaches, and spending at least a day there is a worthy addition to your list of Guatemala things to do.

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