Interesting Facts about Guatemala

May 27, 2015 | 0

Guatemala is situated at the southern tip of Mexico in Central America. This small Central America country has a total spread of 42, 042 square miles with approximately 13, 276,517 people out there. The country is second densely populated in central and South America.

Guatemala is known for its forests and mountains with famous volcano Sierra Madre. The country is bordered by the narrow Caribbean coast in the north and the Pacific coast in the south. The country has its mysterious and amazing history of Maya civilization, which is still evident in many ruins. Half of the population is the descendants of that ancient civilization. The Ladinos population, a combination of Spanish and Maya civilization is dominated in the urban areas. The Maya descendants speak 24 indigenous languages and wear traditional dress and maintain customs.

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Best Time to visit

Guatemala attracts lots of people around the world. The tourist season starts from December till March. Mostly Europeans come to this part of Central America as an escape from winter; incidentally it is time when Guatemala enjoys a dry season.  Hotels are booked in advance this time of the year, especially Christmas and Easter. Hotels in Antigua even are booked one year in advance.

The best to visit Guatemala is in the period of December to January when spectacular greenery and clear sky adorn the whole country. If you want to avoid the crowd, just visit during “shoulder” period, from September to November.

Places to visit in Guatemala

Guatemala travel

EL Mirador

El Mirador originated in 6th century BC and abandoned at 9th century. This is a small city where you can observe various Mayan civilization ruins. The whole landscape is covered by dense forest. You can visit the village of Carmelita by car and then hike at least five days to explore various ruins.

Livingston

Livingston is located on the Caribbean coast and can only be reached by ferry. There are two ferries every day back and forth from Antigua, so you need to be book in advance your tickets. You can see Garifuna culture, savor local cuisine and music.

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Parque Central

Parque Central in Quetzaltenango is the city center gives you a taste of ancient history. The city is also a home to number of local Mayan villages; also you can travel to Laguna Chicabal, a holy lake in the midst of forest.

Lago de Atitlan

Lake Atitlan once described by famous philosopher and author Aldous Huxley as the most beautiful lake in the world. It is located in the Guatemalan highlands with absolutely natural wonders. It is also a tourist hub where people are engaged in scuba diving and other water sports.

What to do in Guatemala?

  • The city Antigua has its architectural beauty along with natural wonders. The city also offers a perfect laid-back aura with cheap restaurants, plazas, street markets and some modern day amenity centers. You can take an excursion to volcano, nearby villages, market towns and many other adventure activities.
  • Lake Atitlan offers many activities including boat trip to lakeside villages, scuba diving courses, explore busy street markets, and trek to nearby mountains.
  • If you have high spirited, you can visit the depths of Central American forest to rediscover ancient Mayan ruins. These ruins show ancient carvings, abandoned pyramids amidst stark forests. Some of the places should not be missed are Yaxhá, Tika Iximche, Antigua, Lake Atitlán and Aguateca.
  • Guatemala is a country of volcanoes. The most accessible is Pacaya, which can be reached by a bus from Antigua. You need to trek two hours to reach the top.
  • Taste exotic coffee and visit one of the largest Dalton coffee estate outside of Antigua. You can take a tour both in English and Spanish languages to know everything about coffee.

Interesting Trivia about Guatemala

  • Guatemala name derives from the word Guhatezmalh, meaning “Mountain that vomits water.” The country is also called Land of the Trees.
  • The first human settlement in the region dates back to 9000 BC.
  • The country is a land of volcanos. The Tajumulco active volcano is located at a height of 4,220 m above sea level.
  • It is one of the poorest countries in Latin America.
  • Denim, the blue jeans was originated in Guatemala
  • There are at least 21 indigenous Mayan languages still actively spoken by people.
  • People in villages are actively engaged in hand-woven Indian textile, pottery and wooden carvings. They also create hand-made musical instruments.
  • Many of Mayan civilization ruins are still hidden in Guatemala jungles. These forests are hard to penetrate filled with monkeys, toucans and other wildlife.

 

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