Natural beauty, exotic animals and birds, high volcanoes and ruins of great civilizations – Guatemala can offer all these and even more. This Central American country has become famous and loved by millions of travelers for its rich historic heritage and beautiful nature.
Without a doubt, Tikal, which is located not far away from Flores, is one of the most famous destinations in Guatemala. This is the largest ancient Mayan city. Founded in the 4th century BC, during the period of its peak prosperity, Tikal was the most populous city of the Mayan world. The most famous temples of Tikal are the Temple of Cacao, Moon Temple, the Temple of Inscriptions, Temple IV and Lost World Pyramid. In addition to rich heritage, the city is located in a very beautiful place among rainforests, so in dense jungle visitors may see rare birds and exotic butterflies.
Other famous archaeological sights include Yaxha, Aguateca, Nakbe, Ceibal, El Mirador and Uaxactan. As some of them are located in remote areas of the country, they can be reached only by helicopter or mule.
Guatemala is also home of “the most beautiful lake in the world”. Lago Atitlan is surrounded by volcanoes, the most easily accessible of which being Pacaya. There are a geological museum and a geothermal generation plant near the volcano. Don’t forget to visit Semuc Champey with its marvelous turquoise pools and a natural limestone bridge in Alta Verapaz. After a long walk, there is nothing better than to bathe in hot springs of Rio Dulce. Travellers can also take a boat and reach the Caribbean coast from Lago de Izabel.
Some of the best preserved rain forests in Central America are also located in Guatemala. Here travelers have a chance to see jaguar, toucans, monkeys, ocelot, parakeets, tapir, hummingbirds, vultures and many more species. Peten and Alta Verapaz are the best places to explore wildlife.
Of course, the capital of the country, Guatemala City, also has many interesting places. The most notable architectural landmarks include Cerrito del Carmen, Iglesia de la Merced, Catedral Metropolitana, Iglesia de Yurrita, Iglesia de Santo Domingo, and Calvario. Travellers are recommended to visit Kaminal Juyu as, according to archaeologists, there is an ancient city right behind the central part of the modern capital. Results of ongoing archaeological excavations can be seen on the site.
Read further: Cities and sights of Guatemala