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Guatemala sightseeing. Travel guide - attractions, sights, nature and touristic places

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.
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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. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
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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.
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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.

History and Entertainment

The first big settlements in Guatemala were formed by the Mayans. The territory of the present country had been under them until the 9th century. When the Mayans left the lands they had inhabited, the desert territory attracted the tribes of the Toltecs and Quiche. The latter captured all small tribes living here. Exactly the Quiche formed the first state in the 15th century. It fell after 1523 when it saw the times of the active colonization. Spanish conquistador Pedro de Alvarado was the first to board the coast. Two years later, the Indians inhabiting the territory of the country were almost slain.
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Spanish colonizers started actively populating the territory. They were attracted by the deposits of precious metals they had found. The first liberation movements were established at the beginning of the 19th century. Guatemala officially gained independence from Spain in 1821. The modern country is considered one of the most contrasting in the world. Near unique attractions of the Mayan period, there are big cities with modern skyscrapers. Nature here also impresses with its diversity. There are volcanic areas, national parks with thick flora and incredibly beautiful lakes.

Fantastic City Tours and Excursions in Guatemala

Reference information
Map of all parks
National and city parks of Guatemala
♥   National Park 'Cerro Miramundo' . On the map   Photos
♥   Regional Municipal Park 'Cerro de Jesús' . On the map   Photos
♥   Regional Municipal Park 'El Mirador' . On the map   Photos
♥   National Park 'El Reformador' . On the map   Photos
♥   National Park 'El Rosario' . On the map   Photos

Famous and uniques places in Guatemala from our review series

Santa Maria Volcano

From the series “Volcanoes and Traps That Changed the Face of the Planet”
Early 18th century was also marked by a strong volcanic eruption. That year the disaster occurred in Guatemala. In 1902, the eruption of Santa Maria volcano happened there. It is considered one of the most violent eruptions of the 20th century. The incredibly powerful explosion occurred after 500 calm years. The diameter of the crater left after that is 1 500 meters.

Santa Maria volcano is the part of the chain of stratovolcanoes. After the eruption of 1902, it regularly reminds us of its power. Next, the less powerful eruption occurred in 1922. Seven years later, the volcano released into the atmosphere a cloud of easily flammable gas that killed 5 000 residents of nearby towns and villages. The height of the volcano is 3 772 meters. Researchers found out that the first powerful … Read all

Guatemala Stone Head

From the series “Most Curious Artifacts of Extraterrestrial Origin”
The impenetrable jungle of Guatemala, inhabited by the Mayan tribes since ancient times, conceals one of the most mysterious artefacts on earth. Here, in the midst of the luxuriant thickets of the exotic trees, lies the huge sandstone statue discovered by the researchers in the 30s of the last century. At first sight, the head of the impressive size seems unspectacular and reminds of the part of the statue of some ancient goddess. However, it is not so.

It is that the facial features of the statue differ strikingly from the classical appearance of Maya. The statue is very different from the stone statues found in the nearby territories of Guatemala. The extensive research has proved that the terrain where the statue was discovered was never populated. Moreover, the statue is much older … Read all

Samabaj

From the series “Famous Sunken Towns”
The ancient Mayan city of Samabaj had been regarded as a legend for many years, till its ruins have been found in one of the lakes in Guatemala. This important archaeological discovery occurred in 1996, and later, scientists were able to specify that Samabaj has sunken more than 3.5 thousand years ago. According to one of the most actual contemporary hypotheses, the ancient city has been situated on a small island that was completely flooded as a result of the earthquake.

Researchers have discovered ancient ceramics, magnificent altars and incense, as well as many beautiful ceremonial monuments at the archaeological area. All of these priceless artifacts confirm the version that the flooding of the rich and prosperous city was sudden. Over time, the water of the oceans receded and formed … Read all
All unique sightseeing Guatemala
Car rental on OrangeSmile.com Car rental in Guatemala

Sightseeing in popular cities of Guatemala

Guatemala City
In the vicinity of the city, there is a unique natural attraction – Lake Atitlan. The area of ​​this huge lake is more than 100 square kilometers. It is difficult to find its equal in beauty. The lake with water of a rich blue color has a volcanic origin; next to it there are three small volcanoes. Tourists are offered to make an ascent to the peaks of volcanoes, and also to visit the original settlements that have remained in these places, the way of life of which has not changed for … Read more

Map of travel guides to Guatemala cities

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