Guatemala contains treasures bequeathed by the Mayan civilization, beautiful colonial monuments, natural reserves of great beauty and dream beaches in the Caribbean and the Pacific. We invite you to discover our selection of the best tourist places in Guatemala.
The main postcard of Guatemala in the world is one of the most important architectural ensembles of the Mayan civilization. It is located in the municipality of Flores, in the department of Petén, and was one of the most powerful kingdoms in pre-Hispanic Central America.
It houses a number of temples, with Temple IV being the most important. At 70 meters high, it is the tallest pre-Columbian structure in the American continent. The pyramid was built by Yik’in Chan Kawil in the 8th century and is believed to be the ruler’s mortuary building.
In Tikal, 7 courts have been uncovered for the ball game, including a sports complex made up of 3 courts, located in the Plaza de los Siete Templos, a unique fact in Mayan sports architecture that illustrates the dimensions and relevance of the town.
Other important buildings and elements of Tikal are the Pyramid of the Lost World, the Palace of the Bats, the altars, the lintels and the stelae.
Builders used wood from the sapodilla tree to make lintels that were elaborately carved by Mayan artists. The Tikal lintels are the most elaborate in the entire Mayan world. The stelae are carved with glyphs and images of the most notable monarchs of the kingdom.
Appreciate the beauty of this set in this video:
2. Basilica of the Black Christ of Esquipulas
Esquipulas, in the department of Chiquimula, is one of the most important pilgrimage centers in Latin America due to the famous Black Christ that houses the city’s basilica. The Basilica Cathedral of Esquipulas is the largest Christian temple in Central America and the most visited, receiving almost six million faithful annually.
The main singularity of the temple is its four bell towers, unique in American religious architecture. It is rectangular in plan with a dome in the center and a 50-meter-high tower at each corner.
The Black Christ or Lord of Esquipulas, a figure of Jesus Crucified, is one of the most revered images of Christianity. He arrived in Esquipulas in 1595 and according to tradition, the pilgrimages began when people from all over went to the church to admire the beautiful work of imagery.
Research has shown that it was carved from light wood and turned dark by candle smoke and the hands of the faithful.
Motorcyclists may not have a reputation for devoutness, but the Black Christ is capable of summoning a pilgrimage of 50,000 motorcycles that departs from the Guatemalan capital each year.
Watch the incredible Esquipulas in the following video:
3. Palace of the Captains General (Antigua Guatemala)
The construction of this building for the residence of the Captain General began in 1558 and fulfilled a variety of functions, among them, headquarters and room for the judges of the Royal Court, Royal Box, barracks for the Battalion of Dragoons, jail, cellars and orchards.
Several earthquakes that occurred throughout the 18th century caused severe damage to the palace, which was looted. The authorities decided to move the capital and the palace was stripped of doors, windows, balconies and everything that could be useful in the construction of the new city.
It was restored at the end of the 19th century, but again the earthquakes of 1942 and 1976 caused heavy damage to the building.
After the declaration of Antigua Guatemala as Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 1979, it was rebuilt and renovated again and is currently the headquarters of several government agencies, including the departmental government, the national police and the Guatemalan Institute of Tourism.
The Palacio de los Capitanes Generales was one of the first palatial buildings erected in Central America and is a Guatemalan architectural icon, with its imposing arches on two levels.
In the following video you can see this palace in more detail:
4. Lake Atitlan
It is a lake with a water mirror of 130 km 2 , located at 1,562 meters above sea level in the Guatemalan department of Sololá. Its maximum depth is 350 meters and the volcanoes of more than 3000 meters above sea level that surround it (Atitlán, Tolimán and San Pedro) increase the beauty and impressiveness of the landscape.
There is no agreement on the origin of this lake with no visible outlet, whose Nahua name means “between the waters”. Some scientists think that it is the extinct crater of an ancient volcano and others point out that it originated because the volcanic activity interrupted the course of the rivers, damming the water.
A legend indicates that in the place of the lake there was an island that was the seat of an important Mayan locality during the Preclassic period.
It is the main national freshwater reserve and one of the best tourist places in Guatemala, with activities such as kayaking , cruises, cycling, hiking, hiking, mountaineering, biodiversity observation, and cultural observation in the riverside and nearby towns.
Take a closer look at this wonderful lake in this video:
5. City Hall Palace (Antigua Guatemala)
It is an elegant building with double arches and Tuscan columns, located next to the cathedral, in front of the Central Park, which is the municipal seat of Antigua Guatemala.
It was built between 1740 and 1743 and withstood quite well the devastating earthquakes of 1773 that destroyed much of Antigua Guatemala and caused the capital to move. However, the looting and abandonment of the city caused more damage and loss than the earthquakes and the palace remained in a dilapidated state until the 19th century, when it was rehabilitated.
In 1851 a clock was placed and for several decades it was a municipal jail. One of its current tourist attractions is the Cell of La Tatuana, in which a woman accused of witchcraft was held. La Tatuana supposedly escaped from prison in a magical ship that she drew with charcoal on one of the walls of her cell.
In 1956, the Museo de Armas or Museo Santiago opened in the palace. The sample divided into five rooms exhibits paintings, sculptures, ceramics, heraldic works, colonial weapons, blacksmithing pieces and furniture.
This small city in the department of Quiché is known in Guatemala for its picturesque traditional market set up on Thursdays and Sundays, its colonial church and for being the place where the Popol Vuh, a compilation of historical and mythical narratives and the sacred book of the Mayans, was found. quiches.
The town is integrated into the main Guatemalan tourist routes, since the cultural traits and traditions of the Quiche Indians can be appreciated in their pure state, including their ceremonies governed by the Mayan calendar.
One of these rites is the petitions to the Mayan god Pascual Abaj, an example of religious syncretism, by combining a Hispanic Christian name with a Quiche word that means “stone”.
The Pascual Abaj sanctuary is a stone idol flanked by Christian crosses and is located on the Turk’aj hill, 1.2 km from the center of Santo Tomás de Chichicastenango. The petitioners ask for health, work and luck in love.
The Church of Santo Tomás is the epicenter of the patron saint’s festivities, on December 21. For the occasion, the brotherhoods present some beautiful typical choreographies, including the dances of the bulls, the deer and the snake.
In the following video you will find a drone tour of this market:
7. San Jose Cathedral (Antigua Guatemala)
The buildings of Santiago de los Caballeros de Guatemala (today Antigua Guatemala) have lived in a permanent fight against earthquakes. After the Santa Marta Earthquakes (1773), the cathedral changed from a church to a cemetery, since it lost its roofs and only the strong walls survived.
The trees that grew in the old naves shaded the tombs and their foliage protruded over the thick walls of the old church. The remains of the conqueror Pedro de Alvarado, which rested in the cathedral, were lost among so many accidents.
It was rebuilt between the years 1820 and 1830 and the religious objects, paintings, furniture and other valuable pieces that had been protected in the headquarters of the University of San Carlos returned to their old location.
The earthquake of 1874 brought down the towers and those of 1918 completed the destructive task. It was repaired and the violent earthquake of 1976 loaded the facade and the roofs. Between 1990 and 2015 it was rebuilt according to the appearance it had at the beginning of the 20th century.
8. Semuc Champey and Lanquín Caves
Semuc Champey is a natural monument and one of the most beautiful places in Guatemala, with the Cahabón River forming pools that range from jade to turquoise green depending on the time of year and the weather.
This space is located in the middle of a dense tropical jungle, in the municipality of Lanquín, department of Alta Verapaz, and is famous for a natural stone bridge, 300 meters long, under which the river flows, forming the staircase of precious pools on the limestone roof.
The forests that surround Semuc Champey are a valuable reserve of biodiversity that includes more than 120 species of trees, a hundred birds, and dozens of amphibians, reptiles, and mammals. In the waters 10 species of fish have been identified.
The Lanquín Caves are located in a national park near Semuc Champey and are home to curious limestone formations.
Observe in the following video this magnificent vision of the natural monument:
9. La Recollection Architectural Complex
It was built between 1701 and 1708 as a convent for the Recollect monks, under the name of Colegio de Cristo Crucificado de los Misioneros Apostólicos.
The earthquakes of 1717, 1751 and 1773 caused successive damage and the Recoletos moved to Nueva Guatemala de la Asunción (today Guatemala City), abandoning the convent.
During the 19th century, the building was successively used as a stable, a soap factory, and even as a source of materials for the construction of other buildings in the city that had been renamed Antigua Guatemala instead of Santiago de los Caballeros de Guatemala.
The Recoletos had taken most of the valuables, but part of their silverware and other pieces were looted by the forces of the champion of Central American federalism, Francisco Morazán.
The 1874 earthquake demolished the main façade, leaving a set of vestiges that are preserved today as a tourist attraction. These ruins are a national monument and are located in the middle of a beautiful municipal park.
10. Archaeological site of Quiriguá
Although every archaeological site in Guatemala is relatively overshadowed by the majesty of Tikal, the Quiriguá site is particularly noteworthy for its pre-Columbian sculpture, visible on stelae, altars, and carved deities on stone-carved monuments that are the tallest in the Americas. prehispanic
The constructive apotheosis began in the 8th century, after Quiriguá defeated Copán in 738 and executed its main monarch, Uaxaclajuun Ub’aah K’awiil (18 Rabbit) in the Great Plaza. The style of architecture and sculpture of the 2 cities was similar.
The main architectural complex is the Acropolis, located on the south side of the ceremonial center. The complex includes six structures and was built between the years 550 and 810, when the city was abandoned.
One of its architectural details is a ball court that was buried under another construction, this being a rare example of overlapping buildings in Mayan architecture.
The monuments include unusually tall stelae carved into monoliths of red sandstone, a hard rock that allowed artists to make bas-reliefs in three dimensions rather than two as was usual in the region.
Appreciate this incredible place in more detail:
11. Las Capuchinas Church and Convent (Antigua Guatemala)
This building, consecrated in 1736, marked two milestones, one religious and the other architectural. It was the first convent that eliminated the requirement to pay a dowry in kind or property for the admission of interested women, a measure that opened religious life in seclusion to low-income women.
It was also the first convent in the Americas with a study area and cell toilets, leading some architectural historians to consider it the pioneering apartment building on the continent.
Another particularity of the building is a circular construction called the Retiro Tower, a unique architectural element among the convents of America. These attributes make it one of the main tourist attractions in Antigua Guatemala.
The building survived the frequent earthquakes with few mishaps and a chronicle by Prince William of Sweden, who visited the area in 1920, describes it as one of the best preserved in Antigua Guatemala.
After its declaration as a national monument, the old convent was restored and is currently the headquarters of the National Council for the Protection of Antigua Guatemala.
Watch this incredible building in this video:
12. San Felipe de Lara Castle
This colonial fortress was built at the mouth of the Dulce River with Lake Izabal, with a triple function: a military fort, a prison surrounded by water on three of its four sides, and a customs and storage center for trade with Spain.
The project was ordered by Philip II and the work included a formidable tower with 19 cannons to keep pirates and buccaneers at bay. The construction of other ports made San Felipe lose importance and the castle was abandoned in 1817.
It was rebuilt in 1955 by the architect Francisco Ferrús Roig, who previously visited the Archivo General de Indias in Spain to locate the original plans and other documents that allowed him to make a reliable reconstruction.
In 2001 it was the subject of another restoration conducted by the Institute of Anthropology and History. The Castle of San Felipe de Lara is administered by the Guatemalan Institute of Tourism.
Appreciate in this video the dimensions of this castle:
13. Church of San Francisco (Antigua Guatemala)
It is a place of pilgrimage for those devoted to Brother Pedro (Pedro de San José de Betancur), buried in the church.
This was a 17th-century Canarian religious, canonized in 2002 by John Paul II and considered the first Central American saint for having evangelized and worked for 18 years in present-day Guatemala. He is credited with founding the first interracial school and the first convalescent hospital in America.
The current church was built in 1702 on the same site as a 16th-century one destroyed by an earthquake. The earthquakes of the 18th century greatly affected it and it was abandoned until its reconstruction after the middle of the 20th century.
It has a façade decorated with twisted columns and an image of the Virgin Mary in the central niche.
It has two towers lower than the façade, something unusual in Christian architecture. The tower on the north side houses two bells and the one on the south has been left as it was after the earthquakes of 1773.
It is a small city and municipality on the border with Belize, located in the department of Izabal, near the mouth of the Dulce River. It was the main Atlantic port of Guatemala before the construction of Puerto Barrios.
Livingston is one of the main producers of African palm for the production of oil in Guatemala and hectares that were dedicated to cotton and bananas have been moved to this crop. It is also an area of oil exploitation.
Livingston stands out touristically for its beautiful lacustrine, river and nearby Caribbean Sea landscapes. Some of them are Playa Blanca, with white sand and shaded by coconut palms; the Rio Dulce canyon, surrounded by tropical jungle; and the Siete Altares, a system of waterfalls and natural pools located 3 km from Livingston.
The Seven Altars refer to seven waterfalls, although there are actually more, staggered near the Bay of Amatique, ideal for a refreshing swim. They are a protected area with a beautiful fauna of fish, crabs and butterflies, among other species.
In the following video you can see this magnificent city in more detail:
15. Convent of Santo Domingo and Hotel Casa Santo Domingo (Antigua Guatemala)
The ruins of the colonial building belonged to a monastery built in the 16th century by the Dominican order and demolished in 1773 by the earthquakes of the day of Santa Marta.
Currently, the Hotel Museo Spa Casa Santo Domingo operates in the ruined monastery, a luxurious and glamorous 5-star accommodation located on Tercera Calle Oriente 28-A, a 10-minute walk from the center of Antigua Guatemala.
The hotel has double standard rooms, double Deluxe rooms, executive rooms, junior suites, deluxe suites and luxury suites with sauna and hydromassage bath.
The air conditioning, the flat screen TV with cable channels, the hair dryer and other modern artifacts remind guests that they are not in a bedroom in the middle of the colonial era, although the monastic ruins give an unsurpassed colonial atmosphere for any other hotel.
The manicured gardens, the spa , the outdoor pool and the gym coexist harmoniously with the chapel, the colonial art pieces, the archaeological museum, the pottery workshop and the museum and largest jade factory in Antigua Guatemala that are located at the hotel.
In this video you can see the hotel in more detail:
16. Golden Beach
It is one of the most beautiful beaches in Guatemala, on the shores of Lake Izabal in the department of the same name. It is characterized by its golden sands dotted with pebbles and its exuberant surroundings formed by large coconut palms.
The sand is narrow, with the edge of the beach a few steps from the shade of the coconut palms. On the long beach, all tourist services are available, such as hotels, restaurants and places to rent equipment to practice aquatic entertainment in the calm lake waters.
One of these establishments is G Boutique Hotel, a 5-star accommodation located in Cayo Grande, next to the lake. It has double rooms and suites with lake views, outdoor pool, restaurant, gym, games room and free Wi-Fi.
The rooms have a private bathroom, air conditioning, balcony, flat screen TV with cable channels, safe, coffee maker, ironing kit , clothes dryer and outdoor dining area.
In the following video you can appreciate how beautiful this beach is:
17. Lake Peten Itza
It is a lake of 99 km 2 and a maximum depth of 168 meters, located in the northern department of El Petén. It is the third largest lake in the country, after Atitlán and Izabal, and has an island, Flores, which is home to the departmental co-capital.
Its indigenous name means “wizard of the water” and the municipalities of Flores, San Benito and San Andrés are located on its banks.
Isla de Flores is densely populated by the city of Flores and its indigenous name is Noj Petén, which means Big Island. The Hispanic name is in honor of prominent liberal leader Cirilo Flores Estrada (1779-1826).
A bridge joins the island with the town of Santa Elena de la Cruz, with which Flores shares the capital of the department of El Petén.
In Lake Petén Itzá you can swim, kayak , take boat rides along its coastline and around Flores Island, and do other water and land activities.
In the following video you can see this amazing lake:
18. Beaches near Puerto Barrios
Puerto Barrios is the head of the Guatemalan municipality of the same name and the department of Izabal. It is located in the cove of Santo Tomás, within the Caribbean bay of Amatique, it is the main port of the country on the Atlantic coast and one of the tourist places in Guatemala that has excellent beaches.
Near the port there are magnificent beaches of golden sand, the best known being the Amatique Bay Resort & Marina Beach. This is a nice 5-star hotel that has an outdoor pool, two restaurants, a bar, and Wi-Fi connection.
Amatique Bay Resort & Marina Beach also has double rooms, studios and one-bedroom apartments, which have air conditioning, private bathroom, flat-screen TV, safe, kettle, coffee maker and ironing kit . The hotel beach is open to the public during the day.
Another place close to Puerto Barrios is Punta Palma, with a semi-virgin beach surrounded by tropical jungle, which practically lacks tourist services, so you have to take everything you need. In Puerto Barrios, the boats that go to the spectacular beaches of the Cayos de Belize are approached.
Appreciate in the following video how beautiful this place is:
19. Metropolitan Cathedral of Guatemala City
The earthquakes of 1773 that destroyed Santiago de los Caballeros de Guatemala (Old Guatemala) determined the transfer of the Captaincy General of Guatemala (called the Kingdom of Guatemala) and other colonial institutions to a new city that began to be built immediately.
In principle, the cathedral functioned provisionally as a chapel and a beguinage while the new cathedral temple was being built. The cathedral was inaugurated in 1815, still unfinished, in a solemn act in which the image of Nuestra Señora del Socorro was moved from the Beaterío de Santa Rosa to its new location.
The neoclassical-style building has a dome, two twin towers and an elegant main façade.
Behind the main altar, on the second floor, is the organ with golden moldings, decorated at the top with images of children holding musical instruments. It has vaults and underground crypts that house the tombs of prominent figures from politics, the clergy and the armed forces.
The 1976 earthquake caused considerable damage to the cathedral, which was subjected to general repairs that lasted 5 years.
In the following video you can see an incredible illumination of the cathedral:
20. Tajumulco Volcano
It is the highest volcano in the country, with its summit located at 4222 meters above sea level. It is located in the municipality of Tajumulco in the department of San Marcos and is extinct. The area of the volcano was protected in 1956 with an area of 4,472 hectares.
It has two peaks and two camping areas, one located almost at the top of the highest peak and another in an area between the two summits.
The minor peak is at 4100 meters above sea level and is called Cerro Concepción. The highest peak has a crater 50 meters in diameter and has a triangulation tower placed by the National Geographic Institute.
In 2009 there was an intense snowfall, perhaps the largest that Guatemala has known, a tropical country where snow is unusual.
The slopes of the Tajumulco volcano are used to raise sheep and grow potatoes and other vegetables. The oak, fir and coniferous forests provide a beautiful green setting for the ascents.
Watch in this video the rise of this incredible volcano:
21. Cerrito del Carmen (Guatemala City)
When it was decided to abandon Santiago de los Caballeros de Guatemala due to its high seismicity, the most notable neighbors voted between two options to decide the location of the new city, the Ermita Valley and the Jalapa Valley, the former winning unanimously. .
The valley of the Ermita received its name from an old church located on a small hill that had been there since 1620 and that over time became the parish headquarters for the communities of the valley.
At the time of drawing up the plans for the new city, the Hermitage hill was taken as the starting point, which is why it is closely linked to the birth and history of Guatemala City.
The general style hermitage with baroque elements was consecrated to the Virgen del Carmen and is currently one of the oldest colonial monuments in Guatemala. The main altarpiece located inside the temple is one of the best works of Baroque art in the country.
Appreciate in this video how wonderful this place is:
22. Las Lisas Beach
It is a hidden beach in the Guatemalan Pacific, located in the department of Santa Rosa, which is distinguished by its exotic black sands due to its volcanic origin. Its high waves make it great for surfing and its mangrove-filled canal is an ecosystem with copious biodiversity.
Las Lisas is a small fishing community whose inhabitants go to sea every day to get the fish and shellfish that they sell to the restaurants on the beach. The beach is good for snorkeling and diving, especially two sunken ships that act as artificial reefs and in which colorful underwater life has developed.
The beach offers beautiful sunsets and from December to March it is a site for humpback whale watching.
Another attraction of Playa Las Lisas is the Barra del Jiote, a land tongue between the Chiquimulilla channel and the Pacific in which a small lagoon forms when the tide rises.
Observe this incredible beach in the following video:
23. Museum of the University of San Carlos (Guatemala City)
This museum is located in the Old Faculty of Law of the Old University Building, a colonial-style building in the historic center of Guatemala City. The building was completed in 1851 and declared a national monument in 1970. The museum opened in 1994 and has the following rooms:
University Historical Room
It reviews the history and main contributions of the University of San Carlos de Guatemala, the first founded in Central America and the fourth in the New World.
Used for temporary exhibitions and to show the results of scientific and human-social research carried out by the university.
Hall of Cultures
Dedicated to national and foreign cultures involved in the development of Guatemala. It works under the modality of temporary exhibitions (3 a year).
Historical Room of the Building
Dedicated to the history of the property (construction, restorations) in which the museum operates.
Art Gallery Room
Exhibition of works of modern and contemporary art (painting, sculpture) by national and foreign artists. There are 4 to 6 exhibitions a year.
Used for traveling exhibits on a wide variety of topics.
In the following video you will find a tour of the facilities of this fantastic university:
24. National Palace of Culture (Guatemala City)
It was the national government palace of the Republic of Guatemala between 1943 and 1998. In 1980 it was declared a Historic and Artistic Monument and since 2001 it belongs to the Ministry of Culture and Sports. It is also called Palacio Verde and El Guacamolón.
It is used for cultural and formal acts and marks the kilometer zero of all highways between Guatemala City and the departmental capitals. In 1996 it was the venue for the signing of the peace accords that put an end to the Civil War in Guatemala.
It was ordered to be built by the military president Jorge Ubico and finished on November 10, 1943 to coincide with the birthday of the general, who could only enjoy it for 7 months, since he had to resign in July 1944 due to popular pressure.
It is a symmetrical building with a central body and two sides, a central patio and 2 Mudejar-style ponds. The patio is surrounded by ornamental arches and inside there are paintings and murals inspired by Guatemalan history since pre-Hispanic times.
Admire the exterior facade of this historic palace in the following video:
25. National Museum of Archeology and Ethnology of Guatemala
This public museum attached to the Ministry of Culture and Sports has the function of ensuring the conservation of the archaeological and ethnographic heritage of Guatemala.
It works in the La Aurora estate and in its 4,200 m 2 of exhibition area it exhibits a collection of 35,000 archaeological pieces and 15,000 ethnographic objects that represent more than 3,000 years of history, plus a sample of paintings, sculptures, models, replicas, scenery and dioramas related to their activity.
The museum’s archeology section began in 1931 in the La Aurora Tea Room and in 1946 it moved to its current location.
The permanent exhibition takes a tour of the birth, development, peak and decline of the Mayan civilization in Guatemala and the temporary exhibitions are usually oriented to specific themes on the same general theme.
The museum covers from the first hunting and gathering peoples who lived in the current territory of Guatemala to the Mayan culture existing at the arrival of the Spanish conquerors. It also addresses the issues of multiculturalism and the cultural identity of Guatemala.
Watch the interior of this wonderful museum in the following video:
26. Monterrico Beach
It is another semi-virgin beach of dark and volcanic sand located in the department of Santa Rosa, on the Pacific side. It is part of the protected area of Monterrico and Hawaii, made up of the Hawaii National Park and the Monterrico Nature Reserve, naturally united, but with different administrations.
The two entities were decreed in 1956 with a joint area of 10 million m 2 that houses the best preserved mangroves in the country on the Pacific coast. The mangrove forests are habitat for crocodiles and green iguanas, as well as migratory birds.
Near the community of Monterrico is the La Palmilla lagoon, with a large concentration of birds, especially pelicans.
The beach is a nesting site for sea turtles, especially olive ridleys and leatherbacks. The populations of these turtles have recovered thanks to the work of the reproductive center located in the village of Hawaii.
In the following video you will be able to appreciate this beautiful beach in more detail:
It is a city located in the highlands of western Guatemala and guarded by several volcanoes, including the inactive Santa María, whose 1902 eruption has been included among the five largest in the world in the last 200 years.
In 1922, a new volcanic vent was formed on the Santa María that ended in a new volcano called Santiaguito, constantly erupting 1.2 km below. This circumstance led to an almost unique event in the world: ascending to the summit of Santa María, you can see a volcanic eruption from above.
Among the architectural attractions of Quetzaltenango, the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, with a baroque façade, and the Municipal Theater and the House of Culture, two neoclassical buildings, stand out.
The Ixkik Museum of Mayan Costume, located on Avenida 19 with Calle 4, has the most complete sample of traditional indigenous clothing in the country. Near Quetzaltenango are the hot springs of Zunil and the town of Salcajá, whose hermitage built in 1524 was the first Christian temple in Central America.
Appreciate in the following video how beautiful this city is:
Cobán is the capital of the department of Alta Verapaz, located in north-central Guatemala. At the initiative of the national government, it was settled by German immigrants at the end of the 19th century and the Germanic influence is still evident in the town.
In Cobán’s heritage, the church of Calvario stands out, located on top of a hill, half a kilometer from the city’s Central Park.
In the temple, the Christ of Calvary is worshiped, whose image was sculpted by Quirio Cataño, the same sculptor who made the Black Christ of Esquipulas. Mass is celebrated in Spanish and in Kekchí, one of the languages of the Mayans of Guatemala and Belize, in the church of Calvario.
The Cuevas de la Candelaria National Park is a system of caves with impressive rock formations. These caves of speleological importance were a Mayan pilgrimage site and are the habitat of an interesting biodiversity.
The plant symbol of Cobán is the Monja Blanca orchid, also the national flower. The Verapaces nursery houses some 60,000 specimens belonging to 750 varieties of orchids, including 200 miniature species.
See in the following video an aerial shot of this beautiful city:
It is another town and municipality in the Guatemalan western highlands, located at 2076 meters above sea level in the department of Quetzaltenango. Most of its 12,000 inhabitants are Quiche Indians who speak their own language.
Like almost all the localities of the altiplano, it has an uneven terrain. The Santa María, Santiaguito, and Santo Tomás volcanoes are nearby, as well as the Samalá River, spas, thermal baths, and some iron, mercury, and sulfur mines.
Its temple is from the colonial era and in its surroundings there are houses with tile roofs. A picturesque picture, common in Zunil, is to see its indigenous people dressed in their striking and colorful typical costumes, made by hand on old looms.
The typical costume for men is short pants and a cape-shaped shirt. Its color is white with orange and purple stripes.
These garments were imposed by the encomenderos, settlers and evangelizers to identify the indigenous peoples converted to Christianity and became typical costumes.
It is a Mayan site located on the banks of the La Pasión River in the Guatemalan department of El Petén, being the most important archaeological site along the basin of that river current of 345 km that crosses northern Guatemala.
For some reason, El Ceibal survived into the 10th century, despite the widespread Mayan collapse that had occurred in the region, as evidenced by some unusually late dates etched into several of its monuments.
In the year 735, El Ceibal suffered a catastrophic defeat against the kingdom of Petexbatún and much of its architectural and artistic heritage was destroyed, losing a valuable collection and evidence of its early history.
However, several architectural ensembles, structures and monuments that are now open to the public managed to survive. The tallest building is Structure A-10, a 28-meter pyramid. A curious structure is the C-79, formed by circular platforms, something atypical in the Mayan world.
Stela 11 illustrates the refoundation of the city in the year 830 and Stela 2, dated around the year 870, shows a masked figure, the only frontal image of the site.
31. Tacana Volcano
The second highest volcano in Guatemala (4092 meters above sea level) is a natural landmark on the border between Guatemala and Mexico, located northeast of the Chiapas city of Tapachula.
It is an active stratovolcano and lush forests grow on its slopes. Periods of explosions and fumaroles have been recorded between 1855 and 2018.
Its name means “house of fire” in the Mayan Mam language and during the colony it was known as Volcán de Soconusco.
During Holy Week, the Southeast Mountaineer Confraternity holds a meeting at the summit, in which about 100 mountaineers from Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica and other countries participate.
It is unusual for it to snow in the Tacaná, although in 2010 a snowfall fell that painted the high Guatemalan and Mexican slopes of the volcano white.
It is ascended from Guatemala and Mexico by mountaineers, hikers and nature observers. It is also studied and evaluated in geological expeditions, as it is a reference point for three tectonic plates, whose movements are decisive in the seismicity of the region.
Tecpán is a Guatemalan town located in the Central Highlands in the department of Chimaltenango. It was founded by the Spanish as Tecpán Guatemala on the site of the pre-Hispanic city of Iximché and was the first capital of the newly conquered country.
El sitio de Iximché es la principal atracción turística y se ubica a 3 km de Tecpán. Iximché fue la capital del reino de Kaqchikel hasta 1527, cuando la localidad precolombina fue abandonada por la llegada de los conquistadores.
En el yacimiento se han conservado plazas, templos, palacios y dos campos para jugar pelota. Durante las excavaciones fueron rescatadas esculturas, pinturas y otras piezas que se conservan en el museo del sitio, que fue declarado Monumento Nacional de Guatemala.
Entre las construcciones destacan el Gran Palacio I y el Gran Palacio II, que fueron edificaciones residenciales. De su interior se rescataron objetos de cerámica, comales, metates, cuchillos de obsidiana y fragmentos de quemadores de incienso.
De los templos excavados, el mejor conservado es el Templo II, una estructura piramidal que tenía un altar para sacrificios humanos.
Aprecia en el siguiente video lo hermoso de esta atracción turística:
33. Volcán de Pecayá
Es un volcán activo localizado en el municipio de San Vicente Pacaya, en el departamento guatemalteco de Escuintla, en la costa del Pacífico.
Desde la época colonial ha registrado 23 periodos eruptivos. Estuvo inactivo por 100 años hasta que en 1965 sorpresivamente despertó con violencia, volviendo a hacer erupción en 1987, 2010 y 2014.
Es uno de los volcanes favoritos para el ascenso en Guatemala por su cercanía a las grandes ciudades (está a 48 km al sur de Ciudad de Guatemala y a 49 km al sureste de Antigua Guatemala), la facilidad para subirlo y los espectaculares paisajes visibles desde las alturas.
La operadora turística Viator ofrece varias excursiones turísticas al volcán de Pecayá desde Ciudad de Guatemala y Antigua Guatemala.
Estos tours van desde 12.53 € (269 MXN / paseo de medio día que incluye transporte y agua embotellada) hasta 88.62 € (1902.3 MXN / incluye transporte redondo desde Antigua Guatemala, el volcán, unos baños termales y almuerzo).
Aprecia en el siguiente video este increíble volcán:
Este sitio arqueológico del municipio de Flores, departamento de Petén, está situado a 25 km al norte de Tikal y fue habitado aproximadamente desde 900 a.C. viviendo su máximo apogeo entre 500 d.C. y 900 d.C.
La estela 9 tiene una inscripción de 328 d.C. y la estela 12 cuenta con otra de 899 d.C. lo que indica que fue la localidad más largamente ocupada en el Petén, al menos según registros grabados.
Por mucho tiempo fue considerada también la ciudad más antigua, hasta que nuevos hallazgos demostraron que Nakbé y El Mirador ya existían durante el Preclásico Temprano.
Tras ser abandonada, en el siglo X fue cubierta por la jungla y redescubierta en 1916 por el arqueólogo estadounidense Silvanus Morley, dándose los primeros pasos para la investigación de la cultura maya. Las excavaciones del sitio dieron a conocer en el mundo a la civilización maya.
El nombre Uaxactún adoptado para el sitio fue encontrado por Morley al descifrar una estela. Un notable monumento del yacimiento es el Templo de los Mascarones, así llamado por un conjunto de 16 grandes figuras con apariencia humana y de tigre
Observa en el siguiente video lo maravilloso de este lugar:
Es un municipio guatemalteco del departamento de Petén, que cuenta con varios atractivos turísticos, especialmente espacios naturales con una rica vida silvestre y sitios arqueológicos.
La laguna de Petexbatún es un cuerpo de aguas cristalinas rodeado de paisajes vírgenes. En la laguna se practica la pesca y otros entretenimientos acuáticos y los alrededores son visitados por los observadores de la fauna silvestre.
A 14 km de Sayaxché se encuentra San Juan Acul, con una laguna en estado salvaje con grandes rocas en la orilla y poblada de peces.
El Parque Nacional El Rosario se halla a 4 km de la cabecera municipal y cuenta con bosques y una laguna central. Al arroyo El Pucte se llega navegando por el río La Pasión y es de aguas refrescantes y cristalinas.
Cerca de Sayaxché hay seis sitios arqueológicos: El Ceibal, Dos Pilas, Aguateca, El Duende, Altar de los Sacrificios y Cancuén.
Es un municipio y cabecera departamental de agradable clima fresco al encontrarse a 1900 m.s.n.m. en el departamento de Huehuetenango, en el altiplano occidental de Guatemala.
Su principal atracción es el sitio arqueológico de Zaculeu, un asentamiento maya del período Postclásico que fue la capital del señorío Mam.
Fue restaurado en 1940 por la célebre empresa frutícola United Fruit Company para estimular el turismo hacia Guatemala y sigue estando en uso como centro ceremonial del pueblo Mam.
Las principales construcciones son ocho plazas, un amplio conjunto de estructuras y un campo para el juego de pelota. Entre las estructuras sobresalen la 1 y la 4.
La estructura 1 es un templo piramidal de 12 metros de altura con un santuario en la cumbre. La estructura 4 es una inusual combinación de palacio y templo.
En esta estructura fue excavada una tumba con un esqueleto completo rodeado de ofrendas que incluían platos de barro en trípode, quemador de incienso, 9 cuchillos de obsidiana, un cuchillo de pedernal, abalorios de jade y fragmentos de oro.
Otras atracciones del municipio de Huehuetenango son la laguna de Zaculeu y los cenotes de Candelaria.
Aprecia en este video este fantástico lugar:
37. Reserva de la Biosfera Maya
Esta reserva alberga el mayor bosque tropical centroamericano. Con 21602 km 2 , abarca la mitad norte del departamento de Petén y es el área protegida más grande de Guatemala.
Limita con México por el norte y el oeste, colindando con el Área de Protección de Flora y Fauna Cañón del Usumacinta (municipio de Tenosique, Tabasco) y también es fronteriza con Belice.
Alberga parques nacionales, reservas de biósfera particulares, reservas biológicas, reservas forestales, monumentos naturales, monumentos culturales, biotipos protegidos, reservas naturales privadas y sitios arqueológicos, incluyendo Tikal, el más importante del país, así como Piedras Negras, Uaxactún, El Mirador, Nakbé, El Tintal y Wakna.
Su riqueza faunística incluye panteras, pumas, leopardos, pecaríes, venados de cola blanca, corzuelas coloradas (guazos), tapires, monos aulladores, monos araña, lapas, boas contrictor, serpientes terciopelo, cocodrilos mexicanos, iguanas verdes, arpías, guacamayas y pavos ocelados.
A pesar de estar protegidos, estos valiosos ecosistemas mundiales enfrentan varias amenazas, como la tala y la caza ilegales, el incendio de zonas para abrir áreas agrícolas y pecuarias y el saqueo de los yacimientos mayas.
Observa en el siguiente video la magnífica reserva:
Retalhuleu es la capital del departamento de igual nombre, situado al suroeste de Guatemala, frente al Pacífico. La ciudad comenzó a consolidarse en los años 1620 cuando el sacerdote Antonio Margil inauguró el templo y bautizó a la localidad como San Antonio Retalhuleu.
Retalhuleu tiene un bonito centro histórico y en su paisaje arquitectónico destacan el Parque Central, el templo de San Antonio de Padua, el Palacio de Gobernación, la iglesia de San Nicolás, la Calzada de Las Palmas, el Monumento de La Sirena, la Estación de la Policía Nacional, la fuente Los Pupos y el Cementerio.
Entre los lugares turísticos de Guatemala, Retalhuleu es conocida por ser asiento de los mejores parques acuáticos del país.
Uno de ellos es el Parque Acuático Xocomil, situado en el Km 180.5 de la carretera a Quetzaltenango a 11 km de la ciudad, el más grande de Centroamérica, que incluye un impresionante sistema de toboganes, piscinas interactivas, piscina con olas, río lento y áreas para juegos.
Otros fantásticos parques de Retalhuleu son Parque Xetulul, ubicado a 11 km de la ciudad, y Dino Park, a 9 km.
En la ciudad está el Museo del Juguete Xulic, un parque de entretenimiento familiar con una enorme colección de juguetes que es uno de mejores lugares recreativos en Guatemala.
Aprecia en el siguiente video esta hermosa ciudad:
39. Todos Santos Cuchumatán
Es un pueblo y municipio del departamento de Huehuetenango situado a casi 2500 m.s.n.m., que goza de una temperatura promedio anual de 15 °C, muy constante durante todo el año. El municipio vive del cultivo de café, patata, brócoli y otros rubros agrícolas.
Toda la gente del pueblo viste más o menos igual, con unas coloridas prendas que en el caso de los hombres incluye un vistoso pantalón rojo y blanco.
La principal atracción de la localidad es su feria titular, celebrada el 1 de noviembre. En la mañana se realiza una tradicional carrera de caballos, que no es propiamente una competencia sino unas cabalgatas por tradición y diversión. Para la ocasión, los jinetes visten el traje típico y beben un trago entre galopada y galopada.
La meseta de los Cuchumatanes, situada en la sierra del mismo nombre, es un lugar excelente para ir en una caminata. En la meseta hay aisladas aldeas indígenas en las que los pobladores hablan principalmente en lengua maya. Alquilan cuartos de sus modestas casas a precios módicos, incluyendo el uso del temazcal.
40. Río Dulce
En 1935 un hecho causó revuelo en las poblaciones ribereñas del río Dulce: la llegada de un nutrido grupo de estadounidenses que iban a hacer la película Las nuevas aventuras de Tarzán , incluyendo a Edgar Rice Burroughs, creador del famoso personaje.
El turismo aún estaba en pañales y la película ayudó a dar a conocer en Estados Unidos a varios lugares guatemaltecos, como el río, Chichicastenango, Antigua Guatemala, Ciudad de Guatemala, Puerto Barrios, Quiriguá y la selva petenesa.
El río Dulce es una corta pero hermosa corriente fluvial, de 43 km, que une el lago de Izabal a la bahía de Amatique. Su cuenca fue protegida en 1955, siendo una de las primeras áreas con régimen de protección en Guatemala. Es hábitat de cocodrilos y de manatíes, un inofensivo sirénido que solo come hierbas y cuyo único depredador es el hombre.
De las poblaciones de las orillas parten embarcaciones que recorren los bonitos ecosistemas. El Río Dulce, el Castillo de San Felipe de Lara y el Biotopo Protegido Chocón Machacas forman un grupo de atractivos cercanos que los turistas aprovechan de conocer cuando van a esta parte atlántica de Guatemala.
Observa este video que muestra unas tomas preciosas de este rio:
¿Qué lugares visitar en Guatemala?
Otros lugares para visitar en Guatemala son el volcán Acatenango, las ruinas arqueológicas de Yaxhá, el volcán San Pedro, la laguna Lachuá, el volcán de Fuego, la laguna de Chicabal, el volcán de Agua, el sitio arqueológico de Topoxté y el lago Amatitlán. En Antigua Guatemala, el Parque Central, el Museo de Armas Antiguas, el Museo del Traje Antiguo y el Museo del Jade. En Ciudad de Guatemala, la Plaza de la Constitución, el Teatro Lux, el reloj de Flores de la Avenida Liberación, la Torre del Reformador y el Acueducto de Pinula.
¿Cuáles son las playas de Guatemala?
Punta de Manabique es una pequeña península con hermosas playas guatemaltecas. Está situada entre a la Bahía de Amatique y el Golfo de Honduras y su principal playa es Estero Lagarto, de arenas blancas, sombreada por cocoteros y con una bonita fauna para conocer haciendo buceo de superficie. Otra fabulosa playa caribeña de Guatemala es Playa Quehueche (departamento de Izabal), situada cerca de los Siete Altares. Del lado del Pacífico sobresalen Playa Champerico (Retalhuleu) y las playas cercanas a Puerto San José (Escuintla).
¿Cuál es la mejor época para viajar a Guatemala?
Las dos principales ciudades turísticas de Guatemala (Antigua Guatemala y Ciudad de Guatemala) gozan de un clima fresco durante todo el año. En estas localidades y en general en el interior de Guatemala se distinguen dos temporadas, una seca de noviembre a abril y otra lluviosa de mayo a octubre. Las localidades del altiplano, como Huehuetenango, Zunil y Tecpán, también son frescas y sin picos de temperatura. En las playas del Caribe hace calor casi todo el año y las lluvias son más uniformes.
¿Cuáles son los meses de invierno en Guatemala?
El período invernal en Guatemala es el del hemisferio norte, entre diciembre y marzo. Sin embargo, las principales ciudades guatemaltecas se caracterizan por tener un clima bastante estable. Por ejemplo, Antigua Guatemala tiene una temperatura promedio anual de 18.3 °C y el promedio en el invierno es 17 °C. En Puerto Barrios, en el Caribe, el mercurio marca un promedio anual de 27.3 °C, cifra que baja solo 2 °C en invierno.
Lugares turísticos de Guatemala con hotel
En Ciudad de Guatemala hay magníficos hoteles, como Barceló Guatemala City (5 estrellas), Hayatt Centric Guatemala City (5 estrellas), Courtyard by Marriott Guatemala City (5 estrellas) y Hotel San Carlos (4 estrellas). En Antigua Guatemala sobresalen el Hotel Museo Spa Casa Santo Domingo (5 estrellas), El Convento Boutique Hotel (5 estrellas) y Hotel Las Farolas (4 estrellas). También en Puerto Barrios y área del Caribe, en las localidades playeras del Pacífico y en las riberas del Lago de Atitlán hay confortables hoteles para instalarse y disfrutar de los lugares turísticos de Guatemala.
Información y fotos Guatemala
Lugares turísticos de Guatemala pdf: si deseas más información turística de Guatemala, consulta este pdf .
Imágenes de lugares turísticos de Guatemala
Esperamos que esta información sobre los lugares turísticos de Guatemala te sea de utilidad cuando vayas a conocer este fascinante país centroamericano intensamente marcado por la cultura maya. Compártela con tus amigos para que también sepan todo lo que pueden disfrutar en tierras guatemaltecas.
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