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Antigua, World Heritage
site in Guatemala


Guatemala Travel Fast Facts

Getting there: regular flights from major world cities to La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City.

What to see: Antigua, Lake Atitlan, Panajchel, Santiago Atitlan, Flores and Mayan pyramids at Tikal.

Currencies: quetzal, US dollar

Official language(s):
Spanish



A microcosm of Central America, Guatemala is often mentioned as having the region's finest Mayan ruins, the densest rain forests, the most active volcanoes -- and the friendliest people.

Remembered for its civil strife and political instability of the 1990's, Guatemala is once again attracting tourists worldwide for its Caribbean climate, colorful mix of Spanish and Mayan culture, and breathtakingly beautiful mountains and lakes.

Although Guatemala City is a main point of entry, many tourists head right out of the modern, crime-ridden capital — to the old colonial capital of Antigua, a respected World Heritage site of cobblestone streets, ancient ruins, colorful cultural events, and fine restaurants.

Other must-see Guatemala attractions include the unforgettable Lake Atitlan, offering spectacular scenic wonders from such lakeside towns as Panajachel and Santiago Atitlan.

Also don't leave Guatemala without seeing Tikal, one of Central America's largest and most impressive Mayan pyramid networks easily accessible from Flores, a nearby tourist hub.


DID YOU KNOW? Guatemala Travel Fun Facts


On the money.

• Nowhere in Central America is Mayan culture so dominant than in Guatemala, were 21 different varieties of original Mayann are still spoken.

• Guatemalan money is named after the Quetzal, the national bird of Guatemala whose tail feathers were used as currency during the time of the Mayan empire.

• Everytime you put on a pair of jeans thank Guatemala, where blue denim was first invented. Soon after its discovery, Levis began distributing blue jeans around the world.

• Guatemala produces more jade than anywhere in the world, some of which is on spectacular display at the National Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology in Guatemala City.

• Sweet tooth? Guatemala is also famous for being the birthplace of chocolate which was revered by the Mayans as "the food of the gods".

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More about Guatemala tourist attractions around the Web:

 

Guatemala Tourism Commission - The official site offering guides to Antigua, Tikal National Park and other top attractions, tips on visiting Mayan ruins, birdwatching and ecotourism adventures with photo gallery, maps.

Guatemala | Frommers - Get tips and advice from a "best of" list of recommended hotels, restaurants, outdoor adventures, ancient Mayan sites, beaches & lakes, with photos, maps & related resources.

Guatemala Travel Guide - BugBog has an excellent overview of major attractions, ancient ruins, beaches, local customs, traditional foods, shopping tips, plus maps & photos.

Guatemala travel guide - Wikitravel - Find descriptions of major attractions plus insider advice on getting around, and practical safety tips.


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