Central America & Caribbean
- Guatemala City
- 15 million
- Guatemalan quetzal
Within the mountains of Central America lies Guatemala, a country rich in history, culture and natural appeal. This is the birthplace of the Maya civilisation, and despite many of the rainforest cities having been abandoned hundreds of years ago, the Maya still live and thrive in the highlands. Visitors can easily get to the Ixil Triangle in the western highlands to experience this culture for themselves.
Guatemala boasts one of the most beautiful cities in the Americas, Antigua, with its backdrop of volcanoes. Here the colonial architecture is unmissable, and its markets and squares are pulsing with energy. On a day trip from the city, you can hike up the rumbling, lava-oozing Volcan de Papaya, the most active volcano in Central America.
Travel to Tikal, an incredibly well-preserved collection of soaring Maya temples set deep in the rainforest, or spend a few days exploring the villages on the shores of Lago de Atitlán. The lake itself is huge and one of the most spectacular you’ll find. Panajachel is the main town, then take the boats that crisscross the water to other villages.
For adventurous types, this is a country with plenty to offer, from multi-day hikes across the Sierra Las Minas, with its untouched cloud forests, to kayaking on the Caribbean coast. The only thing stopping you will be a lack of time left on the itinerary.