5 Stunning Places in Guatemala
As I sat watching the spectacular sunset before me, I appreciated how beautiful Guatemala truly is. My view resembled an oil painting where the high-peeked volcanoes contrasted with the palette of soft colors in the background. Sitting there, I realized that all the beautiful places Guatemala has to offer are not widely known.
In the last couple of years, I have visited various countries and learned about different cultures. However, this year I made the decision to explore my native country. Below are five of my favorite sites in Guatemala:
5 Stunning Places in Guatemala
1. Lake Atitlán, Sololá
There is nothing else like the exquisite backdrop of tiny Mayan towns alongside volcanoes of different sizes. This popular lake is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the view, particularly its exceptional sunrises and sunsets.
Panajachel is the most populated town in Sololá. Shops located in its narrow streets sell Guatemalan handmade goods. There are also restaurants and bars making this unique place desirable to tourists. Additionally, small vehicles, called “tuc-tucs” offer transportation around the town. It’s the combination of the urban character and the beauty of the lake that makes this place fascinating to visit.
2. Tikal, Petén
Tikal is situated in the heart of the Guatemalan jungle, encircled by breathtaking wildlife. These archeological ruins were the capital of a civilization that became one of the most powerful of the ancient Mayans. Because of its historical and cultural value, in 1979, UNESCO declared Tikal a World Heritage Site.
The Tikal National Park shows a glimpse of the Mayan Empire composed of a group of ancient buildings, pyramids and courtyards, of which the Gran Jaguar and the North Acropolis are the most impressive. Additional activities in the area range from visiting the outstanding Lake Petén Itzá, to canopying in the spectacular forest.
3. Antigua, Guatemala
This extraordinary colorful town is located just 45 minutes away from Guatemala City. It was the capital of the country during the Colonial Period (16th Century). The symmetrically built, cobblestone streets still remain from that era. The majority of the architecture is relatively well preserved and is an example of colonial architecture in the Americas, known as Barroco Antigüeño, composed mainly of ornate stucco structures.
Antigua evolved into a cosmopolitan area due to its status as a place that embraces internationality. Many Spanish language schools operate across the area, attracting visitors from around the world. There they take advantage of the opportunity to immerse themselves in a friendly, close-knit Spanish-speaking community, which allows them to master their language skills. Moreover, Antigua is unique due to the maintenance of its colonial style, met by the spectacular views of the Volcán de Agua.
5 Most Stunning Places in Guatemala.
4. Semuc Champey, Alta Verapaz
This is the place to embrace natural beauty. Located in the department of Alta Verapaz, it is close to the Mayan town of Lanquín. There’s a natural limestone land bridge over the Cahabón River. Located on top of the bridge are a series of “stepped” pools in bright turquoise that invite visitors for a swim. There are various hostels located near the swimming pools where tourists are recommended to stay due to their proximity to the site. Additionally, if you feel like hiking, the Lanquín Caves are located nearby and can be explored in groups led by walking tour guides.
5. Monterrico, Santa Rosa
More than 30 volcanoes in Guatemala contribute to the formation of these breathtaking black sand beaches located on the Pacific Coast. This coast has gained worldwide recognition for its beautiful uniqueness caused by the constant volcanic activity in Guatemala. This is definitely the place to look for both adventure and peace because tourists can find activities ranging from surfing to visiting the Tortugario Monterrico where locals help release newborn sea turtles.
5 Most Stunning Places in Guatemala
Have you traveled to Guatemala? What were your impressions? Email us at [email protected] for information about sharing your experience and advice with the Pink Pangea community. We can’t wait to hear from you!
5 Most Stunning Places in Guatemala photo credits: unsplash.