The Ultimate Travel Guide to Guatemala

Guatemala

This Central American country boasts sea-to-sky adventures, ancient ruins, and stunning architecture.

Guatemala is well suited to many kinds of travel. Want to kick back in the tropics for a few days? Head to the volcanic black sand beaches of Monterrico. Craving a more urban experience? Guatemala City, though hectic, is a treasure trove of museums, cathedrals and open-air markets. If trekking and wildlife-watching are on your list, jungles and volcanoes are just a shuttle ride away. But wherever you find yourself in Guatemala, be sure to try two of the country’s most delectable exports: coffee and chocolate.

travel tips

When to go

Like many countries in Central America, Guatemala has multiple climate zones, including temperate high altitude areas and tropical lowlands. The rainy season is roughly May through October, while the dry season brings scads of tourists to the country’s famous Mayan ruins and volcanoes.

Transportation

In Guatemala City, skip the old red city buses, which have become unsafe in recent years, and stick with the TransMetro and TransUrbano bus systems. Shuttle minibuses, meanwhile, serve tourists traveling between cities and major attractions.

Insider tips

  • Keep an eye on travel advisories for Guatemala. Though largely safe, it has pockets of gang and drug activity as well as political and civil unrest.
  • Tikal might be the country’s most popular ruins, but there are other Mayan sites worth visiting, including El Mirador, Aguateca, and Takalik Abaj.
  • Get a glimpse of the quetzal, Guatemala’s national bird, at the cloud forest reserve Biotopo del Quetzal.
  • Guatemala is one of Central America’s most ethnically and racially diverse countries. Its population is a mix of Mestizo, indigenous groups, and Europeans.

top attractions

Tikal, Guatemala

Step back in time at this well-preserved Mayan city in northeast Guatemala.

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Antigua

This city in Guatemala’s central highlands region is known for its restored Spanish Colonial buildings and views of volcanoes.

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Lago de Atitlán

Central America’s answer to Lake Como.

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featured properties

Radisson Hotel and Suites Guatemala City

Located in Guatemala’s vibrant capital city, Radisson Hotel and Suites Guatemala City provides guests with spacious suites as well as free Wi-Fi, free bottled water, and a welcome drink from the on-site bar and lounge. The hotel also features a spa, fitness center, and room service.

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