10 Top Tourist Attractions in Guatemala

Martina Rosado
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El Mirador

El Mirador de las Quetzal is an archeological site located at the top of a mountain near the town of Quezaltenango. It is a massive site which shows both the Mayan and Toltec influence on Guatemalan culture.

It is possible to walk down some of the ruins and visit the couple of museums that are there, but there is no excavation taking place officially at this site, so you don’t get to see the artifacts that have been excavated. If you want some time to yourself after the sites, this is a great place to relax on the bench right at the entrance. You can also sample the local specialty, chia, which is a spicy seed used as a plant protein source.

Rio Dulce

In the Rio Dulce, dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus) breed during the months of December, January, and February. The Rio Dulce festival is the not your average traditional festival. It is a unique celebration of the end of the rainy season when the river is flooded it's large capacity and people can kayak in it. An interesting thing is that the festival is held on one day, June 15th, and people can come and kayak in the river all day.

Parque Central Quetzaltenango

A major commercial and cultural center in the region, with shops, markets, schools and hotels. It’s a beautiful park and the place where some amazing murals and art projects have been done. Make sure to go on one of the nightly music and dance performances at the park, to experience the creativity of the Guatemalan people. It’s also a great place to dance the quetzal dance, which is the national dance of Guatemala. The quetzal bird is a national symbol of Guatemala and the language for its name is t-zah-l, thus meaning "the quetzal bird".

The highland city of Quetzaltenango has a great climate and beautiful mountain scenery in the north and stunning rainforest in the south. You will be amazed at the lush green houses, dancing people and beautiful stone landscapes.

The city represents all the typical Mayan architectural features and even Hollywood has shot movies here. You should go with a guide, to eat some food and taste some traditional drinks.

Guatemala is a leader in coffee production and Guatemala City is the third largest coffee producing capital in the world. The character of the city reflects the country’s history, politics, and culture, with its colonial, art deco, and barrio latino architectural styles.

Volcan Pacaya

Guatemala is located in Central America, where the Pacific coastline meets the Mesoamerican mountain range that surrounds it. It’s named after Pacaya, a legendary Mayan girl who grew quickly to become beautiful and tall, and finally struck by lightning from the sky. The Pacaya volcanic complex is the largest volcanic complex in Central America.Volcan Pacaya makes its own unique rum, which both drinks delicious and has a unique rum aroma.

Volcan Pacaya on google maps. Photo (cc) by Karunawannakij

Photo (Cc) by Ollyyf

Volcan Pacaya on google maps. Photo (cc) by Rod Phu

Volcan Pacaya on google maps. Photo (cc) by Rod Phu

The Pacaya National Park is the largest national park in Guatemala, which is located on the foothills of the Pacaya volcano. In this park, you can see the largest tree in Guatemala, which is the Pacaya tree (Guatemala’s National Tree)

Photo (Cc) by Monkeyflower

Volcan Pacaya on google maps. Photo (cc) by Karunawannakij

Volcan Pacaya on google maps. Photo (cc) by Karunawannakij

Yaxha

Thermal Water Springs – Yaxha is delightful haven for the tourist. The name “Yaxha” is derived from the Nahuatl language and it means “place of the jaguar.” The thermal springs are found in a valley surrounded by jungle.

The springs are at a temperature of between 50 to 60 degrees centigrade. Due to the high levels of sulfuric acidity and magnesium sulfate in the water, the skin of the people, who come from as far as Guatemala City, turns dark.

Monterrico

Chichicastenango Market

Santa Catalina Arch

Lago de Atitlan

Souvenir in Guatemala, Parque Eco-tourist Visa in place for USA.

· Parque Zoologico is a zoo in Panajachel, Guatemala.

· Tikal National Park Is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Guatemala

· The pyramids of the city of Tikal in Guatemala are a magnificent part of the country's history. In fact, this group of massive structures are the largest of their kind in all of Mesoamerica. Scientists have studied the pyramids to determine they were constructed around A.D. 800.

· National Palace

· The attractive National Palace is a symbol of freedom. Completed in 1902, this building is one of the most beautiful in Guatemala. It has a rich history and has been home to many rulers. The building was designed by Guatemalan Architect Manuel Carrera Andrade in the neo-Baroque style.

· Tikal National Park

· The park is a part of the Tikal ruin complex; a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was named a World Heritage Site in 1993. This notable site is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Guatemala because of its size and beauty.

Tikal

Tikal is Guatemala’s top national tourist attraction, it is located in the Peten region of the country. It is an ancient Mayan city that was inhabited as early as the 3rd century BC and flourished under the rule of the powerful Peten rulers.

Tikal is known as one of the most important centers of classical Maya Civilization and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site is situated in a rainforest region in the Peten Department of Guatemala, 40 km (25 mi) away from the city of Flores.

It is located on a plain of land, measuring 14 square kilometers (5.5 sq mi). The core of the site is formed by five circular plazas or plazuelas, surrounded by high, steep, and pyramid-shaped mounds. The entire site covers about 50 square kilometers (19 sq mi) and includes a number of major structures, temples, and platforms.

Tikal was the largest Mesoamerican city with estimates for total population ranging from 40,000 to more than 100,000. Tikal’s population was estimated to be between 39,000 and 60,000 people in the 7th century, but the population declined steeply after its conquests by Yik’in Chan K’awiil, and the population may have fallen to as low as 1,000.