Monday, 13 February 2017

Guatemala – A lesser travelled gem of Central America

Antigua Women
By Brett Goulston

We all travel for different kinds of reasons. Some people like ancient history, others prefer more recent colonial history. Some folks love to photograph wildlife, while some would rather eat their way around a country.  You can do all of this in Guatemala, and more. 


Not many Australians travel to Guatemala. Rather, if they head to Central America, they tend to visit Costa Rica or Mexico first. In my view, Guatemala is the true gem of the region and there are many reasons. Here are just a few…

Guatemala is the most indigenous country in Central America with 60% of the population having lived there for many generations. This means that the locals have retained much of the culture over the years. An example is, the traditional clothing that most of the mature age folks get around in. The colours and style make for fabulous photos. Having said that, many of the people are shy so getting a photo with a local smiling, is not that easy!  

There are so many places to visit in Guatemala.  The scenery, especially around the spiritual Lake Atitlan is stunning. On a clear day, you can see all three of the volcanoes that surround the lake – Volcán Atitlán, Volcán San Pedro and Volcán Tolimán. Small villages with traditional houses surround the lake making the ideal setting for the perfect photo.

Mayan history is equal to that of Mexico. You can spend many days wandering through the ancient and now UNESCO listed ruins of Tikal, the Mayan’s capital city, dating back to the 4th century BC. Your Guatemala travel guide will probably ensure that you suffer from information overload! But don’t despair, if leaving the ruins with all that new knowledge is too hard, there are places to camp overnight. I can’t guarantee you’ll get much sleep from the howler monkeys and bird life though!

Still plenty of time to book your small group tour to Guatemala plus Cuba, Costa Rica and Honduras with Blue Dot in June 2018! Click here.  

Men in their traditional clothing

Women gifted in the tradition of cloth weaving at the local markets

A typical scene in Guatemala - a man and his trusty donkey

UNESCO listed ruins of Tikal

The exotic and eye-catching toucan of Guatemala

Guatemalan women washing clothes in Antigua

Some of the colourful mementos on offer in Guatemala

The ladies preparing tortilla in the Chichicastenango markets of Guatemala
Lake Atitlán features Atitlán volano

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