April 16, 2020
The Facts About Guatemala
Official Name: The Republic of Guatemala
Location: Central America
Population: Around 17.2 million
Government: Representative Democracy
Capital: Guatemala City
Fun Fact: Guatemala has the highest population of any country in Central America.
Guatemala, officially the Republic of Guatemala is another great tourist destination in Central America. If you were to travel to the north or west from Guatemala you would find yourself at the Mexican border. Travel northeast you will arrive at Belize. The Caribbean lies to the northeast. You’ll reach Honduras if you travel eastward and El Salvador if you head southeast. The southern border is where Guatemala meets the Pacific Ocean.
Places to Visit When Traveling
- Guatemala City
- La Antigua
- Laguna Chicabal
- Semuc Champey
- The Fuego Volcano
- The Santiaguito Volcano
- Xetulul Theme Park
These locations in Guatemala offer their own unique views, charm, and adventure. You’ll find that there are a host of different activities to chose from. The sights alone are enough to fill up a good amount of your time in the country. Which of these locations would you prefer to visit? Let us know in the comment section below!
Guatemala City is the capital of Guatemala. It’s also the biggest city in the country. Officially the city’s name is “New Guatemala of the Assumption”, and it has the highest population among all of Guatemala’s urban areas. You’ll find this city positioned in the south-central part of the country. With a population around 1 million, a traveler can find most anything that they would need there. It’s also an important point of interest in that it is the site of an ancient Mayan city known as Kaminaljuyu (1500 B.C.)
Antigua is situated in the central highlands of Guatemala. Of particular interest to traveler’s is its well-preserved Spanish Baroque-influenced architecture. The ruins of colonial churches provide an excellent backdrops for travel photography. Antigua was the capital of the Kingdom of Guatemala and is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.
In engish, the name of this place is Chicabal Lake (laguna means lake). The lake is sacred to the Mam Mayan people and is situated near the town of San Martín Sacatepéquez. The Mam are an indigenous people in the western highlands of Guatemala and in south-western Mexico who speak the Mam language. Lake Chicabal formed in the crater of the Chicabal Volcano. The forest surrounding the lake is an awesome experience for the traveler because it is what is referred to as a cloud forest. An interesting experience is created by the seasonal low-level cloud cover blanketing the canopies of the trees.
Semuc Champey translates to “Where the river hides under the stones”. You’ll find this spot near the Q’eqchi’ Maya town of Lanquín. You’ll see a natural 300 meter limestone bridge spanning the Cahabón River. The main attractions for most travelers heading to Semuc are a series of stepped, turquoise pools that are both perfect and popular for swimming. The only drawback is that it can be quite difficult to get there.
The Fuego Volcano
Volcán de Fuego translates to “Volcano of Fire”. It is a stratovolcano (composite volcano) built up by multiple layers of hardened lava, tephra, pumice and ash. Travelers are attracted by the fact that it is an active volcano and has actually erupted frequently, most recently in June and November of 2018. Visitors can get there by heading around 10 miles west from Antigua.
Tikal is the ruin of an ancient city in the Guatemalan rainforest. It has been given the honor of becoming one of the largest archaeological sites and urban centers of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization. Visitors will find this destination in what is now northern Guatemala. Tikal is part of Guatemala’s Tikal National Park and has also been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Santiaguito Volcano
Santiaguito is actually the name of the dome complex that grew as a result of the catastrophic eruption and partial collapse of Santa María stratovolcano in 1902. It can be found in the western highlands of Guatemala near the city of Quetzaltenango. You can tell that it’s active by its nickname “Caliente” (the hot one).
Xetulul Theme Park
Xetutul is the largest theme park in Guatemala, located in the southwest area of the country. It is also the third largest amusement park in Latin America. Along with the nearby Xocomil waterpark, there are over one million visitors every year. Travelers can enjoy the parks’ three rolloer coasters, among other things.
Guatemala has plenty of excitement waiting for the traveler. On the other hand, if you prefer a slower pace, you can definitely enjoy that here too. The locations that we showed you in this post are all worthy of a stop in by the person, couple, or group looking for something different. If you plan to visit Central America, you should definitely consider paying a visit to Guatemala.