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Imagine your handcrafted trip to Guatemala, designed for lifelong memories
The charm of Guatemala is unparalleled. The small country just south of Mexico is known for volcanoes, rainforests, coffee and multicolored textiles. The Mayan and Spanish culture are both a very big part of the Guatemalan way of life, making it rich and exciting. And since no more than 2 % of the landmass is urbanized, there´s plenty of room for outdoors antics.
Most attractions are inland, but if you have time you should also explore the beachlife. As a matter of fact you can do that on two coasts, the Pacific and the Caribbean. The seaside settlement of Monterrico has the most popular beach in Guatemala. Don´t expect white beaches, the sand is volcanic and grey. But it is a great place to see sea turtles.
So is El Paradon, a sleepy fishing village and the best surf spot in the country. Drive two hours from Monterrico, rent a surfboard and play in the Pacific waves.
You can continue to explore the water inland. Coban is a good launching point for traveling to Semuc Champey to soak in turquoise swimming holes, shower in waterfalls and explore hidden caves. It´s not easily accessible, you´re looking at 8-10 hours in a bus on bumpy roads, but it is said to be worth your while.
By Lago de Atitlán, Lake Atitlán, you´ll find waterside towns like the hippy mecca San Marcos. There are several yoga retreats in this beautiful place, and you can get on the lake on a paddle board or a kayak to take in the view of the nearby volcanoes. There´s also some great natural walls for rock climbing, at any skill level. Hike to the top of Indian Nose Mountain for a good workout and a spectacular view of the lake.
Travel the UNESCO World Heritage site Rio Dulce Canyon. This is a once in a lifetime boat ride through thick jungle and rainforest. And a chance to see small villages along the shore, a whole range of colorful birds and hear the sound of animals in the wild.
For the adventurous, river rafting the untamed rivers of Guatemala will get your adrenaline pumping.
Another UNESCO World Heritage site is Antigua, just an hour outside of Guatemala City. This city has significant historical value, beautiful buildings everywhere and is one of the country´s top destinations. Right outside the city you can stop by a coffee plantation for a taste, or you can hike or bike the most iconic volcanos in the country - Agua, Acatenango and the still active Fuego. Be sure to book a local guide.
If you like to stay up in the air, Guatemala has thousands of zip-lines for a birds-eye view of the forests.
The Mayan culture is alive and well and Flores is a great starting point for an excursion to Tikal, one of the best Mayan ruins in Central America.
And Chichicastenango, or Chichi, has the biggest market in Central America. On Thursdays and Sundays numerous craft vendors and crowds of people flock to this sort of isolated, but very welcoming small town.
Indulge in local street food, take salsa lessons and make new friends. Arriba, arriba!