Guatemala has long been known (through the media) for the wrong idea in relation to drugs, violence and criminal problems. But the thing the media never talks about is the changes and good things this wonderful country has made over the past number of years. A big and diverse country, such as Guatemala, deserves to be explored. So, if you have the time and a desire for somewhere new, here are “10 things to know before visiting Guatemala”.
Guatemala is huge:
With approximately 15 million people, Guatemala is one of the biggest countries in Central America. With a population this big, it means you can explore the country and find many different kinds of life, languages, culture and traditions.
Guatemala is split into departments:
Guatemala is split into departments, which are like provinces or states that you may find in other countries.
Guatemala City is the capital where our international airport is located and this will be your welcome to the country. Quetzaltenango is the second most important city of Guatemala with many universities and colleges. It is located in the western highlands of the country, surrounded by ten mountains and making it the highest city in Central America. Petén is the biggest department, with the most wonderful pyramids from the Mayan civilization in anywhere on the continent. Sololá, has the most beautiful lake in the world, Lake Atitlan, which is surrounded by three volcanoes that formed the lake a few thousand years ago. Cobán is full of nature, which includes the spectacular reserve, Semuc Champey.
Music and Dance:
Even if you can´t name a Guatemalan musician or dancer, it doesn´t mean that they are not around. All over the country, you will find unique music and dance. Each place has their own way of enjoying life. Live “Trova” music is easy to find at the bars or restaurants. What every place will provide is Salsa, Cumbia and Bachata classes. Of course, you can find special events for this kind of music as well wherever you visit in Guatemala.
Markets in Guatemala:
If you are a Market lover, you are in the right place, as Guatemala has one of the biggest markets in Central America, the famous Chichicastenango. But also, every place you visit in the country, even the little towns, will always have its own market. These markets are full of colour. Colourful because of the fresh fruits and vegetables but also from the clothes produced by the Mayan women, who produce these colourful clothes with their own hands.
Museums in Guatemala:
Because of the history of Guatemala, this country has one of the most diverse histories in the world. Guatemala City and Antigua Guatemala have the best museums to learn about the history, to understand the textiles and discover more about the archaeology of the Mayan Civilization. Every department will have their own museum on the history of the area. Lake Atitalan is currently creating an underwater museum so that you can view the lost Mayan city.
The colonial buildings will definitely impress you during your holidays in Guatemala. Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala City and Quetzaltenango will provide you the best picturesque landscapes to capture wonderful pictures.
Guess what building is it? Adivina que edificio es este? Book now one of our cultural tours at www.THGuatemala.com #oldbuilding #buildinglovers #architecture #theater #dreamtheater #historyinpictures #art
Community tourism in Guatemala:
Much of the main touristic places in Guatemala will show you the most beautiful side of the country but the “community tourism” will allow you to discover the real Guatemala, to learn about the brutal civil war and to inspire you how the people still stand and are ready to show you its culture, traditions and nature.
Explorando el área rural de Guatemala ➡️ Community tourism 🆙www.thguatemala.com 📧
Chicken buses Guatemala:
Guatemala is famous for this unique way of traveling (but don´t worry as it is not the only way to travel).
School buses coming from the US are transformed and decorated in an original way, helping to give the passenger a fully (if a somewhat uncomfortable) unique experience.
By the way, there is a reason they are called “Chicken buses” and this is probably because the passenger next to you may just be a chicken.
We highly recommend to book a private shuttle service for long distance (in the link provided below) or if you are carrying a lot of stuff with you. But a short trip on a chicken bus is an experience not to be missed.
Street food Guatemala:
The best food to find in Guatemala can be the found on the street, sold by many of the street food vendors. Tacos, enchiladas, pupusas, tortas and much more. In every corner of Guatemala, you will be able to try the local food for an affordable price, but be careful, don’t ruin your holidays from the beginning. Let your stomach get used to the food first and try the street food when you have become accustomed to the unique and wonderful flavours of Guatemalan cuisine.
If you are really interested in the food, book one of our gastronomical tours here.
Safety in Guatemala:
As in any other place in the world, you need to have common sense. There are some places, some situations and conditions where you must be alert and aware.
Be careful at night, keep yourself away from specific zones in Guatemala City, such as zone 3, 6, 18 and 21. Don’t take much money with you when heading out, as most of the places in Guatemala accept most all types of cards in the cities. Lastly, be careful with the pickpockets at the markets and remember to have fun. If you have more questions or queries, we are here to help. Just click on the link below.
Let's just enjoy life 📸 and walking the wonderful country of #Guatemala 👣email@example.com and book your tour.#landscapephotography #atitlanlake #guidedmeditation #guided #tourists #naturephotography
Have fun and don’t forget to share your experiences with us.