Vivid colorful markets, adventurous bus journeys, fascinating Mayan ruins hidden amongst the lush jungle and impressive towering volcanoes, Guatemala is a vibrant and diverse destination waiting to be discovered. Guatemala boasts a relatively undeveloped landscape outside of its cities and towns, with an abundant mix of jungles, highlands, caves, volcanoes and beautiful coastline.
Whilst it is a beautiful country to explore, Guatemala has suffered from a long turbulent political history, including military coups and civil war, which ended in 1996. Since the civil war ended, Guatemala has seen significant growth economically, with tourism especially becoming a significant part of the Guatemalan economy. The Guatemalans are friendly and welcoming, and this combined with beautifully preserved Spanish colonial relics, Mayan ruins and abundant bio-diverse natural ecosystems is surely the reason for such significant tourism growth.
A quintessential experience is exploring the country by bus, riding one of the famous small, locally known “chicken buses”, shoulder to shoulder with locals. Must see destinations in Guatemala are the well preserved city of Antigua and its volcanoes, the breathtaking limestone pool system of Semuc Champey and backpacker favorite of Lake Atitlan.
The Guatemalan accent is very clear and easy to understand, making this destination ideal for beginners. Here they will adapt easily and have many opportunities to practice Spanish, even picking up new local words for a taste of the local culture.