Guatemala, officially known as the Republic of Guatemala, is a country which is located in the Central America. On the north and west sides the country connects with the borders of Mexico and on the southwest side is the Pacific Ocean. It is known to be the most populated states in Central America with a total population of approximately 15.8 million.
The capital of the country is Guatemala City, also known as the Nueva Guatemala de la Asunción. The region was first owned by the Mayan civilization, but later in the 16th century, it was captured by the Spanish and was annexed with the royalty of New Spain.
Guatemala gained complete independence in the year 1841. At the start the country struggled a lot to gain stability and attain a peaceful environment. It went through civil wars, riots, protests, but eventually was able to conquer the situation.
First, it was ruled by dictators, but later, due to the United Nation’s peace accord it was recognized as a democratic state.
Guatemala has a high biological significance, since it contains some of the rare species, which exist under specific conditions only. It also contributes to Mesoamerica’s designation as a biodiversity hotspot.
An amazing fact about the country’s economy is that it is one of the largest economies in all of Central America, with a GDP of US$ 5,200 per capita. But, on the other hand it is one of the poorest countries in the Latin America. The World Fact Book says that more than 50% population of the country is living under the poverty line.
As the country is rich in biological materials, it recently seems to be increasing its economy by exporting raw materials to produce biofuels around the world.
That is not the only income source for Guatemala; tourism is also one of the major industries of Guatemala. It is said that the country generates revenue of approximately 2 billion dollars annually from the tourism industry.
There are many things to do in Guatemala; the country has some fascinating architecture, antiquities and sights. The country has been through a lot of struggle, which means there is a lot of history to hear.
One of the most known things to in Guatemala is to experience it religious tourism. The country has numerous stories about the political and religious aspects of the past. It also stands out for its steep volcanoes, rainforests and ancient Mayan Sites.
Another fragment of Guatemala’s popularity is its mixed culture of the Spanish and Mayan civilization. The country is full of surprises; you have to be there to believe it.
Places to visit to in Guatemala
If you are looking for things to do in Guatemala then you must start with the capital city, which is the Guatemala City. It surely is one of the best places in the country. It is the largest and the most populated city. There are numerous attractions in the city. You can visit different museums in the region that will take you on an amusing journey through the past. Every antique will open up a new chapter of the history. You will be stunned by the amazing archeology of the prehistoric churches; the architecture is simply amazing.
Antigua Guatemala is a city that will leave you speechless for sure. On the southern side of the country, this city is surrounded by steep volcanoes. The city is also famous for its Spanish colonial buildings. Many of these buildings were shattered due to a fatal earthquake, which occurred in 1773. But, they were restored and now, the Spanish Colonial buildings are recognized as the Guatemala’s Colonial capital.
Tikal is a site that comes in the top most popular things to do in Guatemala. Tikal is a protected site, which is the evidence of the early Mayan civilization in the region. The site is located on the northern side of the country in the rainforest. It contains ruins of the Mayan archeology, which includes the iconic Lost World Temple and the Grand Jaguar.
Visiting Lake Atitlán is definitely the first thing to do in Guatemala. The view of the lake is simply breathtaking. It may be the most beautiful sight you will ever see. It is a lake located in the Guatemalan Highlands of the Sierra Madre mountain range. The word Atitlan literally means “water”. You can also witness some active volcanoes and nature reserves on the site.
It is also famous for its environmentally friendly hotels and their yoga services. It surely seems enticing to experience yoga with such amazing miracles of nature all around. Don’t forget to include Lake Atitlán in your list of things to do in Guatemala as it will surely be one of the best experiences in Guatemala.
If you love adventure, here is a place to put in the list of things to in Guatemala; Pacaya. Pacaya is an active volcano that first erupted nearly 23,000 years ago. It has since erupted 23 times. The height of this volcano is approximately 2,500 meters. It has amazing views from the top, which you shouldn’t miss.
The adventurous part is that you can go hiking on Pacaya. There are a number of trails that can be used to reach a specified height.
Semuc Champey is a site that one should definitely explore. It is a natural monument and comes under the administrative department of Alta Verapaz in Guatemala. The site has a 300m natural limestone bridge on the Cahabon River. It also has some prehistoric cave worth exploring.