As it turns out, the list of reasons to visit Guatemala is much longer than you might expect. From dreamy destinations to engaging experiences, to a few wild card items that truly set the country apart, here’s why you should make sure your next trip south of the border includes Guatemala.
1. The Mayan Ruins of Tikal beckon
Tikal is one of the largest and best known Mayan Ruin sites in Central America, and for good reason. Deep in the jungle, you will need at least 3 hours to take in this site because of its size. Park officials charge a small additional fee to watch sunrise or sunset from inside the park, but it’s definitely worth the expense!
2. Antigua is postcard-perfect world heritage
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Antigua in Guatemala has no shortage of things to do. From learning Salsa in one of the many salsa studios to trying the Guatemalan street food, Antigua is the perfect place to start your Guatemalan adventure. Just an hour outside of Guatemala City, it’s easily accessible from the Airport with bus services to pretty much everywhere you would want to go to in Guatemala or Central America.
3. Sun yourself on the shores of Lake Atitlan
No trip to Guatemala would be complete without visiting at least one of Lake Atitlan’s many waterside towns. Start at Panajachel and work your way towards Santa Cruz. Or, begin your Lake Atilan journey in the hippie mecca of San Marcos and finish at the “party” town of San Pedro, where more than a little tequila will be waiting for you!
4. There are plenty of waterfalls to chase
Semuc Champey is not the easiest place to reach—prepare for 8-10 hours in a minibus with no air conditioning and treacherous roads. However, while the journey is difficult (and a little bit terrifying), it’s a worthwhile reason to visit Guatemala! A collection of turquoise pools with a natural limestone bridge, waterfalls, and caves in the heart of central Guatemala, Semuc Champey is a must-see destination.
5. Life’s a beach in Guatemala
Guatemala has some amazing beaches—you can even learn to surf here! In fact, with lessons starting from around $7 an hour, it’s a pretty great place to learn. Although Monterrico is the most popular beach in Guatemala, it’s also the busiest. For a quieter time, take a shuttle from Antigua to El Paradon, which takes 2.5 hours and is virtually untouched by tourists!
6. The jungle is lush and virgin
Rio Dulce, or “sweet river,” connects Lago Izabal with Livingstone on Guatemala’s Caribbean coast. The best way to experience this UNESCO World Heritage Site is by taking a tour through the jungle on a boat. You’ll be amazed how lush and untouched the jungle is, and how disconnected it seems from the modern day.
7. Learn Spanish on a Budget
If one of your reasons to visit Guatemala is learning Spanish, you’re in luck. In addition to friendly locals making it easy to practice what you learn, Spanish courses in Guatemala are some of the cheapest in the world. One-on-one lessons cost around $120 per week (that’s five lessons), and group classes are even cheaper if you prefer to learn that way.
8. You can hike active volcanoes
Pacaya is one of the most active Volcanoes in Central America. It’s an easy hour hike which is great if you’re hiking with children or older people. If you’re looking for a more challenging adventure, give Pacaya a miss and book yourself on an overnight tour to Acatenango. This is one of the most challenging hikes in Guatemala, and for the super fit, you can even hike to the knife ridge of Volcan Fuego where, if you are lucky, you can watch it erupt!
9. It’s home to Central America’s largest market
The biggest market in Central America, Chichicastenango, or Chichi, is a crazy mix of color and culture. This market is like nothing you will have ever seen before. If one of your reasons to visit Guatemala is shopping, this is definitely a place you have to add to your list! Chichi is also a delicious food market, so you’ll want to make sure to come with an appetite.
10. Cheap flights to Guatemala have never been easier to book!
Whether you search flights to Guatemala from the United States or need to take a regional hop from somewhere else in Latin America, it’s never been easier to get a deal. That’s because Skyscanner lets you find the world’s cheapest flights in just a click or tap. You’ll be on your way to Guatemala before you know it!
There are countless reasons to visit the beautiful, vibrant country of Guatemala, but these ones top the list:
- Mayan Ruins of Tikal
- UNESCO-Inscribed Antigua
- Relaxing Lake Atilan
- Semuc Champey Waterfalls
- Amazing Surfing and Swimming Beaches
- A Lush and Virgin Jungle
- Cheap Spanish Language Courses
- Active Volcanoes You Can Hike
- Colorful Chichicastenango Market
- Cheap flights to Guatemala
Irrespective of what attracts you to the country, search Skyscanner below for amazing deals on flights to Guatemala.