People ask me continuously what are the top what to see and do in Guatemala. I have designed a list and limited myself to the top level 10 things to see and do, and sorted them by distance from Guatemala City. To maximize, your travel time select a must see destination and start branching out to destinations around your favorite area. There’s plenty to hold one busy for some time, they’re my top 10 items to do in Guatemala (family friendly) and plan your vacation around:
- Visit Zoologico Nacional La Aurora- Surprisingly good zoo in Guatemala City, great should you be going with kids. Driving time: 5-20 minutes from inside the city according to where you are.
- Visit Antigua Guatemala- View colonial architecture and walk the cobblestone streets. Even better when you can make it for Easter Week processions (book hotel early). Driving time: 45 minutes through the capital.
- Climb the Pacaya Volcano – As close as you can get to a live, lava-spewing volcano. Driving time: 45 minutes from the town.
- Explore Lake Atitlan- Surrounded by volcanoes, considered to be the most wonderful lake on earth. I agree. Driving time: 2 – 2:30 hours from Guatemala City.
- Visit the beaches- You get a 2-for-1 here. Monterrico and it is black sand beaches are to the west. Great place to relax. Playa Blanca in Izabal, and it is traditional white-sand
beaches will the East. If in Izabal, take a look at Castillo de San Felipe (San Felipe Castle), a classic Spanish fort. Very scenic, around the water, and well-kept. Driving time for Monterrico: 2 – 2:30 hours from Guatemala City. Driving time for it to Izabal: 4 hours from Guatemala City.
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- Shop at Chichicastenango Market- Open Thursdays and Sundays, Chichi marketplace is THE largest handicrafts market on earth. Haggling is accepted and encouraged. Buy your souvenirs here. Driving time: 3 – 3:30 hours from Guatemala City.
- Visit IRTRA parks in Retalhuleu- Central America’s Disney/Water Park destination. Kids will have a lot of fun. Stay at the affordable IRTRA hostels and get its spas, restaurants, tennis courts, pools, bowling alley and other grown-up amenities. The grounds are amazingly well-kept and you will probably benefit from the peacocks strutting all through the hostel complex. Driving time: 3 – 3:30 hours from Guatemala City.
- Take a stroll in Xela- A slice of Europe in Central America. Competes with Antigua for sheer beauty and as the destination to understand Spanish at its many schools. Safe simply to walk during the night, its beautiful architecture (and international cuisine) could be enjoyed anytime. Driving time: 4 – 4:30 hours from Guatemala City.
- Explore Semuc Champey- Enjoy peaceful rock pools filled up with turquoise blue waters explore amazing caves by candlelight. You will not discover a single picture online that can take action justice. It’s that breathtaking personally. Driving time: About 5 hours from Guatemala City.
- Visit Tikal National Park- Last, in not a way least. View the awe-inspiring Mayan temples, in the core jungle. Ponder if your end around the globe starts within 2012. Driving time: 8 hours from Guatemala City (flying to Flores’ airport from Guatemala City will be the often-chosen, time-saving route).
There’s plenty more to cover. Eco-tourism is big here, for example Hard to limit it to ten things, but these provide started.
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