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Guatemala Overview

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The magical mountainous landscape and mystic Mayan culture make Guatemala a wonderful place to visit.

Guatemala is a multi-cultural country where visitors can explore a rich heritage and some wonderful natural treasures. Apart from beautiful natural attractions there are also some exquisite monuments that travelers will love to visit.

Guatemala City is a bustling city filled with vibrant colors. The historic architecture gives the city a unique look and ambiance. Within the city is the archaeological site of KaminalJuyu, which is believed to be a buried city. There are quite a number of museums in the city worth a visit. The Aurora Zoo is home to several animals and the JardinesBotanico in the city is the first botanical garden to be established in Central America.

Antigua is another beautiful city and is the Spanish colonial capital of Central America. The city has numerous historic buildings and has been designated as a World Heritage Site. The center of the city is dominated by a huge park, the Parque Central. There are two main hiking routes close to Antigua; hike up the active Pacaya Volcano, trekking till the crater is not possible as it an active volcano, however, visitors can get near to it and enjoy some amazing views. Another hike is up the Acatenango Volcano, which requires an entire day.

Flores is another beautiful island town which is nice to visit. It is close to the Mayan ruins at Tikal and offers visitors a number of interesting activities to enjoy. Another large Mayan ruins are at El Mirador. The Lake Peten Itza is good to take a swim in; hire a boat and travel across the lake to visit the town of San Jose. Lake Atitlan is a good place to visit especially for diving. There are also a number of activities that visitors can enjoy around Lake Izabal. Inquire about the "family-friendliness" of these places from locals before planning your day there.

Special things to buy in Guatemala include handicrafts, ceramics, jewelry, textiles and leather goods. You can find most of these at the local markets but the best places to buy ceramics are Villa de Chinautla, Rabinal and San Luis Jilotepeque. Coban is a good place to buy silverware. The Central Market in Guatemala City and the Craft Market are good for buying traditional craft items. Guatemala City also has a number of modern shopping centers including Galerias La Pradera, Geminis International Mall and Gran Centro Comercial Los Proceres.

Muslims form a small part of the population of Guatemala. There are few masaajid in the country with the Da'wah Masjid of Guatemala in the outskirts of Guatemala City being the main one. Visitors can find a few Halal restaurants in the country, to locate one, visitors can enquire at the masjid or with locals. Rice and beans with any type of meat is a local favorite. The major cities have a variety of restaurants where visitors can dine. For Halal restaurants in the city, please check our Halal Restaurant listing. If there are no restaurants listed in the city, then please make sure you inquire from the locals or the local Halal certifying body what food you could consume and where you could find Halal food/ restaurants.

The most preferred means of traveling in Guatemala is by bus. The buses in the country are colorfully decorated and are much more affordable than taxis. These buses operate between all major cities and also within the cities. Domestic flights also operate between Guatemala City and Flores.

  • Guatemala Overview

    The magical mountainous landscape and mystic Mayan culture make Guatemala a wonderful place to visit.

    Guatemala is a multi-cultural country where visitors can explore a rich heritage and some wonderful natural treasures. Apart from beautiful natural attractions there are also some exquisite monuments that travelers will love to visit.

  • Semuc Champay - The Hidden Gem

    Semuc Champey is the hidden gem of Guatemala. Located in the jungle of Lanquin, it is one of the loveliest spots in the country. A natural wonder Semuc Champey consist of natural limestone bridge with a series of freshwater pools. This set up is suspended on the Cahabon River.

  • Lake Atitlan - The Highland Beauty

    In the Western Highlands of Guatemala is the Lake Atitlan. Surrounded by small towns, the area is quite popular among the locals for its natural beauty. The lake is flanked by mountains and volcanoes and spans over an area of 50Km.

  • Beach Fun at Antigua - Caribbean Island

    A World Heritage Site, Antigua is a beautiful city located in the central highlands of Guatemala. The city is famous for its Spanish Baroque and also its beautiful colonial churches. Antigua is an enchanting city that offers people with a number of interesting things to do and enjoy.

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Guatemala Info

ADMINISTRATIVE / COMMERCIAL CAPITAL: Guatemala City

GEOGRAPHY

Guatemala is located in Central America. It borders Mexico to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Belize to the northeast and Honduras and El Salvador to the southeast. You can see mountains, sand dune patches, hills and valleys in a total area of 108,890 km².

DEMOGRAPHY

A population of close to 13.2 Million. Muslims account for about 0.1% of the population.

CLIMATE

Tropical and hot. The coastal regions and the lowlands are hot. Sometimes the temperature could go high as 37°C. The highlands are generally cooler throughout the year.

LANGUAGES SPOKEN

Spanish is the official language. Mayan languages are widely used as well.

LOCAL TIME

GMT -6 hrs throughout the year.

BUSINESS HOURS

General: 8 AM to 5 PM

HOLIDAYS

Independence Day: September 15th
May Day: May 1st
Revolution Day: October 20th
Christmas: December 25th

CURRENCY

Guatemalan Quetzal

IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS

Police/ Emergencies: 110
Medical: 120
Fire: 123

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