Guatemala is a unique country to visit with a little bit of everything: beautiful mountains and lakes, stunning volcanoes, lively markets, impressive ruins, and colonial villages. Guatemala travel is endless and will leave you absolutely speechless.
Guatemala travel has been seen as dangerous in the past, but it’s becoming a place known for relaxing and picturesque hikes. Christmas and Easter are the center of a lot of festivities in Guatemala. It’s cheaper to travel from April to September during the rainy season, while October and November are the best months for hiking.
Below is an overview of the best Guatemala travel destinations.
Antigua Guatemala is famous for its beautiful Spanish Baroque-influenced colonial-era architecture, cobblestone streets, old churches, and ruins. Traveling to this unique city nestled in the central highlands between volcanoes is like taking a trip back in time to the 18th century. Not only is Antigua Guatemala a historical and picturesque destination, but the entire city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Check out TripScout’s self-guided Antigua Guatemala tour to help you explore its market, monuments, churches, volcanoes, and restaurants.
Lago de Atitlán
Lago de Atitlán is Guatemala’s famous volcano-ringed lake. This area of the country boasts incredible places to hike, cycle, and kayak with stunning views, making it a top Guatemala travel destination. Panajachel is one of the biggest cities on this lake, known for its amazing views and fun nightlife.
Chichicastenango is a beautiful, charming city with cobblestone streets surrounded by valleys and mountains. It’s been a big trading town since before the Spanish conquest, featuring incredible markets on Sundays and Thursdays. Chichicastenango is one of the most different Guatemala travel destinations, feeling isolated from the rest of the country.
Guatemala City has a vibrant, diverse vibe throughout its city, unlike any other place in the country, making it not only the country’s capitol but also Guatemala’s cultural capitol. The best museums in the country are located here, in addition to big restaurant and bar scenes, which mark it as a popular Guatemala travel spot.
Santa Cruz del Quiché
This small, quiet town, also known as El Quiché or just Quiché, is very typical of Guatemalan countryside located 19 kilometers from Chichicastenango. Quiché’s Fiestas Elenas in the middle of August is a week long festival featuring numerous local traditions. It’s a top Guatemala travel destination to get an authentic feel of the country.
Quetzaltenango, often shortened to Xela, is a common destination for travelers wanting to learn Spanish. Many end up getting involved in volunteer projects. This perfect-sized city has perfectly retained its natural culture and vibe. Quetzaltenango also is close to numerous impressive hikes and cycling routes in the Guatemala countryside.
Tikal’s most famous attraction is its temples, rising over 60 meters, located deep into the jungle. As you walk from temple to temple, you’ll pass through dense rainforest and hear wildlife, making it one of the most unique Guatemala travel destinations.
With a very remote location, Nebaj is deep in the Cuhumatanes Mountains. This Guatemala travel spot is famous for its hiking, which will have you walking by waterfalls, mountains, and rivers.
Lago de Izabel
As the largest lake in Guatemala, Lago de Izabel has become a top Guatemala travel destination. Rio Dulce is one of the most popular villages to visit on this lake, where the lake empties into the Rio Dulce. A trip along the river is a must when visiting this part of Guatemala.
Lívingston is where river journeys from Rio Dulce end, making it a popular spot for Guatemala travel. Additionally, the city has a very different feel than the rest of Guatemala and nice beaches. Despite Lívingston being unconnected to the rest of Guatemala, transportation is easy to other parts of the country, Belize, and Honduras.
Flores is a city on the island of Lago de Peten Itza. Its impressive lakeside views will leave you in awe. Caves and a museum of Maya artifacts are the top highlights. Flores is connected to the town Santa Elena by a causeway, where there’s supermarkets, buses, and local cantinas.
Antigua Guatemala Tour Benefits
- Curated Sites
- Audio Tours
- Offline Map