The 10 most beautiful places to visit in Guatemala

  • 1. Lake Atitlán
  • 2. Champey semolina
  • 3. Tikal
  • 4. Antigua
  • 5. The Chichicastenango Market
  • 6. Guatemala City
  • 7. Las Fuentes Georginas
  • 8. Quetzaltenango
  • 9. Monterrico
  • 10. Livingston

To visit Guatemala is to discover a multitude of hidden treasures. Set off to discover this incredible Central American country through these 10 of the country's most beautiful places!

Guatemala is a rather unknown country, yet it has a unique culture and breathtakingly varied landscapes. Located in the south of Mexico, this small territory is immeasurably rich: lush jungles, resounding flora and fauna, multicoloured cities, remains of some of the most powerful cities of the pre-Colombian era, etc.

All this bathed in a Mayan culture that is still alive and vibrant. Above all, the generosity of its inhabitants will not fail to make you love this endearing country. Without further ado, here are the 10 most beautiful places to visit in Guatemala!

1. Lake Atitlán

Lake Atitlán is known to be the most beautiful lake in the world, spreading its clear waters in a vast valley surrounded by three volcanoes. A simply stunning setting, cradle of the Mayan people. Indeed, many villages dot the banks of Atitlán, home to 3 Mayan communities: the Kakchikels, the Tzutuhils and the Quichés.

Here, all you have to do is let yourself be carried away by the sweet life of the lake. The women still wear the guilpil, a traditional multicoloured garment, and you will have the opportunity to see them weave. Don't miss to taste the local cuisine! The Mayan community, enterprising and active, imbues the place with a mystical aura that is simply unique in the world.

Jump aboard a lancha (motor boat) to reach these places, off the beaten track, not to be missed:

  • San Antonio Palopó
  • Santa Catarina and its multicoloured houses
  • San Marcos
  • Santiago Atitlán and his cofradías
  • Quixayá Pools

2. Champey semolina

Semuc Champey is undoubtedly one of the most heavenly places you will ever see. However, this little gem has to be earned. To reach the site, you will have to drive for hours on end through the jungle. But it's worth it!

Here, you can swim in turquoise water inhabited by a multitude of small fish that will come and nibble your toes. These unusual pools, surrounded by lush vegetation, offer a simply idyllic setting.

On the spot, you can go for a hike in the heart of the jungle, which is certainly trying, but which will not fail to amaze you: gigantic butterflies, a fanfare of bird songs, fruit trees, ect. At the end of the trip, you will arrive at a viewpoint that offers a spectacular view of the Semuc Champey gorge.

A place out of time, completely wild, which offers in addition the luxury to be little visited!

3. Tikal

Tikal was one of the most powerful cities of the Mayan civilization. Although some constructions date from the 4th century BC, the kingdom reached its peak between 200 and 900. Immense pyramids were then built, culminating above the canopy.

Today, Tikal National Park is one of the most important archaeological sites in America. Located in the north of Guatemala, in the heart of the Petén jungle, it shelters the remains of imposing temples and palaces, witnesses of the greatness and technological refinement of the city.

Visitors can freely lose themselves in this immense complex and admire the ruins buried in the vegetation. All your senses will be awakened in Tikal: the pungent smell of the jungle, the moist atmosphere, the howling of the monkeys, the bright colours of the toucans, and more.

Tip: bring binoculars for wildlife viewing!

4. Antigua

Antigua is considered the most beautiful city in Guatemala. Its colorful streets with colonial architecture are home to many monuments that mark the history of the city: the ruins of Santiago Cathedral, the Arch of Santa Catalina, the Church of La Merced, etc..

Antigua was founded in the 16th century by the Spaniards to become the capital of the Kingdom of Guatemala. However, throughout its history it has been the victim of many devastating earthquakes, which have caused it to lose its status and still mark the old stones of the city. Today, many tourists flock here and Antigua enjoys a gentle and peaceful atmosphere.

3 blue giants dominate the streets of the city: the volcanoes of Agua, Fuego and Acatenango. Often bathed in mist, they give the city its special atmosphere.

5. The market of Chichicastenango

Locals flock to the Chichicastenango, or Chichi, market every Thursday and Sunday. And with good reason: it is one of the oldest and most famous markets in Central America! An immense maze of stalls of all kinds, it plunges you into the heart of Mayan culture.

Let yourself be transported by this whirlwind of smells and colours for a day. Stop at the church of Santo Tomas, on the steps of which are sold a multitude of flowers with striking scents, and admire the magnificent traditional outfits of Mayan women. A real immersion, which is also a perfect occasion to bring back beautiful typical souvenirs.

6. Guatemala City

Guatemala City suffers from a very bad reputation and not for nothing. The capital of Guatemala is dangerous. However, your plane will most certainly land there and, provided that you follow some basic rules of caution, the city offers some real points of interest.

This may be the best place to learn more about Guatemalan history. The city is full of museums, including the National Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, which houses an impressive collection of pre-Columbian artifacts and artwork. On a wider scale, a walk through the historic quarter (zones 1 and 2) allows you to admire the colonial and modern architecture of the city and some beautiful monuments: the Palacio de Gobernación, the Cathedral, the National Palace, etc.

7. Las Fuentes Georginas

Not far from the town of Quetzaltenango, nestled on the Zunil volcano, are Las Fuentes Georginas, hot springs. The baths they feed mainly attract locals who come here to relax. Their sulphurous water has medicinal properties that are recognised throughout the country.

By bathing in the Georginas, you will enjoy a breathtaking privileged setting. The opal waters, bathed by a waterfall, are caught in a lush vegetation covering the steep slopes of the volcano. Moreover, it is an ideal place to meet Guatemalans.

Would you like to visit las fuentes Georginas? Take a picop from the beautiful town of Zunil, which is also worth a visit.

8. Quetzaltenango

Quetzaltenango, commonly called Xela (pronounced "chela"), is the second largest city in Guatemala. It is a charming, calm and peaceful place where you will feel safe. Its historical center is very pleasant and has a certain cachet.

You can visit a rich architectural and cultural heritage, imbued with both colonial and indigenous culture. Indeed, the city is home to a large Mayan community, which represents 75% of the population, compared to 40% nationally.

In the evenings, the centre of Xela is lively and you can enjoy a wide range of restaurants, bars and concerts.

9. Monterrico

Monterrico is located on the Pacific coast, south of Guatemala. Be prepared for the heat and humidity! Life in this small fishing village is lived at the rhythm imposed by the tropical climate: mild and peaceful.

The atmosphere here is quite different than elsewhere in the country. The houses are thatched, the trees are weighed down even more with fruit, the air is spicier, the green seems greener and the ocean waves crash wildly on long grey beaches.

In Monterrico, you can stroll around or sip a cocktail in a wooden straw hut on the beach. Hawaii's nature reserve is nearby: a large mangrove swarming with life. You can explore it before sunrise, aboard a dugout canoe, and observe the numerous birds that live there. An unforgettable experience!

10. Livingston

Livingston is a destination that is a little out of the ordinary to do during your stay in Guatemala. You will only be able to reach this small isolated village on the Caribbean coast by boat. While visiting Livingston, you will meet the Garifunas, an Afro-Caribbean people born from the crossbreeding of indigenous people and escaped black slaves.

The culture here is radically different from the rest of the country. You'll find it hard to believe it, but you're still in Guatemala! Enjoy the sweet atmosphere of Livingston, lulled by reggae and cumbia, and bask in the paradise of Playa Blanca. And don't miss out on a taste of the Garifunas' cuisine, which is sure to make your mouth water!

Audio Video The 10 most beautiful places to visit in Guatemala
add a comment of The 10 most beautiful places to visit in Guatemala
Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.