It’s hardly surprising that Guatemala features on the Lonely Travels’ list of Top 10 spots to visit in Central America with 2 entries. The country is home to a web of cultures, ancient ruins, tropical wildlife and the Mayan temples you can visit there are considered to be on a par with the Pyramids.
The first recommended must-visit site is the ancient Mayan city of Tikal in northern Guatemala. The 150 feet Temples at Tikal, in the jungle, are like no others and have been used for rituals once again since 1996 by the Mayan people. In contrast to Chichén Itzá, the better known Mexican Mayan site, which was fully cleared, some buildings have been left partly covered by jungle, giving visitors a sense of how the site looked when it was found. The plaza was the centre of life in the city’s heyday, from the third to the ninth century A.D. Some parts of the city date back to 800 B.C. At its peak Tikal was a dominant city state, home to about 70,000 people.
The second Guatemalan marvel is the 130 km2 Lago de Atitlán, in the southeast of the country. Bordered by three extinct volcanoes, Atitlán, Tolimán and San Pedro, it is considered to be one of the world’s most beautiful lakes. A number of Mayan villages dot the hills maintaining their traditions and language.
The best time to visit Guatemala is between December and February, when the area is less humid, so now is a great time to go.