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Guatemala

For a small country, Guatemala is bountiful to the curious traveller. Thick jungle covers the majority of its interior, concealing vast Mayan cities like the imposing Tikal, with countless ancient temples and pyramids remaining unexcavated. Journey through the country’s highlands to discover the colonial, pastel-painted city of Antigua, traditional market towns, volcano-encircled Lake Atitlan, delicious food, bona fide hospitality, and rich colours every way you turn. All of Central America’s enchanting assets can be enjoyed in this small, unassuming country that receives only a fraction of the numbers that flock to Mexico’s similarly impressive Mayan ruins and beaches.

Guatemala remains an offbeat destination and has developed slower (and perhaps more consciously) than some of its neighbours. Each region has a few small lodges or guest houses providing comfort to travellers exploring its exciting interior.

What sets Guatemala apart is how travellers find themselves naturally immersed in local life; refreshingly, the country is not over-adapted for tourists and from the moment you arrive you’ll gain an unembellished insight into the character and culture of the country. Locals are immensely proud of their heritage and traditions, celebrating and preserving them in day to day life.

It’s an easy hop over the border into Belize to add on a few days at the beach. We work with a host of boutique hotels and hand-picked private island hideaways, all fringed by warm Caribbean waters with close access to the second largest barrier reef in the world, as well as the famous Blue Hole for world-class scuba diving and snorkelling.

Locations

  • Antigua
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  • Casa Palopo Villa Pool, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala - Lounger View
    Lake Atitlán
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  • Templo Gran Jaguar, Tikal, Guatemala
    Tikal
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Best time to travel

November – April

Flight time

from London / New York: 11.5 / 4.5 hours

Combines Well With

Belize or Mexico

Read

Megan O’Neil, Mary Ellen Miller – Maya Art and Architecture

Listen

Malacates Trebol Shop – CORAZÓN

Eat & Drink

Tapado & licuados

What people say

  • We loved Antigua and Lake Atitlan, they were a fabulous contrast. Antigua's colonial streets are beautiful - Jorge was an exceptional guide and told fascinating stories. The whole team of guides were smiley and helpful and, after some hesitations about Guatemala, we felt safe and impeccably well looked after. It was a very memorable trip.
  • I cannot tell you what an amazing time we are having...how did you manage it?!
  • We were delighted with the trip we have just completed to Brazil and Argentina. We walked down Copacabana beach, watched a tapir swim past our canoe in the Pantanal, were submerged in the Iguazu falls, conquered desert and vineyards in northwest Argentina, experienced a snowstorm in the Andes, fed Cayman off horseback and enjoyed a tango show in probably the finest city in South America. A truly memorable experience: we have no hesitation in recommending Plan South America.

The Inside Track

Take a look at some of our recent articles about Guatemala

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