Guatemala boasts beautiful Spanish colonial towns, rainforests, renowned archaeological sites such as Tikal, serene lakes and a colourful indigenous population. Charming boutique hotels brimming with character are ideal for honeymooners or those celebrating a special event. A compact country and combines well with Ambergris Caye, Panama, Mexico and Costa Rica.
Guatemalan culture encompasses a myriad of artistic talent and traditions including crafts, art, dance, costume, textiles, language, music and religious beliefs. Guatemalans are a mix of indigenous, Ladinos (mixed Spanish and indigenous decent) and Garifunas from the Caribbean coastline. There is a large population of US, Canadian and European residents.
Guatemala occupies a unique Central American location. It is bordered on the north and west by Mexico, on the south east by El Salvador and Honduras and on the north east by Belize, a Mecca for scuba diving. Like Costa Rica, it has coastlines on both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Of the 10.7 million population (1995 poll), two million are employed in the coffee industry. Along with coffee, sugar and bananas are the main produce. In 2001, tourism became the biggest earner for the country.
Holidays In Guatemala
The 108,899 km sq. territory is characterised by high mountains and volcanoes, the world’s second in terms of volcanic population. There is a low lying, sub-tropical, humid rainforest jungle zone in the north of the country at El Peten where the Mayan Biosphere National Park is located and also the famous Mayan site of Tikal declared a World Heritage Site and Nature Reserve by UNESCO.
In Guatemala you can experience the magic and enchantment of a legendary past. The Maya, one of the most important civilisations of Latin America, flourished in this country from 300 BC to 900AD. Until recently, 22 Mayan languages were still spoken in Guatemala, although one of the languages disappeared in 1999 with its last surviving speaker who died aged 93.
The arrival of the Spanish brought new ways. Merged with those of the Indian descendants of the Maya and verbally handed down from father to son over generations, they have contributed to the idiosyncrasies which are such a charming fact of everyday life in Guatemala.
An example is the village of Chichicastenango, where great emphasis is placed on the fusion of cultures. Ancient rituals and Christian rites are practised side by side, affording a glimpse of typical Guatemalan rural village life.
Prices from £3,698 per person for a 14 night itinerary.
Daily flights from London Heathrow/Gatwick to Guatemala City via the United States (Dallas, Miami or Houston) with British Airways or Continental. Also, flights from London Heathrow to Guatemala City via Europe (Madrid) with Iberia. Regional departures also available upon request. Iberia business class represents particularly good value.