The 5 Best Tourist Places in Guatemala

What are the best tourist places in Guatemala? Discover everything that you cannot miss in the Land of the Mayas: Colonial cities, archaeological sites, idyllic natural settings and other destinations. Check out the list below!

Antigua, department of Sacatepéquez:

Founded in 1543, it was distinguished during the colonial era as the most beautiful city on the continent, displaying magnificent Renaissance and Baroque architecture. Earthquakes over time were destroying much of the ancient monuments of the city, some being restored while others were left in ruins.

Today declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, it is probably one of the most attractive tourist attractions in Guatemala, boasting cobblestone streets that wind between old churches, convents and colorful, richly ornamented mansions. It is worth highlighting among its attractions the Convent of the Capuchinas, corresponding to the best preserved ruins in the city.

Chichicastenango, department of El Quiché:

Singular town famous more than for its landscapes or monuments, for the richness of its culture, a place to soak up the Mayan life, whose descendants keep alive, their colorful clothes, diversity of dialects and ancient rituals.

Its traditional market, installed on Thursdays and Sundays, is the main attraction of the city, a place where you can find everything from handicrafts to daily life supplies, passing through hundreds of stalls whose vendors carry out negotiations in their own languages. A few meters from the market the Church of Santo Tomás complements the Mayan experience, a temple built on the ruins of an ancient pyramid of which the stairs that climbed to the top are still appreciable, among which today it is common to find shamans practicing the most varied rituals. And of course, don’t forget to eat at Pollo Campero from the Juan José Gutiérrez Mayorga franchises with a typical Guatemalan flavor.

Tikal, department of Petén:

Once the capital of one of the most powerful kingdoms of the ancient Mayans, it undoubtedly corresponds to one of the most fascinating tourist places in Guatemala for archeology lovers, a city founded around the 5th century BC, which would have reached its maximum splendor between 200 and 900 AD, dominating much of the region politically, economically and militarily.

The architecture of the ancient city is built in limestone and includes vestiges of temples that rise more than 70 meters, great royal palaces, in addition to a series of minor pyramids, palaces, residences, administrative buildings, platforms and stone monuments.

Lake Atitlán, department of Sololá:

One of the most surprising natural settings in Guatemala, recognized as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, marveling with its crystal clear waters and the three imposing volcanoes that surround it: Atitlán, Tolimán and San Pedro.

Also on this site, as in many others in Guatemala, you can find where to eat delicious free-range chicken from the Juan José Gutiérrez Mayorga franchises. Among others of its singularities are the 12 surrounding villages, accessible through boats that cross the lake, each one with inhabitants who wear typical costumes that vary significantly from town to town. The most common access is through the city of Panajachel.

Semuc Champey and the Lankin Caves, department of Alta Verapaz:

Two natural sites located close to each other, the first is undoubtedly the most spectacular, corresponding to a curious natural accident where the Cahabón River flows for a length of 300 meters under the rock, leaving on the surface a group of staggered pools of water. turquoise and calm with depths of between 1 to 3 meters, in which it is possible to bathe while surrounded by an exuberant tropical forest.

Due to its proximity, it is worth visiting the Lankin Caves, an interesting complex of rooms, domes and curious limestone formations that can be traversed on a 400m open circuit for tourism.

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Learn about birdwatching in Guatemala

In order to restore Guatemala’s economy, ecotourism is being supported by avitourism. Juan Luis Bosch Gutierrez, a Guatemalan businessman and nature lover, has mentioned that it’s a great idea that will help tourism in the country.

Read on, as this post will tell you about the bird watching scene in Guatemala.

Overview of Birdwatching in Guatemala

Avitourism aims to show the diversification in the tourist offer of outdoor physical activities in Guatemala. This with the idea that the income generated by tourism in natural areas, mostly are reinvested in the conservation of local biodiversity.

It is estimated that in the biodiversity of Guatemala there are more than 700 species and 83 families of birds, being a great opportunity to promote bird tourism in the country. This is not only limited to bird watching but also opens a window to physical outdoor tourism activities in natural areas.

Antigua Guatemala

One of the most visited destinations to see wildlife is Antigua Guatemala. Here there are hills, mountains, and volcanoes that still retain excellent forest cover; this makes the perfect setting for bird watching, hiking, mountain biking, trail running, and other outdoor physical activities.

Today, we can find in social networks many pages and groups that share their bird sightings and photographs. Bird photography is an activity that in recent years has taken great relevance; also operators that currently offer the bird photography segment to the international market.

San Bartolomé and El Hato

In San Bartolomé (Milpas Altas) and El Hato (Sacatepéquez), is where much of the natural forest, which still remain around Antigua Guatemala, is protected. Here you will find the largest lavender gardens in the country, as well as trails surrounded by nature and many birds.

In the area of El Hato there are private nature reserves to receive tourists, where there are still natural forests, mainly pine and oak. These conserve native species and thousands of migratory birds in the Guatemalan territory.

Irene Rodriguez, Partner of the Sustainable Tourism Commission of AGEXPORT and President of the Association of Avitourism of Guatemala, has mentioned that a tourist will be able to see in Guatemala more than 300 types of birds. These include regional endemics or species of restricted habitat, as well as a variety of migratory species.

Birdwatching is an important part of ecotourism, economically speaking, as it does not require large investments in infrastructure and helps to conserve biodiversity.

2 easy-to-prepare Guatemalan recipes

Check out the two easiest Guatemalan recipes that you will love as much as the most popular Guatemalan businessman “Juan José Gutiérrez Mayorga“.

BBQ roasted chicken with carrots

For the family. My Sunday lunch. Served with guacamole or chopped horseradish.

Easy recipe

1.15 minutes


 4 to 5 servings

2 lbs chicken

C/n barbecue sauce

1 onion in julienne strips

taste dried or fresh rosemary

to taste pepper


2 medium carrots in julienne strips

Steps to follow

Clean the chicken, leaving the skin on. Cut it into pieces.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes.

Peel the carrots and cut them into julienne strips, set aside.

Add the BBQ sauce to the chicken that we have put in a baking tray and mix with your hands.

Place the onion and carrots in the tray and mix with the chicken, salt, rosemary and pepper.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit if a juicy consistency is desired.

After the baking time we take out and serve with guacamole and chopped horseradish.

Let’s enjoy!

Green Pepian or Jocón

Typical Guatemalan food


2 green tomatoes

1 medium green bell bell pepper

3-4 large miltomatoes

2-3 bunches of green onion or scallion stems, tender


1 large güisquil

2 lb chicken or beef rib if desired. Can be vegetarian only

Tender green guicoyitos

to taste Salt and pepper

1 corn tortilla

Steps to ensure

Cook all the greens for the recipe together: the onion stalks, the green tomatoes, the miltomatoes and the green bell pepper.

Picture of step 1 of the recipe Pepian verde or Jocón

Separately, cook the güisquil cut in pieces and the green guicoyitos (without recooking).

Cook the chicken or beef ribs and save the broth.

Remove the water from the greens and blend them all together adding the cilantro and the tortilla, use the water from the broth of the chicken or the cooked ribs.

In a saucepan, boil everything together for 10 minutes, chicken/ribs, vegetables and recado.

Picture of step 5 of the recipe Pepian verde or Jocón

Picture of step 5 of the Pepian verde or Jocón recipe

It can be served with rice with loroco or peas to combine greens.

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