A sailfish on Guatemala's Pacific Coast. Photo © Al Argueta.

Outdoor Sports in Guatemala

Whether you’re an enthusiastic hiker or cyclist, an avid rock-climber or sport-fisher, Guatemala’s great outdoors has a treat in store for you. While some activities, such as rock climbing, are relatively new and others, like sailfishing, are long established, Guatemala is definitely suited to their pursuit.

View of Lake Atitlán from Casa Palopó. Photo © Al Argueta.

Best Boutique Hotels and Jungle Lodges in Guatemala

Guatemala has some of the hippest digs anywhere on the planet. If you’re sick and tired of hotels that all pretty much look the same and enjoy the opportunity to check out unique boutique hotels and jungle lodges near worthwhile attractions, then this list is for you.

A spider monkey relaxing in Las Lagunas Boutique Hotel. Photo © Al Argueta.

Guatemala’s Land Mammals

Guatemala’s list of native land mammals is impressive, with a large variety of exotic cats, primates, and other furry creatures. Here’s a little about popular and common species, along with when and where you’re likely to sight them.

View of Antigua from Cerro de la Cruz. Photo © Al Argueta.

Planning Your Time in La Antigua, The Old Guatemala

The former capital of Guatemala destroyed by earthquakes in 1773 is now known as Antigua, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rather than rebuild, the country’s aristocracy opted for a fresh start. What remains today is a pleasant mixture of Mayan and Spanish colonial influences. Plan your time around exploring the town, its ruins, museums, and churches, maybe climbing a volcano, visiting a coffee farm, and some shopping.

A baby sea turtle in Monterrico. Photo © Al Argueta.

Visiting Monterrico and Parque Hawaii, Guatemala

Monterrico, once a sleepy fishing village, has become a popular weekend destination for Guatemala City residents as well as for foreigners looking to spend some time on the beach during their stay. Along with Parque Hawaii, visitors have the opportunity to interact with nature in some unique ways, whether it’s touring the mangrove canals or holding a baby sea turtle in your hand before its maiden voyage out to sea.

Antigua's lovely Parque Central. Photo © Al Argueta.

Sights in Antigua’s Parque Central

Antigua’s Parque Central is easily the most beautiful plaza in Guatemala and forms the hub of activity for shoe shiners, strolling lovers, tour groups, ice cream vendors, and foreign visitors. A great place for a stroll or people-watch, there are also plenty of sights to see, from historical cathedrals and incredible architecture to informative museums.

Guatemala City is full of contrasts. Photo © Al Argueta.

Discover Guatemala City

You’ll be taken by Guatemala City’s beauty from the air. Bordered by a lake, forested mountains, and four volcanoes, the nation’s capital is a bustling urban agglomeration of three million inhabitants occupying a broad valley and spilling into ravines and neighboring hillsides. “Guate,” as it’s more commonly called by locals, can seem polluted, noisy, and downright dodgy once you step onto its streets—but the same can be said of New York or Mexico City. It’s all a matter of getting acquainted with your surroundings and discovering the pleasant aspects of this mountain city.

The main square in La Antigua, Guatemala.

Where to Go in Guatemala

From cosmopolitan Guatemala City and dining beneath Spanish colonial arches set beside a gurgling fountain to finding treasures in highland markets full of Mayan crafts to exploring active volcanoes and sweltering jungles full of half-excavated Mayan pyramids, here’s where to go in Guatemala to experience its culture, peoples, and lands.

The Berylline hummingbird is one of several species in Guatemala. Photo © Al Argueta.

The Best Bird-watching in Guatemala

Guatemala’s wide diversity of ecosystems makes it a birding hot spot—more than 700 species of birds can be found here. Avid bird-watchers consider this paradise, though novices can easily center an entire Guatemala vacation around birding. From cloud forests to wetlands, rare sightings and common delights, here’s where to go for the best bird-watching in Guatemala.

View of Antigua from Cerro de la Cruz. Photo © Al Argueta.

Escape to La Antigua for a Long Weekend

Guatemala’s close proximity to U.S. shores and easy access by air makes it a great candidate for an international weekend getaway. This itinerary covers an easy three days in and around La Antigua.