Guatemala is one of the most striking countries in Latin America, with a rich heritage of Mayan and colonial history and offering some spectacular natural scenery. Surrounded by impressive volcanic peaks and clear lakes in its central highlands, dense jungle and Mayan ruins in the north and Caribbean culture and music to the east, a holiday to Guatemala is a real celebration for the senses.
The city of Antigua retains the beauty of its colonial heritage and has a unique atmosphere, while Lake Atitlan and the villages surrounding it seem lost in time with locals wearing distinctive hand-woven costumes in vivid colours. Chichicastenango with its famous markets and Iglesia de Santo Tomas (a unique church with its own style of worship blended from pre-Colombian and Catholic practices) is definitely worth a visit. Another highlight of any Guatemala holiday must surely be Tikal, with probably the best setting of all the Mayan ruins - surrounded by undisturbed rain forest and home to howler monkeys and toucans. Or step off the beaten track to float down the Rio Dulce towards the Caribbean coast at Livingston and where you may be lucky enough to spot the elusive manatee.
Whatever part of this beautiful country appeals to you, South American Experience at Western & Oriental would be delighted to tailor- make your perfect Central American tour. Guatemala combines very well with neighbouring Belize and its delightful offshore islands. Alternatively take a side trip from Guatemala into Honduras to visit the well-preserved stelae carvings at the Mayan site of Copan. You can even venture into southern Mexico from the Tikal area towards Yaxchilan and Palenque if you have a keen interest in Mayan culture.
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