When country-hopping throughout Latin America, vacationers usually have their hearts set on Mexico’s pristine seashores, Colombia’s vibrant metropolis breaks, or Brazil’s extensive Atlantic coast, however this geopolitical entity, which extends from the southernmost a part of North America to the South, nonetheless has quite a few hidden spots but to be found.
One of them is Guatemala, a promising vacation spot within the post-pandemic scene and arguably probably the most underrated international locations within the area:
Is Guatemala The Most Promising Destination In Central America?
Guatemala is a small nation in Central America positioned south of Mexico and bordering three different Latin American states: Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador. Out of the bunch, it’s not the preferred vacationer website, being largely overshadowed by Mexico’s worldwide status as a well-developed seaside vacation spot.
While Cancun alone attracts in 30 million visitors on common every year, the entire of Guatemala attracted only 2.56 million in 2019. Granted, it’s a a lot smaller nation than Mexico, with a measurement equal to a Mexican state, however there’s Guatemala’s true potential as a vacationer vacation spot is but to be unleashed:
- It has gorgeous a pure surroundings
- Historical Mayan ruins that see solely a small fraction of Mexico’s overwhelming tourism
- Much cheaper than its Central American counterparts, particularly Costa Rica
- No COVID entry necessities for 2023
Despite not being as developed in comparison with Costa Rica, Central America’s main vacation spot in visitor numbers, Guatemala has an identical enchantment, boasting an unlimited nature that contains lively volcanoes, dense rainforests, and unruffled sandy seashores.
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Guatemala’s Natural Wealth Is Unmatched
One of essentially the most lovely pure websites in Guatemala is Lake Atitlan, a scenic reserve within the nation’s wild Southwest. It is bounded by inexperienced hills and rugged volcanoes simply discerned by their conic form. Nearby, the small city of Panajachel is known for its long-standing textile custom and memento buying.
Other pure wonders embody Tajamulco Volcano, a favourite amongst journey seekers, not solely as a result of it’s the highest elevation in Central America at 4,220 meters, accessible through a virgin forest, however resulting from its strategic location. From atop the mountain, climbers can clearly see Mexico from throughout the Western border and dealing with south of El Salvador.
Monterrico, alternatively, is a hotspot for wildlife sightings. An untouched tropical paradise located on Guatemala’s Pacific coast, it acts as a haven for quite a few threatened species, corresponding to sea turtles and iguanas. The seashores are additionally a spotlight, extending for miles on finish, lined with palm bushes and that includes an up-and-coming resort scene.
Deep within the jungle, the Semuc Champey, or ‘Sacred Water’, is a set of layered swimming pools sitting on a nature-made limestone overpass. It could also be distant and more durable to succeed in, however having the ability to swim within the jade-colored waters whereas admiring the infinite inexperienced expanse beneath is unquestionably well worth the lengthy journey.
A Hugely Underrated Cultural Hotspot
If it’s tradition you’re after, you gained’t be dissatisfied, both: Guatemala City, the nation’s largest city heart and bustling capital, has a plethora of cultural facilities deserving of your time, with the imposing National Palace of Culture, and the National Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology serving as prime examples of world-class native museums.
The capital is equally famend for its nightlife: after darkish, the Zona viva and Cuatro Grados Norte districts come to life with younger revelers spewing out of bars, locals eating alfresco on tables set alongside the kerbside, and stay music venues working till the wee hours.
For a quieter ambiance, crowd-wary guests ought to head as a substitute to Antigua Guatemala, or ‘Old Guatemala’, west of Guatemala City, a Baroque gem designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, what with its cobblestone paths, colourful facades, and majestic colonial-era church buildings.
Lastly, Guatemala is dwelling to a few of the best-preserved ruins within the cross-border Mayan World: the mighty Tikal was as soon as a rich city-state in Mesoamerica, and Historians now name it the ‘best understood’ of all the massive lowland Mayan conurbations, whereas Nakbe is broadly accepted to be the primary Mayan metropolis ever constructed.
Both are tourist-friendly archaeological zones inside Guatemala.
No Health Restrictions Apply
There are no COVID entry necessities for Americans visiting Guatemala in 2023, making it one of many easiest destinations to discover in Latin America, a area that’s but to totally raise its health-related curbs:
- No vaccination required
- No pre-departure testing, no matter vaccination standing
- No necessary medical insurance
- No Passenger Locator Forms (PLFs) that want filling out
In sum, entry to Guatemala is a breeze.
The main worldwide airport in Guatemala is La Aurora International, serving Guatemala City. There are scheduled flights from Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York-JFK, Fort Lauderdale, and Houston, amongst different U.S. departure factors.
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This article initially appeared on TravelOffPath.com