What is Guatemala known for? Ten things the country does best

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In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a little bit obsessed with Guatemala. The people, the culture, the fact that they play music at 3am on random street corners… I left a bit of my heart in this nation, and I challenge you to go there and say otherwise.

A lot of people have never heard of Guatemala, and some who have think it’s part of Mexico. But if you know it, you’ll either have already visited, or be dying to go (or have already visited and be dying to return!). I’m yet to find someone who’s been to Guatemala and didn’t absolutely love it. I spent seven weeks in Guatemala last summer and you’ll find me expressing my adoration for the country at least three times a day. I get asked what is Guatemala known for all the time, and I always say that I think it’s got the strongest identity out of anywhere I have been. It’s certainly not an extension of Mexico.

Guatemala is sunshine, it’s crazy bus rides, it’s fruit markets as far as the eye can see. It’s mezcal, it’s the song ‘La Bamba’ on loop, it’s Sunday church services that erupt into Latin music. Guatemalan people are the friendliest I’ve ever met, and Guatemalan landscapes among the most beautiful. It’s such a gem that it shocks me that the herds haven’t flocked to it yet. But then again, this makes it all the more special.

Travel in Guatemala is a magical experience that should be done by every keen globetrotter. Staying a little longer and keen to volunteer in Guatemala? There are lots of ways that this is possible too, from teaching English to building in communities. There are so many ways to enjoy this beautiful country, so take your time on your Guatemala itinerary to really get the essence of it.

So what is Guatemala known for?

Avocados

Image by threelayercake via Flickr

If you don’t like avocados, go to Guatemala and try one, then get back to me. If you do – great news. A huge one costs the equivalent of 30 cents / 20p in the markets. Avocados in the UK have this annoying habit of being under ripe for about 2 weeks after purchasing, ripe for about half an hour and then disgustingly rotten straight after. Not Guatemalan avocados. Buy one from the market and enjoy it there and then. They will most likely have been picked within a mile radius anyway.

I had the best guacamole ever in Guatemala (and I’ve spent a lot of time in Mexico), and I credit that completely to the avocados there. If I was a poet (I’m certainly not), I’d write a Guatemalan avocado ode. They’re just amazing.

Crazy Bus Rides

Image via Flickr by Laurent de Walick

Heard of chicken buses? They’re these gaudy vehicles that have been shipped down from the US (they’ve actually failed some sort of test in the US, but try not to think about them when you’re boarding one). They’ve been painted in outrageously bright colours – just because you’re in Guatemala and that’s what they do here – and pimped out with a funky sound system.

You haven’t experienced Guatemala until you’ve been squashed like a sardine in one of these buses. Fact. They’re uncomfortable, they’re cheap as chips, there’s always loud music blaring and they’re so much fun.

Volcanoes

Volcanoes are everywhere in this Central American country; and climbing one is definitely one of the best things to do in Guatemala. In both Antigua and Xela, you’ll always be in view of one of these looming formations on the horizon. You can hike up a lot of them; my personal favourite was Acatenango, where I camped on the side, watched the opposite volcano spew hot ash, and ascended up to the summit at 4am to see the sunrise.

For a somewhat different climbing experience consider a day hike to Pacaya, an active volcano which you can toast marshmallows on, or conquer Tajumulco, the tallest volcano in Central America!

Lakes

I know this is a sweeping statement, but I do truly believe that Guatemala contains the most beautiful lake in the world. Lake Atitlan is quite literally breath-taking – fringed by volcanoes (told you there were a lot of them), dotted with picturesque Mayan villages and filled with clear blue water, which is broken only by the odd passing boat. Walking around it, my heart beat a bit faster and I had to quite often stop to take in the view and just remember that this is why I travel. To witness places like this.

Cheerful Political Protests

Image by Hans Birger Nilsen via Flickr

In all seriousness, the political situation in Guatemala is pretty corrupt. But the Guatemalan people know how to protest in a persuasive yet optimistic way. I was in Xela while there was a huge campaign for the president to resign. Everyone at home thought it sounded pretty dangerous. It was actually the best protest I’ve ever witnessed – people old and young united, chanting, singing and doing all they could to campaign for a better future.

The president eventually resigned, but unfortunately the political issues in Guatemala are ongoing. This poses no threat to the traveller there, but does sadly greatly affect general life for Guatemalans. However, I have every faith that they’ll carry on with their cheerful, optimistic protests and keep unifying for a better future.

Textiles

Image by auntjojo via Flickr

Go to a Guatemalan market and you’ll see colourful fabrics as far as the eye can see. Not to mention the Trajes (traditional outfits) that the local woman wear. These generally consist of a brightly coloured shirt and skirt and can be all sorts of different colours. By Lake Atitlan, they were all a lovely deep shade of blue.

At markets such as Chichicastenango, one of Latin America’s most famous which should definitely be on your Guatemala itinerary, you can purchase all sorts of blankets and clothes. I challenge you to go to a Guatemalan market and not buy something fabric with 8 different colours on it…

Coffee

Photo by Olle Svensson via Flickr

That latte you get in Starbucks? It may very well be Guatemalan coffee. Coffee is its biggest export, and it’s actually the first place I managed to drink a cup of coffee without a shot of caramel (guilty…). Coffee from the source is absolutely delicious, so make sure you have a cup (or five a day) while you’re there. There’s loads of opportunities to go on a coffee tour and find out all about the making of it too. You’ll learn some great trivia for your next coffee morning!

Tortillas

Photo by Marina Kuperman Villatoro via Flickr

Note for all you gluten free-ers – tortillas in Guatemala are made of corn, not wheat! Once I discovered this, I endeavoured to eat as many tortillas as humanely possible. Turns out, there isn’t really a limit to this in Guatemala.

They’re everywhere – you’ll get them as a side in most restaurants, people cook them on the street, locals are always offering them in their home. It’s the done thing to wrap all of your food – whether that be beans, plantain or egg – in one of these tortillas and eat it with your hands. They’re super cheap too; you can buy a street food meal containing a tortilla and various fillings for the equivalent of about 70 cents/ 50p.

Mayan Ruins

Photo by Mike Murga via Flickr

Tikal is a magical Mayan kingdom in Northern Guatemala. The beautiful ruins are fascinating, making you feel like Indiana Jones. Tikal is one of the most extensive collections of ruins found in Latin America and dates back to around 600 BC. It’s one of Guatemala’s most popular tourist destinations; with visitors trekking through the jungle to discover majestic ruins rising from the earth, listening out for howler monkeys along the way.

Extra Tikal Tips!:

  • Santa Elena is cheaper than Flores to stay in
  • There’s also a little village between Flores and Tikal called El Remante. It’s right on the lake, and super chillin’!
  • You can go camping in Tikal by staying in hammocks at the Tikal complex’s campground. This helps you get to the ruins before the crowds the next day – and of course, spend a magical night in the jungle.

 Illicit Saints

Photo by Ralf Steinberger via Flickr

I give you Maximon, a Mayan saint with a booze problem and cigarette addiction. Mayans around the Guatemalan highlands worship an effigy of the saint (although I’m pretty sure this is due to fear rather than respect) who moves from house to house every year. You’re meant to leave him an offering – in the form of fags, booze or cold hard cash – and if you don’t he may well seduce your husband or wife, as he once did to all the local men – which is the reason why he is now a symbol of fear and thus a saint.

I don’t smoke, had no rum on me and was reluctant to leave him my 100 quetzal note, so I made a quick beeline for the door. I was single then and I’m still single now. Coincidence?



Booking.com

That’s what Guatemala is known for…

20150830-110604.jpgI’ve travelled all over Central America, and found Guatemala to be the most beautiful country I’ve visited, not just in the region but probably in the world. It’s got a unique culture and heritage, with unmatchable landscapes and fantastic character. Despite a lot of people having never heard of the nation,once you’ve visited you won’t be forgetting it in a hurry.

Your Guatemala Essentials

When you’re planning a trip to Guatemala, there’s a few great items that you’ll be lost without. If you don’t know any Spanish, be sure to pack a Spanish phrasebook so you can interact with the locals. A lonely planet Guatemala travel guide or their Central America on a shoestring book is highly recommended. If you’re going to be reading lots of books, I always recommend purchasing a kindle to make lugging around that backpack a little easier.

 

You can’t drink tap water in Guatemala, but with a water to go bottle you can. If you take some collapsible tupperware, you can transport leftover avocado and frijoles (beans), yum! A padlock will help you keep your belongings secure and a money belt should make you feel more at ease when you’re carrying your valuables around.

 

Guatemala has stolen a bit of my heart. And you know what, because of the volcanoes, the lakes, the amazing people, the markets and the food, I’m happy to leave a part of my heart in the country, knowing I’ll be back to pick it up one day.

Have I convinced you to visit Guatemala yet? Here’s a great Guatemala travel guide to help you start planning your trip!

Have you been to Guatemala? What is Guatemala known for to you – do you have anything you could add to this list?

Disclaimer: some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. This is just one of the ways I keep this blog running for free!

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Avocados, colourful textiles, Mayan ruins... what else is Guatemala known for? This list highlights some of the best reasons to visit Guatemala! Whether you're planning a trip to Antigua or Lake Atitlan, look out for these famous things about Guatemala when you're travelling in Central America.

111 responses to “What is Guatemala known for? Ten things the country does best”

  1. Sarah says:

    I spent a month in Antigua, Guatemala about a year ago and did a few side trips as well. This is totally taking me back. Great post!

    Best,
    Sarah

  2. Hello Claire

    Thank you for your positive account about Guatemala.
    Next time you are in the country, please visit the region of Alta Verapaz and Semuc Champey a beautiful place.
    My family owns a plantation there that you might like to visit.

    Cheers

    • Claire says:

      I definitely will! I wish I could have stayed in Guatemala for longer, I had a flight booked otherwise I would have! I’ll be back in Guatemala soon 🙂 made a note of the hotel & restaurant you’ve linked to 🙂

  3. Angela says:

    You sold me on this wonderful country! The avocados alone would get us there!

  4. Daniel says:

    It’s always good to read a traveller saying good things about my country. Nice post! 🙂

  5. Ana María says:

    Gracias, muchas gracias por expresarte tan bonito de nuestra linda tierra Guatemala, siempre seras bienvenida. Dios te bendiga.

  6. Kemkem says:

    Definitely one of the places l am dying to visit. The food and textiles alone will make it worth it, not to mention the ruins. So glad you had a wonderful time and more reason to keep it on my list.

  7. Rita says:

    Thank you so much for your beautiful comments, I thought I was just biased about my country. Can’t get enough? Next time also tried to go to Huehuetenango, a lot of small and big paradises, many not so explored… You will feel in heaven.

    • Claire says:

      Haha no definitely not! I loved it! Great thanks for the tips, I’ll check Huehuetenango out. Sounds absolutely lovely!

  8. Jim B says:

    Guatemala has always been on my list and now that I’m back in the Western 6re, I will be heading there. Thanks for the info and ideas on places to visit.

  9. Esteban says:

    Thank you for the good review about our country, I will be more than pleased to greet you on your next visit!!
    greetings from Guate!!!

  10. Holly says:

    To be honest, I’ve never thought much of a visit to Guatemala, but now I’m really interested in visiting! I’ve always wondered about Chicken Buses and have heard friends visiting Central American countries talk about them too. They sound so interesting!

  11. You had me at avocados haha. I absolutely love them. But Guatemala looks like a great place to visit, I really hope to get there soon! Awesome photos!

  12. Hillary says:

    I really love this post, thanks for give that beautiful words about my country, I hope you can come soon to Guatemala and visit the other perfect places that we have.
    You’ll be always welcome in Guatemala.

    • Claire says:

      Thanks Hillary! Comments like these support my point about Guatemala being such a warm and hospitable country. I can’t wait to return!

  13. En nuestro país todavía podes encontrar ingenuidad en la gente lo cual es bueno y siempre buscamos la forma de dar una dirección o de ayudar a los turistas. Muchas cosas que mencionas aquí son grandiosas para nosotros y me da mucho gusto que te hayan gustado, la próxima vez, prueba unos ricos tortrix, una cerveza Gallo (considerada la mejor cerveza de latinoamerica), ¿aprendiste el significado de algunas palabras? seguro que escuchaste… puchis o ¡ala gran! o va…… Un abrazo cuídate y cuando quieras volver recuerda que estas en tu casa.

    • Claire says:

      Hola Erick! Lo siento, mi espagnol no es perfecto pero gracias por su comentario. Las gentes en Guatemala fueron siempre bonito a mi y hice unos buenos amigos ahi. Espero que puedo regresar muy pronto!

  14. Rogers says:

    I lost count of the number of times I’ve returned to Guatemala around the 35th visit. I would guess that I’ve been there 50 or more times. You might say that I too can’t get enough.

  15. Great description.. It is magic in Guatemala. He got me 26 years ago and still enjoying any seconds… Regarding the avocados.. I have met a botanist once who explained to me that the Avocados growing on San Pedro volcanoes slopes are the best in the world and have been used to be the base of the new breeds used in Mexico, Israel.. that are worldly exported..

    • Claire says:

      Wow I never knew that about the avocados, I can believe it though! I’ve never tasted any like it in Guatemala!

  16. Ric says:

    It is as if I have written this myself! Excellent write-up on my other home Country. I spend a LOT of time there between GC & Xela. The “chicken buses” are an adventure, but honestly hit and miss on safety as far as the drivers are.concerned. The speeds they travel at, with no concern for the passengers being the problem.

    • Claire says:

      I’m glad you like it! I loved Xela. Yeah that is true, I know that they can be a bit dodgy and wouldn’t have gotten one at night for this reason.

  17. You had me at avocados! Great post, thanks for sharing.

    Happy travels 🙂

  18. Guatemala just looks and sounds so amazing. Interesting read!

  19. Ane Rodríguez says:

    I’m so glad you enjoyed my country! It’s always nice to know other people like the place you live in! Did you know that a scene from Star Wars was filmed in Tikal? If you stand on top of Temple IV, you’re standing in the same place where a rebel watches the Millennium Falcon land in the movie! I’ve always thought that is really cool.
    Hope you come back soon!

    • Claire says:

      I don’t like it, I love it 😉 I didn’t know that no, that’s a really cool fact… I’ll be telling people that one 😀

  20. AnaG. says:

    Thank you for this amazing post about my beloved Guate!! There aré still lots of surprises for you here! Come back soon 🙂

  21. I haven’t ever been to Guatemala, but you make a pretty compelling argument for why it should be up there on my list!

  22. Thick. Guatemala is thick with passion, with talent, with hard working esteem and spirituality…you either will get it or you won’t…I’ve lived here several times…my retirement is being spent here…I love the little towns (and live in one)…the people couldn’t be nicer, more gracious and respectful (but they have mentioned recently the Donald Trump words…not nice). Most of all, don’t be afraid, Guatemala seats you in the front row of your own life…riveting.

    • Claire says:

      So much passion in Guatemala, that’s why I loved it so much! I feel like I’m going to keep returning time and time again 😀

  23. Pedro says:

    Love the article, thanks! Here are some hidden places you might ve missed and could enjoy when you go back for that piece of your heart…
    https://pedrocabassa.wordpress.com/2015/06/10/guatemalas-real-hidden-gems-pedros-top-5/

  24. Mayra says:

    Wow what a beautiful description of Guatemala! I would hope to someday visit and experience the beautiful sites abd textiles vendors

  25. S says:

    This was such an interesting read. Honestly, I have to admit I didn’t know much about Guatemala. Ok, I knew almost nothing. Interesting place with so much to offer. The Atitlan lake looks amazing! I know the feeling when you have to stop all the time to look around and can’t believe it is real. It is the best feeling!

    • Claire says:

      Thanks! I’m glad you’ve read a bit about Guatemala now and hopefully it’s persuaded you to visit someday 😉

  26. Carol Colborn says:

    Absolutely love avocados…then you got me at Mayan ruins!

  27. Claire, this is a really awesome post. The best I’ve seen on Guatamala for sure and maybe one of the best for the entire area. Nice pictures, made me familiar with the place, i want to go to Guatamala now! 😉

    • Claire says:

      Thanks so much Melody 🙂 So lovely to hear! Haha I’m hoping to inspire people to visit the country so looks like the article’s working 😀

  28. It is a lovely country. The country side is amazing. I love their textile. When I see them anywhere I know they are from Guatemala. The textile museum in Guatemala City is a good place to learn more about them.

    • Claire says:

      It’s so great isn’t it, one of a kind! I’ll have to make a note of that museum, I didn’t know it existed! Thanks for the recommendation

  29. Dani says:

    I love this post, a great way of knowing more about this country. You convinced me to add it on my bucket list after the lake pictures (I love lakes)

  30. Juan jose says:

    Thank you so much for this article. I almost cried while reading because I left Guatemala about two years ago and everything you described took me back to my roots. I’m really proud to see my country being discribed such as you did. You are welcomed to Guatemala every time you want

    • Claire says:

      Thanks for the comment Juan! It’s Guatemala I should be thanking, I had the best time ever in your country 🙂

  31. Nathan says:

    The food pics sold me! I’ve been to Mexico and parts of Central America but never Guatemala. Looks like I need to plan a visit!

  32. Caleb Fawcett says:

    I too left a part of my heart in Guatemala. I served for 2 years there as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It was a unique experience and I often look back on photos I took and wish I was back there. Unfortunately it costs money and takes time I don’t have right now, but someday I’ll find a time I can go back. I have so many friends that I would like to visit. I have a lot to see as well, because as a missionary I was restricted to a certain area of the country and was not allowed to go outside the boundaries. But what I did get to see(Xela, Huehue, Quiche, Toto, Antigua, and Lake Atitlan) was very beautiful and there were always wonderful people to meet in each place that quickly became friends. The food is wonderful, the colors, not only in the fabrics, but painted on the houses everywhere was like a giant painting in each city. Riding in “Tuk Tuk” was always a fun experience. I loved just taking a walk through the rural areas, with all the corn fields everywhere. I even helped some of the people picking corn which was a unique experience. On another occasion I helped in the proccess of dying thread used in “corte” the clothing the indigenous people wear. There are just so many fun and unique things anyone can experience while visiting Guatemala. I am definitely with Claire in suggesting that everyone should visit Guatemala.

    • Claire says:

      Hey Caleb, lovely to hear about your experience in Guatemala! It sounds like you had as awesome a time as me. I was in the same sort of area as you, and really want to go back to see Flores, Lanquin and all the surrounding towns and villages! I agree, there’s no place quite like it, I loved the people, the music and all the colours too! I hope you get back to Guatemala some day soon!

  33. Great summary and explains why we want to visit Guatemala! Lakes, mountains, avocados, what else do we need? 🙂

  34. Tom says:

    One of my best friends has been travelling around Central America for agess now! He recommended Guatemala, as do you! Looks like I’ll have to visit sometime!

    • Claire says:

      It’s definitely the best country in Central America, and in my opinion, the world 😉 You’ll love it!

  35. Garry Sagel says:

    You are so right Claire. I visited Guatemala the first time, in 2002, to meet the girl I had been sponsoring for seven years. What an awesome country, and I haven’t seen all of it yet. Beautiful country, rivaled only by the beautiful people. It is an (at least) annual trek. Monica, I haven’t been to Semuc Champey, but I plan to do that soon.

    • Claire says:

      Amazing! Yeah I haven’t been to Semuc Champey either but will definitely get there at some point! It sounds like you’ve had a great experience there!

  36. MariaAbroad says:

    I am in love with those old decorated school buses, they look so fun! I would love to ride on one.

    • Claire says:

      They’re so cool aren’t they! They’re just as fun on the inside, with crazy music and interesting passengers 🙂

  37. sarah says:

    oh my goodness – those avocados!! I’m so glad you loved Guatemala .. I need to go back through Central America soon!

  38. Tara says:

    Well, you totally sold me! Your passion for Guatemala comes out in your writing for sure. And for me it’s all about beautiful lakes, colorful fabrics, and coffee. Awesome post!

  39. Rut says:

    One of my brothers traveled to the UAE a few times, he says that according to the people there Guatemala is the #1 cardamom exporter. I’ve never been able to confirm the veracity of that claim, it something most Guatemalans have never heard of; but it is the only place I’ve ever been to where you can find cardamom-flavoured bubblegum sold on the streets.

    Something else that I think might be very unique to Guatemala is the Iglesia del Jesús Negro en Esquipulas. I found it quite amusing whenever I mentioned the Black Jesus statue, and all my American friends would be shocked by it.

    The traditional candies, BLACK tortillas made from black corn, not with added dyes.

    Going out on the weekends and hearing marimba music wherever you go.

    ¡GRANIZADAS! shaved ice anywhere else pales in comparison. Not only you get your choice of flavour(s), but then you also get sweetened condensed milk and a bunch of chunks of various fruits.
    You can also find green mango granizada, with pepitoria (toasted, ground-up pumpkin seeds), salt and lime juice…

    • Claire says:

      Thanks for your comment Rut, this is all really interesting! I didn’t know that about the cardamom, but it may well be true! I had a fair few black tortillas as well! And I miss marimba music – we don’t get that in the UK! Great suggestions 🙂

  40. Voyager says:

    What a revelation this article is, Guatemala is such a fascinating country. For me, the volcanoes, the Mayan ruins and the vibrant colours of the street are alluring.

  41. Hedras says:

    Loved your review of my country!
    Next time you come I’ll make some “guacamol” for you! 🙂 With a “churrasco” (grilled beef) of course!

    Did you try Ceviche with some avocado on it? If you haven’t, you definitely should!
    Did you try “los shucos” from Liceo (hot dogs). What about “mixtas” (tortillas with guacamol and sausages)?

    Thanks for the nice words on this amazing and beautiful but politically troubled by corruption.

    Cheers,

  42. Totalmente de acuerdo, vivo en Alta Verapaz, Guatemala y estoy seguro que te encantará este departamento, hay muchos lugares que deberias visitar, Laguna Lachua, Semuc Champey, Salto de Chilasco, Hunal Ye, cuando decidas venir puedes contactarme, trabajo en una empresa turística de la region, con gusto te ayudaré, puedes escribirme al correo.

    • Claire says:

      Muchas gracias Victor, he salvado su correo. Solo he visitado Antigua, Xela y Atitlan asi que necessito viajar mas en el pais lindo! Tal vez regressare en una pareja des anos.

  43. Larry says:

    We LOVE Guatemala. We spent 2 weeks there in 2006, when we adopted our daughter. A magical country, full of wonderful people … and the food … I can still taste it.

    We hope to go back someday with our daughter and spend a few weeks traveling around and exploring more than we were able to the first time.

    Our dream is to open an orphanage there someday, if we ever become rich.

    Should be on everyone’s must visit list. Thanks for writing this up, and loved the photos. Will be showing this to our daughter tonight when she gets home from school.

    • Claire says:

      I’m glad you loved it as much as me! It definitely is magical, isn’t it. I can’t get enough of it! Opening an orphanage is a lovely idea.
      I hope your daughter likes the article too!

  44. Ben says:

    Ahhh Guatemala, our favorite country in Central America. If it just wasn’t so god damn cold in the highlands I wouldn’t mind living there. 😀

  45. Betty Garrido says:

    Are you a writer Claire? Thanks for writing all the reallity of Guatemala .
    Your post is the best ,i was looking something like this to show my kids about Guatemala and your post is perfect !! You tell about everything Guatemala can give to the turist to enyoy …now i have tje perfect the perfect post for them .thank you very much! Go to send to them right now.
    Thy where born in Canada but i’m from Guatemala . mi casa es su casa no lo olvide! I live in Toronto but hope to travel to mi tierra hermosa. Bendiciones a ti y tu familia.

  46. Tam says:

    I live in NYC and know a fair amount of Guatemalans. I’ve always wanted thought go to for its natural beauty and Mayan history. However, without a doubt, the best avocados are from Mexico. And they are pretty cheap there too. You’ll also never find flour tortillas in Mexico either! 100% corn. The political situation isn’t rosy either.

  47. Therie says:

    Coffee and avocados? Guatemala is right up my alley especially with those amazing landscapes!

  48. Love your post and yes you are right in every step of our country. If you ever want to come back and learn more about our culture, coffee and so on, drop me a line. Also for new travelers if you need a local reliable contact that can help you with your traveling needs visit our website http://www.kgcoffees.com Cheers with great coffee amigos.

    Pablo

  49. Diego says:

    I’m from Guate and, yeah, the stupidly croulwded buses with annoying loud music are fun when you get used to them ?

  50. Carlos says:

    I was born and raised in a Guatemala and travel back often. Not once, I have heard la bamba.

  51. Rocio says:

    Excelent article. I am Guatemalan and reading you gave me goose bumbs. If some day you want to come back contact me and you are welcome to stay in my home in the higlands of the country.
    🙂

  52. Vinicio Alba says:

    Me gusta mucho como comentas de mi país Guatemala lo único que no me gusta es tu proposición de decirle a la gente que se puede quedar a dormir en el área arqueológica de Tikal la es ilegal, tu hablas de un mejor cambio para mi país que eso nos deseas pero al dar ese tipo de tips,lo que haces es que sigamos mal, sabías que tenemos la serpiente más venenosa en Centroamérica, el hospital más cercano está a una hora, no hay señal de teléfono ni radio para llamar, sabías que una persona murió este año, y que pudo haber sido por creerse un explorador o un experto, creo que si tienes respeto por mi País ese tipo de Tips que das donde alientas a hacer algo ilegal lo deberías de quitar de tu blog

    • Claire says:

      Hello and thanks for your comment. Firstly sorry I can’t reply to you in Spanish – my Spanish is good enough to understand but not good enough to write back unfortunately – I’m working on it!

      Thanks for bringing the above to my attention. I have removed this part from the article after a few comments. I’ll be completely honest, the information was from an unnamed collaborator and I didn’t give the text provided enough thought as I should have. This post was written before my blog was as well known and I didn’t give my posts as much attention to detail as I do now. That’s no excuse, just a reason why I didn’t manage to pick up on how dangerous it is when I was writing the post.

      I absolutely adore and respect Guatemala and I feel so privileged to have had a chance to spend some time in the country. I can’t wait to return soon!

      Have a beautiful day 🙂

  53. Angie says:

    yeees! I love Guatemala! your right the best avocado and coffee in the world, fresh fruit and vegetables everywhere in colors and shapes I’ve never seen in other place.
    Great people, fun and friendly. Fantastic food (loved the thick tortillas and Tamales) and very cheap to travel or live in.
    If you travel there spend a day in the city and visit the museums and Zona 1 with beautiful colonial architecture,
    also the black sand beaches in the south Pacific or the white gold sand in the Caribbean side (loved Livingston and all the african Caribbean people culture ). Don’t forget to buy some spices, cardamom, vanilla, mayan chocolate and Cacao it’s sooo inexpensive there.
    if a fan of Star wars you HAVE to travel to Tikal / Yavin 4 it was so exciting.
    I found it safe to travel even in the city, the people is very polite and extremely friendly
    they will help you with anything even if you don’t speak a word of Spanish, they help you and treat you like family everywhere you go!
    Visit Guatemala if you haven’t you’ll fall in love, I want to go back and spend there my retirement.

    • Claire says:

      Thanks for such a lovely comment! I’m aching to go back to Guatemala, and I haven’t actually done any of the things you’ve suggested so I’m going to note them down for my return! 🙂 Hopefully I’ll be back within the next year!

  54. Nancy says:

    It’s awesome that you wrote such an honest and beautiful article about my homeland. Thank you so much and I’m glad you enjoyed your stay. Besides the delicious tortillas, did you find a favorite meal?

    • Claire says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed it Nancy! 🙂 It was a while ago now so I can’t remember everything that I had, but I did love everything with frijoles in! What is your favourite meal from your country?

  55. Olivia says:

    Claire! I loved this post so much! First of all, I 100% agree with everything you said! As someone who is currently living in Guatemala from the U.S., I love that you posted all of these things because they’re definitely things that stand out to those who aren’t natives!

  56. Nancy says:

    Claire,
    One of my personal favorite meals is “hilachas.” “Tortitas de carne molida” is also on my list. Did you notice that most meals are served with rice?

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