visit Guatemala and see for yourself one of the Central American region’s most colourful & interesting countries. A land of volcanoes, beauty, rainforests and ancient Mayan sites. Golden white beaches to relax and tropical landscape to explore. View our top hotels in Guatemala.
|Antigua Town Square
Views of mountain from Antigua Residential Antigua
Typical Guatemala Street Dickinson Bay
White sands of Dickinson Bay Livingston Beach
Local beach in Livingston Semuc Champey
Naturally formed water park Tikal National Park
Mayan ruins in Tikal National Park Antigua Volcanos
Explore Volcanos in Guatemala
Come visit Guatemala and see for yourself one of the Central American region’s most colourful & interesting countries. Wander the bustling & vibrant local markets; explore Antigua, the former capital city and a Colonial beauty; visit a coffee or a macadamia plantation; climb a volcano and peer down into its depths; marvel at the variety of flora & fauna; visit one of local communities on the shores of Lake Atitlan; or clamber up one of the many pyramids at the ancient Maya’s most impressive of sites – Tikal.
Tikal National Park:
Geography and weather.
Local food and drink.
Corn (maize), is the staple diet of Guatemala’s indigenous people and you will certainly get a lot of it. Mostly in the form of tortillas which are flat pancake-like things made of corn dough and grilled. The following are a few Guatemalan specialties:
Guatemalan Enchiladas - Different to the Mexican enchiladas, these ones are more like western taco shells topped with chichen/pork, salad and cream. Very tasty. You can buy three for about US$2
Bistec or Pollo Asado - Beef steak or grilled chicken. These are common meals, usually served with tortillas, rice, spring onion, white cheese, and salad. Prices average from US$3-$5. Note that steak in Guatemala tastes good, but can be very tough.
Platanos Asados - (roasted bananas) These are topped either with sugar or cream (or both) for less than US$1 a serving. Keep in mind that the bananas aren't bananas proper...they are a type of plantain, very sweet tasting and are also often served with savoury meals.
If you have any allergies to foods, please come prepared with a list to give to your tour leader who can then translate it into Spanish for you to show every waiter who takes your order. If you are vegetarian you must always specify ‘no carne, puerco, pollo, pescado’ etc etc.In general we do not recommend you buy food off the street, however your tour leader will give advice, e.g. certain streets in Antigua where the local ladies prepare everything well. If you are unsure just try to use common sense and avoid any food that has been sitting around for a long time (and a word of advice – avoid the bright yellow hot chips sold on every road-side).If you are a strict vegetarian you may experience a distinct lack of variety in the food available, especially in small towns. You might find that you are eating a lot of omelets and other egg dishes. Our tour leaders will do their best to provide interesting vegetarian alternatives when arranging group meals in the campsite, but your patience and understanding is requested.
Guatemalan fruit is fresh and cheap. Go to one of the many juice stands and ask for a “liquado de fruta” (fruit smoothie) or “jugo de naranja y zanahoria” (orange & carrot). Papaya, melon, watermelon, mango, and pineapple are very popular, but you can also get fun things like celery, beetroot, & chaya (a spinach-like leaf). Liquados can be made with either water or milk. Always specify if you don’t want sugar (“sin azucar”). Latin Americans have a very sweet tooth and will usually automatically add the sugar!Coke and Pepsi are everywhere. You will also find all sorts of orange, grape, lemon, and lime soft drinks (“Gaseosas”). “Agua Mineral” is sparkling water. Generally speaking it’s best not to expect good coffee/tea in this part of the world. Be warned that Americano (weak black coffee) is the most common, followed by “café con leche” (more like milk with a bit of coffee), and cappuccino (sometimes good). If you ask for tea (“té negro”) you will get teabags. Always ask for “leche fria a parte” (cold milk on the side) as the alternative is likely to be a hot cup of milk with a tea bag inside.
If you only learn one word in Spanish it’s bound to be “Cerveza”. There are countless lagers, and a few dark beers. A beer will cost you anywhere between US$1.50 and $3. The most common are ‘Gallo’ and ‘Tona’, with the more premium ones being ‘Modelo’ and ‘Dorada’.
Economy of Guatemala:
The main drivers of the Guatemalan economy are agriculture, retail and services, manufacturing, and tourism. Agriculture is the backbone of the economy and accounts for nearly one-fourth of the GDP and employs over one-third of the labor force. Major agricultural products include coffee, bananas, sugar cane, and vegetables. Retail and services account for over one-third of the total GDP, while manufacturing accounts for around one-fifth of the GDP. Major manufacturing products include textiles, chemicals, processed food, and beverages.
Tourism is an important sector for the economy, accounting for 4.5% of the total GDP and providing employment opportunities for over half a million people. Guatemala is known for its rich cultural heritage, ancient Mayan ruins, and beautiful natural scenery.
The government of Guatemala has implemented several measures to improve the economy and reduce poverty levels. These include investments in infrastructure, education, and healthcare. There has also been a focus on improving the business environment by providing incentives for foreign investment, promoting trade, and encouraging entrepreneurship.
Despite these efforts, there are still many challenges facing the economy of Guatemala. These include high levels of inequality, a lack of access to finance, and weak government institutions. Poverty levels remain high, with almost two-thirds of the population living below the poverty line. Corruption is also a major problem in Guatemala, with high levels of impunity for those involved in criminal activities.
Overall, the economy of Guatemala is slowly improving and there are signs of progress. The government is investing in infrastructure and education, and there is an increasing focus on improving the business environment. However, more needs to be done to reduce poverty levels and strengthen government institutions in order to ensure that the economy continues to grow.
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Have a wonderful holiday from the Exclusive travel team.
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