The biological, cultural and landscape diversity within a relatively small territorial space (108,889 km2) makes Guatemala an ideal destination to explore, visit and enjoy. Thirty-seven volcanoes – three of them active-, several kilometers of volcanic beaches, impressive mountain forests, exuberant rainforests, wetlands of global importance, and a set of archaeological sites that speak of more than 3,500 years of history, as well as the colorful traditions and cultural expressions from millenary people… these are features that make Guatemala the Heart of the Maya World. Guatemala is the stage for many adventures in nature.
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In terms of nature, Guatemala has a variety of activities to carry out:
Guatemala is the perfect destination for bird watching as it is home to more than 720 species (migratory and resident), 33 of which are endemic to the region. Its geographic location and topography are ideal for migratory birds to pause during their journey. Bird watching is amazing any time of the year, but the best months are March and April, when birds are most active as they return home with colorful and fresh new plumage. Local birds also sing and dance to attract a partner, as it is their mating season.
By visiting ecotourism destinations in Guatemala, you contribute to the conservation and preservation of nature and culture. In any of the regions of the country, ecotourism destinations offer adventure and nature tours that provide a window to experience local traditions. One of many such locations in the highlands is San Juan La Laguna, a charming village surrounded by mountains at the shores of beautiful Lake Atitlan. Here you can spend some time with the Tz’utujil Mayas who have preserved their own native language, while you learn the delicate techniques of traditional painting, textile dyeing using natural dyes, and even learn about the medicinal use of local plants.
Whale and Dolphin Watching
Whale and dolphin watching can be done in both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, but the Pacific coast is optimal for this type of activity.
Several species of cetaceans are visible in the Pacific Ocean. Among the most spectacular are the humpback whale (Megaptera novaengliae) and several species of dolphins, such as the bottle nose (Tursiops truncatus), the spinner dolphin (stenella longitostris) and the tropical spotted dolphin (stenella attenuata).
If you are a true lover of nature and want unique and genuine contact with wildlife, Guatemala is the place to visit. More than 33% of its territory is a protected area and, in addition to preserving different habitats, biodiversity provides the most surprising attractions.
A visit to protected areas ensures an authentic experience with nature and wildlife. In the dense jungle of the north, you are able to watch a variety of birds, howler monkeys and spider monkeys, jaguars, pumas, tapirs and raccoons, among many other species.
Fertile soil, rich diversity of edible plants and ancient traditional farming techniques, as well as the sustainable use of forest resources, make Guatemala the perfect destination for agritourism.
For hundreds of years, Guatemalans have used a variety of edible plants native to the region such as avocados, beans, corn, pepper, sweet potatoes, annona and cacao. In addition, much of this knowledge has been used for the production of non-wood products, which currently command high commercial value, such as Xate Palm (Chamaedorea spp) and chewing gum (Manilkara spp).
Other activities in Guatemala
Guatemala is one of the most modern cities in Latin America and has positioned itself in recent years as a destination for world-class health and wellness tourism services. The wellness services offered are highly competitive and that’s why the country hosts more and more travelers in search of health sanctuaries. This is combined with unique scenarios, providing highly qualified and trained personnel who offer a warm and personalized treatment.
You can enjoy all this surrounded by exotic landscapes of forests of millenary trees that gave rise to advanced civilizations that held strong connections with the universe. You will also enjoy volcanic sand beaches and a privileged climate that allows to experience the scent of flowers, and the aroma of cocoa, coffee and cane to complement the unique sensory experience. All this and more are the experiences that Guatemala’s atmosphere offers in wellbeing.
Some of the services might be:
- Natural hot springs
- Thermal, medical or aesthetic spas
- Specialized yoga and meditation centers
- Complementary medicine such as acupuncture, homeopathy and chiropractic
- Weight reduction procedures with the latest health trends