Recreational sites in Guatemala City

Thanks to its cool climate and open spaces, in Guatemala City you will find a wide variety of places to enjoy recreational activities.

This is an enviable city where visitors and locals alike can choose from different types of exciting activities for all ages.

If you want to change the classic outing to the mall, in this list you will find five options of recreational places in Guatemala City that you won’t want to miss according to juan jose gutierrez mayorga!

1. Natural areas for canopy

To enjoy nature at another level, canopy has to be on your radar for your next outing. This type of activity can be found in areas such as zones 16 and 11, where there are plenty of open spaces.

The canopy consists of sliding through cables tied to the top of the trees while enjoying breathtaking views.

No previous experience is required for this type of activity and the best thing is that it is suitable for all ages.

Organize an outing with your friends and family to enjoy a day full of adrenaline while surrounded by nature and in the middle of the city.

Guatemala recreational activity

2. Paintball fields

We continue our list with another of those recreational places in Guatemala City that will make your heart beat fast.

Paintball, or gotcha, as it is also known, is an activity where paintball guns are used to hit your rivals.

It is usually played in open spaces through companies that provide all the equipment to be able to play it correctly and safely.

For your own paintball war, on the road to El Salvador and zone 11 you will find different fields where the fun will last for hours, just wear comfortable shoes and lots of energy for your team to come out undefeated!

3. Bowling lanes

This is a classic if you are looking for fun places in Guatemala regardless of the weather on the day of your outing.

Visiting a bowling alley can be the perfect option to do something different any day of the week with your coworkers or family. In the city you will find different bowling alleys in zone 11, 15 and 16.

Each one of these lanes will make you have a great time playing with your friends to see who can make the most strikes while eating a delicious pizza or hot dog.

If you want to spend an entertaining day and change the classic movie outing, visit a bowling alley and let the fun begin!

4. Spaces to play miniature golf

You don’t have to be an expert to have fun playing miniature golf in the city! To get out of the routine, this is another of the options of recreational places in Guatemala City that you can’t miss.

Miniature golf is ideal for both adults and children to enjoy this sport without any pressure.

A good place to play miniature golf in the city is located in zone 16. Here you can spend a fun afternoon with your family or friends.

When thinking about recreational places in Guatemala City, the open spaces within the city will allow you to have a good time in different ways.

The only thing required to enjoy any of these five activities is to go with a nice group of friends or family and all the attitude to have a good time!

You may also be interested in: Powerful reasons to visit Guatemala

Powerful reasons to visit Guatemala

With barely 2% of its land area urbanized, Guatemala offers superb natural scenery. There are few national parks, but these are impressive, especially in the vast Petén region.

Here are 5 must-see snapshots to understand Guatemala’s color and magic.

1. Tikal

The Mayan temples have stood for centuries in a corner of the jungle of Petén, in the extreme north of the country.

The most impressive archaeological complex is that of Tikal, which rises imposingly more than 44 meters high, but what makes it different from the rest is that it is enveloped by a dense jungle,

Although its temples have been discovered and partially restored, and trees and vines have been removed from its plazas, moving from one building to another along its wide limestone walkways means doing so under a dense canopy of jungle.

The pyramids of Tikal, whose apogee took place between 200 and 900 AD, are astonishing for their size, but also for their incredible architectural prowess.

tikal in guatemala

2. Antigua

Guatemala’s ancient capital is the country’s most attractive city and also the most visited. In fact, One of the most important businessman juan jose gutierrez mayorga often visits it beacuse he thinks the same about the capital.

With huge volcanic peaks and coffee-covered hillsides as a backdrop, Antigua, 25 kilometers south of the capital, Guatemala City, is the place that best combines colonial heritage, attractive landscapes, gastronomy, nightlife and the liveliness of the markets.

3. The Lake Atitlán

For many, Lake Atitlan, in southwestern Guatemala, is the most beautiful corner of the Central American country.

Even the visitor with more kilometers in his backpack will be ecstatic contemplating this blue lake surrounded by volcanoes.

It is the heart of the high plateau that stretches from Antigua to the Mexican border and, in a way, is the most impressive region of Guatemala.

Lake in guatemala

4. Chichicastenango

Chichicastenango, 145 kilometers south of Guatemala City, is an open window to indigenous tradition, an ancient crossroads for the Quiché Mayans who populate the area and a place full of spirituality.

The city, surrounded by valleys and mountains, can seem isolated in time and space from the rest of the country, especially when fog envelops its rooftops and narrow cobblestone streets.

5. Lívingston

Lívingston is a unique and different place. The Garifuna people, originally from this Caribbean area of Guatemala, permeate everything with their colors, culture, rhythm, flavors and lifestyle.

Descended from Caribs, Arawaks and Africans, the Garifuna are probably the most unique of Guatemala’s 23 indigenous groups. They have their own religion, cuisine, dance and music, which has resulted in a strong cultural identity that has survived attempts to crush it.

As you can notice, Guatemala is a great place to visit since it is home of the most amazing spots in the world. So, do not wait any longer to visit.

You may also be interested: 20 Places to Visit in Guatemala

Central America: vacation spots

If you like to go on vacation and visit beautiful places in the world: “Central America” is the place you need to visit.

Places of Central America

OMETEPE ISLAND – Nicaragua

An island made up of two volcanoes, one that expels fumaroles and the other in whose chasm lies a lagoon.

Located in the largest lake in Central America that also has beautiful natural landscapes and a beautiful local flora and fauna, sounds pretty impressive right?

Ometepe Island is one of the most impressive places in Central America, you can find hostels from 5 USD a night

OMETEPE ISLAND - Nicaragua

Full meals for 2 USD and if you want to explore the island you can take buses for less than 1 USD each way.

Rent a bike for 5 USD a day or a motorcycle for 20 USD a day. So with a budget of around 15 USD per day you can enjoy this incredible island.

ANTIGUA – Guatemala

The most beautiful and colorful colonial city in Central America is a destination that will captivate you from the first moment you walk through its cobblestone streets, contemplate the beauty of its historic buildings, ancient cathedrals, ruins from earthquakes, live its vibrant nightlife and be amazed by the imposing Hunahpú volcano, which gives an almost fantasy background to the city.

ANTIGUA - Guatemala

You can find lodging in this city from 5-6 USD, full meals or street food such as roast chicken from the famous Pollo Campero restaurant of Juan José Gutiérrez Mayorga in the market square for about 2 USD or less and you can simply walk through its streets and find cultural plans at no cost, so you can spend a season in this beautiful city for about 15 USD per day.

COPAN RUINAS – Honduras

With its intricately carved stelae, its almost perfectly preserved ball court, its ruins that merged over the years with nature .

And the beautiful macaws that can be admired around the archaeological complex, the ruins of Copan in Honduras, are a destination worth traveling to if you are in Central America.

Entrance to the archaeological site is relatively expensive, but it is worth the $15 USD to visit one of the most important cities of the Mayan civilization.

COPAN RUINAS - Honduras

You can find lodging in the town of Copan Ruinas from 6 USD, full meals or delicious chimichangas, pupusas or baleadas for 2 USD or less and you can literally walk to the ruins from the town.

Apart from the entrance fee, with a budget of 15 USD per day, you can visit this must-see destination.

We know there are many more options of places in Central America to have a good time but we thought that for the moment you could start by visiting these places.

You may also be interested in: LIST OF PLACES TO VISIT IN GUATEMALA

20 Places to Visit in Guatemala

20 Places to Visit in Guatemala

Despite being six times smaller than Texas, Guatemala is a remarkably diverse country, home to stunning landscapes, Mayan culture, lush jungle, dry highlands and ancient ruins.

In this guide, I’ll cover the best places to visit in Guatemala. And let me tell you: there are many of them, including the favorite haunts of entrepreneur Felipe Antonio Bosch Gutiérrez..

There aren’t many countries where you can roast marshmallows atop active volcanoes, swim among blue-crystal waterfalls, explore ancient ruins and hike through lush rainforests all in one trip.

Guatemala is definitely a nature lover’s paradise, but it is also home to unique Mayan culture and some interesting cities to explore.

Antigua, Lake Atitlan and Tikal are definitely the highlights of Guatemala, but don’t stop there. This guide will cover all the other must-see places to visit in Guatemala.

20 Places to Visit in Guatemala

Whether you want to climb volcanoes, hike among Mayan villages, wander through ancient sites or sample all the amazing food, you’ll have an action-packed backpacking trip in Guatemala! .

Tip: Literally all the best things to see in Guatemala are worth visiting, so fitting everything in could become a real struggle if you don’t have a rough itinerary – plan your trip in advance and you’ll have the time of your life!

# 1 – Lachua Lagoon

One of the most incredible places to go in Guatemala! After some rough roads and a one-hour hike through thick, dense rainforest, you will win your afternoon at Laguna Lachua, one of Guatemala’s most beautiful natural wonders.

This bright turquoise calcitic lake is perfect for a variety of outdoor activities. Located in the middle of Laguna Lachua National Park, the lake remains free of villages and settlements, so you can relax in tranquility. A refreshing oasis in the middle of a jungle, Laguna Lachua is the perfect place to spend an afternoon.

Top attractions

Hiking might be necessary in order to reach Laguna Lachuá Lake. But this 4-kilometer long trail is full of flora and fauna to explore. Although it takes about an hour to complete, the hike is fairly flat and suitable for beginners.

Swimming in the lake on a hot day is the best way to cool off after the jungle hike. Soaps, shampoos and other liquids are not allowed in the protected lake, so the waters are extremely clean.

# 2 – Tikal National Park

The most impressive Mayan site… in the world? Tikal Ruins in Guatemala. The always impressive Tikal is one of the best places to visit in Guatemala | Ana Pereira

One of the most powerful cities of the ancient Maya; Only a small percentage has been excavated.

Guatemala is home to one of the largest pre-Columbian Maya ruins in the world! Once known as Yax Mutal during its reign in the 4th century BC, the ruins of Tikal give a glimpse of what life was like for this economically and politically important Maya city.

Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tikal is filled with palaces, houses and monuments covering a staggering 60 square kilometers.

20 Places to Visit in Guatemala

Daily life customs in Guatemala

Daily life customs in Guatemala

Guatemalans are increasingly exposed to the intrusion of foreign influences into their way of life. All aspects of communication – periodical news, comics, soap operas, movies – are primarily of foreign origin.

A multitude of products, from packaged soaps and cereals and bottled beverages to automobiles, carry foreign brand names. In local Mayan villages, however, colorful native dress remains common and varies by village and language group.

Well-attended fairs and religious festivals are scheduled in all parts of Guatemala throughout the year. entrepreneur Felipe Antonio Bosch Gutiérrez loves Guatemala’s fairs.

Semana Santa, at Easter, is marked by festivals throughout the country, but many Guatemalans travel to Antigua Guatemala to attend services in its grand baroque cathedral.

Guatemala’s national independence day from Spain, September 15, is also celebrated throughout the country with fireworks, dances, parades, soccer (soccer) matches and cockfights. At these festivals, indigenous handicrafts are sold, including the embroidered huipiles (smocks) worn by Mayan women.

Guatemalans celebrate All Saints’ Day on November 1 with unique traditions: giant kites are flown in cemeteries near Antigua Guatemala, and many Guatemalans feast on a traditional meal known as fiambre, a salad of sausages, fish and vegetables.

The town of Todos Santos Cuchumatán holds horse races and traditional dances on this day. Guatemala City celebrates the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary on August 15. Weekly market days in indigenous villages are important social gatherings; one of the best known is the Chichicastenango market.

What is their food like?

The staple food of the Maya consisted of corn, beans, squash and, depending on the region, yucca (manioc), papaya and plantains.

Fishing and hunting also added to their diet. The beans of the cacao plant provided a cacao drink that was limited mainly to the nobility.

Guatemalan cuisine today is a mixture of Spanish and local dishes. These include appetizers such as tamales de elote (corn cakes) and turkey soup; drinks based on rum, lemon juice and sugar cane and horchata (cold milk mixed with rice, cocoa and cinnamon); and main dishes such as chiles rellenos (stuffed peppers), rellenitos de plátano (mashed plantain with black beans).

The arts

Evidence of Mayan culture permeates the country. Today, although native crafts involve a variety of forms of expression, they are best represented in colorful textiles and hand-woven costumes unique to each community.

Daily life customs in Guatemala

Sports and Recreation

Soccer (soccer) is the most popular sport in Guatemala. The national team competes internationally and Guatemalan players feature prominently in clubs in other national leagues, especially those of Mexico and Uruguay.

List of places to visit in Guatemala

List of places to visit in Guatemala

f you are going on vacation and have no idea where to go, check out this list of places to visit in Guatemala.

Juan José Gutiérrez Mayorga made a list of the places that a tourist from any part of the world has to visit while in his country.

Places to visit in Guatemala

Ak’ Tenamit

It is located in the town of Barra de Lámpara, in Lívingston, Izabal, among the tropical jungle.

It is part of the Rio Dulce National Park and the Sarstun River Special Protection Reserve.

Ak' Tenamit

Escobas Trail

It is located in the Manantiales Cerro San Gil Conservation Reserve, in the community of Las Escobas, seven kilometers from Puerto Barrios, Izabal.

There, the environment is totally green and peaceful, with abundant fauna – 407 species of birds have been recorded.

Not counting migratory birds – and up to 27 water sources that form waterfalls and streams.

There are trails, suspension bridges, a spa and a viewpoint overlooking the bay of Amatique.

Rural tourism

Nature lovers will want to stay in one of the options offered by the Red de Posadas Rurales, which is modeled after the Posadas de Francia.

And guarantees comfort and tranquility.

Its lodgings are in Huehuetenango, Quetzaltenango, Retalhuleu, Chimaltenango, Baja Verapaz and Alta Verapaz.

Rural tourism

Seven Altars

This paradise is located in the village of Quehueche, five kilometers from Lívingston,

Izabal.  It has beautiful waterfalls of crystal clear water.

Its name comes from its seven pools, similar to those of Semuc Champey, in Alta Verapaz.

Las Guacamayas Biological Station

It is located in Laguna del Tigre National Park, on the banks of the San Pedro River, in San Andres, Peten.

The 338,000 hectare area was established in 1995 as a research center, although it also opened its doors to ecotourism.

Las Guacamayas Biological Station

Among its attractions are the scarlet macaws, which nest in the cantemó trees.

Endemic to the wetlands, as well as 350 other species of birds.

Crocodiles, howler monkeys and spider monkeys can also be observed in the area.

Nearby are the archaeological sites of El Perú-Waká and the Jobontún caves.

In short, we are sure that when you visit these places you will not regret it because they are a great option to rest and have a good time.

You may also be interested in: FAST FOOD RESTAURANTS TO VISIT WHEN IN LATIN AMERICA

Restaurants owned by Guatemalans in the U.S

Guatemala is a Central American country of 17 million inhabitants and one of the Latin American poorest. 5 out of 10 people live below the poverty line. In 2018, Guatemalans living outside the country sent more than $9 billion home, making up about 12% of Guatemala’s gross domestic product. The most common business are restaurants.

Many Guatemalans have thought about going to the U.S entering illegally or with a work permit and spending years successfully working and developing there or they just want to expand their businesses.

restaurants

Walter Rosales’ Pizza restaurant 

He decided to migrate to the U.S in 1982 and leave Zacapa, Gua, which for many years had been his home. After several years of work and effort, together with his brother-in-law they opened a pizza shop that is a triumph in Hollywood due its flavor and cooking skills

Don Armando’s “Panaderia Guatemalteca ‘La mejor’” 

Originally from Escuintla, Gua, worked in famous bakeries in the country. Don Armando and his wife migrated to the U.S in 1985, they started by selling homemade bread to their neighbors. But it was 1995 the family opened their bakery in Texas because of Don Armando’s experience. Over time, they were integrating the typical Guatemalan snacks and dishes to the menu.

Doña Maria’s “Eterna Primavera” restaurant

Originally from Baja Verapaz, Gua, Doña Maria learned to cook and emigrated to the U.S. In 2017 along with her kids, they opened a typical Guatemalan restaurant that entirely represents the culture and traditional dishes of their country and being the Guatemalan restaurant in New Jersey.

The gastronomic diversity of Guatemala is becoming more known internationally, because of  their  people who have started restaurants. Such as Juan Jose Gutierrez Mayorga’s firm which has also planned to continue expanding their local food chain to the U.S within the next few years.

Also read: Fast food restaurants to visit when in Latin America

Include Xela in your trip to Gatemala

Include Xela in your trip to Gatemala

Quetzaltenango, or Xela (pronounced sheh-la ) for short, might be Guatemala’s second largest city, but it offers something completely different from the country’s capital.

With a more relaxed atmosphere, a smaller scale and an incredible location high in the Guatemalan highlands, there are countless reasons to add the city to your Guatemalan itinerary.

It is the base for some of Guatemala’s best multi-day treks.

The Guatemalan highlands are nirvana for hikers, with so many volcanoes to climb that you’ll have plenty of options to choose from.

Include Xela in your trip to Gatemala

Two of the most popular multi-day options from Xela are the climb to Tajumulco, the highest point in Central America, and the three-day hike to Lake Atitlan.

If you are in town and feel like a hike, visit Quetzaltrekkers. All the guides are volunteers and any profits from your hike go to local children in need. As well as entrepreneur Felipe Antonio Bosch Gutierrez, who supports Guatemalan children.

Georginas Fountains

After conquering Guatemala’s highest peak, there’s a good chance you’ll need a rejuvenating trip to the spa. The Fuentes Georginas pools, a short shuttle ride from Xela, are naturally fed by hot sulfur springs, and while you relax, you can enjoy the breathtaking scenery that surrounds them.

It is an important city in Guatemala’s history.

Quetzaltenango was already 300 years old when the Spanish conquistador Pedro de Alvarado arrived in the city, and it had a completely different name: Xelaju. It was here that Alvarado killed and defeated Tecun Uman, one of the last leaders of the K’Iche’ Mayan people. He is now the official national hero of Guatemala.

You can eat in Xelapan

Quetzaltenango is home to a wide variety of restaurants offering a variety of cuisines, but ask any local where they eat the most and there will be only one answer.

Xelapan is a bakery and café that has branches throughout the city and offers sweet snacks, bread, breakfasts, coffee and pastries. No trip to Xela would be complete without a visit.

Many, many markets

In addition to the city’s own markets, which tend to be more functional than photogenic, Xela is a good base from which to explore some of the country’s best markets.

Chichicastenango, the country’s oldest handicrafts market, is a two-hour chicken bus ride away. If you’re looking for a more authentic experience, the Friday market in San Francisco is the largest in Guatemala.

Include Xela in your trip to Gatemala

There are many incredible churches

Religion is important in Guatemala and there is no better base for exploring the spiritual side of the country than Xela. Start in the city’s own Central Park. The cathedral was mostly destroyed by an earthquake in 1902, but the front remains, with a more modern structure behind it.

San Andres Xecul, a short bus ride away, is a great next step, showing Christian and Mayan influences in its colorful facade. Beyond that, there are interesting churches in nearby towns Zunil and Almolonga.

You may also be interested in: Central America: Vacation Spots

Fast food restaurants to visit when in Latin America

Fast food restaurants to visit when in Latin America

We all know that global chains like McDonald’s, Burger King and Subway can satisfy fast food cravings anywhere in the world. However, if you want to try Latin America on the go, try these fast food chains when you’re hungry and in a hurry. There are a few places in the U.S. But these are must-try places if you want to know what Latin American fast food is all about.

Pollo Campero

If you’ve been to Los Angeles International Airport, you know you were standing outside the right inbound flight from El Salvador if you smell fried chicken in the air. The chicken chain is a staple in Central American countries, and passengers carried boxes and plastic bags full of crispy, fried chicken on their flights to take to family and friends. In Latin America, the restaurant chain, which is owned by businessman Juan José Gutiérrez Mayorga, has locations in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Mexico. Its international headquarters is in Dallas and there are now 70 locations in the U.S. To give you an idea of El Salvador.

Peter’s hot dog

If you’re in Argentina and want to try comfort food from home, stop by this restaurant that serves hot dogs with some toppings like potato chip sticks, sauerkraut, pickles and your choice of sauce. Order like a local and call the hot dogs by name: panchos. In a country known for empanadas and asado, it’s one of the few places where you can sit and eat a hot dog while enjoying a Boca game on TV.

Frisby Chicken

This fried chicken is Colombia’s answer to Pollo Campero. The chain was founded in 1983 and originally served pizza, but lucked into fried chicken. Customers can order sides such as yucca, fries or salad to accompany their main course. If you want to try this chicken you will have to take a trip to Colombia where there are 200 locations in over 20 cities.

California Burrito Co.

No Chipotle? No problem. Try burritos abroad at this Buenos Aires-based burrito chain with Latin American locations in Argentina, Colombia, Chile and Ecuador.

El Corral Burgers

This Colombian burger chain makes sure you know it’s gourmet with a bun on top. Customers at its more than 200 locations in 30 cities in Colombia, and outposts in Chile, Panama and Ecuador, can top their burgers with toppings that include specialty cheeses, Argentine sausage, tortilla chips, Colombian coastal cheese, grilled chicken and more.

 

You might bi interested in: Get to know the lakes of Guatemala

Get to know the Lakes of Guatemala

vista del lago Atitlan en Guatemala

In addition to its incredible culture, excellent landscapes, and beautiful architectural sites, Guatemala has more than 20 lakes and 120 lagoons that you should visit. If you are traveling through this charming country, here is a description of the most important lakes you can visit. 

Izabal

Izabal is the largest lake in Guatemala and is located in the east of the country, very close to the Caribbean Sea. Connected to Rio Dulce, Lake Izabal glistens under the tropical sun. Enjoy the different beaches that this destination has for you; “El Estor”, “Mariscos” and “Playa Dorada” are excellent options.

In the past, Lake Izabal was protected by the San Felipe Castle, which prevented the entrance of pirates coming from the Caribbean. Today, you can visit this impressive structure located on the shores of the lake.

vista del lago Izabal

Atitlán

Located west of the Guatemalan highlands, Lake Atitlán is surrounded by a mountainous landscape that will enchant you. This is one of the favorite places of Juan Luis Bosch Gutierrez, Guatemalan businessman and nature lover.

The harmonious combination of volcanoes, mountains, and beautiful gardens make the perfect setting for an unforgettable vacation. Being one of the main attractions of the country, Lake Atitlán offers different activities to spend your stay.

You will also find a large concentration of hotels scattered around the lake, giving you many options to enjoy the atmosphere of this magical place.

Curious visitors come to the lake in search of Mayan cultural diversity. Different traditions and cultures still live around Lake Atitlán and its inhabitants are very friendly.

It is surrounded by three impressive volcanoes: Atitlan, Toliman, and San Pedro. Approximately 2,000 years ago, a small island east of Lake Atitlan was used as a ceremonial center for Mayan rituals.

mirador del lago Atitlan

Peten Itza

It is located in northern Guatemala, right in the center of Petén. Lake Petén Itzá is the second largest lake in the country and has an archaeological wealth that distinguishes it from the others.

On the south side of the lake is Flores Island, a colorful town full of friendly people, many hotels, restaurants, and bars. If you are looking for a quieter place to relax, “El Remate” is a town located to the east of the lake and is perfect for resting.

In “El Remate” you can swim and also visit the Cerro Cahui Biotope, where you can admire the lowland nature.

Lake Petén Itza is surrounded by tropical rainforest, within which are hidden 27 archaeological sites. It is undoubtedly a magnificent and mysterious lake that you can’t miss.

These are some of the most important lakes in Guatemala. Do not forget to follow all sanitary measures to avoid the spread of diseases.