Official state name: Republic of Guatemala
Guatemala has approximately 14.720.000 inhabitants, of which about 9.000.000 (61,1% of the population) Spanish native speakers.
Besides Spanish, in Guatemala people also speak Mayan, Xinca, Garífuna and 18 minor Mayan languages.
Head of State and Government Chief is Álvaro Colom Caballero.
Guatemala covers an area of approximately 108.000 km² and borders on Belize, Honduras and Mexico.
Currency of Guatemala: Quetzal (code: GTQ, currency symbol: Q)
Current time in Guatemala: 03:21:41 h
Time difference between Guatemala and UTC/GMT (Londres): -6 hours
Daylight saving time (DST): not observed
The international area code for calls from abroad for Guatemala is : +502.
Voltage in Guatemala: 115 - 230 V.
Websites of Guatemala end usually with .gt
Well known products of Guatemala: Guatemalan handicraft
Welcome to Guatemala ! In this small country, where the ancient Maya civilization had its heyday in the first millenium of our calendar.
In minutes you can wander from the lush vegetation of the warm low lands to the heights of the thick pine forests.
Except for the coastal areas, Guatemala is mostly mountainous, with a hot tropical climate and a more temperate climate in the highlands.
Most of the major cities are situated in the southern half of the country. The major cities are the capital Guatemala City, Quetzaltenango and Escuintla.
The large lake Lago de Izabal is situated close to the Caribbean coast.
Three different traditions come together in today's Guatemala: a pre-Columbian world of the Maya, a Spanish colonial heritage, and a modern forward-looking society. This diversity is central to the country's great appeal as a tourist destination.
El Petén, the northernmost region of Guatemala was once the center of the ancient Maya people. Reminders and remains of this once great civilization are found within an area covering more than 125,000 square miles and five countries.
If you are an anxious traveler, wishing to experience new emotions and looking for unconventional places to meet, in Guatemala the options are unlimited. Walking through its paths you will have an encounter with its nature and the different cultures that live together in harmony throughout all its parts.
In each of the destinations of this land, you can appreciate nature in its full splendor and how its residents have adapted their daily life to the peculiar details of its surrounding environment. To travel through the curvy Guatemalan roads we suggest the use of maps and following the indications of the road signals.
You can reach these unusual places by different means of transportation: either by horse, boat or motorized vehicles. It is important to know the calendar of the main events that are celebrated in each community of the Guatemalan territory. Either you are walking through the noisy streets in the markets during the day in Chichicastenango, or spending romantic evenings under the moonlight of Xelajú, any option can help you see life under a different perspective.
The language schools in every city offer excursions and weekend trips to the high-light spots of Guatemala - you can join these trips or search one out by yourself in the thousands of travel agencies which you will find in every town where Spanish language schools are located.
If you are one of those persons who still enjoy a colourful subset, the green fields and popular Folk traditions, then this may be the best time of the year to visit Guatemala.
During the months of November and December, the temperature drops in all of the country and in Guatemala City to a cool. 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit (14 to 16 degrees Centigrade) . This season coincides with the most beautiful sunsets, which can be seen in the entire country; as the sun goes down the sky turns all hues of red and orange to violet and purple, If you happen to be looking at it with a volcano in view, not a rare occurrence, as there are 33 volcanoes in the country. It will certainly be a most unforgettable experience. If you also plan to visit the Atlantic or Pacific coasts, don’t hesitate to do so, as the temperature is also cooler and a nice climate can be enjoyed, also with beautiful sunsets and cloudless and starry nights.
As the rainy season is left behind, all the vegetation remains lush and everything is green and even arid regions like El Progreso, part of Chiquimula and Zacapa are covered with vegetation. More humid regions like the Verapeces are in full splendor, almost closing the paths which are used during the dry season
In regions like Peten, apart from its very special attractions of its own such as the exuberant nature and its archaeological sites, the starry nights themselves are a spectacle giving the impression that all the constellations are gathered this place.
As to the popular Folk traditions, December 12 is worth mentioning for the celebration of the Virgin of Guadalupe, and the series of festivities commemorating this date as are: Burning the devil (la quema del diablo) on December 7th., preparations for 'the Birth of Christ' with the 'posadas', which are small processions where Christmas carols are sung and various activities for the 24th. Of December and the construction of small mangers, which are scale reproductions of the stall where Christ was born, and these can be seen in many churches.
From the preparation for the traditional food such as tamales and punch to the burning of firecrackers and fireworks on the 24ht. From 6 p.m. to midnight are really spectacular and a true experience for that tourist who tries to get the most from hip trip with regard to obtaining experiences and increase his cultural values, as is the case according to the latest tendencies of modern tourism
Intresting websites related to Guatemala
Foundation. Rigoberta Menchú (Nobel Prize for Peace 1992, Maya-Quiché). Human Rights programs and performances for Indian People.
Ministry of the Environment of Guatemala
Guide to Guatemala - maps and information on all country districts.
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