Ixil Region

The Ixil Region of Quiché

Heading north from Santa Cruz del Quiché, the highway climbs high into the mountains before splitting at El Tronque (the trunk). Choosing the left fork of the Tronque will lead you up through the clouds and over the ridge of the Cuchumatanes into the fascinating Ixil Region of...
Yaxhá

The Ruins of Yaxhá

The ruins of Yaxhá are 69 kilometers east of Flores above the shores of the Lagunas Yaxhá and Sacnab. Meaning ‘blue-green water,’ impressive Yaxhá is the third largest archaeological site in the country after Tikal and El Mirador. For two months in 2005, international attention...
Quiriguá

The Stelae of Quiriguá

In the heart of the lower Motagua Valley, Quiriguá showcases the remains of an important ceremonial center and trading post that linked the Mayan kingdoms of Tikal and Copán (Honduras). Surrounded by rainforest and banana plantations, the site holds the country’s tallest stelae,...
Language

Languages of Guatemala

The official language of Guatemala is Spanish, and 93% of the population speaks it with varying levels of fluency. In addition to Spanish, 24 other languages are spoken, 22 of them Amerindian languages spoken by Guatemala’s indigenous Mayan peoples. The remaining two are...
semana santa in antigua

Semana Santa in Antigua

Guatemala is roughly 50% Catholic, a huge chunk of them living in and around Antigua. As such, Semana Santa (Holy Week, the week leading up to Easter) here is no laughing matter. Throughout the 40 days of Lent, shining purple banners hang from the city’s buildings and cacophonous...
volunteering

Volunteering in Guatemala

There are plenty of volunteering opportunities in Guatemala. While you may need to do some advanced planning, volunteering is a great way to personally experience the country and get to know its people and culture. The travel guide includes volunteering opportunities for each...
giant kite festival

Sumpango Giant Kite Festival

Every year, on November 1st, el Día de Todos Santos (All-Saints Day), a festival is held in the town of Sumpango, Sacatepéquez, located between San Lucas Sacatepéquez and Chimaltenango on the Pan-merican highway. People from all over the Guatemala, in addition to countries around...
studying spanish

Studying Spanish in Guatemala

Many visitors to Guatemala use their trip as an opportunity to learn or brush up on their Spanish at unbeatable costs. The diversity and quality of escuelas de español, in addition to the neutral, singsong Spanish spoken here, makes Guatemala a great place for studying Spanish....
oxlajuj b'aqtun

Oxlajuj Baqtun

In December of 2012, the supposed ‘end of the world’ predicted by ancient Mayan civilizations came and went with great fanfare but no actual planetary demise. The event is composed of the K’iche’ words Oxlajuj, meaning thirteen, and B’aqtun, a period of time measuring 394 years,...
chichicastenango market

The Market of Chichicastenango

Thirty minutes north of Los Encuentros, you’ll find historic Chichicastenango. “Chichi” is filled with history, impressive handicrafts, and a tangible indigenous culture. Its name means “place of the chichicaste”, a nettle-like tree with leaves that irritate the skin. On...