Highlights in Guatemala

Geography of Guatemala


Guatemala covers an area of around 108,890 square kilometres and is located in the heart of Central America. The country's geographical diversity is impressive: from the majestic volcanoes of the Sierra Madre, such as the Tajumulco volcano, the highest peak in Central America, to the dense rainforests of the Petén in the north, Guatemala offers a landscape of breathtaking landscapes in every direction.

Picturesque beaches and coastal towns stretch along its Pacific and Caribbean coasts, inviting visitors to relax and explore. The famous Lake Atitlán, surrounded by impressive volcanoes and picturesque villages, is another jewel of the Guatemalan landscape. Moreover, the Petén rainforest in the north of the country is home to a rich variety of animal and plant species, and is where visitors will find the ancient Mayan city of Tikal, which also belongs to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This geographical diversity creates a rich ecosystem that is home to a great variety of species, from exotic birds to endangered mammals. Guatemala is therefore not only a paradise for nature lovers but also a country with a rich cultural and historical past waiting to be discovered.

Geomorphology of Guatemala

In the west of the country, the majestic volcanoes of the Sierra Madre dominate the landscape, including the Tajumulco, the highest mountain in Central America. To the north is the lush Petén rainforest. Along the coastline in the south, picturesque beaches on the Pacific and Caribbean offer a breathtaking backdrop.

In between are fertile valleys and high plateaus, which are used primarily for agriculture, providing the country with a vast array of fruits, vegetable, and key crops such as coffee and sugarcane. This diverse geomorphology not only characterises the landscape but also the culture and way of life of the people of Guatemala.


Travel­ling tips and inter­esting facts about Guatemala

Climate in Guatemala


Guatemala's climate varies according to altitude and region. The coastal regions tend to be hot and humid, while the highland areas are milder. The dry season runs from November to April, while the rainy season lasts from May to October. Temperatures are pleasant all year round, with averages between 25°C and 30°C in the lower altitudes and cooler temperatures in the mountain regions.

The capital Guatemala City lies at an altitude of over 1,500 metres and enjoys a temperate climate with mild temperatures all year round. The best time to visit Guatemala is usually during the dry season from November to April when the weather is stable and the roads are easier to drive on.

Flora and fauna in Guatemala

The flora and fauna of Guatemala is as diverse as it is fascinating: the country's various ecosystems, including rainforests, highland areas, and coastal regions, are home to a rich variety of species. The dense rainforests of the Petén region in the north of the country are home to numerous plant species, including giant tropical trees such as the mahogany tree, the kapok tree, and the gumbo limbo tree. These forests are also home to a variety of animal species, including spider and howler monkeys, and predators such as jaguars and the ocelots.

The highland regions of Guatemala are characterised by lush forests and fertile valleys where pines, oaks, and cypresses thrive. Animals such as deer, coyotes, and various species of rodents also live here. Along the coastal regions, mangrove forests and coral reefs provide habitats for a variety of marine life, including sea turtles, manatees, and a variety of fish and coral species.

In addition, Guatemala is famous for its diverse birdlife, especially in the highlands and in Tikal National Park, where ornithologists can observe a wealth of species, including the hummingbird, the harpy eagle, and, of course, the quetzal, the sacred bird of the ancient Maya.

Cuisine in Guatemala


Guatemalan cuisine is full of flavours and diversity: culinary highlights include traditional dishes such as pepian, a savoury stew with meat, vegetables, and spices, and kak'ik, a spicy turkey soup. Corn is a staple food and is used in many dishes, such as tamales and tortillas. In Guatemala, tacos are popular snacks or even main dishes, served with various fillings such as grilled meat, chicken, or vegetables. Black beans are another main ingredient and are used in gallo pinto, a rice and bean side that accompanies almost every main dish. The traditional Guatemalan breakfast is often savoury and includes beans served with eggs, cheese, avocado, and tortillas.

Coffee from Guatemala is known worldwide and is sometimes served with cinnamon and brown sugar. Alongside coffee, cacao is a major drink in Guatemala, traditionally made into a rich and flavoursome drink. In terms of fruit, mango is a widely consumed and highly abundant fruit, often eaten freshly-picked or used in salads and desserts. Pineapple, papaya, and passion fruit are other tropical fruits that are common in Guatemalan cuisine and are a refreshing addition to many dishes.

Social geography in Guatemala

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