All About Guatemala Country

By | May 19, 2022

Brief information

In little Guatemala, a lot of things that tourists like are brought together – monuments of ancient civilizations, pyramids and acropolises of the Mayan Indians, mountain ranges and volcanoes, mountain rivers and lakes, centuries-old majestic forests, hot springs and wide beaches. We fully agree with the Spaniards who called Guatemala the “Land of Eternal Spring”.

Geography

Guatemala is located in Central America. Guatemala borders Mexico to the north and west, Belize to the northeast, and Honduras and El Salvador to the southeast. In the southwest, the country is washed by the Pacific Ocean, and in the east by the Caribbean Sea. Total area – 108,890 sq. km., and the total length of the state border is 1,687 km.

Two mountain ranges cross Guatemala from west to east, and divide it into three parts – the highlands, the Pacific coast (south of the mountains) and the Peten plateau (north of the mountains). In general, more than 50% of the country is located on the territory of the Cordillera mountain system. The largest local peak is the Tahumulco volcano, whose height reaches 4,220 meters. In general, in this Central American state there are more than 30 volcanoes, and among them there are active ones (for example, the Fuego and Santa Maria volcanoes).

Earthquakes rarely occur in Guatemala. Some of them are very destructive (the last strong earthquake was registered in 1976).

The longest rivers are Polochik, Usumacinta, Motagua, Rio Dulce and Sarstun.

Capital

According to simplyyellowpages.com, Guatemala is the capital of the State of Guatemala. More than 1.1 million people now live in the city. Archaeologists say that on the territory of modern Guatemala, there was once a Mayan city called Kaminalhuyu.

Official language

Guatemala has one official language – Spanish.

Religion

50-60% of the population are Catholics, about 40% are Protestants, and 3% are Orthodox Christians.

State structure

According to diseaseslearning.com, Guatemala is a presidential republic in which the President is both head of state and head of government.

The unicameral parliament is called the Congress of the Republic, it consists of 158 deputies elected for 4 years.

The main political parties are the Patriot Party, the National Union of Hope, the Union for Nationalist Change and Democratic Freedom.

Climate and weather

The climate in Guatemala is tropical, strongly influenced by oceans and mountains. In coastal areas, the air temperature during the day reaches +40C, and at night it never drops below +20C. In the Antigua-Guatemala region, the climate is temperate all year round; not very hot.

The dry season is from October to early May, and the rainy season is from late May to late September. However, “rainy season” does not mean that it rains all day. Rains, as a rule, go in the afternoon for 1-2 hours, and then at night. The sun shines brightly in the morning and in the afternoon. It is very rare that it rains all day.

You can relax in Guatemala all year round, even in the so-called. “rain season”. The fact is that the most interesting and grandiose local festivals and holidays fall on the “rainy season”.

Seas

In the southwest, Guatemala is washed by the Pacific Ocean, and in the east by the Caribbean Sea. The total length of the coastline is 400 km. During the rainy season, the water off the coast remains warm, but visibility is limited. Therefore, the best time for a beach holiday in Guatemala is from December to May, when the water is clear and warm.

Rivers and lakes

Among the longest rivers flowing through the territory of Guatemala, the following should be mentioned: Polochik, Usumacinta, Motagua, Rio Dulce and Sarstun.

Tourists are also interested in the Guatemalan lakes located in the mountains – Izabal, Atitlan, Guija and Peten Itza. Many of them are considered excellent vacation spots.

Culture

The culture of Guatemala is impossible to imagine without festivals. Almost every village has its own holidays. However, more than 60 festivals are celebrated at the national level. The most popular of them are Santa Eulalia (February), Holy Week (March), Santa Cruz La Laguna (May), Almolonga (June), Santiago Atitlán (July), Joyabaj (August), San Mateo Ixtatan (September), Panajachel ( October), Nahualà (November) and Chichicastenango (December).

Kitchen

The cuisine of Guatemala has its origins in the culinary traditions of the Mayan Indians. In the future, the inhabitants of this country adopted many dishes from the Spanish conquistadors. The main local food products are corn, beans, rice, cheese, less often meat (chicken). Many Guatemalan dishes are similar to those prepared in neighboring Mexico.

Tourists are recommended to try the following Guatemalan dishes: “Chiles rellenos” (chili peppers stuffed with rice, cheese, meat and vegetables), “Chicken Pepian” (chicken with spicy pumpkin and sesame sauce), “Kak’ik” (Mayan soup with turkey with spices), Spiced mango (sliced ​​green mango with chili and Om lime), Nachos, Flan (caramel cream) and more.

Traditional soft drinks are coffee, mate tea and fruit juices. Traditional alcoholic drinks are rum and wine.

Attractions

Around the 2nd century AD. in South America, the Mayan civilization formed, which also occupied the entire territory of modern Guatemala. In Guatemala, tourists can see not only individual historical monuments of the Maya Indians, but also their entire cities, excavated by archaeologists. One such Mayan city (called Samabah) was discovered at the bottom of Lake Atitlan.

By the way, under the protection of UNESCO there are three Guatemalan historical and cultural sites – the city of Antigua Guatemala, Tikal National Park, as well as the Quirigua Ruins complex.

Unfortunately, the ancient Mayan city of Piedras Negras is on the verge of destruction. This city was once the capital of one of the kingdoms of the local Indians.

However, the sights of Guatemala are not limited to the Indian monuments of the pre-Columbian era. In this country there are a lot of beautiful medieval Catholic churches, monasteries, forts and fortresses that were built by immigrants from Spain. So, you should pay attention to the fortress of San Felipe, founded in the XVI century.

Cities and resorts

The largest cities are Huehuetenango, San Marcos, Quetzaltenango, Escuintla and Guatemala.

Along the entire coast of Guatemala (Pacific and Caribbean) there are small towns that are now developing very quickly as beach resorts. On the Caribbean coast, Punta de Palma and Livingston beaches are popular with locals and tourists. However, most of the beach resorts are located on the Pacific coast, among them are Tilapa, Monterrico, Zipacate, Las Lisas and San Jose. Residents of the city of Guatemala, for example, prefer to relax in the resort of Monterrico, whose beaches consist of volcanic black sand. By the way, four species of sea turtles are found in the vicinity of Monterrico.

Souvenirs/Shopping

From Guatemala, tourists bring handicrafts (including ceramics), wooden boxes, bedspreads, blankets, necklaces, traditional women’s Guatemalan blouses, skirts, colorful scarves, belts, coffee, sweets.

Office Hours

Banks:

Mon-Fri: Many banks are open until 19:00 (on Saturdays – until 13:00)

The shops:

Mon-Fri: 08:30-17:00 (or until 18:00)

Visa

Ukrainians do not need to apply for a visa to visit Guatemala (if the trip does not exceed 90 days).

Currency

Quetzal is the official currency in Guatemala. Its international designation is GTQ. One quetzal = 100 centavos. Credit cards are accepted by hotels, restaurants and shops located in tourist areas and in the capital of the country.

Customs restrictions

Foreign currency can be imported and exported without restrictions, it must first be entered in the declaration. But it is forbidden to carry and export local currency.

It is also prohibited to export antiques, including archaeological finds, as well as rare birds and animals.

Useful phone numbers and addresses

The interests of Guatemala in Ukraine are represented by the Embassy of Guatemala in Russia:

Index: 119049, Moscow, Koroviy Val, 7/98

T: (495) 238-22-14

Email Email: embrusia@minex.gob.gt

The interests of Ukraine in Guatemala are represented by the Embassy of Ukraine in Mexico:

Address: Paseo de la Reforma, 730 Colonia Lomas de Chapultepec, Delegacion Miguel Hidalgo,

CP 11000, Mexico, DF

Tel: (8 10 5255) 52-82-47-89

Email mail: emb_mx@mfa.gov.ua

Emergency Phones

110 – call the Police

122 or 123 – Call the Fire Brigade

911 – call an ambulance

Time

Behind Kyiv for 8 hours. Those. if, for example, in Kyiv it is 13:00, then in Guatemala it is only 05:00 in the morning.

Tips

Tipping in Guatemala is optional. Some foreigners leave “for tea” 10% of the bill.

The medicine

Doctors recommend that tourists who want to travel to Guatemala get preventive vaccinations against typhoid, malaria, rabies, hepatitis A and B.

Security

Most tourists visit Guatemala without any problems (about 1.9 million tourists come there every year), but crime in this country is still quite high. However, it is at the same level as in other Latin American countries. Most often, bags, wallets with money, and jewelry are stolen from foreign tourists in Guatemala. Therefore, be careful and remember about politeness and courtesy in dealing with local residents.

Never photograph children unless permission is given by an adult. Guatemalans may think that you want to kidnap children (that’s their mania).

All About Guatemala Country