What is Guatemala Known For? (18 Things It’s Famous For)

Guatamela is a country that is full of history, culture, and beauty. The land of the Mayans has so much to offer its visitors and citizens alike. Since Guatemala gained independence from Spain in 1821, it has gone through periods of political instability, peace, and prosperity. If you are looking for the best coffees the world can offer, or perhaps some of the most complex, flavorful foods, Guatemala is the place to be.

Guatemala is known for the birthright of Mayans, which have a long history of human sacrifice. You can visit the ancient Mayan temples and see the sacrifices that were made there, and learn about their culture. It’s also known for its rich biodiversity, with over 16% of its land-protected areas.

The Mayan Culture

The Mayan culture is one of the world’s most ancient cultures still alive today. The Mayan people are well-known for their architecture and art. They also developed a more accurate calendar than any other timekeeping system. The Maya civilization began around 2600 BC when hunter-gatherers settled along rivers in Guatemala, Honduras, and Belize. As agriculture developed over time, some settlements grew into cities with large populations; by about 800 AD, about 20 million people were living throughout what we now call Central America (what used to be called Mesoamerica).

Mysteries of Tikal

The Mayan civilization was one of the most advanced in the world, but it left behind many mysteries. One of these is Tikal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Guatemala’s Peten region. The name means “place of voices” in the Mayan language and refers to the loud sounds produced by their rituals. The site was once home to more than 100,000 people from 200 BC until 900 AD. Then, they mysteriously disappeared from history without leaving any clues as to why this happened or where they went.

Vibrant Festivals

There are many festivals in Guatemala, and each one is unique. One of the most well-known and popular festivals is the Festival of Music and Dance. It takes place annually in Antigua (a colonial city) during October or November, depending on whether it’s an odd or even year. The festival celebrates the life of Saint Martin de Porres, born on November 3, 1579, to a Spanish father and African mother. In addition to honoring him with music performances and dances, there are also food stands where you can sample local cuisines such as tamales (corn dumplings) or the world-famous chicharrones (fried pork rinds).

Pacaya Volcano

Pacaya is a volcano in Guatemala. It is one of the most active volcanoes in the world, having erupted over 50 times since 1570. Pacaya rises from Lake Atitlan, located in the Escuintla department of Guatemala. The first recorded eruption occurred on January 1, 1570, and continued for about two weeks, with lava flows destroying several villages along its slopes. Pacaya has been dormant since 1965, but there have been signs that an eruption may soon occur again as activity picked up during late 2007. However, the volcano has been quiet since then, which makes it safe for tourists.

Lake Atitlan

Lake Atitlan is a volcanic lake in Guatemala, the largest lake in the country. The lake is surrounded by volcanoes and is home to many indigenous cultures. Many towns surround the lake, including Panajachel and San Pedro La Laguna. The lake is also popular with tourists who come from all over the world to visit. The water in the Atitlan is some of the cleanest, and it’s warm year-round. There are many different kinds of boats that visitors can take out onto the lake, including kayaks and canoes.

Semuc Champey

Semuc Champey is a series of natural pools formed by travertine dams. It is located in the Sacatepéquez Department of Guatemala and is one of Central America’s most famous tourist destinations. The water from these pools comes from an underground river, which flows through limestone rock that has been eroded by rainwater for thousands of years. Once it reaches the surface, it forms pools and falls into small waterfalls before disappearing into another cave or pool below. Tourists can swim in these natural pools or climb up to see the waterfalls from above.


Antigua is a beautiful colonial city that has become the center of tourism in Guatemala. It’s also home to some of the country’s best restaurants, hotels, and historical sites. As a result, Antigua has been named one of the top ten cities to visit by National Geographic Traveler magazine and Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2012. In addition, the city offers visitors an opportunity to experience Guatemalan culture firsthand through its museums, art galleries, markets, and cafes, where you can try local cuisine such as tamales or ceviche (raw fish marinated in lime juice). But, of course, if you’d like something more relaxing after all that sightseeing, there are plenty of options.

Going Through El Mirador

The El Mirador ruins are located in the northern part of Guatemala, about an hour outside Flores. You can take a shuttle or taxi from Flores to Tikal, then take another car or bus to El Mirador (about an hour). Alternatively, you can take a flight directly into Flores, a small town near Tikal with many hotel and restaurant options. Transportation within El Mirador is mostly walking or biking because there aren’t any roads. The only vehicles allowed are motorcycles that park authorities have approved.

The Wonders of Flores

The town of Flores is located in the highlands of Guatemala, where it sits at an elevation of 2,400 meters (8,000 feet). It’s known for its natural beauty and cultural diversity. The town has just under 50,000 people, but you can find thousands more tourists visiting this area during the day. It has many amenities you would expect from a city, such as restaurants and bars, but it feels like a small town because everyone knows everyone else by name. So, if you are looking for somewhere to relax for a few days, this could be the place for you.

Rio Dulce

Rio Dulce is the longest navigable river in Guatemala. The town of Rio Dulce is located on its banks, as well as several ports where boats can dock to take passengers across to various destinations on Lake Izabal or downriver towards Belize. Rio Dulce has become increasingly popular with tourists thanks to its pristine nature and stunning scenery. However, it remains relatively undiscovered by international travelers compared with other parts of Central America, such as Tikal National Park or Antigua City (both located within easy reach).

Mixco Viejo

Mixco Viejo is a town on the outskirts of Guatemala City. It’s known for its traditional markets, churches, and restaurants, as well as its colonial architecture. It has become a popular tourist destination because of its beautiful buildings and historical significance. It’s also a great place for people who want to escape from the busy city and take a break from everyday life. The town is located in the Santa Rosa district, about a 30-minute drive from Guatemala City. If you’re planning to visit the city for the first time, it’s best to go there early in the morning to avoid traffic.

The Freshest Avocados

Guatemalan avocados are a staple of the Guatemalan diet. They’re also one of the country’s biggest exports, with more than 90% being shipped to Europe and the United States. Avocados are technically fruits, not vegetables, and they’re packed with healthy fats and vitamins you can’t get from other foods. In addition to being delicious, avocados have been shown to help lower cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation in your body, which explains why Guatemalans tend to have a much lower risk of heart disease than people in other countries.

Culture-Rich Buses

Guatemala is a culture-rich country, and the bus system is an excellent way to experience it. The buses are cheap, convenient, colorful, and decorated with pictures of saints, angels, and other religious figures, similar to the jeepney transportation system in the Philippines. You can find them in every city throughout Guatemala. The bus system is also very reliable. In most cases, buses run on time and are clean and comfortable. You can usually find the schedule for a particular route at the bus terminal or on their website.


Chichicastenango is a small town in Guatemala that’s known for its market. The market is famous for its textiles, which are made by local women and have become popular among tourists looking for souvenirs. These textiles are colorful and intricate, featuring bright patterns on bold backgrounds. The market is filled with vendors selling various goods, including food, clothing, and textiles. Visitors can even arrange for a tour of the surrounding countryside where the women live and work and learn more about their craft. The market is open every day except Sunday, but it’s best to visit in the morning.


Quetzaltenango is the second largest city in Guatemala and is known as the White City. It’s a great place to visit and enjoy the culture of the indigenous people. If you love markets, this one has it all. There are vendors selling everything from fruits to handmade crafts at every turn. You can even find some very unique items here that you won’t find anywhere else in Central America or even around most parts of South America, for that matter. In addition, you can hike up one of the many mountains surrounding Quetzaltenango or just enjoy some time relaxing in one of its many parks.

Snacking on Tortillas

Tortillas are a staple food in Guatemala, and you can find them at any time of the day. Tortillas are made from corn, wheat, or rice and are usually eaten with beans, meat, and cheese. It’s not uncommon to see people eating tortillas as a snack while walking down the street or while driving. Tortillas are also a great base for many other foods. You can top them with salsa or guacamole, add beans or meat to make tacos, or use them as an edible utensil when eating rice and beans.

Beautiful Textiles

Guatemala is known for its textiles, and not only because they’re beautiful. Textiles have been a part of Guatemala’s culture since pre-Columbian times when the Maya used cotton and other fibers to make clothing and blankets. These beautiful textiles are still made by hand and can be found in many different colors and patterns. You can find traditional textiles at markets or stores all over Guatemala, and they make great souvenirs or gifts. These handmade works of art are still an important part of life in Guatemala and can be found throughout Central America.

Political Rallies

The political climate in Guatemala is very active. It’s common for people to be passionate about politics here. The current president of Guatemala is Jimmy Morales (a former comedian). He was elected as a member of the National Convergence Front party in 2015 and re-elected in 2018. Some criticized him for his lack of experience, but he’s praised by others for his work ethic and ability to connect with ordinary citizens on a personal level. The locals are very proud of their president and hope he will help improve the country’s economy and bring about positive change.