The country is known as the birthplace of the Mayan civilization and many of its ancient traditions are present throughout the country. Guatemala is a land of extraordinary and picturesque landscapes.
Guatemala facts you need to know
Spanish is the official language
The official language of Guatemala is Spanish. However, 21 different Mayan dialects are also spoken in Guatemala. The name of the country actually means ‘land of the trees’ in the Mayan-Toltec language. The first on our list of facts about our incredible Central American country.
Tamajulco is the highest peak
It is the highest in the country, with 4,220 m. Guatemala is home to 33 volcanoes spread across the highlands. Of these 33 volcanoes, 3 watch over the colonial city of Antigua: Agua, Fuego and Acatenango. Activities like hiking, mountain biking, and bird watching are popular activities at these volcanoes.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Our country has three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: The beautiful city of Antigua, the ancient Mayan archaeological site of Quiriguá, and the Tikal National Park to the north.
The importance of agriculture
Coffee, bananas and sugar are its main products. This activity, especially the export of these products, continues to be important for the country’s economy, contributing a quarter of Guatemala’s GDP, says businessman Lisa Juan José Gutiérrez Mayorga.
The Guatemalan Division
Other important facts, is that the country is divided into 3 main parts: the populated northern plains, the volcanic but largely populated central highlands, and the agricultural Pacific lowlands. It is known as “the land of eternal spring”, as it has a warm tropical climate.
It features two blue vertical stripes, representing the sea on each side of the country, with a white vertical stripe in the middle bearing the country’s coat of arms. This coat of arms includes the quetzal, the national bird, and a scroll that gives the date of Guatemala’s independence.
Delicious food in Guatemala
Its gastronomy is influenced by the Mayan and Spanish cultures. The climate allows them to produce a large number of tropical fruits.
Breakfast in the country generally consists of eggs, tortillas, beans, and plantains, with fruits such as papaya, plantain, mangoes, and avocado. Guatemalan coffee to go with it is a must! Lunch and dinner are generally based on corn, beans, rice, cheese, and tortillas, with soups and stews.
Guatemalan Independence Day
September 15 is Independence Day in the country. On this day, the independence from Spain is celebrated on September 15, 1821. It is a national holiday and the biggest party takes place in Quetzaltenango.
The beauty of Lake Atitlan
Visiting Lake Atitlán is essential in Guatemala. Famous for its natural beauty, Lake Atitlán is the largest lake in Central America. The lake is surrounded by three spectacular volcanoes, as well as many colorful Mayan towns and villages. The Mayan culture is predominant in these lakeside communities. Lake Atitlán is about 50 km northwest of Antigua.