Five Reasons to Plan a Trip to Guatemala

Antigua, Guatemala (Flickr: Szeke)The idea of traveling to Guatemala might be new and a little off-the-beaten path for many vacationers in America (or other parts of the world.)

 

But there are several reasons why this half tropical, half mountainous country in Central America makes for the perfect getaway. 

 

Do you like cheap food, jungle exploration and ancient ruins? I thought so.

 

You just might want to keep reading about these five great reasons to spend time in Guatemala:

 

 

The Budget Prices: Even flying to Guatemala can be cheaper than one might think these days, and the joy of it all is that it just keeps getting better once you arrive.  With the exchange rate, you can live it up in 5 star resorts for mid-range prices, drink and eat until your heart's content and go on all-day tours at budget prices.  There's nothing quite like absorbing exotic surroundings at an affordable rate on a holiday.

 

The Familiar Tourist Route: For a country that seems so off-the-beaten path, Guatemala has been the home to many a backpacker over the years, so much so that travel there is really right on the path.  You shouldn't feel too apprehensive about travel to this Central America jewel as many locals will know a little bit of English or be able to deal with foreigners (even if they might drive a tough bargain at the markets because of it).

 

A Chance to Practice Spanish: Remember that little bit of Spanish you picked up years ago in your high school language class?  Well, travel here gives you the perfect chance to finally put it to good use.  And, if you're wanting to take it one step further, Guatemala is home to dozens of language schools offering budget intensive lessons for travelers.  Imagine sitting in your classroom (bungalow) with your native speaking instructor getting a proper insight into the culture and improving your language skills at the same time.

 

The Delicious Food: Never in my life have I had such amazing breakfasts than in Guatemala.  You won't get pancakes and bacon down in Guatemala, but you will get eggs with black beans and fried plantains, sometimes with a bit of local cream or cheese to top it off.  In addition to that, you'll be able to indulge in fresh tortillas, and you'll know they are fresh when you hear the women pounding them out in the morning near the grill.

 

The History: Guatemala is home to one of the best Mayan ruins sites in the world:  Tikal.  At Tikal, you can explore giant temples and trek through the jungle in the process, both of which open you up to spotting unique wildlife and monkeys.  My personal favorite experience was the sunrise tour of Tikal where I was allowed to sit at the top of Temple IV in the wee hours of the morning in order to listen to the jungle waking up.

 

Flickr: Szeke

 

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What other reasons for visiting Guatemala would you add to this list?

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