19 GUATEMALA LANDMARKS DIGITAL NOMADS SHOULD EXPLORE

Discover Guatemala's essence with 19 must-visit landmarks for digital nomads. From Mayan ruins to vibrant markets.

19 GUATEMALA LANDMARKS DIGITAL NOMADS SHOULD EXPLORE

Digital nomads, are you ready for a cultural and historical adventure in Guatemala? This small nation, bordered by the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean and neighboring Mexico, Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador, is home to remarkable landmarks. Explore the jungles, filled with diverse wildlife such as toucans, macaws, jaguars, and 60 bat species, as well as endangered creatures like crested eagles, ocellated turkeys, and various cat species, including ocelots, margays, jaguarundis, and pumas. The ancient Mayans and Spanish colonists have left their marks on the landscape, providing an opportunity to witness the country’s natural splendor and learn about its rich cultural heritage. Get ready to discover Guatemala’s significant landmarks and history.

1. CERRO DE LA CRUZ

In Guatemala, close to Antigua, there is a slight peak known as Cerro de la Cruz, or Hill of the Cross. This hill, a well-liked tourist spot, provides expansive metropolitan views. Visitors may see the city’s colors below and other significant historical sites in Guatemala from this peak. Locals climb this mountain with a cement crucifix atop it for a spring Catholic feast.

2. LAKE ATITLÁN (LAGO DE ATITLÁN)

Lake Atitlan is located in Guatemala’s highlands and is flanked on three sides by three separate volcanoes. It is one of Central America’s deepest lakes. It takes less than two hours to drive from Guatemala City to this lake, and most guests stay in the little town of Panajachel.

This lake is surrounded by several small towns, each specializing in a distinct specialty and continuing to live the traditional Mayan lifestyle. This location has drawn digital nomads who enjoy a calm, hippy lifestyle in one of the small communities on the lake. 

3. PACAYA VOLCANO, ANTIGUA

If you’re an adventurous traveler seeking an up-close experience with an active volcano, look no further than Pacaya Volcano in Guatemala. With a continuous 60-year activity, the volcano is located near Guatemala City and Antigua, with hiking tours departing from the latter. However, due to the high activity level, hiking with an expert guide for safety is essential. This day trip offers a unique opportunity to witness the volcano’s raw power and even roast marshmallows over its hot regions. Horseback rides on the volcano are available for those who prefer not to climb. Take advantage of this thrilling volcano trekking adventure!

4. GRUTAS DE LANQUÍN (LANQUÍN CAVES)

The Grutas de Lanquin, also known as the Lanquin Caves, are a considerable series of underground limestone caverns near Coban that have been declared a national park. Many ceremonies occurred in caves because the ancient Mayans believed they were sacred locations and a passage to the underworld.

5. BIOTOPO MONTERRICO-HAWAII (NATURE RESERVE)

Located near the Pacific coast town of Monterrico and not far from the El Salvadorian border is the Biotopo Monterrico-Hawaii nature preserve. This biodiverse coastal reserve is home to numerous avian and aquatic species, with canals connecting its mangrove swamps. Explore the preserve and discover the unique flora and fauna that call it home.

6. SEMUC CHAMPEY

Nestled deep within the jungle and located near Lanquin, Semuc Champey is a natural monument that can be challenging to access. However, it’s worth the effort to witness its stunning features. The Cahabon River flows beneath a natural bridge that spans 984 feet (300 meters), creating tiered, turquoise-colored pools perfect for bathing. Visitors can also tube down the river or explore the K’an Ba Cave, an adjoining water cave, using candles for illumination. For those willing to trek through the bush, an upward track leads to an overlook with a magnificent view of Semuc Champey from above. Take the chance to experience this remarkable natural wonder.

7. TIKAL NATIONAL PARK

Near the Belize border, Tikal National Park is a jungle containing a UNESCO World Heritage-listed ancient Mayan city. With almost 3,000 excavated structures, the archaeological site within the national park is the largest in North America. Tikal’s ruins are located in the heart of the jungle and are part of the Maya Biosphere Reserve. Scientists believe this city was founded around 800 B.C. and was last inhabited around 900 A.D. The Maya Biosphere Reserve incorporates the Tikal National Park to preserve the historical, cultural, and environmental integrity of the Tikal ruins and surrounding jungle.

8. IXIMCHE

Iximche was the Mayan nation’s capital in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Numerous pyramids, palaces, ball courts, and other buildings are among the ruins at this archaeological site. In the western highlands, close to Tecpan and not far from Lake Atitlan, is Iximche. Despite seeing fewer foreign visitors than Tikal, this location is well-liked by Guatemalan tourists who come there as pilgrims to honor some of their country’s cultural heritage.

9. CONVENTO DE LAS CAPUCHINAS

The Church and Convent of the Capuchins, also known as Iglesia y Convento de las Capuchinas, is a stunning 18th-century building in Antigua, Guatemala.

The 1773 earthquake made this convent unsafe, and the nuns left after only 40 years. However, it has since undergone partial renovation and is now accessible to the general public.

10. RUINS OF UAXACTUN

Uaxactun’s archaeological ruins are near Peten, and this ancient Mayan city is near Tikal’s ruins. Uaxactun, like Tikal, is part of the Tikal National Park and the vast Maya Biosphere Reserve jungle. The Mayans occupied this site from 900 B.C. through the 10th century. This site’s various remains include pyramids, temples, ball courts, and other constructions.

11. CONVENTO SANTA CLARA

Antigua’s Santa Clara Convent and Temple were built in 1715. The nuns of the Santa Clara Convent, like those in the Capuchin Convent, were not permitted to leave the building or communicate with the outside world once they entered the convent.

12. LIVINGSTON

Livingston is a seaside town on Guatemala’s Caribbean coast with vibrantly colored buildings. The Garifuna, descended from African individuals who came ashore aboard a slave ship, make up a large portion of the population of this town. The cuisine and culture of this village have been inspired by Garifuna culture.

13. CATHEDRAL OF GUATEMALA CITY

The principal cathedral in Guatemala City is the Metropolitan Cathedral, also known as the Holy Church Cathedral Metropolitan Basilica of Santiago de Guatemala. It is a sizable baroque building situated in the city’s main square and has withstood the numerous earthquakes that frequently shake this area.

14. CASTILLO DE SAN FELIPE DE LARA

Castillo de San Felipe de Lara is a fortress located at the entrance to Lake Izabal on the banks of the Rio Dulce. The Spanish built this National Historical Monument to protect themselves against English pirates roaming the Caribbean. Built-in the mid-1600s, it was destroyed by pirates in 1686. More pirates continued burning down and looting this castle over the next hundred years.  The court is open to the public and is a popular attraction in the Rio Dulce National Park area.

15. YAXHÁ

Another well-known site in Guatemala is Yaxha. Northern Guatemala’s Yaxha is a prehistoric Mayan archaeological site close to Tikal’s ruins. Numerous buildings, including pyramids, temples, ball courts, and other structures, may be found among the ancient ruins, which also feature a sizable Acropolis and a twin pyramid complex.

16. ARCO DE SANTA CATALINA

The Arco de Santa Catalina in Antigua is a Guatemalan historical site. The Arco de Santa Catalina, or Santa Catalina Arch, is a well-known landmark on Antigua’s 5th Avenue North. The Santa Catalina convent nuns requested that this arch be built in the late 1600s to connect the original convent structure to an expansion across the street.

17.CHICHICASTENANGO MARKET

Chichicastenango Market is a vibrant marketplace famous for its colorful textiles, handicrafts, and traditional Mayan goods. Held twice a week, it attracts both locals and tourists looking to experience the rich cultural heritage and lively atmosphere.

18. EL MIRADOR

El Mirador is an ancient Mayan city in the dense jungles of northern Guatemala, famous for its massive pyramids, including the La Danta pyramid, one of the world’s largest. Accessible mainly by a multi-day trek or helicopter, El Mirador offers a unique look into early Maya civilization and remains a largely untouched archaeological site.

19. SAN ANTONIO PALOPO

Nestled on the banks of Lake Atitlan, you’ll find the charming community of San Antonio Palopo. What sets this village apart from others is its residents’ distinctive dress and renowned handmade blue and green pottery. Discover the cultural heritage of San Antonio Palopo as you explore the community and admire the craftsmanship of its talented artisans.

Final Thoughts

As digital nomads embark on the exploration of Guatemala’s enchanting landmarks, they’ll discover a harmonious blend of natural wonders, ancient history, and vibrant cultural traditions. From the misty peaks of Cerro de la Cruz to the ancient allure of Tikal, each destination offers a unique chapter in Guatemala’s captivating story. As you traverse this diverse landscape, immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Guatemala’s past and present, where every landmark unveils a tale of resilience, beauty, and cultural richness.

Common Questions about tourist attractions in Guatemala

Digital nomads in Guatemala should explore iconic sites like Cerro de la Cruz, Lake Atitlán, Pacaya Volcano, and Tikal National Park for a perfect blend of natural beauty and historical significance.

Semuc Champey, nestled deep within the jungle, is challenging to access but rewards visitors with stunning tiered pools formed by the Cahabon River, creating a picturesque and unique natural wonder.

While solo travel is possible, it’s advisable to stay informed about local conditions, use reliable transportation, and take standard safety measures to ensure a secure and enjoyable visit.

Dive into Guatemala’s culinary delights by trying traditional dishes like Pepián, Kak’ik, and Rellenitos. Exploring local markets and street food stalls adds an authentic flavor to the gastronomic experience.

Guatemala stands out for its diverse landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and a blend of Mayan and Spanish influences, offering a unique and immersive travel experience.

Thanks for reading. Any suggestions? comment below

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Justin Gonzalez

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