Unlike most of Latin America, the majority of the local people in Guatemala are still indigenous Indian. This unique culture, with its large indigenous Maya population, still live much as they have for hundreds of years and they still retain these beliefs dating back to ancient times. There are 23 different Maya languages spoken in Guatemala and every village has its own distinctive textile using colours and symbols particular to their region.
The country consists of towns surrounded by smaller more remote villages.  The town of Compala, just outside Antigua, is an excellent example of this.  Compala is at the heart of the Cakchiqel people (one of the many different Indian tribes within Guatemala that dates back to the Maya). On market days they come from their villages with their fruits, vegetables & other foods products to sell their wares & buy the day’s needs and is an excellent opportunity to see a bit of everyday life.


The towns within Guatemala are also a great way to interact with the locals and a chance to get under the skin of the country.  Almost all the towns have cobbled streets which are lined with superb Spanish colonial architecture.  Around Lake Atitlan you have the chance to visit the traditional village of Santiago Atitlan with its curious shrine to Maximon and Santa Catarina where the locals still wear beautifully intricate embroidered clothing.


Set in an impressive fertile valley and surrounded by giant volcanoes, Antigua is the best that Guatemala has to offer.  The cobbled streets are lined with superb Spanish colonial architecture and give a feeling of travelling back in time. 

Lake Atitlan

Lake Atitlan is one of the most enchanting places of natural beauty in the Americas.  It lies in an enormous caldera, dominated by three volcanoes and surrounded by numerous Mayan villages.  Atitlan has long been a spiritual place for the locals, meaning ‘the place where the rainbow gets its colours’ in the Mayan language.


Tikal is the most impressive city of the ancient Mayan world and an absolute must.  It doesn’t get much better than this – an enormous site, encroached by tropical forest with steep pyramid temples that pierce the jungle canopy.  Watching the sun set from temple 4 as you hear the booming roar of the Howler Monkeys is a magical experience.

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