Offering a vibrant mix of Spanish and Mayan influence, a holiday to Guatemala in Central America offers plenty of interesting sites to feast your eyes on. Check out the antique churches scattered all over Guatemala City, the World Heritage Site of Antigua Guatemala (a well-preserved colonial town) and Panajachel, the gateway to Lake Atitlán. For Mayan ruins Aguateca, Tikal and El Mirador offer impressive sites and are must-sees. To simply relax head to Guatemala's most popular black-sand beach, Monterrico, or for real adventure take a trip to Volcán de Pacaya.
There are no direct flights to Guatemala but airlines such as Delta, Iberia and British Airways offer indirect services from most airports in the UK. Flights arrive at La Aurora International Airport which is located five kilometres southwest of Guatemala City centre. Taxis are readily available from outside the arrivals building and take around 20 minutes to reach the city. Buses also depart regularly with #32 running to the city centre.
It is also possible to fly indirectly to Flores from London Heathrow, Manchester and London Gatwick with British Airways, Continental Airlines and Delta. However these flights tend to be extremely expensive, so you're best off flying to La Aurora International Airport and making your own way from there.
The best way to travel around during your holiday in Guatemala is by bus or by tourist van. Buses are cheaper but usually very crowded.
You'll find cheap hotels in Guatemala in most cities, towns and villages. In the main tourist areas you'll also find affordable four star hotels. For best deals shop around online and book in advance, especially if you plan to visit during Guatemala's biggest festival, Santa Semana, which takes place just before Easter.
It's customary to bargain for goods during your holiday to Guatemala, so if you plan to hit any of the open markets located all over the country make sure you brush up on your haggling skills! Look out for the home grown coffee, which can be purchased for a lot less than in the UK.
For cheap eats look out for restaurants serving caldos - a popular beef broth - and frijoles negros (stewed black beans) served with eggs and bread. In tourist hotspots you'll be able to pick up Western-style food, but in less well known destinations you'll be limited to the local cuisine, however this will be a lot cheaper.
Guatemala has a fantastic climate all year around, although it can get a bit wet at times. Avoid the peak times from December to August for the best deal on flights, accommodation and tours.
Updated 22nd May 2013
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