Central Guatemala Attractions
In the primary urban area of Guatemala are the capital city of Guatemala and its precursor, Antigua Guatemala. The Mayan ruins of Kaminaljuyú are located in Guatemala's suburbs. A string of volcanoes is located south of the cities.
Sierra de las Minas Biosphere
The Sierra de las Minas Biosphere is Guatemala's most important cloud forest reserve and protects a mountainous (up to 3,000m/9,840ft) region of tropical and coniferous forests plus jaguars, pumas and deer.The endangered quetzal has been seen here as has the rare harpy eagle.The Biosphere is the principal source of water for the Motagua and Polochic Rivers, which empty into the Gulf of Honduras and Lake Izabal respectively.
Lake Amatitlán is a very popular 15sq km/ 6sq mi lake frequented by weekenders from Guatemala City. It may be too polluted for swimming but can be appreciated from the lookout atop United Nations Park reached by a cable railway from Las Ninfas Park.
United Nations Park
Amid its forests, the United Nations Park has architectural recreations of Tikal, a Spanish style colonial plaza, a Highlands village and a panoramic view of Lake Amatitlán.
The Pacaya Volcano, 2,550m/8,373 ft, offers the chance to witness volcanic activity first hand. It has been continuously active since 1975 and lava explosions constantly change its appearance. Great photo opportunities are available after at 1.5 hour climb.
Lake Guija, a beautiful lake with archaeological sites and rock carvings rimming its shore, is found on the border with El Salvador.
Salama, population 11,000 has an ornate colonial church in its main plaza with many gold-painted altars. Market day is Sunday.
San Jeronimo, Guatemala
Large stones carved in ancient times are centered around the plaza. San Jerónimo has an old sugar mill which now houses a museum plus a beautiful old church.
Rabinal founded 1537 is famed for its pottery and its citrus harvest in November and December. Market days are Thursday and Sunday.
Suchitán Volcano rises to a height of 2,042 m/6,698ft above sea level.