1. Study Spanish.
If you want to really immerse yourself in Guatemalan culture, you can try your hand at speaking the local language. Not only can you practice your Spanish for 4 hours per day but you can enrich your experience by living with a local Mayan family. Not only will they provide you with fresh, typical Guatemalan means 3 times per day, but you will also continue your Spanish practice outside of your classroom settings.
While Antigua remains one of the most popular spots for studying Spanish, San Pedro La Laguna in Lake Atitlan is emerging as a tourist hot spot. Spanish learners of all levels can spend their mornings (or afternoons) speaking and listening to acredited teachers while overlooking the picturesque lake.
Orbita Spanish School offers the best rates in San Pedro La Laguna, as well as providing the most comprehensive course outlines for students of every level.
2. Tikal Ruins
If ancient culture and history are your thing, visiting the mysterious ruins of Tikal will be among the top activities on your list.
Nestled in the jungle of north-eastern Guatemala, Tikal is a tourist favorite due to its rich history and its off-the-beaten-path location.
Comparable in intrigue to Peru’s Machu Pichu, Tikal offers explorers a chance to visit a Mayan site that was created almost two thousand years earlier! Travelers have the option of flying to nearby-city, Peten, or taking the more economical bus or shuttle.
3. Semuc Champey
LOcated in the department of Alta Verapaz you can find this relatively untraveled oddity. It contains a series of turquise-colored pools atop a series of limestone caves.
There is also an optional short hike up to The Mirador, in which trekkers can enjoy the breathtaking view. It’s definitely like nothing you’ve ever seen before. And, for the truly adventurous, there are tours throughout Semuch Champey’s caves in which you can climb, wade and swim through the rushing waters inside!
Semuc Champey is a “must add” to your bucket list (and photo collection!).
Visit the “ancient” city of Antigua for a step back into colonial Guatemala. Antigua is a popular stopping point for most tourists who visit Guatemala as it is about 30 minutes from Aurora International Airport.
From Antigua, you will notice a landscape dotted by a few volcanoes. One of which, Volcan Pacaya, attracts hikers and those who are interested in scaling an active volcano.
Although popular for having a number of Spanish schools, immersion will be a bit more difficult due to its popularity amongst travelers.
5. Kayak in Lago Atitlan.
Surrounded by three volcanoes, Lago Atitlan offers something for every level traveler. With small villages located all over the shores of Lago Atitlan, you can be sure to find plenty of watersports.
Kayaking is a common activity amongst those living and traveling in all pueblos around the lake. Locals will use wooden Kayukos for fishing, while travelers prefer standard kayaks – single or double.
Per hour rates vary but can be found as low as 10 Quetzales per hour.