Guatemala offers Central America in concentrated form: its volcanoes are the highest and most active, and its Mayan ruins the most impressive. Guatemala is the Mayan heartland within Central America. Its indigenous culture is alive and well in the ancient ruins of Tikal, the Mayan/Catholic rituals of Chichicastenango and the blazing colors of everyday Mayan dresses.
Facts At A Glance:
Country name: Republic of Guatemala
Area: 109,000 sq km (42,500 sq mi)
Population: 11 million (growth rate 2.5%)
Capital city: Guatemala City (pop 2 million)
People: 56% Spanish descent, 44% Mayan descent
Language: Spanish, Garifuna and 21 Maya languages
Religion: Roman Catholic, Mayan-Catholic
Time: GMT/UTC minus 6 hours
Electricity: 110V, 60Hz
Weights /measures: Metric
Depending on the country you come from, stays are limited to 30 or 90 days. Check with the closest Guatemalan embassy for up-to-date information.
A new group of tourism civil police officers has recently graduated, making tourists security their goal. This group of specially trained officials cover most of the tourist attractions and routes in prevention of crime.
Use the same common sense traveling overseas that you would at home. Be especially cautious in or avoid areas where you are likely to be victimized. These include crowded markets, bus stations, elevators, crowded tourist sites, festivals and marginal areas of cities.