What is Guatemala? A Photographic Answer

San Francisco El Alto Animal Market, Pigs Fisheye- Guatemala
And this Little Piggy Went to Market. San Francisco el Alto, Guatemala.

Guatemala surprises with its variety and delivers a diversity of humanity and landscape that belies its size.

From the indigenous groups whose villages press into the hillsides of the Western highlands to the epic Mayan ruins of Tikal, there’s a little something for everyone within Guatemala’s oddly carved borders.

Guatemalan Girls at the Market - Antigua, Guatemala
Friends or sisters? Antigua fresh market.

So what is Guatemala? Here is our answer — in photos.

Best of Guatemala Travel Photos

Antigua: Colonial Charm and Markets

Xela (Quetzaltenango): Indigenous Highland Culture

Semana Santa (Holy Week): in Antigua

Antigua’s Semana Santa (Holy Week): In Fisheye

Totonicapan: Microfinance Borrowers and Tuesday Market

San Francisco El Alto: Weekly Market

Lake Atitlan: A Three-Day Hike in the Hills

Guatemala City: Microfinance Around the Capital

Rio Dulce and Livingston: A Laid-Back Slice of Guatemala

Tikal, Flores and Coban: From Mayan Ruins to Coffee Towns

And for moment at least, we say goodbye to Guatemala as we head further south into Central America.

Looking at the Sun Rise Over Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
Looking out over Lake Atitlan, Guatemala.

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  1. Pete DeRitter says

    Great slide shows.
    I’m wondering if you encountered anyone speaking indigenous Mayan languages. Amanda and I spent time with people speaking Tzeltal and Lacandon. In Guatemala I think they speak varieties of Yucatec which is related.
    The Mayan we heard was very musical and easy on the ear. When people would sing hymns it was like hearing an angel choir.
    How has the weather been? The air in the highlands can be so cool and clear.
    Have fun as you head south.

  2. says

    The last picture looks beautiful. Enjoy your journey through Cetnral America. Would you be heading to South America further?

  3. says

    @Dave and Deb: Thanks!
    @Pete: We did hear some indigenous Mayan language being spoken (Qu’iche’, I believe). It struck us as harsh-sounded harsh, a bit guttural. We didn’t take any indigenous language classes while in Guatemala. Spanish was enough of a challenge, along with fragments of all the others languages we’ve picked up along the way bouncing in our heads. However, it is possible to take classes in languages like Qu’iche’.
    @Arun: Thanks…and yes, after Nicaragua, we head to Ecuador, then south through the Andes, down to Argentina and Chile, back up to Brazil, Venezuela and Columbia, then back into Central America to see Costa Rica and Panama. Plans, of course, always subject to change.
    @Jean: Thanks. The indigenous culture in Guatemala really adds to the experience there. Kids are always great…they provide a nice perspective.

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