Skip to main content
Flag of Guatemala

Guatemala

Republic of Guatemala Central America and the Caribbean Guatemala City 14,647,083 inhabitants 108,889 sq km 134.51 inhabitants/sq km quetzales (GTQ) population evolution

Top tourist attractions in Guatemala

Here is a list of top tourist attractions in Guatemala. Only the topmost tourist destinations are presented here. To see other destinations, please check the images from Guatemala section.

Curious if any of these place from Guatemala made it our best tourist attractions in the world list? Read the aformentioned article in order to find out.

You can also view all tourist attractions in Guatemala and other countries on our tourist attractions map.

Lago de Atitlán

Crater Lake

Lake Atitlán is a large endorheic lake in the Guatemalan Highlands. Atitlan is recognized to be the deepest lake in Central America with maximum depth about 340 metres. The lake is shaped by deep escarpments which surround it and by three volcanoes on its southern flank. Lake Atitlan is further characterized by towns and villages of the Maya people. The lake is about 50 kilometres west-northwest of Antigua; it should not be confused with the smaller Lake Amatitlán. "At the water" is the meaning of "Atitlan". It is a fusion of simple Nahuatl words that belies the complexity of the entity it identifies. German explorer Alexander von Humboldt is the earliest prominent foreigner generally quoted as calling it "the most beautiful lake in the world." The lake is volcanic in origin, filling an enormous caldera formed in an eruption 84,000 years ago. It is renowned as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, and Aldous Huxley famously wrote of it: "Lake Como, it seems to me, touches on the limit of permissibly picturesque, but Atitlán is Como with additional embellishments of several immense volcanoes. It really is too much of a good thing."

Pacaya

Volcano

Pacaya is an active complex volcano in Guatemala, which first erupted approximately 23,000 years ago and has erupted at least 23 times since the Spanish invasion of Guatemala. Pacaya rises to an elevation of 2,552 metres. After being dormant for a century, it erupted violently in 1965 and has been erupting continuously since then. Much of its activity is Strombolian, but occasional Plinian eruptions also occur, sometimes showering the area of the nearby Departments with ash. Pacaya is a popular tourist attraction. Pacaya lies 30 kilometers southwest of Guatemala City and close to Antigua. The volcano sits inside the Escuintla Department. So far, the last activity reported has been the eruption that peaked on May 27, 2010, causing ash to rain down in Guatemala City, Antigua and Escuintla.

Dulce River

River

Dulce River is a river in Guatemala, completely contained within the department of Izabal. It is part of a lake and river system that has become a popular cruising sailboat destination. The river begins at the point where it flows out of Lake Izabal. At the entrance to the river there is a small Spanish colonial fort, the Castillo de San Felipe de Lara, built to stop pirates entering the lake from the Caribbean when this part of Central America was an important shipping staging point. Just after the river flows from Lake Izabal it is spanned by one of the biggest bridges in Central America. On one side of the bridge is the town of Fronteras, commonly referred to by the name Río Dulce, the local center of commerce for the area. Fronteras has a local vegetable market, attracting locals from the countryside who arrive in dugout canoes. Most of these boats are powered with Japanese outboard motors but many come to market day paddling these cayucos by hand. On the other side is the town of El Rellenos. Nearby is the children's village of Casa Guatemala, an orphanage that houses roughly 250 children and provides them with education and nourishment. From Fronteras the river flows east for a couple of miles. In this stretch there are several marinas and resorts. The river then flows into a long narrow lake called El Golfete. This lake has an island and a large natural anchorage. A few houses and a couple of small businesses line the shore. El Golfete is about 10 miles long and a couple of miles wide.

National Palace

Tourist attraction

Known as Palacio Nacional de la Cultura, it is identified as Guatemala City's symbol in its monumental architectural context. It was the most important building in Guatemala and was the headquarters of the President of Guatemala. The building is the origin of all the roads in the Republic, and has a spot known as Kilometro Cero. It is actually a museum and is also used for important acts of the government.

Museo Nacional de Arqueología y Etnología

Museum

The Museo Nacional de Arqueología y Etnología is a national museum of Guatemala, dedicated to the conservation of archaeological and ethnological artefacts and research into Guatemala's history and cultural heritage. The museum is located in Guatemala City, at Finca La Aurora. First created by a governmental decree on 30 June 1898, the institution and collections of MUNAE relocated premises several times subsequently, until established in its present building in 1946. It has some 3000 square metres of exhibition space, and 1500 sq.m. devoted to restorative and research purposes. MUNAE's collections amount to some 20 thousand archaeological artefacts and 5 thousand ethnological items.

Torre del Reformador

Tourist attraction

The Torre del Reformador is a 75 meter tall steel framework tower in the Zone 9 of Guatemala City. The tower was built in 1935, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Justo Rufino Barrios, who was President of Guatemala and instituted a number of reforms. The basic shape of the structure resembles the Eiffel Tower. It was originally constructed with a bell on its top, which in 1986 was replaced with a beacon. A plaque at the base reads: which roughly translates to English as:

Museo Popol Vuh

Museum

The Museo Popol Vuh is home to one of the major collections of Maya art in the world. It is located on the campus of the Universidad Francisco Marroquin in Zone 10, Guatemala City and is known for its extensive collection of pre-Columbian and colonial art of the Maya culture. The Popol Vuh Museum is a private, nonprofit, scientific institution supported by its own funds and external donations. The museum is operated by a Board of Directors of citizens of Guatemala interested in the preservation and public display of the exhibits. One of its missions is to provide an educational focus for people who want to see and learn about the pre-Columbian past of Guatemala with the preservation, research, and diffusion of information. Although the museum is well known for its funerary ceramic art, the collection includes a variety of portable stone sculptures, especially from the Preclassic period, and from the coast and adjacent highlands. The section on Maya pottery includes some of the best preserved Maya vases and bowls.

La Aurora Zoo

Zoo

The Parque Zoológico La Aurora is a zoological park in Guatemala City, Guatemala. It is one of the largest gardens within the city. The zoo has three different areas, where animals from Asia, America and Africa can be appreciated. The zoo was founded in 1924 in the southern part of the city, as part of a huge distraction area, then called Parque Reforma, featuring several museums, parks and a hippodrome. Later, with the conversion of a small airfield into La Aurora International Airport the park was intensely diminished. The remains of an ancient viaduct can be found in the park's vicinity. In 2007, the hippodrome was demolished due to a further expansion of the airport.