Mystical is one word that best describes Guatemala. This country projects a special aura. Its majestic Mayan ruins, numerous historical and natural attractions as well as hospitable people make this country appealing to tourists from all over the world. Because it has rugged physical beauty, thick and dense forests, fascinating volcanoes and mountains, hiking tours became one of the top activities in this adventure destination which continues to magnet hikers, trekkers and travel adventurers.
The ancient Mayan ruins and its history are among the reasons why many tourists from all over the world are fascinated with and enticed to visit Guatemala. The Mayans have been hailed as one of the most highly advanced cultures in the Americas. Compared to other civilizations, they have achieved amazingly advanced knowledge and skills in writing, calendars, mathematics, and architecture. As a matter of fact, they were the first people to theorize about time and the world. Their calendars accurately marked and predicted seasons and even the occurrence of eclipses.
The town of Nebaj is a great place to visit especially for those who are enthralled by the rich and mysterious Mayan past. Hidden among the jungles of the Cuchumatanes, is a rich repository of their past culture. The local Ixil people who live there today are direct descendants of the Mayans. They are the great inheritors of their ancestors’ ancient and grand civilization, and still observe their society’s time-honored customs and traditions. You can easily get an accurate picture of the Mayan past by looking at their modern descendants. The things they wear, what they eat, and do reminisce their ancient culture. For example, one artifact of the past is the rebozo shawl which is still worn by the Ixil women.
El Petén is one other important site to visit in Guatemala. Here, much like in Nebaj, many of the locals still adhere to some of the long held beliefs of the Mayans. As a matter of fact, they still celebrate some traditional Mayan festivals and worship rituals. Also, El Petén is the home of many fascinating Mayan artifacts, including carvings dating back in Pre-Columbian times.
On some tours you will visit the beautiful city of Antigua. The plaza square houses the Palacios de los Capitanes Generales, which is the seat of government. The grand palace used to house the country’s Spanish rulers, remained to be the center of Antigua and served as a very important place for gatherings and local activities. On the other side of the city, you can visit a historical Baroque style architectural structure. The facade of the El Carmen Church gives tourists an idea of the once grand place of worship that was tragically destroyed by a volcanic eruption. Another interesting site to visit in Antigua is the Calle de Arco. Arco is a Spanish term which means arch, and this lovely place is a fascinating architectural site as you can find many arches all over the place.