Guatemala is the most populous of the Central American republics and the only one which is largely Indian in language and culture. It still has large areas of unoccupied land, especially in the north. Two-thirds of it is mountainous and about the same proportion forested. It has coastlines on both the Pacific Ocean and on the Caribbean Sea. The ports of access for cruise ships are Puerto Barrios and Santo Tomas de Castilla on the Caribbean coast and Puerto Quetzal on the Pacific.
Guatemala has exceptional Mayan sites set in the midst of jungle -Quirigua with its six huge stelae, Tikal where there are 3,000 structures and Copan, a ceremonial centre of the Old Empire of the Maya. Close to Guatemala City, the capital is Antigua, the colonial capital where magnificent buildings and churches can be seen.
The landscape of the country is amazing with a chain of smoking volcanoes, tropical rainforest and cooler western highlands. The country has 33 volcanoes, 4 of which are active year-round and earthquakes do occur with devastating effect. Guatemala has a long history starting with the Mayans, followed by the Spanish Conquest and then a series of unstable governments prone to frequent and often violent military and revolutionary overthrows. Security has improved a lot but you still need to be on your guard.
The following 1 cruises call at Guatemala.
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