Guatemala, also called Guatemala City, is the capital of the country of Guatemala.
One of the most popular things to do in Guatemala City is to go visit Mayan ruins. The Ruins are all that is left of the great Mayan civilization, which thrived until 900 AD and then mysteriously disappeared. Some say a great drought occurred, but other theories exist. One of the areas to see is El Mirador in the Peten jungle, an example of one of the original large cities in that region and home of the biggest Mayan structure. Other areas of Mayan ruins are in Tikal, in the jungle, and Yaxha which is full of pyramids and temples.
A popular Guatemala beach is Monterrico, on the Pacific Coast, with beautiful black volcanic sand. It has a strong current though, so swimmers beware. If you would rather surf, go to El Paredon where there are surfing areas for beginners to experts.
Hikers can check out the mountains, including Sierra Madre range from southern Mexico south to west Guatemala, as well as the Cuchumatanes in the North, which include the Chuacus and Chama mountains.
Be sure to enjoy some of the delicious traditional foods of Guatemala, such as dishes with corn, chilies and beans as main ingredients or special foods around certain holidays like paches, a sort of potato tamale in November for All Saints Day or regular tamales around Christmastime.
There are many festivals to see throughout the year, including New Years and the pilgrimage to the Basilica of the Black Christ in of January. The Coffee Harvest Celebration is in February, with Easter Holy week in March and April following. Coban Folkloric Festival in late July, Assumption Day celebrations in August, Conmemoracion de la Revolucion de 1944 in October, and Christmas festivities in December are all worth checking out!
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