#42 best destination in the world

 

Acatenango

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  • The only known historical eruptions of Acatenango volcano occurred in the 20th century, between 1924 and 1927, and again in 1972

 

Tikal

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  • Ruin of an ancient city, which was likely to have been called Yax Mutal, found in a rainforest in Guatemala
  • One of the largest archaeological sites and urban centers of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization
  • Tikal was the capital of a conquest state that became one of the most powerful kingdoms of the ancient Maya
  • Dates as far back as 4th century BC but reached its peak during 200-900 AD
  • The city dominated much of the Maya region politically, economically, and militarily, while interacting with areas throughout Mesoamerica
  • There is evidence that Tikal was conquered by Teotihuacan in the 4th century CE
  • The city was abandoned by the 10th century
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

 

Great Plaza

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  • Ceremonial, religious, and social center of Tikal, surrounded by temples, a palace, altars, and a ball court

 

Tikal Temple IV

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  • Mesoamerican pyramid in the ruins of the ancient Maya city of Tikal
  • Built around 741 AD
  • Tallest pre-Columbian structure still standing in the New World, although Teotihuacan’s Pyramid of the Sun in present day Mexico City, may once have been taller
  • The pyramid was built to mark the reign of the 27th king of the Tikal dynasty, Yik’in Chan K’awiil, although it may have been built after his death as his funerary temple
  • Archaeologists believe that Yik’in Chan K’awiil’s tomb lies undiscovered somewhere underneath the temple

 

Orquigonia

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  • Sustainable orchid conservation tour

 

Semuc Champey

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  • Natural 984 ft limestone bridge, under which passes the Cahabón River
  • Atop the bridge is a series of stepped, turquoise pools, a popular swimming attraction
  • Although it can be difficult to get to, Semuc is becoming more popular

 

Fuentes Georginas

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  • Hot springs and resort, 10,000 ft above sea level
  • Geothermal vents generate the electricity and the vents lead to several pools to different temperatures

 

Chichicastenango Cemetery

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  • Steeped in Mayan tradition, the vibrant rainbow of pigments celebrates the afterlife, and can symbolize different family roles
  • Many tombs are colored based on the person’s family status
  • Tombs may be painted white to represent purity; graves of mothers are painted turquoise for protection; grandfathers are marked in yellow to indicate that the golden sun will protect humanity
  • Other graves break this more traditional mold, painted in lime green or red or the favorite color of the deceasedmg_0759-900x600-1

 

All Saints Day Kite Festival

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  • Every November 1, giant kites are flown during this Day of the Dead celebration in both Santiago Sacatepéquez, and Sumpango
  • The kites depict religious or folklore themes
  • The kites are flown in the nearby Sacatepéquez cemetery to honor the dead
  • The practice of flying the kites during the Day of the Dead celebrations has been around for 3,000 years and is recognized by various religious sects, and locals believe it is a tool for communicating with the beyond

 

Quiriguá

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  • During the Maya Classic Period (AD 200–900), Quiriguá was situated at the juncture of several important trade routes
  • When the greatest king of Copán, Uaxaclajuun Ub’aah K’awiil or “18-Rabbit”, was defeated, he was captured and then sacrificed in the Great Plaza at Quiriguá
  • The ceremonial architecture at Quiriguá is quite modest, but the site’s importance lies in its wealth of sculpture, including the tallest stone monumental sculpture ever erected in the New World

 


 

Costs

Number of Days: 20 days

Best Time To Fly: Nov-April

Airline tickets: $692

Seattle -> Guatemala City (round trip) = $692

Food: $16/day x 20 days = $320

Rental car: $47/day x 20 days = $935

Gas: $172

Entertainment: $92

Airbnb: $56/day x 18 days = $1,010

TOTAL: $3,221