The Maya people used these rare stones for ideological rituals. During the Classic Period dating from 300 to 900 ce, the Maya built the majority of their cities. The river is a major transportation artery for coffee, bananas and other fruits that are raised in the valleys of the country’s eastern region. People flock down to the cemeteries to clean and decorate the graves of their loves ones. Guatemala City is the capital of Guatemala, and at 3.7 million people in the metro area, the largest city in all of Central America. history.state.gov 3.0 shell. And they believe that chocolate holds incredible nutritional benefits, like reducing blood pressure. They prove that Guatemala is worthy of the spotlight and maybe, just maybe, they’ll entice you to visit for yourself. Maya is the second largest ethnic community accounting for 39.3% of the population. On 15 September 1821, the countries of Chiapas, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Honduras officially proclaimed their independence from Spain. Guatemalan culture and Guatemalan customs are strongly influenced by the country's history. For the most authentic Guatemalan cuisine, head to the comedores, which are Guatemala’s version of diners. 17. Although its the highest peak in Central America, it isn’t a difficult climb except for the altitude. It is also regarded as the most beautiful lake in the world, serving as the countryâs most important national and international tourist attraction. 26. Suchitan, Ixtepeque, Acatenango, Atitlan, Moyuta, Agua, Cerro Santiago, Tajumulco, Chingo, Quezaltepeque, Chiquimula, Cuilapa-Barbarena, Flores, Fuego, Ipala Volc Field, Santa Maria, Almolonga, Santo Tomas, Tahual, Pacaya, Tecuamburro and Toliman are the names of some of the volcanoes from the region. Guatemala's national bird, the quetzal, is famous for its long tail © ryanacandee / flickr The national bird lends its name to the Guatemalan currency The first on our list of Guatemala facts. The buses are revived by locals with strokes of paint in every color of the rainbow. With these facts about Guatemala, let us explore its history, culture, food, volcanoes, geography, economy, trade and more. Find out about the history behind the 5 granite temples by a fantastic local guide (we’ve got you covered on Intrepid’s 13-day small group adventure from Guatemala to Mexico). Spanish is the official language of Guatemala.Mayan languages are spokenby the indigenous Maya residing in the country. Then, Guatemalans fly massive and intricately-decorated kites high in the sky — it’s quite the sight to behold. It has an area of 108,889 sq km. (You can visit the museum and get some coffee to go along with it on this 13-day trip through Guatemala and Mexico!). Normal Relations Interrupted, 1954. Miguel Ãngel Asturias Rosales (October 19, 1899 â June 9, 1974) was a Nobel Prize-winning Guatemalan poet-diplomat, novelist, playwright and journalist. Sunrises from the peak are amazing. Many Maya women are crafty textile producers. 12 facts you probably don’t know about Guatemala, the first mixed UNESCO World Heritage Site. I’ve spent a lot of time in Guatemala and keep going back. Total Coastline: 400 km (249 mi) Capital City: Guate… they are hot and the seats are hidden with springs and glass. If that is your cup of tea, so be it. In Guatemala: History The ancient Maya were one of the most highly developed peoples of precolonial America, boasting a sophisticated calendar, astronomic observatories, and construction skills. The national anthem of Guatemala was not written by a Guatemalan, but by a Cuban – JosÃ© JoaquÃn Palma. Guatemala is well-known for its awe-inspiring treasures. They’ve set up nested protection for the eggs along the beach (an area that’s an important nesting site for olive ridley turtles). On a Guatemala trip, travelers can visit ancient ruins built by these indigenous people. Location: Guatemala is located in Central America. CTRL + SPACE for auto-complete. READ MORE: HOW A FASHION SOCIAL ENTERPRISE EMPOWERS WOMEN IN GUATEMALA. And out of over 30 volcanoes, only three are active: Fuego, Pacaya and Santiaguito. Opting for this budget-friendly travel alternative will give you an eclectic local experience. Guatemalan History • Guatemala currently has three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Climb to the top of the ruins to spot local residents (we’re talking toucans and macaws). When big yellow American school buses near 10 years or clock in 150,000 miles, some are auctioned off and driven down to Guatemala. I am a storyteller based in Toronto with a passion for all potato-based dishes, solo travel, sky-high views and talking to strangers. The states in the Belize central highlands flourished until the 1525 arrival of Spanish Conquistador Pedro de Alvarado. One interesting fact about Guatemala is that Blue denim comes from the country! The Quetzal is the national bird, and White Nun Orchid (Monja Blanca) is the national flower of Guatemala. Because of its diverse history and ethnic makeup, the country has the benefit of enjoying lots of different gastronomic influences. A fun fact, some people believe that the name Guatemala is derived from the word Guhatezmalh, which means “Mountain that vomits water”. Guatemala’s Lake AtitlÃ¡n is the deepest lake in Central America, with a maximum depth of about 340 meters. Nueva Guatemala de la AsunciÃ³n, which is also the largest and capital city of Guatemala, is known as Guatemala City. Guatemala, country of Central America. The Peten Basin is a geographical region that mainly covers the northern part of Guatemala and stretches out into the Campeche state to the southeast of Mexico. 31. More than 1.2 million people visit Guatemala every year. VISIT GUATEMALA (PLUS 3 OTHER CENTRAL AMERICAN GEMS) ON THIS 9-DAY ADVENTURE. Oh, the beauty of Guatemala’s volcanoes. Christianity is the religion of the majority. It is believed by historians that chocolate was being used in the Mayan culture as early as 6th century A.D. Guatemala is a land of amazing fact. But, compared to its neighbors in Central America (we’re looking at you, Costa Rica), this beautiful country remains pretty under the radar. I would not suggest busses or taxis unfortunately our transportation issues that great. 34. Now that this stunning country has your attention, check out Intrepid’s small group adventures to Guatemala. The largest country in Central America is a fascinating place with a long and turbulent history. Guatemala is among the biggest jade producers in the world. 13 Surprising Facts About Guatemala In this post I reveal over a dozen interesting & unusual things I learned about Guatemala by traveling around the country for two full months in Nov-Dec, 2015. Ancient Mayan ruins nestled in the jungle, the colorful colonial town of Antigua, magnificent volcanoes all throughout the country… Guatemala has plenty of noteworthy sites to explore. In ancient Mayan times, the feathers of this bird were used as currency. I spent a month there and wish the government would provide actual transportation!! The origin of the name Guatemala is Indian, but its derivation and meaning are undetermined. 24. Spanish is the official language of Guatemala. Of these, the most noteworthy volcano is Tajumulco. It is located in the Peten Basin region of northern Guatemala. The country's modern history began with the Spanish conquest of Guatemala in 1524. An interesting fact about Guatemala is that chocolate first originated in this country. The interesting fact is, the national anthem of Guatemala wrote by a Cuban named José Joaquín Palma. The currency of GuatemalaâGuatemalan Quetzalâis named after the beautiful Quetzal bird. Most of the great Classic-era (250 – 900 AD) Maya cities of the Petén Basin region, in the northern lowlands, had been abandoned by the year 1000 AD. That influx peaked in the 1970s and 1980s, a period of intense guerrilla warfare. If you are interested in seeing the lava flow, you may want to visit the Pacaya volcano. 23. However, there are long-standing Mayan, Xinca, and Garífuna roots too. In June 1954 the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, concerned about the threat of communism in Guatemala, assisted in the overthrow of the government led by President Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán, who had won election in November 1950. The coffee has a distinct flavor to it, typically full-bodied and has rich chocolate and cocoa flavors. Natural disasters have shaped the city The current site of the capital was chosen for … Many of the best places are in shops around Antigua. guatemala  location, size, and extent  topography  climate  flora and fauna  environment  population  migration  ethnic groups  languages  religions  transportation  history  government  political parties  local government  judicial system  Every year on November 1st, Guatemalans partake in this ritual that has been around for more than 3000 years. The word chocolate is also derived from a Maya word ‘xocoatl’ meaning bitter water in English. Arguably one of the most mysterious Guatemala facts is one that exists around the worshipping of Maximón. From a distance you can spot them pop out of the rich green canopy – it’s breathtaking. These sites include Antigua Guatemala, Tikal national Park, Archaeological Park and Ruins of Quirigua. And Guatemala is actually a leader in blue denim production. A few of these facts anyone could learn easily by researching Guatemala, but most of them you’d only discover by visiting the country. 4. Quetzal (GTQ) is its currency. However, it was composed by Rafael Ãlvarez Ovalle. With these facts about Guatemala, let us explore its history, culture, food, volcanoes, geography, economy, trade and more. The country saw 6,000 violent deaths in 2014. Almost 50% of Guatemalans are employed in agricultural activities. It’s generally recognized that humans passed through the region around 12,000 years ago while migrating south into South America. 10 Interesting Facts about Guatemala. 16. Here is a selection of ten unusual facts about the ancient Mayan metropolis of Tikal. Guatemala’s previously peaceful villages slowly became more secular and combative. Join me for the ride at talk-to-strangers.com or keep up with my Instagram @julesfayegermansky and Twitter @julsgermansky. 1. I highly recommend visiting the country. A shocking legend about him says when the village men would head off to work, Maximón slept with all of their wives! Only 4 hours away from Antigua, it’s a fantastic spot for enthusiastic photographers to capture some of the best volcano views. Motagua River is the longest river in Guatemala. Yet, 21 distinct Mayan languages as well as several non-Mayan Amerindian languages are also spoken in Guatemala, particularly in the rural areas. It’s the highest peak in Central America at a whopping 4, 202 metres. Early Mayan civilization and culture began to develop around 2000 B.C., all throughout the territory that we currently know as southern Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador and western Honduras. Mayan languages spoken in Guatemala are languages, not dialects. Guatemala is the top remittance recipient in Central America as a result of Guatemala’s large expatriate community in the US. 9. Why I’m so glad I chose a group tour of Greece, Navigating your way around Bangkok’s floating markets, 7 best destinations for solo travellers over 50, 7 wildlife experiences you can only have in South Australia, Why to consider solo travel in Colombia (and what to expect), Singled out: the best island escapes for solo travellers, Meet Hany, the Intrepid tour leader with a truly incredible story about Egypt, Backstage pass: 8 of the best festivals in Asia, Beyond Base Camp: 6 amazing destinations in Nepal, From declaring a climate emergency to science-based targets: looking back at 2020 with Intrepid’s Environmental Impact Specialist, The top 8 destinations (we wish) we could travel to in December 2020, Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travel List is here. 5. Fourteen percent (14%) of Guatemalans live on less than $1.25 US a day. Dennis, one of Intrepid’s local leaders in Guatemala, gives tips on when to go: The nesting season runs from June to December and peaks in August and September. 6. Let's jump into it! 11. In the late 13th century the Guatemalan highlands were invaded by the Toltec-Mayans, a people who were the result of a hybridization of Toltecs from Central Mexico and the Mayans. 10. 3. Spanish is the official language and is spoken by 90% of the population. According to some archeologists, Guatemala has the oldest recorded human history in Central America, with some evidence of human existence going back to 18,000 BC. Coffee beans being harvested in Guatemala. 30. Despite the fact that the educational sector has failed to teach the full history, the celebrations during Independence Day in Guatemala are always in full flow. Some amazing facts about Guatemala 56. However, Spanish is their official language. Guatemala (/ ˌ ɡ w ɑː t ə ˈ m ɑː l ə / GWAH-tə-MAH-lə; Spanish: [gwateˈmala] ), officially the Republic of Guatemala (Spanish: República de Guatemala), is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, Belize and the Caribbean to the northeast, Honduras to the east, El Salvador to the southeast and the Pacific Ocean to the south. Visitors flock to this site to take glimpses of the red-hot lava. Other countries that became independent during the same year include El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. Here's a selection of interesting facts about Guatemala. There are three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Guatemala. The longest civil war in the history of Latin America, which was fought between military governments, right-wing vigilante groups and leftist rebels lasted a good 36 years. Tikal National Park has earned its title as the first mixed UNESCO World Heritage Site for its cultural and natural wonders. There are more than 30 volcanoes in Guatemala, out of which three are active. Interesting article. The beauty of the lake was praised by two prominent people in history: one being the German explorer and naturalist Alexander von Humboldt, and the other being Aldous Huxley. The active volcanoes in Guatemala include â Fuego, Pacaya and Santiaguito. 1. Once the site of the impressive ancient Mayan civilization, Guatemala was conquered by Spanish conquistador Pedro de Alvarado in 1524 and became a republic in 1839 after the United Provinces of Central America collapsed. Interesting Facts About Guatemala – History And General Facts The name Guatemala means ‘Land of the Trees’ in Maya-Toltec language. The recent history of Guatemala City has been one of purposeful commercial development hampered by the chronic instability of the national government and by a tremendous influx of indigent people from rural areas. All Rights Reserved. 8. Its capital and largest city is Nueva Guatemala de la AsunciÃ³n, also known as Guatemala City. Most of the country’s Christians are Roman Catholics while a few are Protestants. Whether you trek by foot or take a horse ride up, the view from the top of Pacaya is simply spectacular. The country is also the worldâs leading producer of Jade. 7. An experience you won’t want to miss is a hike up Pacaya volcano. There are 21 Mayan languages (a language family spoken in Mesoamerica and northern Central America by at least 6 million Maya peoples) spoken in Guatemala. At La Azotea, you can visit the coffee museum as well the music museum. All these countries gained their independence from Spain. It is a country in Central America. 22. Since the Mayan civilization was first developed by the Maya (a group of Indigenous people of Mesoamerica), the language has evolved into 21 dialects that can be heard today on a true Mayan encounter. The Maya civilization was at its height from around 250 AD to 900 AD in what was called the Classic Period. Area: 108,889 km² (42,042 mi²) Land Borders: Total 1,687 km (1,048 mi): 226 km (140 mi) with Belize, 203 km (126 mi) with El Salvador, 256 km (159 mi) with Honduras, and 962 km (598 mi) with Mexico. Dennis Asturias, one of Intrepid’s local leaders in Guatemala, shares a snippet of his experience on the hike: Once at the base of the volcano, you have the opportunity to roast some marshmallows in a pit to celebrate all that effort you put in for climbing this active volcano. The entire city of Antigua, the country’s former capital, is a UNESCO Site, and is replete with colonial ruins destroyed in earthquakes. Today, Guatemala is a mass producer and exporter of chocolate products. Like, really big. Guatemala is home to a population of around 16,581,273 people. There are school parades in the morning which the children have been rehearsing for non-stop leading up to the independence celebrations. On a visit you can buy your own precious stones from the jewelry stores around Antigua. Today, textile weaving is still ever-present in towns like San Antonio Aguas Calientes, just outside of Antigua. On May 30, 2010, an enormous hole, 60 feet wide and 30 stories deep, opened up in the middle of Guatemala City, swallowing a three-story building and a home. But, compared to its neighbors in Central America (we’re looking at you, Costa Rica), this beautiful country remains pretty under the radar. Guatemala, officially the Republic of Guatemala, is the 67 th most populous country in the world. 21. By 1880, coffee accounted for 90% of Guatemala’s exports and even today, it’s one of their main exports and sources of income for the country. It has four bordering countries that include Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, and Mexico. The first ever chocolate bar was also invented in Guatemala during the Mayan times. It also caused the death of a man. Here are ten interesting facts about Guatemala. And when there, be sure to visit ChocoMuseo, a museum that’ll teach you about its history and nutritional values. Write CSS OR LESS and hit save. So, to give you some insider tips, we’ve curated a bunch of surprising and curiosity-inducing Guatemala facts. 50 Fascinating Facts about Guatemala Guatemala is located in Central America and is bordered by Mexico and Belize to its north, the Pacific Ocean, Honduras and El Salvador to its south, and the Pacific Ocean to its west. The official language of Guatemala is Spanish. 27. It was founded in 1776 following the destruction of the former capital, Antigua Guatemala, in an earthquake. Guatemala became independent in 1821. guatemala didnt create the first ever chocalate bar Joseph fry did in britian, I love all the facts about Guatemala all the culture, and how the Mayans still live there to this day I will need to visit one day which would be awesome that is all i would like to say. 28. Tourism is the second-largest industry in the country, employing approximately 35% of its population. San Jorge La Laguna is a small village that overlooks Lake Atitlan and is home to locals eager to let you in on their traditional crafts. The dominance of an Indian culture within its interior uplands distinguishes Guatemala from its Central American neighbours. The insane number of volcanoes in Guatemala is surely enough to put it on the map. Riding Guatemala’s public transit is a thrilling ride. Guatemala makes some of the most flavorful and delicious food in Central America. Of Guatemala's complete area, over 36% is said to be forested. 29. About 2 km away from the main plaza in Antigua is a place called La Azotea. But don’t worry – there’s still plenty of quality chocolate to enjoy while in the country. Tajumulco Volcano, the highest point in the country and Central America, is 4203 m above sea level. By the end of the civil war, 200,000 citizens were dead. So if you are in Guatemala around this time, this is a fabulous opportunity for wildlife lovers to engage in releasing of the turtles. Guatemalans then use it for local transport. But besides Mayan history and volcanoes, there are many other ins and outs. Ladino or Mestizo and Europeans constitute 60.1% of the country’s population. Brief History of Guatemala: Guatemala was home to the ancient civilization of the Maya. Guatemala was conquered by Spanish conquistador Pedro de Alvarado in 1524. Whether or not people actually were in Guatemala that long ago is disputed. 15. It is a country in Central America. National Anthem of Guatemala. Tikal National Park is the worldâs first mixed UNESCO World Heritage Site. The export of coffee is the country’s biggest business. They call chocolate “the food of the Gods”. I am Guatemalan and the country is so beautiful but it can be a bit dangerous so please be careful. Guatemalan people are largely mestizo, a mixture of Spanish and Maya blood, while many villagers are direct Maya descendants.Guatemalan history was largely affected by the Maya civilization that lived throughout modern-day Guatemala for nearly 600 years before collapsing around 900 AD. Take a tuk-tuk to this place for an authentic, yet practical experience. Most of the cases the national anthem is selected from their own country. These countries formed the …  And the risks pay off, as there is a very low arrest and conviction rate, and resisting criminal attempts on your wallet is likely to cost you more than a handful of quetzals. If you are lucky, you can even roast them over molten rock. Ozone is a gas which is available both in the Earth’s upper atmosphere (stratosphere) and at ground level (troposphere). Be careful at night. Take a look. Learn more about the intriguing history of this country and the culture that has evolved through ancient times up until today. The original name of Guatemala was Quauhtlemallan, which means ‘place of Tikal’s Mayan ruins are embedded in the jungle. Just as deep as it is beautiful! 18. 12. It has an area of 108,889 sq km. Ancient Mayan ruins nestled in the jungle, the colorful colonial town of Antigua, magnificent volcanoes all throughout the country… Guatemala has plenty of noteworthy sites to explore. 20. The country is 42,043 square miles (108,890 square kilometers) large and has a total population of 13.2 million people. 19. Do you like chocolate bars? 32. Volcan Tajumulco is 4,202 metres (13,786 ft) not 2,202 meters. All of us (well, the chocolate lovers among us) would agree with the Maya people who worship the cacao tree. I do not recommend chicken busses. Obsidian projectile points are the earliest evidence of human inhabitants in Guatemala, dating as far back as 18,000 BC. All Saints Day Kite Festival is Guatemalans’ way of honoring their dead. Intrepid’s 13-day small group adventure from Guatemala to Mexico). Guatemala is found between 15˚ and 10˚ north latitude and 90˚ and 15˚ west longitude. The country has the second-largest concentration of Ozone. The history of Guatemala begins with the Maya civilization (2,000 BC – 250 AD), which was among those that flourished in their country. Consequently, the men cut off Maximóns arms and legs in a fit of anger, which explains why most effigies of him are made without arms. Agua volcano viewpoint in the streets of Antigua. Present day Guatemala City is the fourth permanent capital of the country. An important distinction! Fascinating Ancient History & Sites to See in Guatemala From the ancient temples of Tikal, and the Spanish churches that line the cobbled streets of colonial cities, to ethnic Mayan highland villages and abandoned cities hidden deep in the rainforest, Guatemala is full … © 2020 TheFactFile.Org. Called "The Inva… 14. It measures approximately 250 miles. Guatemala City is the industrial and commercial center of the country, employing the remaining 15% of the population. A major thank you to Intrepid’s local Guatemala tour leader, Dennis Asturias, for his on-the-ground insights! It borders the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea, as well as the countries of El Salvador, Mexico, Honduras, and Belize. Guatemala sees over 5,000 violent deaths a year, primarily from the aforementioned gang crime, but tourists are a natural source of free money for those desperate enough to risk it. 33. People living in Guatemala are called Guatemalan. The earliest Maya civilizations began to emerge in the highlands of Guatemala by as early as 2000 BC. The coffee museum is set in an old mill and visitors are provided explanations of the history, processing, marketing and brewing of coffee. And an average of 101 murders per week were reported in 2016. 2. 25. Guatemala, officially the Republic of Guatemala, is the 67th most populous country in the world. Guatemalans wear Huipiles (an incredible garment typically woven by local women) that hold a sacred meaning based on region. The instant coffee process was invented in Guatemala by George Washington, an inventor, and businessman of Anglo-Belgian origin. Coffee experience recommendation from Dennis, one of Intrepid’s local leaders in Guatemala: If you are an avid coffee drinker like myself, I would recommend going to places that show you the whole process of acquiring coffee. The name Guatemala actually means ‘land of the trees’ in the Maya-Toltec language. Chocolate residue dating back to 460-480 AD was found in a vessel in Guatemala. Guatemala was a colony of Spain, and a part of Mexico during the 1500s. However, you may want to correct a typo. Brief history of Guatemala. Coffee is big in Guatemala. For a detailed report on crime in the country, as well as some safety tips, read this page. In fact, the nearly 20 ecosystems in Guatemala house some 8,000 plant species residing in the many mangrove forests, dry forests, tropical rainforests, wetlands, cloud forests, and pine forests. SUBSCRIBE TO INTREPID’S NEWSLETTER FOR TRAVEL INSPO, COMPETITIONS, GIVEAWAYS & MORE. Guatemala has one of the highest violent crime rates in Latin America. At Tortugario Montericco, you have the opportunity to help with conservation efforts. For this reason, we have rounded up a list of interesting facts about Guatemala that will spark your interest. 13. Here are some of the most interesting facts you might not have known about Guatemala. Better yet, stay with a local host family to really immerse yourself in the culture. Amazing place I was there in 2004 & 2005 and spent Easter Sunday at Chichi Market and superb experience. Guatemala is known for its steep volcanoes, vast rainforests, and ancient Mayan sites. The unequal distribution of land and wealth in the country is the biggest reason for uneven development in the region. Who doesn’t want to see and help these cute creatures take their steps in life? Guatemala is a country of volcanoes, mountains, and beaches on the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. This was a powerful and advanced civilization that built many pyramids that we can still visit today. Extra fact: the bath by Quetzaltenango’s volcano is naturally heated by a volcanic vent.
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