Guatemala Offers Two Coasts To Explore

Guatemala’s Pacific and Caribbean coasts put the country’s rich cultural and geographic diversity on full display. From lush jungles and breathtaking adventures to thousand year old history, a visit will leave travelers with lifetime memories.
By: LATITUDE
 
Nov. 30, 2010 - PRLog -- Guatemala’s Pacific and Caribbean coasts put the country’s rich cultural and geographic diversity on full display. From lush jungles and breathtaking adventures to thousand year old history and colorful cultural encounters, a visit to both Guatemala’s coasts are certain to leave travelers with lifetime memories.  It is also possible to visit both Guatemala’s coasts on a cruise.

Sports Fishing, Diving, Surfing, and Hiking Volcanoes and Archaeological Sites on the Pacific

Guatemala’s Pacific coast is a treasure trove of natural and archeological riches, that offers outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs alike a wide variety of activities to choose from. The waters off the popular beach resort of Monterrico are well known for superior surfing with the best conditions being from March to October. Surfers will find a variety of shops in Monterrico where they can rent equipment or book surfing lessons. The area around Monterrico, a popular beach town, also offers surf camps where surfers can camp right on the beach. Those just looking to lay back and enjoy the beach can bask in the exotic appearance of the Pacific coast’s black sand, which is of volcanic origin.

The Pacific is also a great diving destination with numerous underwater treasures that range from a rich variety of sea life to sunken ships.  

Sports fishermen will find some of the world’s best spots for Marlin fishing on the Pacific coast. Often referred to as the Sailfish Capital of the World, the Pacific coast is also very popular for fishing Blue Marlin, Black Marlin, Tuna and Dorado (also known as mahi-mahi). It is also possible to spot humpback whales and dolphins on a day out at sea.

The lush jungles along Guatemala’s Pacific coast offer unrivalled bird watching including the endemic Quetzal.  Travelers can go on hikes to explore the rich diversity of Guatemala’s flora. And those looking for a true adventure can climb Mount Pacaya, along special trails. The imposing silhouette of the Pacaya Volcano along with its constant lava activity makes for a beautiful spectacle of nature.

If looking to combine outdoor adventures with Guatemala’s rich ancient history, there are numerous archaeological sites to be found in close proximity of Guatemala’s Pacific coast.  

Tak’alik Ab’aj is considered one of the most important pre-Columbian sites in Guatemala and the only site that contains remains of both the Maya and Olmec cultures, suggesting that both groups had some form of cohabitation there. The site also contains a Maya tomb and over 170 sculptures, many of them with Maya hieroglyphic inscriptions. Other archaeological sites close to the Pacific coast include El Baúl and Las Ilusiones.

Lively Garifuna Culture and Outdoor Adventures on the Caribbean

Guatemala’s Caribbean coast comes alive with the Garifuna culture. The town of Livingston and its surroundings are known to be the home of one of Guatemala’s most distinctive cultures.

In complete contrast to the black volcanic sand beaches of the Pacific, the area around Livingston is lined with the sugar white sand beaches that the Caribbean is known for and crystal clear turquoise waters.

Adventure enthusiasts can go rafting and kayaking in the Caribbean Izabal region, on the Rio Dulce that flows from Lake Izabal out to the Caribbean. Divers can also explore the coral reefs off of Guatemala’s Caribbean coast.

Cruises

Guatemala has two cruise ports, Puerto Quetzal on the Pacific and Santo Tomas de Castilla on the Caribbean that are ports of call of some of the world’s leading cruise lines. In 2008 the terminal at Puerto Quetzal received international recognition as the most innovative port by  Dream World Cruise Destinations further strengthening Guatemala’s position as an international cruise destination.

Additional information on Guatemala is available at www.visitguatemala.com

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INGUAT is the governing entity responsible for tourism in Guatemala. Its main objective is to promote, support and sponsor internal and inbound tourism, while highlighting the country’s natural and cultural treasures. INGUAT offers a tourist assistance service to individual travelers who require it as well as providing support to tour operators with any tour groups they bring to the country. INGUAT is headquartered in Guatemala City and has an office in New York. Media can also follow INGUAT’s latest developments on Facebook.
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