Guatemala is located in Central America and bordered by Belize, Mexico, Pacific Ocean, Honduras, Caribbean and El Salvador. The capital of the country is Guatemala City and the country is hotspot of biodiversity. Around 12,000 BC, the first settlers came in to the country. Guatemala was the colony of Spain from 1519 and declared as independent country in the year 1821, but Spain recognized the independence of the country only in 1850. Guatemala is a democratic republic in which President is the head of the state as well as the government. Executive power is vested on the government and legislative power is exercised by both Congress of the Republic and government. Guatemala has a judiciary which is independent from executive and legislative powers.
Guatemala has mountains with high valleys, small desert, sand dune, hilly valleys and lowlands. The country is geographically divided in to three such as the Pacific coast, Peten region and highlands. Pacific coast and highlands consists of all the major cities which are highly populated when compared to the Peten region. The highest point of the country is the Volcan Tajumulco. Because of the country’s location between Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea, it has been targeted by hurricanes.
Guatemala consists of 14 ecoregions which ranges from Mangrove forests to ocean littoral. The population of the country has reached more than 16.9 million and among the people, 42% are Ladino who is also known as the Mestizo. Whites consist of 18% and about 30% of the population is Amerindians. Guatemala’s economy is mainly depends up on private sector which earns around 85% of the GDP. Other industries that support the economy of the country are tourism and exports of apparel, nontraditional products of agriculture and apparels. The official language of the country is Spanish and other languages spoken are 21 Mayan dialects, Amerindian dialects, Xinca and Garifuna.
The predominant religion of Guatemala is Christianity. Other religious faiths include Muslims, Buddhists and Jews. Guatemala is a country with numerous tourist destinations that can be enjoyed by the tourists. Lake Atilan is a region where the mountains are surrounded by several volcanoes and beautiful villages. Monterrico Beach is situated close to Guatemala City and Antigua worth seeing as it consists of volcanic sand which is black in color. You can also find Maya ruins at El Mirador, Tikal, Aguateca, El Peru, lximche, Nakum and Yaxha.
Guatemala has numerous volcanoes and Volcan de Pacaya is the active volcano situated 30 minutes away from Antigua. This volcano is situated near the Lake Atitlan and with the help of a guide you can go for hiking the volcano. Shopping at Chichicastenango Market is entertaining and colorful. You can shop at this market every Sunday and Thursday and you can find high-quality items in the market. Antigua is listed as the World Heritage Site by UNESCO as Antigua is picturesque countryside with quaint cathedrals and churches showing the ancient architectural style of the country. You can enjoy a great vacation at Guatemala and cherish the time spend in the country.