Escape for the Weekend

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Guatemala

What to see in Guatemala? Tikal; Aguateca; Dos Pilas; El Mirador; an underwater Mayan city Samabaj on the bottom of Lake Atitlan; Actun-Kan caves; Ceibal.

Guatemala is a republic in Central American which borders El Salvador and Honduras in the south-east and south, Belize in the east and Mexico in the west and north. In the east of Guatemala there is quite a narrow outlet to the big Caribbean port of Puerto Barrios. The southern coast of Guatemala is washed by the Pacific Ocean. The climate of Guatemala is tropical. The region is famous for varied wildlife, which is represented by pumas, jaguars, alligators, iguanas and caimans, whose meat the locals gladly eat. The local flora includes many rare wood species - pink and red trees, the Guatemalan fir and cypress. Guatemala is one of the main centers of the Mayan civilization, which is incredibly appreciated by tourists who want to feel the breath of this antiquity. This is possible in the ancient Guatemala cities of Tikal, Aguateca, Dos Pilas, El Mirador and others.

The capital of the republic is Guatemala City, where the ancient examples of architecture are amusingly combined with modern skyscrapers. Here there is the National Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, which contains some of the survived treasures of the Maya. Special attention should be paid to the deepest lake in Central America - Atitlan (340 meters).
In the neighborhood of Flores tourists like to visit the local zoo, Actun-Kan caves, Mayan ruins preserved in Motul, and archaeological monument Ceibal. In Guatemala there are eleven national reserves and parks.

The local currency of Guatemala is named after the sacred bird of the Aztecs and the Maya - the quetzal. Also you can pay almost everywhere in US dollars.

La Aurora International Airport (GUA)

The airport is located six kilometers from the center of Guatemala City and is considered to be the "starting point" of any travel to Central America and Guatemala itself. The vast majority of flights arrive here from North America. "La Aurora" serves domestic and international flights of 21 airlines.

Mundo Maya International Airport (FRS)
The airport is located three kilometers from the center of Flores and serves three airlines. Nevertheless, the Mundo Maya also has the status of an international airport.

Diving in Guatemala

Due to the fact that the ocean is in a couple-of-hours drive from Guatemala, diving in these places is not very popular. However, this circumstance may play into the hands of those divers who are tired of noise and crowds in the popular diving areas in neighboring Belize and Honduras, and who wish to combine business with pleasure - to enjoy quiet solitary diving, and to get acquainted with the rich culture of the legendary Mayan civilization. Guatemalan diving has the same attractive side as diving on any other island in Central America - gentle calm waters, stable temperature, good visibility of sea water, lots of coral thickets and bright tropical underwater inhabitants.

Undeservedly little attention is paid to Samabaj, an underwater Mayan city which was discovered at the bottom of the famous Lake Atitlan by diver Roberto Samayoa in 1994. The most interesting thing is that the Government of Guatemala did not immediately believe in the story of a young man about the mysterious underwater ruins, so their study began only in 1998. Samabaj or Solola (this name the city had in the ancient times) is located at a depth of 35 meters, about half a kilometer from the shoreline of the lake, consists of a few clusters of houses and some ceremonial buildings. People dive into the underwater city usually in Cerro de Oro. On the way you can see the statue of Madonna, which is located on the 8-meter depth, and volcanic bombs, which are situated directly on the lake bottom.

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