Guatemala is a small country in Central America. Covering 108,890 sq km (42,042 sq mi), it is bordered by Mexico to the north and west, Belize to the northeast, and Honduras and El_Salvador to the southeast. Guatemala also has a stretch of coastline facing the Caribbean Sea to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the southwest.

More on Guatemala

Guatemala is a presidential republic. It has a population nof 13.5 million people (2011 estimate). The capital and largest city is Guatemala City. The official language is Spanish, although the country has over twenty different indigenous languages.

Guatemala is in the Central America Time zone, which is six hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-6). Traffic is driven on the right. The phone IDD code is +502. The official currency of Guatemala is called the Quetzal (GTQ).

In 2009, Guatemala had a nominal GDP of $37.302 billion, and a per capita nominal GDP of $2,662. Its per capita GDP at purchasing power parity is $4,839.

Evidence of human habitation in Guatemala goes back to over 12,000 BC. The country was one of the centers of Mesoamerica civilization, as is visible today in the many ancient cities in Guatemala, among them El Mirador, El Tintal, Nakbe’, Tikal and others. El Mirador was the most populous city in pre-Columbian America. It was also part of the first organized state in America which had 26 cities linked by highways that stretched a few kilometers in length and up to 40 meters wide.

The Spanish arrived in Guatemala in 1519, bringing with them an epidemic that decimated the native population. Guatemala was a colony of Spain until 15 September, 1821, when the Captaincy-general of Guatemala comprising present-day Chiapas, Guatemala, El_Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa_Rica and Honduras, declared its independence from Spain. It was incorporated into the Mexican Empire, a union which only lasted two years. Only Chiapas remained part of Mexico while all the others because independent states.

Planning your trip to Guatemala

Visitors who do not need a visa to enter Guatemala include the nationals of Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Costa_Rica, Chile, Denmark, El_Salvador,



Major Cities in Guatemala

1. Guatemala_City – capital
2. Antigua_Guatemala
3. Flores
4. Panajachel
5. Puerto_Barrios
6. Quetzaltenango

Places of Interest in Guatemala

1. Lake Atitla’n
2. Monterrico

Maya Sites in Guatemala

1. Aguateca
2. El Mirador
3. El Peru
4. Iximche’
5. Naku’m
6. Tikal
7. Yaxha’

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Guatemala

1. Antigua_Guatemala
2. Tikal_National_Park
3. Archaeological_Park_and_Ruins_of_Quirigua

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