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January 2017

Go Guatemala – You Won’t be Disappointed

Guatemala has an appealing mix of landscapes and cultures, attracting visitors of all kinds. The northern lowlands are home to a lush tropical rainforest, where the most amazing Mayan archaeological sites are found, including the famous Tikal. The pine forested highlands are home to traditional Mayan communities that still cling to their indigenous roots.

As far as its major city goes, Guatemala City is the political heart and capital city of the country. However, it is not as attractive as Antigua Guatemala, which is the former capital of the country. Antigua Guatemala is one of the most popular places to visit, with its old colonial buildings being surrounded by awesome volcanoes that are perfect for hiking and climbing.

The Caribbean and Pacific coastlines offer a variety of marine exploration activities, including fishing, swimming and boating. Guatemala is also home to exquisite inland lakes, natural parks protecting unspoiled stretches of rainforest, waterfalls, and underground caves. Guatemala’s diverse terrain makes it one of the most incredible places to explore.

Piping Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate

You might be surprised to learn this, but some of the best chocolate in the world comes from Guatemala, a fact that makes this Gringo love the country even more. Known for its production of chocolate is the city of Mixco. The chocolate made here is commonly used for as drinking chocolate, or hot chocolate, a tradition in Guatemala.

To make the chocolate, first the seeds are taken from the pod and set to dry in the sun on a piece of linen cloth or zinc laminate. Next they are placed in a clay oven where they are toasted until golden. After they cool they are ground up, traditionally with a mortar and passel.

From there are you do is prepare it how you like! The act of extracting chocolate from cocoa pods is a fundamental part of the culture in Mixco; believe me when I say it is a form of art! Make sure you try a cup of the good stuff while visiting Guatemala. And if you have the chance, go check out a local chocolate factory; there you can see the whole process, right down to the setting of the chocolate bars for the melting. Some tours even come complete with a complementary cup… yumm.