Guatemala attractions: The enigmatic Mayan culture that still inhabits the highlands offers authentic experiences through unique religious syncretism. This syncretism is a mixture of the Catholic faith brought by the Spaniards and the Mayan beliefs that are present in the festivals and celebrations that natives develop during all year.
Major Festivals in Guatemala : Jueves de la Ascencion at La Laguna de Chicabal in Quetzaltenango. La Laguna Chicabal is a lime-green lake, at 2712 m, in the crater of the extinct volcano of the same name. The Mayas believed the waters are sacred, and it is thought that if you swim in the lake, you will get ill. Ceremonies of Maya initiation are held at the lake in early May (40 days after Good Friday), known as Jueves de la Ascensión, and it’s celebrated with traditional music, flowers, and prayers at the Lake. Be respectful of the tradition, and you should not take pictures.
November 1st All Saints Day. November first is among the most important days of the year in Guatemala. During this day, we commemorate the Day of the Dead. This is a special event during which cemeteries are frequented and ornamented in reminiscence of family and friends. This is a union of ancient pagan beliefs, as well as the Catholic customs introduced over by the Spaniards within the XVI and XVII centuries. During this time, two significant festivities occur “the horse races in Todos Santos Cuchumatan, Huehuetenango,” and also the giant kites in Santiago and Sumpango Sacatepequez. Discover extra information at Guatemala Vacations.
Other Guatemala attractions: Antigua Guatemala, most often referred to simply as Antigua, is one of the highlights of Guatemala and certainly one of the most beautiful cities in Central America. Set amid surrounding volcanoes, this former capital of Guatemala offers a unique glimpse of a city unblemished by modern day concrete buildings and high rises. Here, the cobbled streets are lined with lovely old colonial buildings, some of which show evidence of the earthquakes that have contributed to the city’s history. Everywhere in the old city center are grand churches and convents. While many of the buildings have been completely restored, some reveal cracks caused by past earthquakes, and some have been reduced to ruins. In many cases the ruins have been creatively incorporated into more recently constructed buildings, some of which are now hotels. The city has many interesting museums to explore, along with beautiful old convents that are open to visitors.
El Mirador was a major Mayan city that flourished from about the 6th century BC and abandonment at the end of the 9th century. The ruins of El Mirador were rediscovered in 1926 but received little attention due to its remote location deep in the jungle of northern Guatemala. Today the site remains largely covered by tropical jungle. Visiting El Mirador is not for the faint of heart. The village of Carmelita is the nearest point to the ruins that you can go by car. From there it takes a grueling trek of at least five days and four nights through the jungle with ants, ticks and mosquitoes that never relent. That said, people who make this journey will never forget it. Discover even more info on www.martsam.com.