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Republic of Guatemala

The land of the trees!

Guatemala
Guatemala (República de Guatemala) is bordered by Mexico to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Belize to the northeast, the Caribbean to the east, and Honduras and El Salvador to the southeast. A representative democracy, its capital is Guatemala de la Asunción, also known as Guatemala City.

Guatemala’s abundance of biologically significant and unique ecosystems contributes to Mesoamerica’s designation as a biodiversity hotspot. The former Mayan civilization was a Mesoamerican civilization, which continued throughout the Post-Classic period until the arrival of the Spanish. Guatemala became independent from Spain in 1821, joining the Mexican Empire. After it became an independent country in its own right, it was ruled by a series of dictators, assisted by the United Fruit Company. The late 20th century saw Guatemala embroiled in a 36-year-long civil war. Following the war, Guatemala has witnessed successive democratic elections.

Gobierno de Álvaro Colom
Homepage of the Government of the Republic of Guatemala, government sites, news, information about Guatemala.

Guatemala is heavily centralized. Transportation, communications, business, politics, and the most relevant urban activity takes place in Guatemala City. Guatemala is divided into 22 departments (departamentos) and sub-divided into about 332 municipalities (municipios).

The departments are:

Alta Verapaz
The capital and chief city of the department is Cobán. Verapaz is bordered to the north by El Petén, to the east by Izabal, to the south by Zacapa, El Progreso, and Baja Verapaz, and to the west by El Quiché.
Baja Verapaz
The capital is Salamá. Baja Verapaz houses the Mario Dary Biotope Preserve, preserving the native flora and fauna of the region, especially the endangered national bird of Guatemala, the Resplendent Quetzal.
Chimaltenango
Chimaltenango is home to the Maya civilization ruins of Iximché and Mixco Viejo, in addition to many smaller sites.
Chiquimula
No information
Petén
Geographically the northernmost department of Guatemala, as well as the largest in size, it accounts for about one third of Guatemala’s area. The capital is Flores.
El Progreso
The capital is Guastatoya and the largest city is Sanarate.
El Quiché
In the heartland of the Quiché (K’iche’) people, to the north-west of Guatemala City. The capital is Santa Cruz del Quiché.
Escuintla
Its capital is the city of Escuintla. Escuintla produces about 43 percent of gross domestic product of Guatemala.
Guatemala
The capital is Guatemala City, which also serves as the national capital.
Huehuetenango
It is situated in the western highlands and shares borders with México in the north and west; with El Quiché in the east, with Totonicapán, Quetzaltenango, and San Marcos to the south. The capital is the city of Huehuetenango.
Izabal
Its coastal areas form part of the homeland of the Garifuna people. Izabal surrounds Lago Izabal (or Lago de Izabal), Guatemala’s largest lake. The Spanish Colonial fort of San Felipe, now a Guatemalan national monument, overlooks the point where the lake flows into the Río Dulce.
Jalapa
The main agricultural products are cattle, sorghum, tobacco, onion and maize (corn). Volcán Jumay is a volcano in Jalapa.
Jutiapa
The main crops are sorghum, tobacco, onion and corn. The climate is dry. An important attraction is the cattle fair.
Quetzaltenango
Quetzaltenango consists of mountainous terrain, with its principal river being the Samalá River. It has wide variations in local climate, due largely to marked differences in altitude in different areas.
Retalhuleu
Retalhuleu is in the south-west of Guatemala, extending from the mountains to the Pacific Ocean coast. The capital is the city of Retalhuleu. The department contains a number of Pre-Columbian ruins, including Takalik Abaj and San Juan Noj.
Sacatepéquez
The name comes from Sacatepéquez, a city from November 21, 1542 until July 29, 1773 when it was destroyed by the Santa Marta earthquake. Sacatepéquez means grasshill in the Pipil Maya dialect. The capital of Sacatepéquez is Antigua Guatemala.
San Marcos
The northern portion is mountainous, being crossed by the Sierra Madre mountain range, with the two highest volcanoes in Central America being located within its borders.
Santa Rosa
No informaion
Sololá
CSD Saprissa de Guatemala is Solola’s main football team and the most famous club in the department.
Suchitepéquez
Suchitepéquez is situated in the southwestern region of Guatemala, limiting to the north with Quetzaltenango, Sololá and Chimaltenango, to the south with the Pacific Ocean, to the east with Escuintla, and to the west with Retalhuleu. Its capital is Mazatenango.
Totonicapán
Its territory is crossed by the Sierra Madre, and includes Cuxniquel, Campanabaj, and Cerro de Coxóm mountains. Important rivers in Totonicapaán include the Samalá, Pachac, Las Palmeras, Sajcocolaj, Patzotzil, Huacol and Pajá. Cuatros Caminos (“four roads”) is a well-known intersection of roads that go to Quetzaltenango, Guatemala City, Huehuetenango and Totonicapán.
Zacapa
Official website of Zacapa, with jokes, photos, stories, news and more, visit us now!

Guatemala is mountainous with small desert and sand dune patches, hilly valleys filled with people, except for the south coastal area and the vast northern lowlands of Petén department. Two mountain chains enter Guatemala from west to east, dividing the country into three major regions The country has 14 ecoregions ranging from mangrove forests to both ocean littorals with 5 different ecosystems. Guatemala has 252 listed wetlands, including 5 lakes, 61 lagoons, 100 rivers, and 4 swamps. Tikal National Park, was the first mixed UNESCO World Heritage Site. Guatemala is a country of distinct fauna. It has some 1246 known species. Of these, 6.7% are endemic and 8.1% are threatened. Guatemala is home to at least 8681 species of vascular plants, of which 13.5% are endemic.

Other places and informational links for Guatemala:

Travel:

Valid passports are required of everyone except citizens of Central American countries.

Guatemala’s main airport, La Aurora International Airport (GUA), is near Guatemala City. International flights arrive mostly from other Central American countries and North America.

Guatemala’s secondary airport is situated in Flores, Petén. This small airport receives flights from a small number of close destinations including Belize, Mexico City and Guatemala City.

It is sometimes cheaper to fly into Cancun and take buses through Belize or to fly into Mexico City and then take a low-cost airlines flight to Tapachula which is the Mexico/Guatemala border.

Travel by car from Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador is via the Pan-American Highway. Road access is also possible with more difficulty from Belize.

There are regular tourist buses from Belize City to Flores or Guatemala City via the border town of Benque Viejo, passing through San Ignacio and Xunantunich. Buses are available from San Salvador and Santa Ana. From Honduras. Services run from Copan, San Pedro Sula, La Ceiba and Tegucigalpa. Mexico. Buses are available from Tapachula, Palenque, Chetumal, Tulum, Cancun and Mexico City. From further afield, it is possible to reach Guatemala from Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.

There are several ferries to and from Puerto Barrios and Livingston, and Punta Gorda, Belize.

Directions by City or Zip (Postcode)

  You’ll probably need maps, directions or both at some point in your travels. Just type the starting place in the first box, the ending destination in the second box and click “Go”. As an example, you could enter your home address as the starting point and the address of the place you are to stay at as the destination.



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