Adventure

Located in San Martin Zapotitlán, Retalhuleu, the Xocomil, an aquatic park, is recreational place for both children and adults. Its construction is a replica of Mayan building, including temples, sanctuaries, palaces and stelae, there is over-abundant vegetation attending over 77,300 square meters, and accommodation for up to 6,000 visitors.

Adventure-lovers know that the Earth’s wonders are hidden in secret spots of the planet. The adventure starts with the search of these different, exciting places, which are full of vitality and life. Guatemala spells adventure because its jungles, plains and mountains, its caves, rivers and lakes, which hold wondrous creatures. Wonderful stories and ancestral customs renew mystery of the universe.

As you penetrate the noisy jungle and walk along a clearing lined with scented creepers and orchids that perfume the treetops, looking for howler monkeys, toucans and long-tailed quetzals, you experience something unexplainable.

It is as if orchids knew that below them lies the jaguar, stalking in the thicket or asleep on the boughs of the sacred ceiba. Guatemala’s volcanoes challenge climbers to enter the clouds, enjoy the heights and be surprised by the humid, lilac afternoons. In Guatemala, there is an ancient message protected by underground caves and the sound of the bird’s eternal song of the Giver of Life. Swift turbulent rivers beckon you to go canoeing, while calm placid streams invite you to look and enjoy their colorful fish.

Guatemala has something to share with both experts and amateurs, with anyone who enjoys life´s adventures.

Windsurfing

The wind has transformed Guatemalan water into a sportsman paradise. The breezes here are cool and gentle. So make it a point to go to Lakes Atitlan and Izabal or the Rio Dulce, where you can enjoy your favorite sport. In Rio Dulce, amid the jungle, you´ll hear the birds, and maybe fathom the legend of the crocodile men who took refuge in the warmth of this place, hidden from curious eyes.

Canoeing

If you like speeding over water, do not fail to take a whitewater raft trip on the Rio La Pasión. You can also navigate the Chiquibul river, the enormous, Usumacinta river in Petén, or risk the hair-raising rapids of the Rio Cahabón, in Alta Verapaz. Specialized travel agencies offer packages and excursions lasting from one day to one month.

Hiking

Traces of primitive man can be followed as you walk along Guatemala’s roads and trails, Guatemala’s valleys, mountains, jungles and plains provide magnificent scenery and a rich assortment of flora and fauna. In every corner of the country, there are unforgettable places perfect for walking, that would please any hiker. You can follow the course of the rivers or go around the edge of the lakes. For long hikes you can camp out and continue the next day. For short hikes of only a few hours, make sure to follow the road between Panajachel and Santa Catarina Palopó as you will have a splendid view of the volcanoes and hills around lake Atitlán and beautiful surrounding villages.

Bird watching and sport fishing

Guatemala has a wide variety of birds and there is great pleasure in just watching their flight and listening to their songs. There is no better place than the Guatemalan jungles or forests for bird watching. The Guatemalan Pacific Ocean is rich in variety of fish and is rated by experts as on of the best conserved fishing grounds in the world. These waters are home to red snapper, sailfish, tarpon, bass and other species. The rivers and lakes of Petén, the Rio Dulce, Lake Izabal, or the rivers in Alta Verapaz are other good fishing sites.

Cycling

If you enjoy fresh air, the countryside, and small town, cycling is hard to beat in Guatemalan roads, paths and highlands. You can enjoy a bit of everything: the freedom of the plains, mountains, forests and jungles, blending with enchanting colonial or indigenous towns.

Visits to caves and grottoes

In Guatemala, an underground water system has formed incredibly beautiful caves. Caves-lovers will be enchanted, exploring the innermost recesses of this land. In Santa Elena, Petén, underground paths lead into huge caverns vaulted like Gothic cathedrals, some even 40 meters high. The stalagmites on their cave floors stretch up, while the stalactites reach down to meet them, competing with each other to see which one grabs the other first.

The Jobitizinaj Caves are more plain but no less exciting to visit, since they lack artificial lighting. Therefore explorers must carry lamps and flashlights.

In Alta Verapaz, the Lanquin Caves, are the habitat to scores of blind fish. These caves are beautiful as are those La Candelaria, both having to me toured by boat along the underground river.

Hang gliding

With its clear skies, Guatemala is a great place to practice hang gliding. If you decide to glide over Lake Atitlán you will see, as the eagle does, the three volcanoes, Tolimán, San Pedro and Atitlán. These magnificent guardians of the landscape, stand watch, from the horizon, over the ravines where the greens color the earth up to its edges. Guatemala´s skies are clear and breezy, perfect for participating in competitions or learning to hang glide in Panajachel.

Mountaineering

It seems that in Guatemala, the earth has embraced the sky and has covered itself with tall and powerful volcanoes. The mountains are also ideal or climbing and mountaineering.

In this country there are two giants: The Tajumulco, the highest volcano in Central America, at 4,200 m. above sea level. Both are in the department of San Marcos and are easy to climb to view the magnificent sunrise.

Tolimán volcano has twin-peaks on its summit and reaches 3,158 m. above sea level. However, it presents greater technical challenges than the others and the ascent takes six hours. You can spend the night on the summit so it is advisable to take a sleeping bag, warm clothes and sufficient provisions.

The San Pedro volcano can be climbed with relative ease. If you begin your ascent at dawn, you can reach the clouds by midday.

The Atitlán volcano, situated beside the Lake of the same name, rises to 3,860 m. above sea level, and takes a whole day to climb. The effort is rewarded by a wonderful panoramic view from the summit.

If you want to take excellent photographs and spend the night in a crater where there is shelter for 30 people, then do not miss the Agua Volcano (or Hunapú) whose 3,776 m. above sea level make it a giant, of great interest to experts and beginners.

Another interesting volcano and the one most visited, given its proximity to Guatemala city, is Pacaya. It has an altitude of 2,252 m. above sea level and is active. Its constant eruptions and streams of lava create frightening but fascinating landscapes. Excursions to this seemingly angry volcano must be mad in groups and with a guide.

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