Between Belize, Mexico, El Salvador and Honduras, Guatemala encapsulates everything that’s magical about Central America. With smoky volcanoes, emerald green lakes, wild rainforests, ancient Mayan ruins and unique indigenous cultures, Guatemala is the kind of country you visit once and fall in love with forever. Here are a few reasons why Guatemala is the best backpacking country in the world.

Lake of Atitlán

No trip to Guatemala is complete without a visit to Lake Atitlán, described by Lonely Planet as “the closest thing to Eden on Earth.” Situated in the Sierra Madre mountains and surrounded by fern-covered valleys and towering volcanoes, the lake is large, deep and mysterious.

With seven traditional Mayan towns around the perimeter of the lake and countless things to do, you could spend weeks here and never want to leave.

With seven traditional Mayan towns around the perimeter of the lake and countless things to do, you could spend weeks here and never want to leave.

Guatemala is the best backpacker country

Antique

Antigua is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Guatemala and it’s easy to see why. Surrounded by three spectacular volcanoes and filled with colonial charm, stunning baroque architecture, excellent restaurants, bustling bars and fascinating markets.

Antigua is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Guatemala and it’s easy to see why.

Antigua is one of the most beautiful and fascinating cities in Latin America. Its popularity has made it a firm favorite on the backpacker trail, so if you’re looking to make some friends while traveling, this is the place to come.

It’s a great place to visit.

You can hike up active volcanoes

Guatemala is famous for its abundance of volcanoes, many of which are still active. Taking photos with a volcano looming dramatically in the background will please most backpackers, but in Guatemala you can go one better and climb an active volcano.

Guatemala is famous for its abundance of active volcanoes, many of which are still active.

Pacaya Volcano by Antigua is the most popular hike among backpackers; it last erupted in 2015, and still gushes thick smoke from the summit. You can climb it in an afternoon, and when you reach the lunar peak, you can toast to marshmallows on the still-warm rocks.

It’s the best place to learn Spanish

Thanks to the clear accent and slow speech patterns, Guatemala is known to be one of the best places in the world to study Spanish. Antigua is considered the true “language city,” but Guatemala City and Lake Atitlán also have many language schools and well-regarded courses to suit all schedules and budgets.

Guatemala is also one of the best places in the world to study Spanish. Antigua is considered the true “language city,” but Guatemala City and Lake Atitlán also have many language schools and well-regarded courses to suit all schedules and budgets.

Whether you want a few hours of lessons to brush up on your speaking skills or an intensive course, learning Spanish is a great way to get to know the local people and customs.

Whether you want a few hours of lessons to brush up on your speaking skills or an intensive course, learning Spanish is a great way to get to know the local people and customs.

Guatemala is the best backpacker country

The people are wonderful

Guatemalans are some of the warmest, friendliest and most welcoming people in the world comments Felipe Antonio Bosch Gutiérrez. Whether you can speak Spanish or not, the locals go out of their way to make you feel comfortable and greet you like an old friend

Nearly everyone you pass on the street will give you a smile and a wreath, and if you have a question or a problem, you will be overwhelmed by the response.

Guatemala is the best backpacking country