Embassy warnings and economic hardships can seem daunting to first-time travelers to Guatemala, but with proper planning and a bit of smarts, Guatemala is a very accessible, welcoming country with lots to offer.
Tikal National Park
Archaeologists estimate that the Mayans settled in the area now known as Tikal in about 900 BC. The Museum of the University of Pennsylvania and the Guatemalan Institute of Anthropology and History restored Tikal's structures to their current condition during the 1950s and 1960s, and UNESCO designated the ruins a World Heritage Site in 1979.
Antigua's market is chaotic, colorful, and always busy. The best days are the official market days – Monday, Thursday and especially Saturday – when villagers from the vicinity roll in and spread their wares north and west of the main market building.
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