Guatemala is approximately the size of the state of Ohio in the United States. It is located directly south of Mexico and also borders Belize, El Salvador, and Honduras. A direct flight from Houston or Atlanta to Guatemala City is less than three hours. Guatemala has a population of approximately 13 million people and Spanish is the official language. There are also many indigenous Mayan languages spoken throughout the country. The majority of Guatemalans live in the capital, Guatemala City. The capital is very westernized with movie theaters, shopping malls, and many American restaurant chains.
Guatemala boasts a rich diversity of ecological and geography. The coastal areas are warm and humid and the beaches are black sand. From the coast, the geography changes drastically as the mountains and volcanoes rise. The majority of Guatemalans live in the temperate highlands in the south and west of Guatemala. At elevations varying from 5000 to 8000 feet above sea level, spring-like temperatures last year round. Lake Atitlan sits at approximately 5000 feet, which offers an ideal climate for enjoying outdoor adventures. The northern part of Guatemala is jungle and more remote, with hotter temperatures.
Bananas and coffee are both important Guatemalan exports. Check the sticker on the bananas you buy at the grocery store; depending on where you live, there is a good chance it says Guatemala. Much of Guatemala’s coffee export goes to Starbucks.
Guatemala is a very colorful country. Native Mayans, many still removed from modern technology, still dress the same as their ancestors, with varying colors and styles. Local markets offer colorful varieties of fruits, vegetables, and hand woven textiles. Guatemala offers unending cultural experiences that captivate every sense.
Lake Atitlan, in Guatemala, has been called the most beautiful lake in the world. ”Atitlan” is a combination of Nahuatl words meaning “at the water.” Resting in an ancient volcanic caldera, it is surrounded by steep mountains and cliffs, including three of the country’s 37 volcanoes. The lake is surrounded by a dozen different towns and villages, each with their own official native dress. Each town offers a unique and fascinating look into Guatemalan and Mayan culture. Everyone that visits the Lake Atitlan region is amazed and awed at the people, the handicrafts, and the breathtaking geography.
Lake Atitlan is a popular tourist destination in Guatemala. There are hundreds of foreigners that live in the area as well. All are attracted to the wonderful climate, peaceful lifestyle, and safe living conditions. Crime is low in the area, as the Guatemalan government aims to keep the area safe for tourism.
Guatemala has improved its roads and infrastructure dramatically over the last 15 years. Most people travel on public buses or private cars. On the tour we will only travel in private shuttle vans. The drivers are safe, reliable, and professional. We will also travel on some private boats to get around on the lake. They are safe and used by locals and foreigners to get to towns that have no road access.
We want to make this a worry-free adventure that you will never forget!
Come experience the fun of this Mayan Running Adventure for yourself!