Sandwiched between Mexico to the north and El Salvador to the south, Guatemala is a relatively small, tropical country with a striking variety of topographic features. Nearly two-thirds of the country is mountainous and volcanic. The Sierra Madre mountain range forms the spine of Central America and runs parallel to the Pacific coast. The southernmost extension of this range stretches into Guatemala and its peaks rise to 3600 metres in the wild Cuchumatanes region. South of the Cuchumatanes lies the now extinct Volcan Tajumulco (4220m / 13,845 ft) the highest point in Central America. Many of Guatemala's peaks are volcanoes, some of them active and some spectacularly so. The Spanish colonial town of Antigua is a great starting point for hiking and mountain biking trips in this land of great contrast. The choice is yours - take it easy at fabulous Lake Atitlan, trek on fiery Volcan Fuego, bike some of the country's excellent singletrack or travel to the World Heritage site of Tikal, with its well preserved Mayan architecture.

Geography

Sandwiched between Mexico to the North and El Salvador to the South, Guatemala is a relatively small country with a land area of 109,000 square kilometres or 42,042 square miles. Located in the tropical zone, the country contains a striking variety of topographic features. Nearly two-thirds of the country is mountainous and volcanic. The spine of upper central America is the Sierra Madre mountain range which runs parallel to the Pacific coast. The southernmost extension of the range stretches into Guatemala with peaks which rise to 3600 metres in the Cuchumatanes region. 33 volcanoes dominate the landscape, many of them active and some spectacularly so. South of the Cuchumantes lies the now extinct Volcan Tajumulco, at 4220 metres/ 13845 ft, the highest point in Central America. To the north and East of this highland area, the farmland quickly gives way to lush tropical rain forests known as the ‘Peten’. In the far northeast, close to the border with Belize, the World Heritage site of Tikal contains well preserved Mayan architecture over a large area. These regions of highland and forest, together with the humid and fertile Pacific slopes in the south, and the river-ribboned Caribean coast, make this a land of varied contrasts.

Time Zone

The time in Guatemala is GMT -6 hours