Guatemala, officially known as Republic of Guatemala is a Central American Country sharing borders with Mexico in the north and west, El Salvador to the southeast, Belize to the northeast the Caribbean and Honduras to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the southwest. Known for its natural beauty, cuisine and the ancient Maya civilization, this country is perfect for adventurers and nature lovers, it combines new and old Worlds with its distinctive cultures. Read on about Guatemala´s interesting facts and its fun facts.
Interesting Facts About Guatemala – History And General Facts
The name Guatemala means ‘Land of the Trees’ in Maya-Toltec language. A fun fact, some people believe that the name Guatemala is derived from the word Guhatezmalh, which means “Mountain that vomits water”.
Guatemala de la Asuncíón is known as Guatemala City is not only the capital but also largest city of Guatemala, the official language like in most Central American Countries is spanish.
Quetzal is the currency of Guatemala and also the national bird, it is a fragile and rare animal. The bird´s tail feather was used as a form of currency back in the Maya Empire.
The very first inhabitants of Guatemala arrived dated as far back as 18000 B.C.
Even though it is small in size (only 108889 square km), there are more than 29 active volcanoes. source
Due to spanish influences most Guatemalans are Catholics, mostly roman Catholics. However the traditional Mayan religion still persits in some places.
Guatemala is the 107th largest Country in the World (between Cuba 106th and Iceland 108th) – source
September 15th is Guatemala´s independence day. They seperated from spain in the year 1821.
Top 5 exported products are coffee, raw sugar, bananas, gold and precious metal ore. Coffee is the main export.
This Country produces more jade than any other country on the planet, and its importance is visible in the National Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology in the capital Guatemala City.
The literacy rate for adults is around 76% (less for females than males). Around 60% of the population does not know how to read and write, making this one of the real guatemala interesting facts.
Interesting Facts About Guatemala For Travellers – Things to do and see in Guatemala
Motagua River is the Longest River in Guatemala with 486 kilometers in length.
Atitlán means ‘at the water’ in Aztec language and is a lake in the nothern Guatemala highlands. It is the deepest lake in Central America and is considered as “the most beautiful lake in the world” by several explorers like Aldous Huxley. Atitlán is also surrounded by 3 conical volcanoes, making it a must to visit place and one of the very interesting facts about guatemala.
Volcanoe Tajumulco is 4220 meters high (13845 feet) and is the highest peak in Guatemala.
Located close to Antigua, Volcán Pacaya, is an active volcano, last erupted on May 27, in the year 2010. There are trails and hiking opportunities, but this is more for experienced hikers, plan at least a whole day for this trip
The Tikal National Park was the world’s first mixed UNESCO World Heritage Site. It holds within its border the Mayan ruins of Tikal, which comes alive in the evenings with Guatemala animals like the howler monkey.
Chichi or Chichicastenango is the no.1 shopping destination of whole Guatemala, it is located between 2 and 3 hours southwest of Guatemala City. Chichicastenango (also called Chichi) is considered to be home to the brightest probably most vibrant native market in Central America. You can find there a lot of things like local fabrics, clothing pottery, wood crafted items or even fireworks, there is something for everyone. This City also hosts many festivals.
Fun Facts About Guatemala – Culture
A tasty traditional Guatemalan dish called “Fiambre” is eaten every year in order to celebrate the “Day of the Dead” or Día de los Muertos and also the “all Saints Day” or Día de Todos los Santos. It´s a salad which is made up of more than 50 ingredients.
Guatemalan cuisine is based around tamales, chilis, corn and beans. This country has many endemic fruits, including caimito, mamey, zapate and jocote.
More than 1.2 million people travel to Guatemala every year.
The first chocolate bar was invented during the Mayan times in Guatemala.
Denim for the blue jeans was created in the “Land of the Trees” (Guatemala).
Over half of the Guatemalans are descendants of the famous indigenous Maya people.
There are still around 21 different varieties of original Mayan languages are being spoken in Guatemala until this date.
The blue stripes of the flag represent the Pacific Ocean. The Funny fact about Guatemala´s flag is that the blue shades have been changed several times by different presidents for no real reason.
The Chocolate bar was invented during the mayan times.
A real funny fact about guatemala is that, instant coffee was discovered by a Guatemalan.
It is believed that 5 to 10 people are killed or atleast injured by falling bullets during Christmas, when people fire off skyward in celebration. Funny yet not so funny when people die.