Glorious Guatemala‏ boasts three tourism Holy Grails

17th Jul 2013

Most countries would consider themselves lucky to host one tourism holy grail that is a UNESCO World Heritage site; glorious Guatemala can boast three.

These accolades bestowed upon Antigua, Tikal and Quiriguá increasingly make this Central American country one of the exciting places to visit.

Each site holds its own fascinating mysteries for holidaymakers to explore.

Awesome Antigua (or la Antigua) is a "must-see" for tourists on city breaks to Guatemala's central highlands, with its well-preserved Spanish Baroque-influenced architecture besides various spectacular ruins of colonial churches.

Terrific Tikal is one of the biggest archaeological sites and urban hubs of the pre-Columbian Maya civilisation.

Quintessential Quiriguá is an ancient Mayan archaeological site in Izabal in the south-east of the country, covering around 3 square kilometres (1.2 sq miles) on the banks of the Motagua River.

The Guatemalan government has raised its foreign investment by over 300% since 2003 in an attempt to drive the improvements in infrastructure needed to attract tourists to these sites.

While these UNESCO wonders keep visitor interest high, jungle-rich Guatemala faces challenges in balancing access with conservation.

The country also enjoys a favourable climate you would expect from one nestled between the Pacific and the Caribbean

It boasts more than 720 different species of birds, 36 volcanoes and 15 eco-systems.

All of which makes tourism Guatemala's second-biggest revenue generator, growing to 1.42 billion dollars (£932,921,540) in 2012, a figure that forecasts suggest could top the £1 billion mark for the first time this year.

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