Guatemala is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico in the north and the Pacific Ocean in the south. Along with having the rich cultural heritage related to the Mayan civilization, Guatemala is famous for its natural beauty that includes mountains, volcanoes, beaches, villages and wetlands along with its rich biodiversity. A few noteworthy mountain towns in Guatemala are worth a visit, some of the most popular hill stations in Guatemala have been listed below.
Situated among the hills, Lake Atitlan is one of the best hill stations in Guatemala and a popular hiking destination. It is essentially a water body that has been formed by the collection of water in a volcanic crater in the southwestern highlands of Guatemala. The lake is surrounded by volcanoes with pointed cones that give you plenty of opportunities for you hiking adventures. You can choose to hike up the Santa Clara peak or the mountains near the Panajachel town to get stunning views of the lake. Taking a guide is recommended if you wish to obtain information regarding the native flora and fauna.
Chichicastenango is another hill station in Guatemala that is situated in the mountainous region on the northern side of Guatemala City. Also known as Santo Tomás Chichicastenango, this town has a population of 71394 and offers stunning views of the forest covered hills nearby. Chichicastenango is famous for hosting the largest markets in Guatemala which also happens to be major tourist attraction. The vendors in the market sell various items such as pottery, food, flowers, handicraft, plants, candles, copal and textiles on Thursdays and Sundays. The 400 year old Church of Santo Tomas is another place where the tourists like to go.
The lively mountain town of Huehuetenango is one of the best known Guatemala hill stations. Situated right next to the ruins of Zacaleu at the base of the Cuchumatanes Mountains, Huehuetenango is the hub for trade and transport. Like many towns in Guatemala, Huehuetenango also has a central park which is pretty and well cared for. It has the perfect small town vibes with friendly people and local restaurants and cafes serving local dishes. The surrounding mountains add a touch of beauty to the other bustling town full of traders.
A beautiful honeymoon destination in Guatemala, Quetzaltenango boasts of a stunning backdrop consisting of volcanos that includes the active Santaguito volcano. Situated at an altitude of 8000 feet in Guatemala’s Western Highlands, the place enjoys a good climate throughout the year and is a popular place for travellers. The place gives you a European feel because of the architecture of the buildings that are mostly neoclassical. There are several tourists’ attractions nearby such as hot springs, Mayan villages and crater lakes.
Purulha is one of the most picturesque hilly places in Guatemala. Located in the Central Highlands, the town of Purulha is just like any other town in Guatemala. The surrounding hilly regions of this mountain town are the main attraction for people who love outdoor activities. There are several hiking trails that you can take to explore the surrounding biodiversity which includes some exotic species of birds, animals and plants. It’s a great place to go to for a weekend family getaway where you can stay at the many forest reserves just outside the town and indulge in some outdoor adventure activities and take a swim in the waterfalls.
Santa Cruz del Quiche
Santa Cruz del Quiche is a quiet town in the Western Highlands of Guatemala. This place has little to offer to adventure seeking travellers but has much to interest the people who are interested in history and culture. Once a great city in the past, Santa Cruz del Quiche had a number of beautiful citadels and palaces built on the hillsides before it was invaded and the palaces were destroyed. The ruins of these structures can still be found and explored today. Most travellers use this town as their resting place during their transit but it has much to offer to those who are interested.
San Pedro la Laguna
One of the best hill stations in Guatemala is San Pedro la Laguna that attracts a large number of travellers every year who mostly come here to party, ride horse and hike to the volcano peaks of San Pedro. This town is located on the southern region of Lake Atitlan with the mighty San Pedro volcano for the backdrop. The hike to the top takes around 4 to 5 hours and one can enjoy a beautiful view of the lake from the peak on a clear day. This place also has a thriving nightlife which is the highlight of the town.
Solola is located at a height of 2114 m on the mountains of the Western Highland region overlooking Lake Atitlan. The main attraction of this mountain town is their Friday markets where you can see a colourful display of commerce and culture. If you happen to visit the town on Sundays, you will witness the parade of Cofradias dressed in colourful jackets and broad brimmed hats which is truly a delight to watch.
A place in Guatemala that truly represents the beauty of nature is Baja Verapaz. This place consists of semi arid plains along with mountains, valleys and cloud forests. The pleasant climate is an additional highlight of the place which is extremely rich in biodiversity. It is teeming with wildlife and the place has numerous reserves that are aimed towards the protection numerous endangered flora and fauna. There are a number of stunning waterfalls that you can witness when you go hiking through the dense forests.
Lanquin is a small town located in the lush green valley of the Central Highland. This town is well known for the Lanquin caves made of limestones which are open to the tourists. The stalactites hanging from the ceiling of the cave give this place another worldly feel. The visitors also come to the see the limestone pools at the Semuc Champey Natural Monument and spend a lazy afternoon by swimming in it. The forests covering the mountain slopes have several hiking trails and hanging wooden bridges that attract several people who like outdoor adventures.