The former Mayan civilization was a Mesoamerican civilization, which continued throughout the Post-Classic period until the arrival of the Spanish. They had lived in Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, the southern part of Mexico and eastern parts of El Salvador. After independence from Spain in 1821, Guatemala was a part of the Federal Republic of Central America and after its dissolution the country suffered much of the political instability that characterized the region during mid to late 19th century. Early in the 20th century, Guatemala had a mixture of democratic governments as well as a series of dictators, the last of which were frequently assisted by the United Fruit Company and the United States government. From 1960 to 1996, Guatemala underwent a civil war fought between the government and leftist rebels. Following the war, Guatemala has witnessed both economic growth and successful democratic elections. In the most recent election, held in 2011, Otto Pérez Molina of the Patriotic Party won the presidency.
This three hour tour is the perfect way to get to know Guatemala. Your guide will take you to the Metropolitan Cathedral, the city's main church. It has stood the test of time, having been completed in 1867, and has survived numerous earthquakes. You will go to the National Palace of Guatemala, the symbol of the city and the President's headquarters. You will also see the Civic Center, the Central Plaza and the Ixchel Museum.
Discover Panajachel and Santiago Atitlan, two typical coast villages that borders the magnificent Atitlan Lake. Enjoy the vibrant colors and local flavor of those wonderful places.
In the morning, we will depart from the city and head for the Pacaya volcano at the Pacaya National Park. We will go on a moderately difficult climb to reach the plateau, where we can see the active crater and witness the view from that height. We will return to the city at noon.