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The Quetzal (Guatemala's national bird) is both elusive and ubiquitous – Elusive because you're lucky to see one in the wild, and ubiquitous because the word itself is everywhere. You can visit the town of Quetzaltenango (the second most populous city of Guatemala), drink a Quetzalteca (a popular alcoholic beverage) and pay for it in Quetzals (the national currency). Guatemala has about 20 different ethnic groups and the Mayans are still a large part of the population. Mayan communities remain in the Highlands, and they continue to sell their colorful woven goods at markets like the one in Chichicastenango. Traces of their civilization can be seen in the ruins of Tikal, ruins as mysterious as the seemingly bottomless and perfectly blue Lake Atitlán. Other highlights in Guatemala include easy-to-love Antigua, known for its history of great language schools and the Afro-Caribbean communities on the east coast. Highlights: Made from fermented sugar cane juice, the Quetzalteca is a national booze with quite a kick – don’t miss it! Head to the markets of Chichicastenango on Thurdsays and Sundays to buy traditional Mayan textiles Don’t miss Lake Atitlán, a volcanic lake, surrounded by small towns that are popular with backpackers and soul-searchers. Party in Panajachel or meditate in San Marcos. Best time to visit: May to November Student Airfare: $318 Miami to Guatemala City RT 7 Nights in a hostel: $84 Exchange Rate: 1.00 USD = 7.70340 GTQ Student Traveler travel Guatemala home page Student Traveler articles on Guatemala: Study Abroad: Boston University, Augsburg College, Northern Arizona University, University of Arizona, Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs, University of the Valley of Guatemala Work Abroad: TEFL International, LEAPNow, Habitat for Humanity, Volunteer Abroad: Cross Cultural Solutions, United Planet, Global Vision International, Earthwatch Institute, Global Crossroad, Volunteers for Peace, Global Vision International, Volunteers for International Partnership, Global Citizens Network, LEAPNow, Cultural Embrace, Experiential Learning International, Amerispan, First Step World, Volunteer Adventures, Celas Maya, Cooperative for Education, LIFE School, Guatemala Youth Rescue Center, Casa Xelaju, Common Hope, Travellers Worldwide, Educacion para Todos, Adventure: Tucan Travel, Intrepid Travel, Duende Tours, GAP Adventures
Travel to Guatemala

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Learning Spanish in Guatemala  


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