Guatemala Tikal temple in Guatemala. PHOTO: Laslovarga

Published on September 2nd, 2014 | by admin

Tikal temple in Guatemala. PHOTO: Laslovarga

Adrenaline Rush: 5 Adventure Travel Experiences in Guatemala

Guatemala’s vast landscape is the ideal playground for active travelers seeking exciting new experiences in a non-homogenous, natural environment. From trekking lush jungles to discovering ancient Mayan ruins and exploring caves, as well as extreme mountain biking and rappelling from some of the most stunning natural settings in the country, Guatemala has lots to offer for adventure travel vacations. Here are some ideas to get you started.

1. Trekking & Hiking in Guatemala: Travelers seeking a high dose of culture and adventure might want to embark on the “Maya Trek, El Zotz – Tikal” to experience a Survivor-style expedition. The three-day excursion entails a trek through the dense landscape of the Petén jungle, located in the northern area of the country. Led by a group of local community leaders who are fully trained in navigation, food preparation and horse handling, trekkers are taken on a journey in the Maya Biosphere Reserve to visit ancient ruins and encounter flora and fauna along the way. The expedition visits impressive sites such as the Bat Wall in San Miguel La Palotada – El Zotz Biotope; archaeological sites El Zotz; exploring its Acropolis and El Diablo Complex; El Palmar Site, archaeological Site Chiquin – Tikal and Tikal National Park.

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2. Caving & Spelunking in Guatemala: Guatemala has hundreds of caves and karst tunnels to see, all with stunning backdrops of greenery and turquoise waters. In Petén, travelers can visit the famed Naj Tunich to see intricate ancient Mayan paintings on cave walls or visit Ixobel cave, known for its enormous size. On the Caribbean coast is Caxlampon cave that invites travelers to rappel down its 20 foot cascading waterfall. In Verapaces there are four more to see: Candelaria, Los Nacimientos, Lanquin, Ma´ Xiwan and Rey Marcos.

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3. Volcano Climbing in Guatemala: Stunning views and adrenaline pumping climbs await thrill-seeking adventure travelers with Guatemala’s 33 volcanoes, three of them active. With numerous intensity levels to choose from – all allowing for close wildlife encounters, travelers have the option of volcano climbing based on their skill sets. Tacana, Tajamulco and Acatenango volcano are a bucket list spots for the most ardent adventurer, while Ipala, Chicabal and Pacaya offer a less physically demanding experience.

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4. Mountain Biking in Guatemala: Small in size, yet sprawling in terrain, Guatemala presents many off-the-beaten paths for mountain biking. From stunning volcanoes and vast valleys to expansive mountain area and paradisiacal jungles, amateurs and experts alike will appreciate the many routes available ranging in level of difficulty, each offering their own unique view of the country’s awe-inspiring scenery.

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5. Rappelling in Guatemala: Rappelling is an activity found in many of Guatemala’s natural attractions including mountains, volcanoes, sinkholes, waterfalls, cliffs and caves. For the most extreme rappelling experience, visitors can venture to Cimarron, located in Huehuetenango, a cenote (circular crevice) that plummets nearly 500 feet. In Santa Rosa, thrill-seekers can rappel down the Concepcion waterfall that measures 115 feet. At Bombil Pek, cave exploration and rappelling come together with a 197 foot descent to the bottom.

Guatemala has numerous tour operators that offer these guided adventures. To learn more, visit www.visitguatemala.com.

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