Bordered by Mexico to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, the Caribbean to the east, and Honduras and El Salvador to the southeast, Guatemala sits at a confluence of mangrove forests, beaches, and mountains. You’ll explore the Rio Dulce Biosphere Reserve, hike Volcano Pacaya, and surf El Paredon. Life outdoors here is more about thrills than serenity.

The Mayans, the largest pre-Columbian civilization in the country, settled extensively here, and ruins are concentrated around Petén. Around 40% of the country’s people are Indigenous, primarily K’iche’, Kaqchikel, Mam, and Q’eqchi. Spanish expeditions to the country began in 1519, and much of the architecture, and primary language, reflect the influence of the Spanish colonization. When you’re here, you’ll see this mix of cultures, especially in Antigua’s Old Town. And you’ll learn to see corn in a whole new light.