Tag archives for guatemala

The Radar: Travel Lately

The Radar: The top travel news, stories, trends, and ideas from across the web. Got Radar? Follow us on Twitter @NatGeoTraveler and tag your favorite travel stories from the web #NGTRadar. Check back on the blog on Wednesdays for our Travel Lately roundup.

Burning the Devil in Guatemala

Every December 7 at 6:00 p.m. sharp, Guatemalans “burn the devil,” building bonfires outside their homes to mark the occasion. The tradition has special significance in Guatemala City because of its association with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception which honors the city’s patron saint.

But where did the tradition come from, and how is it changing?

When most people think of the Maya, their minds jump immediately to Mexico, but this ancient civilization exerted profound influence throughout Central America. Let Fabio Amador, a Salvadoran expert in Mesoamerican archaeology for National Geographic, take you on the ultimate cultural journey through the Maya of Central America — from places that were inhabited more than 10,000 years ago to modern towns that celebrate their ancient heritage in unexpected ways.

#TripLit: Catching up with T.C. Boyle

The 12th annual Library of Congress National Book Festival took place last weekend, and boy was it a doozy. For two days the National Mall teemed with crazed fans overwrought by the sheer amount of writing talent massed in one place. One of the chiefs of that mighty literary army was prolific writer and character extraordinaire T.C. Boyle. Intelligent Travel caught up with him sipping a Diet Coke in the media tent where he held forth on travel and writing, cures for the slump that comes in the middle of a big project, his new book, and his admiration for big cats.

The Radar: The top travel news, stories, trends, and ideas from across the web. Got Radar? Follow us on Twitter @NatGeoTraveler and tag your favorite travel stories from the Web #ngtradar. Check back on the blog for our roundups. Photograph by Grant Bishop, Flickr.

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Published in the November/December issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine. Photograph and text by ANTONIO BUSIELLO Chichicastenango, Guatemala Last February, I spent a week in Chichicastenango, which is located north of Lake Atitlán in the Guatemalan highlands and known for its Maya market, held twice weekly for centuries. Sleepy otherwise, the village springs to life on market days,…

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Archaeology Magazine has just released their list of the top ten discoveries in 2010. Among the findings was a room under the El Diablo pyramid in Maya city of El Zotz in Guatemala. The room had been partially damaged by looters, but researchers dug deeper and discovered a “bizarre cache” of severed fingers and other…

Traveler intern Daniel Bortz explores a program that creates bike-powered machines in Guatemala. Across Guatemalan farmland, a new breed of bicycles is being used to thresh corn, de-shell coffee beans, and even blend fruit smoothies. There, in a country with a history of endemic poverty, Maya Pedal works to combine exercise and technology to provide…

Seventeen miles long, 11 miles wide, and at least 1,115 feet deep in places, Guatemala’s Lake Atitlán is likely one of Central America’s largest lakes. Located at 5,125 feet above sea level and surrounded by three inactive volcanoes, it fills the caldera of a volcano that last erupted 84,000 years ago and covers 53 square…

Andrew Evans recounts his dashing Costa Rican border crossing. Stay tuned for Part II of the adventure. Mea maxima culpa, I have just committed the ultimate travel sin: I have visited too many countries in too short a time. If foreigners aren’t deriding Americans for traveling enough, they chide us for our propensity to skip…

Andrew Evans shares a taste of the road food available on Guatemalan buses. Words are powerful tools. They can start wars and make people fall in love. They can make you cringe or make your mouth water. After three hours on a bus from Guatemala City, I heard the chilling cry from the road–two words…

Andrew Evans recaps his experience riding on a chicken bus along Guatemala’s precipitous mountain roads. Riding a chicken bus is a kind of traveler’s right of passage. That people are carrying live chickens immediately defines the bus as local and authentic. It’s also kind of silly and crazy since chickens do not make good passengers,…

Andrew Evans has made his way through Mexico and is now in Guatemala, riding this bus as we speak. Here’s a summary of some of his best tweets since entering the country. Stay tuned for more, and follow along on Twitter @Bus2Antarctica. ¡Bienvenido a Guatemala! Pasaport stamped & walking up the street of fluttering blue…

Voluntourism for the Whole Family

Catherine Pearson, a former intern at Traveler, has been researching the rise of volunteer vacations. She spoke with one family who was the test case for a new family voluntourism program, and learned a bit about how to roast marshmallows over molten lava. When the Delange family arrived in Guatemala for their volunteer vacation with…

 We’re still smitten with reader Lolly’s textile-themed trip to Peru from a few months ago, so we were glad to see Laura Morelli’s recent shopping column about weavers in Guatemala continue along that thread. Mayas in the Guatemalan highlands are still weaving beautiful textiles much the same way as their ancestors did 1,200 years ago.…

Guatemalan Gifts

Just back from a five-day trip to Guatemala, National Geographic Traveler‘s editor-in-chief, Keith Bellows, shares his shaman search (and a video) with IT: So you travel to Antigua, Guatemala, with the idea that you’re simply going to hang out. Some reading, a little R & R, maybe even a little pool action. You’re staying at…