Top 5 Popular Guatemala Travel Routes by Road
Guatemala offers a rich palette of both natural and cultural experiences accessible through its road network. Here are five popular routes often used by tourists traveling through the country by car:
Pan-American Highway (CA-1). This main road runs through the entire country and is part of the longest road in the world. In Guatemala, it connects the Guatemalan capital to many important destinations, including the colonial city of Antigua, the local market of Chichicastenango, and the beautiful Lake Atitlan. Sections of this highway offer stunning views of the Guatemalan highlands.
Route to Tikal. The road starting from Flores leads to Tikal National Park. This is a popular route for those who want to explore ancient Mayan ruins. The road itself is scenic, passing through the Petén rainforest and leading to one of Central America's most significant archaeological sites.
Pacific Coast Route (CA-2). Traveling along Guatemala's Pacific Coast offers opportunities to visit a number of beaches and coastal villages. Monterrico is one of the popular beach towns on this route, known for its volcanic black sand beaches and a nature reserve protecting sea turtles.
Coban and Semuc Champay Route. A trip to the central region of Alta Verapaz will take you to the town of Cobán, which is a great starting point to explore the natural limestone bridge of Semuc Champey with its series of stepped turquoise pools, a hidden gem. for nature lovers.
Ruta de las Flores. This scenic route leads through the Cuchumatanes Mountains, the highest non-volcanic mountain range in Central America. It is named after the wildflowers that can often be seen along the road, and connects several picturesque villages, such as Todos Santos Cuchumatanes, to the distinctive indigenous culture.
Driving in Guatemala can be an adventure due to the country's varied terrain and road conditions. Travelers should be prepared for mountain roads that can be narrow and winding, especially on rural routes. Landslides and potholes are common during the rainy season. Always check local tourist advisories and road conditions, rent a reliable vehicle, preferably four-wheel drive for certain areas, and consider a local guide or GPS to help navigate less traveled roads.