64 Interesting Facts About Guatemala

Last updated on August 9th, 2017 at 04:11 am

Guatemala is a country in Central America well-known for its awe-inspiring treasures. Let’s explore more about this beautiful country with these facts about its history, culture, food, volcanoes, geography, economy, trade and more.

64 Interesting facts about Guatemala

#1. Guatemala became independent in 1821.

“There are more than 30 volcanoes in Guatemala.”

#2. The national anthem of Guatemala was not written by a Guatemalan, but by a Cuban – José Joaquín Palma.

#3. The Quetzal is the national bird, and White Nun Orchid (Monja Blanca) is the national flower of Guatemala.

Quetzal in Guatemalan Jungle
The national bird of Guatemala – Quetzal. Image credit – Sven Breitkopf

#4. There are 21 Mayan languages spoken in Guatemala.

#5. The currency of Guatemala—Guatemalan Quetzal—is named after the beautiful Quetzal bird. In ancient Mayan times, the feathers of this bird were used as currency.

#6. One interesting fact about Guatemala is that Blue denim comes from the country!

#7. The instant coffee process was invented in Guatemala by George Washington, an inventor and businessman of Anglo-Belgian origin.

#8. Do you like chocolate bars? The first ever chocolate bar was also invented in Guatemala during the Mayan times.

#9. Chocolate residue dating back to 460-480 AD was found in a vessel in Guatemala.

#10. The country has the second-largest concentration of Ozone.

#11. Guatemala was conquered by Spanish conquistador Pedro de Alvarado in 1524.

#12. The longest civil war in the history of Latin America, which was fought between military governments, right-wing vigilante groups and leftist rebels lasted a good 36 years.

#13. By the end of the civil war, 200,000 citizens were dead.

#14. Nueva Guatemala de la Asunción, which is also the largest and capital city of Guatemala, is known as Guatemala City.

#15. Guatemala is known for its steep volcanoes, vast rainforests and ancient Mayan sites.

#16. Miguel Ángel Asturias Rosales (October 19, 1899 – June 9, 1974) was a Nobel Prize-winning Guatemalan poet-diplomat, novelist, playwright and journalist.

#17. Guatemala has one of the highest violent crime rates in Latin America. The country saw 6,000 violent deaths in 2014. For a detailed report on crime in the country, as well as some safety tips, read this page.

Geographical facts about Guatemala

Map of Guatemala

#18. Motagua River is the longest river in Guatemala. It measures approximately 250 miles. The river is a major transportation artery for coffee, bananas and other fruits that are raised in the valleys of the country’s eastern region.

#19. Guatemala’s Lake Atitlán is the deepest lake in Central America, with a maximum depth of about 340 meters. It is also regarded as the most beautiful lake in the world, serving as the country’s most important national and international tourist attraction.

A Beautiful view of Lake Atitlán
Interesting facts about Guatemala: A Beautiful view of Lake Atitlán. Image credit – Christopher William Adach

The beauty of the lake was praised by two prominent people in history: one being the German explorer and naturalist Alexander von Humboldt, and the other being Aldous Huxley.

#20. Tajumulco Volcano, the highest point in the country and Central America, is 4220 m above sea level.

Volcanoes in Guatemala

#21. There are more than 30 volcanoes in Guatemala, out of which three are active.

#22. Suchitan, Ixtepeque, Acatenango, Atitlan, Moyuta, Agua, Cerro Santiago, Tajumulco, Chingo, Quezaltepeque, Chiquimula, Cuilapa-Barbarena, Flores, Fuego, Ipala Volc Field, Santa Maria, Almolonga, Santo Tomas, Tahual, Pacaya, Tecuamburro and Toliman are the names of some of the volcanoes from the region.

#23. Some of the active volcanoes in Guatemala include – Fuego, Pacaya and Santiaguito.

Flag of Guatemala
Flag of Guatemala. Image credit – Steve Conover

Continue reading on the next page…