Puerto Quetzal

This stunning Central American cruise port boasts astoundingly beautiful landscapes and spectacular scenery.  Guatemala is fast becoming one of the world’s most exciting eco-tourism and cruise destinations with a colourful history dating way back to Mayan times.

The incredible mixture of landscapes here is utterly breath taking.  As you head towards the interior of Puerto Quetzal you will discover a lush panorama of coastal plains, lakes, mountains, volcanoes and valleys.  This dramatic scenery has created a habitat for over 300 different species of birds and if you looked hard enough you would find no fewer than 600 types of orchid located here.  The interior is also home to many traditional villages and many Mayan Indian communities still call Lake Atitlan in the Guatemalan Highlands home.  The main ancient Mayan cluster however is located at Tikal, closer to the Caribbean coast.  This is a fascinating location to see. 

Many cruise lines when visiting here now offer the chance to visit the old Guatemalan capital, La Antigua.  This city was sadly destroyed by severe earthquakes over 300 years ago but the ruins still remain and setting of this Spanish colonial city still remains extremely special set in the shadow of three volcanoes.  The ruins are now a World Heritage Site.

La Antigua offers the opportunity to step back in time and experience the rich architecture and impressive remains.  The colonial architecture here is truly spectacular and the preserved ruins include fallen domes and the miracle chapels and plazas that somehow escaped damage.  At La Antigua you can also visit the excellent Azotea Cultural Centre and the K’Ojom Museum.  K’Ojom translates to ‘music’ and this is an interactive museum allowing cruise passengers to enjoy an immersive experience into the regions fascinating traditions and festivities.  Other attractions to be seen here include the San Francis Church Museum and the jade factory.  This wonderful city can be explored independently or via a cruise excursion through your cruise operator.  We do advise taking a cruise excursion as this often allows you to see more during your time here and also covers return transfers to and from the city. 

A visit to Puerto Quetzal also offers the opportunity to do something unique. One exciting excursion option here is the chance to see some of the world’s most spectacular animals at the Chapin Safari Park.  This fantastic experience takes you to see one of the largest animal parks in the region.   Founded in 1980, the park is completely open air and therefore you can witness the wide range of animals that live here from the comfort of your private transport.  There is also a walk around area and this is where you can get up close to many animals, birds and reptiles indigenous to Guatemala. 

Another exciting and exhilarating excursion opportunity here is to experience the adrenaline pumping zip line adventure.  This is an excursion only available with several cruise lines that visit here and was originally started by P&O Cruises.  You’ll travel to La Antigua for a safety briefing before you head for the tree tops to glide through the sky between a series of platforms.  This magnificent experience provides astonishing views of Guatemala’s three main volcanoes and your tour guide will ensure you are kept informed of the superb scenery along the way. 

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