Puerto Quetzal Cruise

Lake Atitlan
The Mayan Ruins

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Puerto Quetzal

Land of Fire, Colors and Ancient Traditions

A voyage between fire and water, between majestic volcanoes and stunning lakes. There are so many colors, you can get lost in them, from the bright traditional clothes of the people to the church facades. Everything is a rainbow of life in Guatemala, starting from Puerto Quetzal, the largest port in the country found on the Pacific Ocean and one of the stops of your MSC World Cruise.

In the heart of the Mayan culture in Central America, you will begin an adventure that will combine the beauty of an artistic heritage with natural splendors, the discovery of ancient civilizations and the ruins of a still alive and vivacious people, such as can be found at the impressive ruins of Tikal, the largest of the ancient Mayan cities.

The Mayan culture survives in the clothes of the people, religious processions, markets and sawdust and petal carpets, a symbol of Guatemalan sacredness. All of this can be found surrounded by an unspoiled habitat, one of the highest volcanoes in the region and what is considered to be one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Your MSC cruise will take you along the enchanting shores of Lake Atitlan, formed 84,000 years ago in the highlands of Guatemala.

Surrounded by many villages, where the inhabitants still wear Mayan traditional dress, the Atitlan boasts immense crops of coffee, avocado groves and a wide variety of agricultural crops along its shores. From Puerto Quetzal, you can easily reach another stop on your holiday: Antigua, a beautiful colonial city located in the center of the country. Famous for its examples of well-preserved Hispano-American Baroque architecture, the city was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979. With MSC Cruises, you can experience the lifestyle of Guatemala and its ancient evocative traditions, changing it from a dream into reality.

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    A country of mesmerizing beauty
    A country of mesmerizing beauty

    Known as "El País de la Eterna Primavera", the Land of Eternal Spring, Guatemala is a land of a thousand colours: the market in the square, the façades of the buildings, the clothes of the inhabitants, the lush leafy vegetation. Not to mention of course its millennial history: the Mayan civilisation settled here and reached its peak in the tenth century AC; the pre-Columbian ruins of Tikal, in the department of Petén, were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    In more recent times it was a Spanish colony. Torn apart by coups and the civil war, the country now maintains a certain stability as a presidential republic. Guatemala City is the capital and is often considered a dangerous place, but with the right amount of caution, to be used when you go to any Central or South America country, it is highly enjoyable. But watch out for the tomates asesinos, literally the "Killer Tomatoes", urban buses crammed with people that whizz through the busy streets.

    Don’t miss the beautiful and orderly colonial city of Antigua, Lake Atitlán and the Pacaya volcano, which is still active.