Private tailor-made journeys of a lifetime 1 888 263 2574 Contact Us
  • AUS
  • DEU
  • AUS
  • DEU
History of Guatemala - Enchanting Travels Guatemala Tours La Merced church in central park of Antigua

History of Guatemala

Guatemalan civilization can be dated back as far as 6500 BC, before the influence of the Europeans in what was known as the Pre-Columbian era. Belief in a higher power was instrumental to the progress of the Guatemalan and Mayan civilizations, which flourished as the cities grew.

This territory of what would become modern day Guatemala, once formed the core of the Maya civilization, which extended across Mesoamerica, covering not just Guatemala but all of Belize and sections of Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador. Much of this classic Maya Civilization would disappear in the Classic Maya Collapse, which many believe, was due to drought and famine.

The history of modern day Guatemala began in the 16th century with the arrival of the Spanish colonizers. Indigenous tribe were pitted against one another and the Mayan civilization gradually fell under the power of the invaders. After this, Guatemala became part of the vice-royalty of New Spain.

Guatemala attained independence in 1821 as part of the Federal Republic of Central America, which dissolved by 1841. From the mid to late 19th century, a fractured and unstable Guatemala experienced continual secessionist rebellion and civil unrest.

The early 20th century marked the beginning of another period of turbulence as Guatemala was ruled by a series of dictators backed by external interests. In 1944, authoritarian leader Jorge Ubico was overthrown by a pro-democratic military coup, initiating a decade-long revolution that led to sweeping social and economic reforms. Yet another revolution and dictatorship later, Guatemala endured a civil war until 1996, with much violence inflicted on the Maya population by the military.

Excellent / 4.9 out of 5
Enchanting Travels Guatemala Tours City Cathedral

Modern history of Guatemala

In the 21st century, Guatemala has experienced a period of calm since then and crime has steadily declined, thanks in part to the 1996 United Nations-negotiated peace accord. In the ensuing years, Guatemala has seen a period of both economic growth and several successful democratic elections, steadily becoming a safe and relaxing destination for tourism.

Today the instability of the past is long gone, and Costa Rica is at peace. Modern Costa Rica is a land of beautiful expansive, protected green spaces, tropical climate and warm people, and is waiting for you to experience it all, tailored, with us.

from the blog
Enchanting Travels Peru Tours - Panoramic HDR image of Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas on a cloudy day. Machu Picchu is one of the new 7 Wonder of the Word near Cusco
By: Jo Kromberg
10 min

Machu Picchu – A bucket list experience

Deciding on a Machu Picchu trip to explore this ancient wonder is a choice no one has ever regretted.


The Mayan ruins of Tikal National Park
By: Gayathri
6 min

Tikal National Park – The Complete Guide

Traverse through the dense Guatemalan jungle to uncover the mysteries of Tikal National Park – one of the most spectacular ruins of the Americas and a testament to the ingenuity of the Mayan people.


Popular trips to guatemala
Enchanting Travels Costa Rica ToursHot springs in Costa Rica

Highlights of Guatemala and Costa Rica

18 Days: $ 7,090 / person
Your perfect introduction to the best-loved sights of Costa Rica and Guatemala, this private tour takes you deep into the heart of these Central American countries. Enjoy wild jungle jaunts and adventurous hikes to archaeological sites, unravel Mayan mysteries, relax at pristine beaches, and soak in the vibrant heritage and culture of highland towns and […]
Details Inquire
Guatemala Tour: San Pedro Volcano (Volcan San Pedro) across Lake Atitlan (Lago de Atitlan) in Guatemalan highlands

Volcano Trekking in Guatemala

11 Days: $ 4,390 / person
Explore active volcanoes, tranquil volcanic lakes and verdant forests at your own pace on this Guatemala vacation. Soak in the thermal pools at the breathtaking Pacaya volcano near Antigua, discover local artistic communities, coffee plantations and cloud forests near Lake Atitlan, and enjoy a bird’s eye view on a canopy walk through protected reserves near Flores.
Details Inquire
Enchanting Travels Guatemala ToursMayan Temples of Gran Plaza or Plaza Mayor at Tikal National Park

Guatemala: Hidden Treasures

11 Days: $ 4,590 / person
In Guatemala’s best-known cities, uncover hidden gems and special experiences! Make your way from vibrant Antigua to tranquil Lake Atitlan, colonial Flores and buzzing Guatemala city.
Details Inquire

Safe & Secure

Our global network of partners on the ground is able to share the most up-to-date advice and recommendations on COVID-19. We only offer hotels and vehicles with the highest health and safety standards.

Financial Protection & Flexibility

We believe in complete transparency. We are bonded members and license holders of all leading travel organizations. Your booking is flexible and completely secure with us.

Fully Supported Travel

Your dedicated and personal trip coordinator is available around the clock during your trip to accommodate requests, take care of the details, and handle any unforeseen situations.

Authentic & Unique

Go off the beaten track. Our award-winning, licensed local guides provide incredible insights and insider tips, passionately bringing alive unique and exclusive experiences for you.

Personalized & Private

Discover our enchanting world your way. Our experts completely customize your private tour to match your interests and preferences through their comprehensive knowledge of each destination.

High Quality Experiences

All our accommodations and services are personally tested by our team. Tell us your travel dream and we will create an itinerary packed with the best experiences your destination has to offer.

Do you have a vacation in mind? Let us help you create the trip of a lifetime.