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Las Verapaces Travel Guide

  • Photo: Milosz_M / Shutterstock

Plan Your Las Verapaces Vacation

Northeast of Guatemala City, the scrubby landscape gives way to forested mountains drained by wild rivers. You may feel you've stepped into northern Europe. This central section of the country is split between Baja Verapaz to the south and Alta Verapaz to the north, collectively known as Las Verapaces. Smaller Baja Verapaz is drier than Alta Verapaz, but mist-covered mountains are the

norm in both. Here, the locals say, it rains 13 months out of the year. But the humidity, including a drizzly rain called chipi-chipi, has made this Guatemala's cardamom and coffee heartland.

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Top Reasons To Go

  1. Spot the elusive quetzal Spend the night at the Biotopo del Quetzal, Guatemala's only preserve dedicated to protecting its national symbol, then rise at dawn to hunt for this reclusive bird.
  2. Swim in a limpid emerald pool Hike the lush trails at Semuc Champey, then cool off in the natural water park that has been called the most beautiful spot in Guatemala.
  3. Go underground Tour Las Grutas de Lanquín, or hire a guide and explore some of the region's many other limestone caves.
  4. Scream down a white-water river Sign onto an expedition down the Río Cahabón, whose rapids range from Class III to Class V.
  5. Go native Las Verapaces is the home of traditional dishes you see on menus all over Guatemala, so try the famous kaq'ik and other native fare in the place where they were born.

When To Go

When to Go

Unlike other parts of Guatemala, Las Verapaces has rainy (May-October) and less-rainy (November-April) seasons, rather than a distinct dry time of ye...

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