A warm climate means restaurants here are bright, airy alfresco or semi-open places. The outdoor seating is a refreshing change from the chill if you've been in the highlands. As for the food, think one word: coconut, or coco in Spanish. It pervades everything here. You might order leche de coco (coconut milk), or pan de coco (coconut bread). Sere is a hearty fish stew cooked in coconut milk. Rice and beans—the name is always in English—is the Caribbean adaptation on the beans and rice you've been eating elsewhere in Guatemala. This variation is steeped in (what else?) coconut milk. Another key ingredient here is cassava, locally known as yuca, which is used in a labor-intensive bread. This region is also where you'll find some of Guatemala's best seafood.

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