Santo Tomas de Castilla - City of Guatemala
Santo Tomás de Castilla is one of the most important port cities in Guatemala. It is located in the eastern Gulf of Honduras coast on the Amatique Bay. Santo Tomas Guatemala was originally settled in the 19th century by Belgian pioneers. The port here was built in the 1960's to compliment the cargo port at Puerto Barrios, and for many years Santo Tomas Guatemala received only cargo ships. In 2004, Santo Tomás de Castilla began accepting cruise ships that make their way through the Caribbean. The cruise industry brings tourists to this before much neglected coastline, and the local economy surely appreciates visitors. While void of prestigious Guatemalan beaches and the more popular Mayan ruins, the port still manages to give visitors a good taste of the local culture.
While the more popular Mayan ruins at Tikal are quite a trip away from Santo Tomás de Castilla Guatemala, you can sample the more modest ruins at Quiriguá. The different cruise lines that stop at Santo Tomás de Castilla Guatemala offer tours to places of interest, and Quiriguá is a tour that many people choose. What Quiriguá lacks in size, it makes up for with its fine sculptures, which represent some of the finest pieces from ancient Mesoamerica. Quiriguá, consequently, has been added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Other nearby places of interest include the Dulce River, Lake Izabel, the San Felipe Spanish fortress and the towns of Puerto Barrios and Livingston.
Many people bring school supplies and other gifts for the children at these schools, as poverty continues to dominate throughout the region. For a good family tour, you might consider visiting the Amitique Bay Resort, which can be reached by water taxi or taxi cab. Tours to the resort often include a barbeque buffet lunch and use of the resort’s pool, water slides and private beach. For additional fees, you can go fishing, ride jet skis or take diving lessons, among other activities. Visit the Omagua Banana Plantation for a firsthand look and how Chiquita bananas are chosen, cleaned and packaged. Eco-tour kayak trips and horseback riding adventures are also among the popular tour options offered by the cruise lines.
GUATEMALA National Bird : Quetzal
GUATEMALA National Flower : White Nun Orchid Lycaste skinneri alba