Quetzal is the name of Guatemala's colorful heraldic bird, Quetzal is the Guatemalan currency, and Puerto Quetzal is the name of the country's deep-water port on the Pacific coast. It is Guatemala's most important and largest Pacific port.
Puerto Quetzal's economic importance
Construction of the port only began in 1980. In November 1985 the first phase of construction was completed. The port is primarily used for the freight business. The port operations and the adjoining industrial park are the main employers in the Escuintla region. Oil, gas, coal and bulk goods are handled. Cruise ships call at Puerto Quetzal 40 to 50 times a year.
Puerto Quetzal - the container terminal
Puerto Quetzal - an interesting cruise destination
The cruise ships dock in the huge port area on a pontoon bridge in front of the Marina Pez Vela. The arriving passengers go directly to the reception area, a building with a trapezoidal thatched roof. Helpful and friendly staff can provide information if required. Behind the pavilion, passengers will find a spacious arts and crafts market and a beer bar placed between tall trees. Outside the separated terminal area, independent tour operators are waiting for guests looking for individual tours. The buses for the boat tours are also there.
Puerto Quetzal - things to do
The nearest city, Puerto San José, is a few kilometers away. The city offers a long, black sand beach, which the spoiled guests of the ships should not be interested in. In general: The flat, subtropical and agricultural coastal region is not attractive for cruise passengers.
The Guatemalan lowlands behind Puerto Quetzal
Only the highlands are worth seeing. Excursions are made to 80 kilometers away and more than 1.500 meters high La Antigua Guatemala undertaken. Another popular destination is 140 kilometers away Lake Atitlan. The lake is surrounded by three volcanoes and is 1.560 meters above sea level. The German explorer Alexander von Humboldt praised the beauty of the lake.
We report on the main daily destinations in the hinterland under Puerto Quetzal sightseeing.
Puerto Quetzal - general information
The Republic of Guatemala is the largest economy in Central America. According to the assessments of the German Foreign Office, the country is a so-called "Middle Income Country". The per capita income in Guatemala was USD 2018 at the end of 4.472. However, the country suffers from enormous social differences. Every second inhabitant is considered poor, a quarter of the guatemalan The population is assessed as extremely poor.
La Antigua Guatemala - the preserved facade of the Cathedral of San José
The Federal Foreign Office recommends that visitors to Guatemala be careful about their safety when traveling in the country. The office generally advises against traveling alone. Instead, it recommends group travel with a guide. Licensed taxis provide security. Their license plates begin with the letter "A". Taxis have a license number on the side doors. In Antigua Guatemala, such references are perceived as exaggerated. Antigua is safe, while in the capital Guatemala City, caution is advised.
In December 2019 we visited La Antigua Guatemala on our own. Our conclusion: The city is very worth seeing and not at all dangerous. Under One day in La Antigua Guatemala we report about our excursion to the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Update January 2020