While meat takes centre stage in many traditional Guatemalan dishes, the country also caters well to vegetarians. For the best veggie fare, head up to the highlands: the hippie stronghold of San Marcos and vegetable-growing heartlands around Xela have a wide range of impressive vegetarian and vegan restaurants. Alternatively, here are seven staples you’ll find wherever you travel.
This traditional Guatemalan breakfast consists of frijoles, scrambled eggs, fried plantains and guacamole. It’s delicious, sets you up for a day of exploring and is usually one of the cheapest breakfasts around. No trip to Guatemala would be complete without sampling a few.
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Rellenitos are one of several antojitos, or Guatemalan snacks, that are available from street food vendors in every town or city. They consist of mashed plantain, stuffed with frijoles — vegetarians in Guatemala may find themselves eating a lot of frijoles — then fried. They’re usually served up with sugar and cream, but if the combination of sweet and savoury doesn’t appel, other toppings are available.
Tamales have been eaten in Guatemala since the days of the ancient Maya, who even believed that humans were made from corn dough. While sometimes stuffed with meat, more often tamales are served sin carne, with cheese, chillies or beans inside instead. The corn dough is then steamed and served up inside a banana leaf for an amazing meal.
Another antojito that visitors will see served on every street corner, a tostada is a dry, crispy, flat tortilla. What it comes topped with is up to you, with most stalls offering at least salsa, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and — yes, you guessed it — frijoles. Be warned, though: they’re seriously addictive.
Pan de banana madura, or banana bread, is an absolute staple of Guatemalan cuisine. It’s sold in almost every panaderia throughout the country, and eaten as dessert or a snack. Stock up for a bite that can be invaluable on a lengthy chicken bus ride or hike up a volcano.
The congenial relationship between Guatemala and Israel makes the country a popular destination among Israeli travellers, and means that many Guatemalans can knock up a mean falafel. Middle Eastern restaurants are common throughout Guatemala, and when you fancy a change from Central American food, top-notch falafel can really hit the spot.
Soups are a key part of Guatemalan cuisine. Usually eaten as a starter before lunch, which is the most important meal of the day for Guatemalans, there are a huge number of local soups to try: and many of them are free from meat. What you’ll get varies depending on where you are in the country, and what time of year it is. Winter soups tend to be warm and hearty, while summer soups are often served cold.
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