Guatemala’s Escuintla Department

Escuintla is a Guatemalan Department located on the Southern Region of the country. This is where you will find attractions like Puesto San Jose and Puerto Quetzal. Mainly known because of the Pacaya Volcano.

Another four-lane highway continues south from Escuintla to Puerto San José, Puerto Quetzal, and Iztapa. A bypass means you don’t need to even pass through town unless it’s absolutely necessary. The town has some nice accomodations, a variety of restaurants but it is best to skip it and past the northbound toll booths.

Attractions of the Area:

Auto Safari Chapin – This is East one of the most unusual attractions in Guatemala and indeed all of Central America, the Auto Safari Chapin, where you can drive through grounds harboring a variety of animals, including zebras, hippos, rhinos, giraffes, and a lion. There are also local species such as macaws and monkeys, which you can see in a small zoo, and an aviary. There is a rest area partway through the drive where you can get up close and personal with the park’s giraffes. A swimming pool and restaurant round out the list of amenities.
The Beaches – They are not beautiful but the Pacific coast of Guatemala is known for being a good place for surfers. In escuintla you can visit Puerto San Jose.
Water Parks – Along the highway that leads to the beaches you will find a number of waterparks with decen slides and pools that you can visit for a fun family time.
Pacaya Volcano – This is one of the most active volcanoes in the country. It is always active at low levels. There are tours where you can walk up almost to the crater and walk among the lava rivers.

This department, aside from Pacaya volcano, is not very popular among travelers, but Guatemalan’s visit it all the time in search for pools and warmer climate. However surfers should definitely take some time to experience what surfing in Guatemala can be like.

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About Marina Kuperman Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 10+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

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