Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala

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Its interior is a lush panorama of coastal plains, lakes, mountains, volcanoes and valleys creating a habitat for 300 species of birds and no fewer than 600 types of orchid. This is interspersed with farmland and timeless villages while modern Mayan Indian communities still cluster around the beautiful Lake Atitlan in the Guatemalan Highlands. The major ancient Mayan site is Tikal (nearer the Caribbean coast) while another must-see is La Antigua, once the Guatemalan capital until it was destroyed by earthquakes 300 years ago. The ruins of this Spanish colonial city set in the shadow of three volcanoes are now a World Heritage site.