Located on the outskirts of Guatemala City, overlooking the spectacular Pacaya volcano and lake Amatitlán, this park was one of the first in the country to be declared a national park. As one of the capital’s few remaining green areas it provides a unique space for recreation and environmental education. In addition, the park protects the forest in a strategic part of the lake’s watershed.
The park was named after an initiative in the 1970’s to have each United Nations member country exhibit its nature and culture. Only Guatemala did and the park was in relative decline until FDN took over the management in 1997. Today, the remaining structures have been restored and can be enjoyed by visitors. At the Plaza Guatemala, they can go on an imaginary trip through the country’s history and cultures. Walkways lead through replicas of the Mayan temples and various settings representing different towns and the country’s multicultural character. From the lookout points visitors may enjoy the views of Lake Amatitlán and the regularly erupting Pacaya volcano.
In recent years, FDN has built sports facilities and now offers many types of outdoor activities, such as mountain biking, canopy, bicycling, and horseback riding. Young children can do crafts or visit the environment library, an outdoor facility where they learn about nature and conservation in a fun and interactive way.
Corporations and other groups are welcome to organize teambuilding events at the park. An exciting activity is to swing around the rope circuit, designed specifically to strengthen teamwork, leadership, and confidence. In addition, at the campground visitors can stay the night, surrounded by nature and, quite possibly, under the glowing light of the erupting volcano. Thanks to all these improvements, this national park has one of the highest numbers of visitors in the country. In 1997, when FDN took over the management, only 2,500 people a year visited the park. In 2010, as many as 75,000 people—a 30-fold increase—came to learn about conservation and explore nature’s many wonderful facets. We hope you too will come visit!