The chief general cargo port of Guatemala, it has a deepwater harbor and modern shipping facilities. The port was built in the 1960s by the Guatemalan government to replace Puerto Barrios, which was controlled by foreign commercial interests. It lies a few miles to the south of Puerto Barrios and is treated administratively as a part of the city.
From Santo Tomas, you can visit the Mayan site of Quirigua with its six huge stelae (ornately carved standing stones) and acropolis all set in a jungle clearing. Or you can fly to the the largest Mayan site, Tikal, in the northern lowlands, where some 3,000 structures, including tall temple pyramids as well as plazas and monuments, cover an area of about 6 sq miles. It is also possible to visit Copan, a ceremonial center of the Old Empire of the Maya.