All you need to know before visiting Guatemala

Budget

Prices in Guatemala are relatively low. However, you should still try to avoid tourist areas.

• Prices for private rooms for two start at 11 USD (9.4 EUR) in Livingston, 15 USD (13 EUR) in Semuc Champey, and 14 USD (12 EUR) in Cobán.

Food prices are generally low. A budget dinner costs somewhere between 5 and 18 USD (4 – 15 EUR). Street food prices vary from 3 to 7 USD (2.5 – 6 EUR).

guatemala adventures

Transportation costs are low. You can get a one-hour ‘chicken bus’ ride for as low as 1 USD (0.85 EUR). A shuttle-bus ride from Rio Dulce to Semuc Champey (5h) costs around 20 USD (17 EUR).

To save some more money, check out our Budget cutting tips.

Where to stay

You can find great accommodation options on Booking. Make sure to search for private rooms popular for romance. 😉 On Airbnb you can rent furnished apartments – those are usually cheaper than most hotels and they offer you the real Guatemalan experience.

Best time to go

Weather-wise the best time to visit Guatemala is during the country’s dry season (from December through March). Hotels may be booked that time of year, therefore it’s better to have a reservation in advance. The rainy season is May through October. To avoid crowds visit Guatemala near the beginning or the end of the rainy season (April or November).

Amatique Bay Guatemala beach

Other information

Planning and preparation: check out our planning routine here.

Packing: check out the honeymoon adventurers’ ultimate packing list here.

♦ For other travel tips check out Travel like a pro, Travel for couples, Honeymoon styles, Honeymoon activitiesResponsible tourism, and Travel resources.

Language: The official language in Guatemala is Spanish. Check out the typical travel vocabulary (in English) here. Learn useful travel phrases in Spanish here.

Currency: Guatemalan Quetzal (GTQ)

♦ Visa or other entry requirements: All visitors to Guatemala are required to have a valid travel document. Visa requirements depend on the traveler’s nationality. For more information check out their official website.

Siete altares Guatemala pools

♦ Electricity standards: The power plug types in Guatemala are A and B, the standard voltage is 120 V and the standard frequency is 60 Hz.

♦ Time zone: UTC-06:00

Immunization recommendations and requirements: There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to Guatemala. However, it is recommended to get travel vaccines and medicines for tetanus, hepatitis B, typhoid, hepatitis A, rabies, and malaria. To prevent malaria avoid mosquito bites. There is no risk of yellow fever in Guatemala. The government of Guatemala requires proof of yellow fever vaccination only if you are arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever. This does not include the US. Currently, Zika virus is a risk in Guatemala.

Guatemala wildlife

Health and safety tips:

You should always make sure to follow the usual travel safety precautions:

  • Leave your jewelry and other valuable belongings in the hotel safe.
  • Keep your emergency cash apart from the rest of your money.
  • Dress comfortably and carry only the items you will need for the day.
  • Don’t carry a lot of money.
  • Always make sure to lock your room before leaving the hotel.
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
  • Stay in well-lit areas.
  • Try to maintain a low profile and do your best to fit in.
  • Carry a travel wallet/money belt/money pouch for carrying money and documents safely.
  • Avoid contact with potential scam artists.
  • Avoid showing off valuable belongings (like cameras) in public.
  • Don’t count your money in public.
  • Keep an eye on your belongings at all times.

For other common safety concerns in Guatemala, check out Lonely Planet’s safety tips. For health concerns check out Lonely Planet’s health tips.

To stay healthy while traveling, check out our health travel tips.

Tap water in Guatemala is not safe to drink. Drink bottled or filtered water instead.
* Always make sure to reuse a water bottle to cut down on waste.

• Guatemala is relatively close to the equator and the sun is very strong. Therefore, always make sure to use sunscreen.

Guatemala vacations

Local Customs: Guatemalans are very polite, friendly and quite formal. When entering a room, it’s customary to say hello to everyone (buenos días or buenas tardes). When meeting someone personally a friendly handshake is customary; friends kiss on one cheek. There is no particular dress code required on the streets of Guatemala. Avoid wearing a bikini elsewhere than on the beach. Revealing clothes are frowned upon. Always make sure to ask permission before taking someone’s pictures.

Check out top things to see and do in Guatemala, as well as top romantic experiences and adventures here.

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