Guatemala offers Central America in concentrated form: its volcanoes are the highest and most active, and its Mayan ruins the most impressive. Guatemala is the Mayan heartland within Central America. Its indigenous culture is alive and well in the ancient ruins of Tikal, the Mayan/Catholic rituals of Chichicastenango and the blazing colors of everyday Mayan dresses.
A new group of tourism civil police officers has recently graduated, making tourists security their goal. This group of specially trained officials cover most of the tourist attractions and routes in prevention of crime.
Use the same common sense traveling overseas that you would at home. Be especially cautious in or avoid areas where you are likely to be victimized. These include crowded markets, bus stations, elevators, crowded tourist sites, festivals and marginal areas of cities.
Though telephones are not as available in Guatemala as would be desirable for the purposes of efficient communication, there is fairly modern network centered in the city of Guatemala. But the use of cell phones is growing at a remarkable rate. There are also some providers for international phone cards, which offer affordable calls are low calling rates. Otherwise you can also make PC to phone calls with the help of internet access.
There are no required vaccinations for travel Guatemala, although in some provinces there is a malaria risk, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which posts its recommendations at www.cdc.gov.
The CDC’s bible for medical recommendations is called the Yellow Book and available online. From the website’s travel section, select Yellow Book / Build Custom Report to find risk assessments for yellow fever and malaria.
|Country||Republic of Guatemala|
|Population||11 million (growth rate 2.5%)|
|Capital city||Guatemala City (pop 2 million)|
|People||56% Spanish descent, 44% Mayan descent|
|Languages spoken||Spanish, Garifuna and 21 Maya languages|
|Religion||Roman Catholic, Mayan-Catholic|
|Time||GMT/UTC minus 6 hours|
|Weights / measures||Metric|
|Visa requirements||Depending on the country you come from, stays are limited to 30 or 90 days. Check with the closest Guatemalan embassy for up-to-date information.|