Guatemala Tips

Guatemala Passport and visa provisions

Follow the link below for information in Spanish about Guatemala’s entry requirements from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: http://www.minex.gob.gt/

Contact the nearest Guatemalan Embassy for current information in your language.

Getting around
It is best if you have transportation reserved before entering Guatemala. That way you do not have to worry about getting from one location to the next. If you feel adventurous and speak a little bit of Spanish you can rent a car and drive to each destination. The most touristic destinations in Guatemala have good hotels but in rural areas it is more difficult to find good hotels with availability so reserve your hotel before traveling. If your destination is Tikal, the best way to get there is by plane; land transportation is long and tiring.

Domestic flights
There are regular flights between Guatemala City and Flores traveling two or three times a day depending on the season. There is a daily flight between Guatemala City and Puerto Barrios from Monday to Friday. Don’t reserve a domestic flight for the same day of your international flight. If the flight is delayed for any reason you could lose your international flight.

Buses
Buses are the cheapest way of traveling but they are dangerous, it is better to avoid them, even more so if you do not speak Spanish. There are buses to all the main towns and destinations in Guatemala, but smaller rural villages are not easy to get to.

Car Rental
If you are renting a car, do it before arriving to Guatemala. For rural areas a 4x4 vehicle might be needed. The rental prices vary depending on the type of car you hire. Renting a car gives you independence but getting around Guatemala is not easy. Most of the roads are not in good shape and in rural areas signs are difficult to spot or are missing. There are a few dangerous roads you should avoid.

Water
Tap water is not purified in Guatemala so you should not drink it. Bottled water can be found in shops all around the country. Always take a bottle of water with you during your tours to stay hydrated.

Meals
Guatemala City and Antigua Guatemala have a variety of restaurants to choose from. In most tourist destinations you will find international and national restaurants. In rural areas there are only small restaurants with national food. The prices for a meal can vary between US$2 at a simple place to up to $50 per person at a more high end restaurant.

Swimming in the ocean
You can swim in the Pacific ocean of Guatemala but be aware of the tide. There are no waves in the Caribbean coast and you can swim freely.

Packing
The variety of micro climates in Guatemala makes the weather different at every destination. You can change from a cool climate of 74ºF; to the heat of southwest at 95ºF to our highlands with cold weather at 60ºF. Always pack for hot or cold weathers. Depending on the dates you have to pack just a light jacket or a warm sweater. Raining season goes from April to October, bring or buy an umbrella in Guatemala when traveling during these months. From November to February the weather is cooler. We recommend dressing in layers. Bring hiking boots or tennis shoes as you will need a good pair of walking shoes. For the beach don’t forget your sandals. Sunglasses and sunscreen are recommended all the time. A must in Guatemala, especially in the raining season is the bug spray. Binoculars are a good item to bring if you like birdwatching. Other items would include a swimsuit and a camera.

If you are planning on taking a domestic flight, pack light. Weight limits on luggage will not allow you to carry much luggage.

Electricity
The standard voltage in Guatemala is 110 V. Sockets have two similar to the US. Depending on your country of residence you will need to bring a power plug adapter or voltage converter - check before you leave home.