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Money in Guatemala: Best Way to Exchange Money to Quetzales


Money in Guatemala: Best Way to Exchange Money to Quetzales

quetzales coin and bills guatemalan currency

The local currency in Guatemala is called Quetzal, you’ll need local currency to buy at local markets or pacas, street food, and places that don’t accept credit cards. Today we’re going to be talking about exchanging money in Guatemala.

Exchange Money in Guatemala

The best exchange rates you will get for cash are in two locations, the banks, and the ATMs.


The thing with ATMs or money machines is your bank card might charge you fees. I don’t believe that there are huge fees being charged with the actual machine. They are quite minimal. But your bank is really the one that’s going to be charging you the most amount of fees. I know today that there are a lot of banks that work out for you internationally and cover your fees. So you’ll need to take care of that on your own.

But as far as exchange rates, that is definitely the best place that you will get the exchange rate and the banks.


So the way the banks work is you need to always have your passport. There is up to a certain amount. Every bank is going to be different. Some banks can only permit you to do $200, $500. I don’t believe there’s any that would give you more than $1,000. And if they do, those banks usually give you the worst rate. So you need to do a little bit of due diligence.

Banks in Guatemala, I don’t want to list them all because there are quite a few to choose from, and they’re so easy to find. Wherever you go, you will find many different banks right there for you to look through, but they will give you the best rates.

Do You Need Local Currency in Guatemala?

Now you do need local currency because if you’re going to go to the local markets if you’re going to be buying souvenirs they all prefer local currency in Guatemala. You do need to have that because you’re still not going to get places where they all take credit cards. I found that even today.

Using Credit Cards in Guatemala

Some places take credit cards and charge you between 3% to 5%. However, I would say the majority of places are converting to credit cards. The restaurants, hotels, stores, they do. And a lot of them don’t charge you that 5%. And I will tell you this, your credit card will give you the absolute best exchange rate possible depending on your credit card. For me personally, I have found American Express in Guatemala gives me the best exchange rate.

However, when I travel to Spain, my visa, American Express, and Mastercard gave me the same. So that really is going to depend on your credit card. But you will still get the best exchange rate, even if you go to the bank and exchange your money in Guatemala.


The best way to exchange money in Guatemala is using American dollars. So if you’re coming from any other country, I would recommend dollars.

The Euros are the second best and that’s it. From there on, you will get crap exchange rates. So make sure that you use one of those two currencies to get the best exchange rates. Hopefully, that makes sense because that are really the two main currencies that are accepted, and the first is always going to be the dollar. The dollar is still the strongest here as far as what is used because most people send dollars from the banks.

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