My Guatemala Travel Guide With Everything You Need to Know

I arrived in Guatemala as a tourist and fell in love with it, I even met my husband in this charming country, moved here, and raised my kids in Antigua, one of the most unique and well-preserved colonial towns, but this country has a lot more than that to offer. If you travel Guatemala long enough, you can enjoy it like I do.

During my time living in the country, I managed to visit countless places and learned countless things that I wish I had known back then when I first arrived as a tourist. That’s one of the main reasons why I have put up a Guatemala travel guide.

When people travel to Guatemala, there are usually three top destinations in Guatemala that everyone kind of goes to on their first visit, but if you’re going to stay longer, I have unique ideas that you could add.

Best time to Visit

Guatemala has two seasons: the dry season and the rainy season.

The best time to travel to Guatemala is during the dry season, from November to April. 

But if you can’t make it during this time, don’t worry, Guatemala has a great climate all year round, with temperatures between 70°F and 90°F.

Things To Know About Guatemala

Currency: The Guatemalan currency is called Quetzal, just like the bird. It stays around Q7.60 for one USD.

Weather: Guatemala is known as the country of Eternal Springs. It stays warm all year long. The rainy season goes from May to late October.

Tap Water: Because of various bacterial infections in the tap water, you need to ensure you only drink filtered water.

Visa Free: Most people can travel to the country visa-free for 90 days. It’s important to check regulations beforehand.

The Airport and Arriving in Guatemala

The first thing I wish I had known before is about the airport, when you arrive in Guatemala, you usually arrive by air and most of us book flights to the Aurora International Airport. It’s a tiny, but really accessible airport.

There’s only one terminal and while there are Taxis at the airport and many of them are authorized I personally recommend having a shuttle or a driver already waiting for you because you don’t want to take the risk of taking some pirate taxi.

Great, now you are in Guatemala City but keep this in mind: if you’re only coming for 7 to 14 days, you don’t want to spend too much time in Guatemala City simply because there are many more things to do and places to visit.

woman and kids next to a horse while hiking pacaya volcano
One of my favorite things about traveling in Guatemala is the breathtaking landscapes that are packed with volcanoes, both of my kids loved climbing them and enjoying the views.

Best Places to Visit In Guatemala

Guatemala is a beautiful country, with a rich and diverse culture, history, and nature. It has a lot to offer travelers who want to explore its many different landscapes Whether you are looking for adventure, relaxation, or learning, the country surely has something for everyone.

Here are some of the best places to visit in Guatemala:


street in antigua guatemala
Antigua has done a good job preserving its colonial roots and that reflects a lot in its unique architecture and cobblestone streets, being surrounded by volcanoes makes it the perfect place to visit.

The very first place to go is Antigua, it’s what Guatemala is mostly known for. It is this beautiful, colonial, colorful, cobblestone town nestled in a valley that is surrounded by three impressive volcanoes.

Antigua has a lot of different places to eat and Antigua’s McDonalds, which is one of the most beautiful in the world. Not only that, you’ll find different places to stay and cafes suitable to work, a super expat or nomad-friendly location.

The biggest draw though is that Antigua is only 1 hour from the airport, making it the perfect place to stay, you could get into your car or taxi, and go straight to Antigua.

Where To Stay

You should have a hotel, a hostel, or an Airbnb booked beforehand if you’re making Antigua your headquarters or simply because you don’t want to arrive and walk around with your backpacks or suitcases.

There are many different excellent hotels and hostels in Antigua, from private rooms to entire colonial-style homes.

Getting Around

You do not need a car in Antigua unless you’re staying outside of town, but everything is pretty much walkable.

And in case you don’t want to walk, then you could take a Tuktuk, it’s a very popular model of transportation to get around Antigua and the surrounding areas.

How much time do you spend in Antigua?

You can completely visit and check everything in Antigua in just three, or four days if you’re adding the day trips, and you can add an extra day if you’re doing the Acatenango Volcano hike.

If you come to Antigua, I recommend two to three days minimum, one day just for sightseeing to visit Central Park or the Cathedral.

Day Trips

You must take some cool day trips when you get to Antigua, and the big thing to do here is to go to a volcano. So, as I mentioned earlier, Antigua is literally in the heart of the Ring of Fire, it’s surrounded by three different volcanoes.

You have Agua, which has been dormant, and you could certainly go for a hike on it. However, it’s the least popular one to visit like that. It’s just kind of a thing that you enjoy and admire from anywhere you are in Antigua.

Atitlan Lake

Lake atitlan view from a dock
Lake Atitlan is one of the top-notch tourist destinations in the country, it offers a wide range of different activities and is also considered a top place to do diving in Central America.

Another really popular place to go is Atitlan Lake. This is about two, 3 hours from Antigua, making it perfect for a day trip. You could take a shuttle or a private driver and it will still be cheaper for you than to rent a car, you do not need a car when you get to Atitlan.

Atitlan Lake is a lake that is in a super old volcanic crater in the Solola Department that is now completely not alive. However, there are volcanoes all around it and they are also not active.

Atitlan is surrounded by all these little villages known to be where the Mayans live, you can find all these different dialects. These are the Indigenous villages of Guatemala. It’s a really interesting place to go and visit.

The main town is called Panajachel, so you can start from there. Then you can move to visit the other villages, I really recommend you check out the main ones only, which are the most things to do and interesting places to check.

After Panajachel, you can visit a town that’s called Santa Catalina, San Marcos, San Pedro, and Santiago which are the largest town, mainly locals and Indigenous. It is interesting to visit, but usually, the majority of visitors stay in Panajachel.

Getting Around

The only way to get around in Lake Atitlan is by boat. There are public boats, or you can hire a private boat if you’re traveling with enough people. But honestly, you could take these public boats to any of the other villages.

How much time do you spend in Lake Atitlan?

You could spend a good two, three, or even four days. It will depend on your schedule. You could spend one day just enjoying the village you’re staying in for one day like a village tour.

And also you could kayak, you could do outdoor activities. It depends on what your main interests are when you are visiting.


Mayan piramid in tikal guatemala
Tikal is by far my favorite place in Guatemala, it’s a must-visit not only for the ancient history and interesting buildings but also for the Guatemalan wildlife.

Another place that people go to almost immediately is Tikal. It’s the Northern region of Guatemala, the most famous Mayan ruin in the country and Central America. Something that most visitors don’t know is that you could take an airplane there.

It’s only about 45 minutes, but that’s only if you arrive early enough and can make that connection and arrive directly at Tikal.

As I mentioned, Tikal, the Mayan ruin, is in the Northern region of Guatemala and is also one of the most popular places to visit. Still, because it is so far, it’s about a 9 to 10 hour drive from Antigua or Guatemala City.

That’s why it is recommended if you are on a limited time to fly to Tikal and you could do that from Guatemala City. 

There are several planes every day that go up to the name of the town that you would visit. It is this adorable, colorful little island called Flores Island in the Peten Department that is about 45 45-minute drive from Tikal itself.

Tikal is a National Park and also a UNESCO site. It is this humongous rainforest where you have to walk to the actual ruins, and the closest one is about 1 km away.

Where to Stay

You could stay in hotels right in Tikal National Park, or you could stay in Flores which is this cute, adorable town.

There’s also another town in between and it is called El Remate, and that also has a ton of really cool hotels, campsites, and some Airbnbs.

So Airbnbs are mainly in Flores and El Remate on a beautiful Lake, so that makes the city even more attractive, you could swim in this Lake.

How much time do you spend in Tikal?

You don’t need more than one night.

Many people put that trip together in the very beginning when they first arrive in the country. They fly directly to Flores, spend the night there, spend all day in Tikal, and then take an evening flight back to Guatemala City.

📖 Recommended Reading: If you’re looking for more useful information, check out the El Mirador, Guatemala: Complete Guide to the Lost Mayan City


Chichicastenango market guatemala
While traveling in Guatemala you’ll notice that local markets are highly popular, but nothing can’t beat the one in Chichicastenango. Make sure to visit it.

Another really popular city to visit is Chichicastenango, in fact, there’s no trip to Guatemala without visiting this city That’s a really popular place situated in the Western Highlands of Guatemala. It’s where a lot of Spanish schools are, a lot of people go and learn Spanish and it is the second largest city in Guatemala outside of Guatemala City.

It is one of the most bustling markets and it’s really fun to just walk around. You can take a day trip to Chichicastenango, the largest Central American market from Antigua. It’s only 2 hours away from Antigua.

It’s only open on market days, which are Monday, Thursday and Saturday.

So if you want to do that, you must hire a tour company. It’s cheaper to do that than to have your own car because you don’t need a car to do that. 

This is a really popular place to visit and that is about a four-hour drive from Guatemala City or Antigua. It does not matter where you will be going from and you probably want to spend at least two days there to visit.

Tip: Guatemala is a safe place for tourists, but be aware!

The biggest issue is theft.

Get travel insurance before starting your journey.

I recommend Visitors Coverage.

Rio Dulce

kayaking on rio dulce
I would say I loved Rio Dulce, it’s not only just the river but also the community, and hotels on the banks and it’s a diverse destination, pretty unique.

Now, if you are lucky enough and have extra time, there are some incredible other locations to visit. One is called Rio Dulce and it’s right on the river.

That’s why it’s called Rio Dulce and you could take a boat to Livingston which is this town completely inaccessible other than by boat, there are no cars, there’s nothing you could take to get there.

So this is a cool place but it is about a five-hour drive from Guatemala City to get there you have to add an extra three or four days.

Semuc Champey

people in the lookout of semuc champey in guatemala with the pools in the back
One of the most impressive waterfalls in Guatemala to visit, it has several ponds to take a swim and offers other activities like hiking, cave exploring, and tubing.

Also, another place that’s a really popular trip is Semuc Champey, it is considered one of the wonders of Guatemala. Semuc Champey, It is these beautiful blue pools where you could do river rafting and tubing and it’s just this incredible natural place.

If you want to go there, there are little towns that you could visit surrounding that area and you need at least three or four days simply because it’s a day drive there and one day drive back. So, at least two or three extra days for that particular area alone. 

Guatemala City

sunset in guatemala city
When traveling to Guatemala, you will spend almost no time visiting the capital but if you plan to do it, start by checking out Zone 1 which has most of the history and interesting buildings

Not only the capital but also the largest city of Guatemala, it is located in the south-central part of the country, in a valley surrounded by mountains and volcanoes, and has a mild and pleasant climate.

The city also has a vibrant and cosmopolitan atmosphere, with various attractions and activities for visitors and locals alike. It’s comprised of several different zones, and each of them has something unique to offer.

You can explore the historical and architectural landmarks, such as the National Palace, the Metropolitan Cathedral, and the Relief Map.

Not only that, you can also enjoy artistic and cultural events, such as the International Book Fair, the Jazz Festival, and the Contemporary Art Biennial. Or experience the natural and wildlife wonders, like the Botanical Garden, and Aurora Park.

Lanquin Caves and Town

a woman and kid inside the lanquin caves guatemala
Lanquin is a one-in-a-lifetime experience, and it has a nice spot in our families’s heart, the best part is you add this location to your visit to Semuc Champey.

Lanquin is not only a cave, it’s also a small town in the Alta Verapaz department near Coban, surrounded by mountains and forests. It is a popular destination for travelers exploring the outdoors, especially the Lanquin Caves and the Semuc Champey pools.

The town has a relaxed and rustic atmosphere characterized by the Central Highlands of Guatemala, with several hotels, restaurants, and shops. While the main attraction of the town, the Lanquin Caves are a huge system of caverns that extend for several miles under the ground.

The caves are home to thousands of bats, which fly out at dusk in a spectacular show. You’ll also find stalactites, stalagmites, and other interesting rock formations that create a mysterious and fascinating scenery.

I highly recommend you visit the caves with a guide, who can show you the main chambers and passages, and tell you about the history and the legends of the caves.


to kids playing at the shore of monterrico beach guatemala
Monterrico is a popular place to visit while traveling in Guatemala, you’ll find a lot of locals and tourists as well, and it’s also one of the best spots to surf in the country.

If you’re looking for a beach town to experience the black-volcanic sand beaches the country has to offer, then Monterrico is the best option.

It is located on the Pacific coast of Guatemala, in the department of Santa Rosa, and is part of the Monterrico Natural Reserve, a protected area that hosts a variety of wildlife, especially sea turtles.

You can relax and unwind on the beach, swim or surf in the ocean, or take a boat ride along the mangroves and explore the natural reserve. Also, you can visit the Tortugario Monterrico, a turtle conservation center that rescues and releases sea turtles, where you can learn more about these amazing creatures and even participate in their liberation events.

Essential Travel Resources

❗Don’t forget travel insurance

This company is the one I trust, it’s one of the most essential things for any trip. It has your back in case you get sick abroad, or have an accident.

🎒Pack smarter, not bulky

Check out this vacation packing list, including all the essentials you need to pack when traveling, from travel clothing to backpacks and more.

🏡Where to Stay – Here are Suggestions

This is my favorite place to look for accommodations, it offers different types, a ton of locations, and good price options.

🗺️Get Around Hassle-Free

This one is the perfect option to look for different transportation options between cities, from flights, buses, and taxis to minivans and more.

🛫Find Cheap Flights

Whenever I need to fly, I head to this website for low-cost flights.

Things to Do in Guatemala

One of the main reasons I decided to put up this travel guide was to show the amount of experiences people can have in this amazing country. Back in the day when I first arrived in the country, I was kinda out of the blue, I didn’t know where to go in Guatemala if I wanted a beach experience or a hot spring day.

Traveling to Guatemala offers a lot of opportunities and activities for travelers who are looking for adventure and fun. It’s an outdoor paradise, almost pristine, where you can find something for every taste and interest.

From cultural and historical attractions to natural and wildlife wonders. Here are some of the best things to do in Guatemala to make your trip unforgettable.

two guys sitting on top of Acatenango volcano

Climb Acatenango Volcano and See Fuego do a Live Lava Show

tikal mayan ruins

Visit Old Mayan Ruins in the middle of the Rainforests.

black sanded beach in monterrico guatemala

Walk on a Volcanic, Black Sanded Beach

woman sitting next to a natural pool in semuc champey guatemala

Swim in a Natural Pool or Hot Spring

a woman and two kids holding a baby turtle before releasing it

Release baby turtles on the beach.

a woman and two kids next to a horse before doing horseback riding in guatemala

Take a horseback ride.

a guys roasting marshmellow on lava

Roast marshmallows on lava

old building in antigua guatemala

Stroll around the Colonial City of Antigua

Street stand selling food in guatemala

Shop at the local markets

el paredon sign guatemala

Go on a surfing adventure in El Paredon

people sitting outdoors in a restaurant in livingston guatemala

Explore Livingston and its blend of cultures

Pacaya Tour

There are two volcanoes that you can visit. One is Pacaya, which is situated in the Escuintla Department. Pacaya is not visible from Antigua, but it is a really popular tour to go and see. But this is the one where you could walk on lava stone.

You could roast marshmallows on the lava rock, that’s one type of and that is a day trip you could do by horse or hike. It’s a relatively mild hike.

Acatenango and Fuego Tour

The most popular volcano tour is hiking the Acatenango and Fuego volcanoes. There are two volcanoes together. You go up Acatenango, but you’re looking at Fuego. Fuego is known to be the most popular one because it is the active one.

It does a volcanic show every single day. Pretty much you could see it erupting and giving you lava and whatnot. So, the whole Acatenango tour is an overnight tour. It is genuinely rough. It’s like you’re camping, but it is so worth it, although I have to say.

📖 Recommended Reading: If you’re looking for more useful information, check out the 10 Most Stunning Volcanoes in Guatemala

Learn Spanish

Guatemala is a great place to learn Spanish, also, one of the most affordable. It is one of the official languages of the country, and it is spoken by most of the population.

You can find several schools in places Xela (Quetzaltenango) aimed at expats and non-Spanish-speaking visitors. Learning Spanish will help you communicate better with the locals, understand the culture and history, and enjoy your trip more.

The country is also known for having a clear and neutral accent, which makes it easier to learn and understand. It’s also one of the most convenient places to learn Spanish, as there are many options and opportunities, like language schools, homestays, and volunteering.

Experience Mayan culture

The country has a rich and diverse Mayan heritage, still alive and present in its people, art, and traditions.

Experiencing Mayan culture is one of the most fascinating and rewarding things you can do in Guatemala, as you can learn more about the history and the legacy of one of the most advanced and influential civilizations in the world.

You can also appreciate the diversity and the beauty of the different Mayan groups in Guatemala, while visiting archeological sites, testing their foods, and visiting markets and museums.

Visiting a Mayan Deity in Santiago Atitlan - Maximon Guatemala
While traveling in Guatemala you’ll notice that the Mayan heritage is still present across the country, but the place to learn about it is in the villages around Lake Atitlan. This is Maximon, a Mayan deity!

Shop for handicrafts

Guatemala is the right place for hand-made jewelry and handicrafts. Shopping for handicrafts is another of the amazing activities to do in the country, as you can find various products that are made with skill, creativity, and quality.

It’s also a good way to support the local artisans and communities and bring home some souvenirs and gifts that are unique and meaningful.

Some of the best handicrafts you can buy in Guatemala are textiles, like clothing, rugs, bags, and accessories. Pottery and woodcarving.

Not only that, you can get a hold of the Guatemalan Jade, which is unique in several ways and has its own museum.

Try local cuisine

One of the biggest draws about traveling in Guatemala is its delicious and diverse cuisine, blending the Mayan, Spanish, and African, cultures.

Trying local cuisine is one of the best things to do in Guatemala, as you can taste the flavors, the ingredients, the spices, and the techniques that are unique to each region and each group.

It’s also a good way to immerse and learn more about the local culture, as the food reflects the identity and the traditions of the people.

Getting Around

Getting around in Guatemala is simple and easy, most of the local people travel by “chicken bus”. Those colorful buses are a whole experience and an excellent opportunity to interact with locals but I highly recommend you avoid them, they are cramped, crowded, and really uncomfortable to travel in.

There are many other options: shuttles, taxis, rental cars, Uber, and taxis. Still, to experience authentic local Guatemala you’ll need to try a chicken bus and tuk-tuk.

taxi in guatemala

By Taxi

You’ll find taxis in most main towns and cities. They are cheap, around $5 for a short trip, and many times, you’ll find taxis offering day trips or excursions to nearby sites, prices range from $30 to $60. Most taxis are willing to negotiate.

You’ll not find any metered cabs, so fix a price beforehand.

By Bike

A good draw about Guatemala is that bikes are standard, you can rent bikes in towns like Antigua, Quetzaltenango, Panajachel, and Guatemala City. The price for a rented bike is usually around $8 per day or $25 per week.

You must consider the country’s street conditions; many roads have potholes, and you’ll face many hills.

bikes lying on the ground in guatemala
woman sitting on a tuk tuk in guatemala

By Tuk-Tuk

Have you ever seen the Thai tuk-tuks? Precisely the same, but in Guatemala, they have gained much popularity working as a taxi in the last few years. You can find tuk-tuks in most towns.

Prices vary depending on the town, but a short ride is $0.75-$1. 

By Chicken Bus

Chicken buses are commonly known as camionetas, and they are easy to spot. Buses work out of public bus terminals, but you can just do a sign, and they will stop. 

Tickets are bought on the bus, you just pay for the ride, which costs around $1–1.25 an hour.

It’s a unique experience: cramped buses, loud music, chickens clucking, and vendors coming in and out all the time.

guatemalan chicken bus
cars in antigua guatemala

By car

Traffic is super heavy in the capital and some towns. Also, the locals can drive erratically and roads will have holes.

Rented car prices can go up to $40 daily for a tiny car and almost $70 for a 4×4 vehicle. Rental agencies are available in most main towns and the capital.

Gas Prices are called gasolineras, and they are pretty standard. The price of fuel in the country is $4.40 per gallon.

By Plane

In Guatemala you’ll not find many internal flights, in fact, the only two right now are from Guatemala City to Flores Island or Puerto Barrios, it has a price of $130 for a one-way ticket and $200-$250 for both ways.

Taca and TAG are the airlines offering three daily flights. Head to a local travel agency or the airport to buy the tickets.

taca airlines guatemala

Where to Stay

One thing I loved at first sight in Guatemala is that it has many great hotels of all prices and amenities. Discovering them is part of the adventure.

Here are some that stand out the most to me and I could not leave them out of this Guatemalan travel guide.

Hotel Casa Santo Domingo (Antigua)

Restaurant in hotel casa santo domingo Guatemala

Best for:

  • Adventure Travelers
  • Nature Lovers
  • Colonial Lovers

Grand Tikal Futura
(Guatemala City)

grand tikal futura lobby

Best for:

  • Business Travelers
  • City Lovers
  • Relax

Hotel Villas Balam Ya (Lake Atitlan)

view of atitlan lake from hotel villas balam ya

Best for:

  • Adventure Travelers
  • Nature Lovers
  • Water Activities




Find the best hotels, resorts, villas, and villas in any place around the world and the best prices.


House Stays

Get the best prices for houses, condos, apartments, villas, and a ton of other options.


Budget Options

If you’re looking for cheaper options, check out Hostel World and browse budget-friendly accommodations.

Guatemala Food

Another thing I completely LOVED is how rich Guatemala culture and history are, and how its cuisine reflects that.

There’s no travel guide complete without a food section, Guatemalan food is a fusion of Maya, Spanish, and African influences, with various dishes that delight your taste buds.

Some of the most unique foods to try when traveling in Guatemala are Pepian, Tamales, and Tortillas, I loved how different and unique the dishes here can get, a must try!

Here are the best foods and drinks to try:

Traditional Food

guatemalan breakfast


  • Pepian
  • Tapado
  • Kak’ik

Popular Drinks

woman holding a drink next to a zacapa rum sign and barrels


  • Coffee
  • Atol de Elote
  • Zacapa Rum

Street Food

woman selling street food in guatemala


  • Shukos
  • Paches
  • Tortillas

Where to Eat

Eating in Guatemala is a whole experience itself, if you want to truly experience what locals eat in their daily lives, head to Comedores, small local eateries that are cheap and serve local food.

On the other hand, the country offers various restaurants, from traditional Guatemalan cuisine to traditional Mayan cuisine. One of my favorite restaurants in the whole country was Hobbitenango and El Comalote, you get to learn and enjoy so much there.

Flor de Lis

mayan dish on a table at flor de lis restaurant

Original Mayan cuisine


hobbitenango restaurant in antigua, guatemala

Everything looks like the Hobbits

El Comalote 

two womans making tortillas on a comal at el comalote restaurant antigua guatemala

A hands-on experience

📖 Recommended Reading: If you’re looking for more useful information, check out 23 Restaurant In Guatemala: Best Places To Eat

Guatemalan Celebrations and Festivals

Guatemala, like most Central American countries, has a lively calendar with many different celebrations and festivities and its people love to celebrate their traditions and beliefs.

But by far one of the biggest and my personal favorite is Semana Santa (Holy Week), where tons of people from all over the world gather and the streets are dressed in flowers.

Here are some of the most popular and colorful events that you can experience in Guatemala:

Dia de Muertos (Kite Festival)

Kite festival in Sumpango, Guatemala

Every 1st or 2nd November, Guatemala uniquely celebrates the Day of the Dead, with GIANT kites! The best place to check it is Santiago Sacatepéquez.

Semana Santa (Holy Week)

Carpet made during the Holy Week in Guatemala

Holy Week in Guatemala begins on Sunday, April 2, and ends on Saturday, April 8. The best place to check it out is in Antigua.

Tips for Traveling to Guatemala

Guatemala is Safe. A lot of people think Guatemala is unsafe, but the truth is, it’s safe. Of course, there’s crime but you can avoid most of it using common sense. Don’t go around flashing your valuables, stay alert, and avoid walking around too late at night.

Be Careful in Guatemala City. Depending on which Zona you’re in, the capital can be one of the most dangerous parts of the country. Learn which zone you should avoid and which zones are safe for tourists.

ATMs. I highly recommend you withdraw cash when you are in a larger town since many smaller towns don’t have ATMs and there might not be any other way to get local money, and not every place accepts credit cards or USD.

Lodging is cheap. There are many hostels and small places to stay where a room can cost $10 or $15 to $70, depending on your place.

Food is cheap. Head to the comedores (local eateries in the country) and a traditional meal can cost around $5 to $12, and the dishes are huge.

Check the weather and the news. It’s not something to worry about, but, Guatemala has a lot of seismic activity and can sometimes experience earthquakes, floods, and volcano eruptions.

Tipping. This is not customary in the country, and some restaurants will add a 10% table service tip to the bill, and it’s usually not expected to tip after that. But if you want to do it, you’re more than welcome.

Spanish is the national language. As expected, many people in the country don’t speak English. So, you should learn the basics before heading there, it’ll be easier to travel around the country if you know some Spanish. On the other hand, in Antigua, you can find many people who speak English.

Do I need a visa to visit Guatemala?

It depends on your nationality and the length of your stay. Guatemala has a visa exemption policy for citizens of many countries, such as the United States, Canada, the European Union, and Australia, who can enter and stay in Guatemala for up to 90 days without a visa.

However, you need a valid passport, a return ticket, and proof of sufficient funds. For more information and details, check your government’s official website or the Guatemalan Ministry of Foreign Affairs website or contact the nearest Guatemalan embassy or consulate.

What is the currency and the exchange rate in Guatemala?

The currency in Guatemala is the quetzal. The exchange rate varies depending on the market and the location, but as of April 2023, 1 US dollar is equivalent to about 7.8 quetzals.

You can exchange your money at banks, exchange offices, or hotels, or you can withdraw cash from ATMs, which are widely available in major cities and towns.

You can also use credit cards, such as Visa, Mastercard, or American Express, in some places, such as hotels, restaurants, or shops, but they may charge a fee or a commission.

What is the culture and the etiquette in Guatemala?

The culture in Guatemala is a mix of Mayan, Spanish, African, and Caribbean influences, that create a rich and diverse cultural identity and expression. The Guatemalans are generally friendly, hospitable, and respectful, and they value their family, religion, and traditions.

You can show respect and appreciation for the culture and the people by following some basic etiquette rules, such as greeting people with a handshake, a hug, or a kiss, depending on the relationship and the gender.

Dressing modestly and appropriately, especially in religious or formal settings, asking for permission before taking photos or entering private places, and while it’s not common or expected tipping for good service or hospitality, usually 10% of the bill or the fare.

Is Guatemala Safe?

Guatemala is a country that has a lot of beauty and charm and is usually safe for tourists most of the time but it also has a lot of challenges and risks.

It is a country that faces many social and economic problems, such as poverty, crime, corruption, and inequality.

You should always be cautious and aware of these issues and respect the local customs and laws. Follow common sense, don’t show your valuables around, and don’t stay alone at night.

📖 Recommended Reading: If you’re looking for more useful information, check out Is Central America Safe?


Now, those are most of the stuff I would have loved to know back in the day when I first arrived here, I’m an experienced traveler now and visited most of the country while living there, now, it’s your turn to walk the path and this Guatemala travel guide.

Recommended Guatemala Travel Guide

Looking for More Inspiration?

I have been traveling and living in Central America for over 25 years
Check out these Hand-Tested GUIDES


33 Tips for Traveling Central America without the hassle and confusion – recommended by me!


For more travel ideas to add to your bucket list, check out the best places to visit in Central America.


Central America has a huge variety of food, check out the guide to the top 10 dishes in Central America.

Disclosure: This blog post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may receive a commission for any purchases made through the links. Your trust is important to us, and we ensure that all products or services we recommend meet or exceed our editorial standards.

Last Updated on June 21, 2024

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.