flag Guatemala Guatemala: Travelling

In this page: Entry Requirements | Organising Your Trip | Visiting | Living Conditions | Eating | Paying | Speaking | Useful Resources


Entry Requirements

Passport and Visa Service
Visa Information of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (In Spanish)
For Further Information
Directory of Embassies (Spanish only)
Check IATA Travel Website for visa requirements and health advices.

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Organising Your Trip

Transportation From Airport to City Centre:






Car Rental
Guatemala City - La Aurora Intl (GUA) 5 km / 3 miles USD 8 / 20 min USD 0.30/30-40 min - Available

Means of Transport Recommended in the Rest of the Country

Train reservation services
FEGUA: Guatemala railway company

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Major airlines

Name Type Domestic Flights International Flights
Avianca Major Yes Yes
Continental Airlines Major No Yes
Air France Major No Yes
Taca Major Yes Yes

You Can Consult The EU Air Safety List. Look Also at the rating of the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

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Different Forms of Tourism

The west of Guatemala is frequently visited because of its Mayan sites. This mountainous region has splendid landscapes and historical sites.  Guatemala has a very rich history which is shared between the pre-Colombian and colonial periods.  For those passionate about archeology, certain excursions allow them to explore the sites. For more information on the historical sites, click on this link.
There are quite a few pre-Colombian art museums in Guatemala.  The tourism office also recommends the Coffee tour: a tourist circuit based on the country's riches: INGUAT (in Spanish).  For more information on the cultural sites (museums, photo galleries, scientific and technical centers...) see the Tourism Institute website.  For information on all museums : ILAM (Spanish only).
The country has a number of parks and protected areas.  For the list of these and how to get to them refer to: Tourism Institute.
The Tourism institute recommends religious tourism which involves following the "eastern religious route". See link: INGUAT.
See the list of thermal stations in Guatemala
It is possible to swim on the Caribbean side, famous for its clear sand and it crystal clear water; or on the pacific side where the sand is black due to volcanic activity.
Outdoor Activities
Suggested sporting activities are: golf, surfing, rafting, sport fishing, mountaineering, kayaking, mountain trekking and caving. See link: INGUAT.
Guatemala City is the best place to shop. There are also handicraft markets: INGUAT
Tourism Organisations
Guatemala Institute of Tourism

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Living Conditions

Health and Safety

Health Precautions
A vaccination certificate for yellow fever is required for all visitors who have been in a risk zone country for more than a year.  It is recommended to have had a certain number of vaccinations before going: Hepatitis A and B, diphtheria, tetanus, polio and typhoid.
The country is in "group 1" with regard to malaria: a chloroquine based anti-malarial treatment is recommended.
Protect oneself against traveler's diarrhea (Turista).
The high risk foods are cooked meals that are consumed cold; seafood, meat, uncooked or badly cooked fish and raw vegetable including fruits that are not peeled by oneself.  Water should be boiled or drunk from sealed bottles; tap water should not be drunk only purified or bottled water.
In rural areas, always check inside shoes before putting them on.
Vaccination against rabies is not compulsory but if bitten by a rodent or a hot-blooded animal, then immediately consult at the nearest hospital to get vaccinated.
For Further Information on Sanitary Conditions
Tourist portal
Website on health

Emergency Numbers

Health emergency (502) 230 62 86-88
Police emergency (502) 220 01 68, 220 55 98
Fire and Ambulance service 122, 123

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Time Difference and Climate

Time and Time Difference
It is %T:%M %A In Guatemala (GMT-6)
Summer Time Period
No time adjustments due to Guatemala's geographical location (near the Equator).

Map of the Time Zone

Time zone

Type of Climate
Hot and humid climate all year round and cool in altitude.  Rainy season is from May to October and dry season is from November to April.
Hotel reservation websites

Average Annual Temperatures and Rainfall



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Food Specialties
The classic dish is composed of rice, kidney beans (frijoles con arroz), a little bit of avocado, sliced tomatoes and a piece of well cooked meat, the whole accompanied with tortillas (small pancakes made of corn). You can also find some enchiladas (omelets stuffed with beans, meat or cheese), tamales (rolls made of corn filled with meat or vegetables) or some roast chicken (pollo asado), which holds no surprises and is usually good. The coffee is excellent, as is the local beer (Gallo, Moza or Dorado) and the brown rum (Ron Zacapa Centenario or Ron Botrán Añejo).
Brown rum, local and national beers.
Dietary Restrictions
There are no food restrictions in the country.

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Domestic Currency
Guatemala Quetzal
ISO Code
To Obtain Domestic Currency
The currency is the Quetzal, 1 Quetzal is 100 centavos (cents). There are  of 0.5, 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 quetzales bills and coins of 1, 5, 10 and 25 centavos. MasterCard and Visa credit cards are largely accepted in the capital.
Possible Means of Payment
Visa and MasterCards are accepted in the shopping centers. Have some cash for all average sized shops.

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Official Language
Other Languages Spoken
There are 22 dialects in Guatemala amongst them are the Quiche, the Kakchiquel, the Quekchi, the Mam, the Garifuna as well as the Xinka.
Business Language
Spanish and English.

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Useful Resources

To Find a Job
Profdir Guatemala

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Latest Update: April 2024