Guatemala is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the southwest. A representative democracy, its capital is Guatemala City. It has fascinating and extensive Mayan ruins. It's importance stretches back to 800BC with recently discovered pre-Colombian ruins that were unexpectedly large. El Mirador was by far the most ...populated city in pre-Columbian America. Both the El Tigre and Monos pyramids encompass a volume greater than 250,000 cubic meters. Mirador was the first politically organized state in America, with 26 cities all connected by Sacbeob (highways). These roads were several kilometers long, up to 40 meters wide, and two to four meters above the ground paved with stucco - clearly visible from the air. The height of the Maya civilization is represented by countless sites throughout Guatemala, although the largest concentration is in Petén. This period is characterized by heavy city-building, and the development of independent city-states. This lasted until around 900 AD, when the Classic Maya civilization collapsed.Show More
American and Canadian citizens must have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond the intended return date in order to enter and depart Guatemala.Tourists must also provide proof of return or onward travel. Each traveler is responsible for ensuring that his/her passport is up to date. Citizens of other nationalities should check with respective authorities before departure. Please ensure that the name on your passport matches all travel documents we have issued. If this is not the case, please contact us immediately.
Please make a photocopy of your passport’s identification page and keep it separate from the original. It’s also a good idea to leave a digital copy with someone at home. This may speed the replacement process should you lose your passport.
Both Canadian and American citizens traveling on regular passports for business or tourist purposes do not need a visa for a stay of up to 90 days. Please note that if you are staying longer than 90 days, obtaining a visa is your responsibility. This may be different for citizens of other countries. These requirements change often and therefore it is recommended that you check with the Embassy of Guatemala for the most up- to-date information.
For more visa information please visit:
Cancelation and Medical Insurance is highly recommended. Medical facilities are poor quality and not widespread, and insurance can safeguard against in-country medical emergencies as well as lost or delayed baggage and emergency cancelation or interruption of your trip. Please ensure your policy will provide you with upfront medical coverage so that you are not responsible for a hefty medical bill.
No vaccinations are currently required to enter Guatemala, although it is strongly recommended to vaccinate against Malaria and Yellow Fever if visiting rural areas.
It is advised to consult a travel doctor 4-6 weeks before departure in regards to the recommended vaccinations below:
For all vaccinations and health requirements, you can also refer to the recommendations from:
World Health Organization (WHO): http://www.who.int and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) http://wwwnc.cdc.gov.
If there are any medical items essential to your health, such as prescription drugs or corrective eye wear, bring duplicates and divide them between your checked bags and hand luggage. While non-prescription drugs such as aspirin are generally available, it is difficult to replace prescription items.
Other recommended Items:
During the days, temperatures in Guatemala are generally very pleasant. The morning and nights can be cool, especially from December to February, but the days are quite sunny. March and April are the hottest and driest months, while the rainy season lasts from July to October. Climates will also vary depending on what part of the country you are in, and the altitude of the region.
For up-to-date forecasts, check www.weather.com.
Suggested items to pack:
Photographers: Remember to pack sufficient memory cards, a spare camera battery, charger and dust-resistant case.
Electricity: Electricity in Guatemala is provided at 110V/60Hz, using 2 pronged flat American style outlets. If you are using a Canadian or American appliance, an adapter is not needed.
Phone: Coverage is good throughout most of the country. Check with your phone company if there are roaming agreements before your departure.
Internet: Internet cafés and wireless access is available in most urban areas, airports and hotels with good connections and speed.
The official currency of Guatemala is the Quetzal (GTQ), which comes in denominations of Q1, Q5, Q10, Q20, Q50, Q100, Q200, and 50 Centavo notes. Coins come in denominations of 1, 50, 10, 25, and 50 Centavos and Q1. Due to its proximity to the United States, the US Dollar is also accepted throughout the country. ATMs are available in most cities but it is still best to carry alternative forms of payment as not all accept international cards.
For current exchange rates please visit www.xe.com.
Capital: Guatemala City
Language: Spanish and Amerindian languages
Currency: Quetzal and US Dollar
Religion: Roman Catholic
Time Zone: UTC -6
Telephone: Country code for calling is +502
Calling North America: Dial 001 plus area code and your 7-digit number
Emergency numbers in Guatemala: Police: 110 or 120, Medical and Fire: 122, 123, or 1554