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travel guatemala

Guatemala

Travel guide, tips & inspiration

Be transported to the past by Mayan archaeological treasures, discover unique wildlife or check out awe-inspiring volcanoes in Guatemala - a country that is soaked in Mayan culture and history. From the colonial beauty of the old capital, Antigua, to the intoxicatingly vibrant markets of Chichicastenango, the epic landscapes of Lake Atitlán and Acatenango volcano (and let's not forget the impressive jungle ruins of Tikal) Guatemala is a travellers playground!

Guatemala Fast Facts

language in guatemala

Languages Spoken

The official language spoken in Guatemala is Spanish, however there is also 21 formally recognised Mayan languages spoken throughout the country.

guatemala currency

Currency

Name: Guatemalan quetzal
Code: GTQ
Symbol: Q
100Q is approx $17

time zone guatemala

Time Zone

Time Zone: Central Time Zone (UTC-06:00)

Top places to visit in Guatemala

antigua
Antigua
Situated in Southern Guatemala, this old capital oozes charm and culture. It's vibrant and traditional - and it's a big player when it comes to the Semana Santa (Holy Week) which you can catch between 25-31 March 2018. Although visiting anytime will have you gazing in awe at the surroundings: Spanish colonial buildings surrounded by volcanoes makes the place a beautiful contrast.
tikal
Tikal
An iconic site to visit, Tikal is breathtaking - an ancient city of Mayan ruins. It's located in the heart of the Guatemalan jungle, surrounded by rainforest, showing an incredible diversity. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site, full of temples and palaces that sound like they could have an Indiana Jones movie named after them: the Lost World Pyramid and the Temple of the Grand Jaguar. 
lake atitlan
Lake Atitlán
It's often suggested that travellers should visit this stunning volcanic lake as a stop off destination, but we say spend some more time there if you can. Based in the Sierra Madre Mountain Range in Southwestern Guatemala, this lake is part of a nature reserve surrounded by colourful towns and small Mayan villages - the perfect place to get a taste of authentic local life. For budget backpackers and flashpackers, Lake Atitlán has a hippy vibe that attracts travellers from around the world.
semuc champey
Semuc Champey
One of the most beautiful and relaxing places to visit in Guatemala - Semuc Champey is a little slice of paradise. Full of natural limestone bridges and caves, where the Cahabón River passes through, it's a place where you can take a hike through the jungle and then finish it off with a swim, dive or jump into one (or all) of the six turquoise pools. Spot wildlife, go river tubing, and then spend a night or two in one of the hostel huts in the area - it's just simple, peaceful living. 

Guatemala Fast Facts

beer in guatemala

Beers

The typical cost of a domestic beer in Guatemala is 15Q (approx $2.56) but if you're looking for a more familiar, imported beer you'll pay about 24Q (approx $4).

food in guatemala

Meals

The cost of a meal in Guatemala is 40Q on average (approx $6.80), but if your tastebuds tingle at the thought of street food - sample all the meaty delights from vendors, for as little as 6Q (approx $1).

taxi guatemala

Taxi Ride

Looking to catch a cab? A normal taxi tariff starts at 25Q (approx $4.26), with an extra 6Q for every km (approx $1).

transport in guatemala

Transport

Transportation in Guatemala is extremely low cost, with a one way ticket on public transport costing you 1.25Q (about 20c) or a monthly pass costs 100Q (only $17!)

hostels in guatemala

Hostels

Hostels in Guatemala start from as low as $8.50 a night, with the 'pricier' hostels usually costing no more than $25 a night.

hotels in guatemala

Hotels

Guatemala has a range of accommodation to choose from, from budget to high end - you can easily get a midrange hotel room from 300Q (approx $51).

Travelling to Guatemala

Many airlines fly to Guatemala City from Australia, where travellers can stop in places like San Francisco and Los Angeles. Flight times vary, however the majority of the flights will take you just over a day to get there. Have a look at our flights, where you can use our Price Beat Guarantee to get the cheapest fare, or put a deposit on one!
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Guatemala tours

mayan trip
Mayan Sun - Northbound | 16 days
Trek though jungle backdrops to Mayan ruins and chill out on white-sand beaches under the Caribbean sun. Check out Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico and experience the regions diversity. Wander colonial Antiguas cobblestone streets and shop for treasures before experiencing the natural beauty of Lake Atitln, its indigenous Mayan villages, and striking volcanoes.
From $1,579
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guatemala trip
Mayan Trail | 11 days
Ditch the tourist resorts of Cancn and embark on an authentic adventure that will take you from spectacular Mayan ruins to the cobblestoned streets of colonial towns and deep into the jungle of Mexico. Explore the ancient ruins at Chichn Itz and Palenque and meet the descendants of those who built them in the vibrant streets and colourful markets of picturesque Mayan towns.
From $1,449
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antigua
Volcano Adventure - Antigua to San José
From the evocative cobblestone streets of Antigua to the lush cloud forests of Costa Rica, get off the tourist track and discover the colour and spirit of Central America. Explore ancient Mayan ruins at Copn and visit small villages for insight into the regions vibrant culture. Unwind on the white-sand beaches of Roatn and then delve into the jungle surrounding Ometepe Island and explore volcanoes. 
From $3,119
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The weather in Guatemala

Guatemala's high season is between Dec-Apr, which is when it's at it's driest and the best time for travelling, however it's also when it's the busiest - so book well in advance. Low season is between Apr-Sept, which makes it the best time to travel cheaper as it's less busy (you will get caught in rain though). October is hurricane season.
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Where is Guatemala?

Guatemala is in Central America, and borders Mexico, Belize, El Salvador and Honduras. 

Want to know the ins and outs of Central America? Head to our blog for some travel inspiration!

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