Costa Rica
El Salvador

Amazon and Manu
Easter Island
Galapagos Island
Inca Trail

Guatemala - Useful Information

Home - Airfares - Useful Information - Reservations - Payment - The Company - Warning


You have chosen a destination which offers a friendly welcome, natural wonders, spectacular scenery, fascinating Indian villages and water sports. To help you in planning for your trip, we offer the following information.

Climate And Seasons
"The Land of Eternal Spring" enjoys a temperature of about 75 F (20 C) all year round. In the coastal areas and along the beaches, it may reach as high as 100 F. In the highlands nights are quite cool. It is advised that the visitor bring a sweater or jacket to wear after the sun sets. The rainy season, in the central highlands, is from June to October and is characterized by clear skies before and after the showers.

Clothing +
Casual clothes - slacks, jeans, shorts, etc. - are appropriate for almost all daytime and evenings activities. Slightly dressier clothing is appropriate for evenings out in Guatemala City restaurants and nightclubs.

Useful items to include in packing list
For Highlands (Atitlan, Chichicastenango, Antigua)
Lightweight plastic raincoat / umbrella (June - October)
Sweater or jacket
Sneakers or hiking boots
Extra pair of sneakers (These may get wet)
Camera and plenty of film

For Tikal you must add
Suntan lotion, sunscreen, wide brimmed hat and sunglasses
Mosquito repellent

It is handy to take a small bag for overnight excursions to tikal. We suggest a fold-up expandable type that can be carried in your large suitcase. A backpack is a necessity for those who plan to do a lot of bird watching or hiking through the jungles.

United States citizens need only a valid passport for travel to Guatemala. Others should contact the Guatemala Consulate for entry requirements.

Currency And Exchange Rate
The currency of Guatemala is the QUETZAL, but U.S. dollars, traveler's checks and major credit cards are accepted as payment in many hotels and shops. The exchange rate fluctuates, so check with local tour guide upon arrival in Guatemala for current rate.

Taxes And Tips
As in most countries, taxes are unavoidable and tips are given on the basis of the quality of service rendered. The amounts suggested for tips in this section are a guideline for appropriate tips for average to good service. Note: It is helpful to carry a small quantity of US $1 bills for tips and easy change.

Hotels: A 10% tax is levied on all room charges. Bellboys and maids are generally tipped for their services on the average of $.50 per bag and $.50 to $1.00 per room per night of accommodation respectively.

Restaurants: There is a 10% sales tax and 10% gratuities usually added to restaurants bills. It is customary to leave an additional 5% - 10% for good or excellent service.

Tour guides and drivers: On group tours, the average tip for a tour guide is $3.00 to $4.00 per person for full day tours and $2.00 per person for half day tours or 10% of tour cost. The drivers tip is usually half of what is given to the guide. For private car tours, guides generally receive at least $10.00 per full day tour and $5.00 per half day.

Airports: On international departures there is an exit tax of about US$ 20.00.


We suggest that while touring or shopping you leave your passport and the bulk of your money in the hotel safe; only take with you the money you intend to spend or exchange at that particular time. It is also helpful to take a copy of the picture page of your passport to carry in your wallet because it is sometimes needed to exchange traveler's checks. This copy can also be useful in the event your passport is lost or stolen.

No inoculations are required for travel to Guatemala, but anti-malaria tablets are recommended for extended stays in the jungle.

Electric Current
The electric current is the same as in the United Sates, 110 volts AC.

Time Differences
The hour in Guatemala is the same as Central Standard Time in the United States. Daylight savings time is not observed.

The official language is Spanish, but English is spoken in most hotels, restaurants, shops, and markets in the cities and tourist destinations. In addition some 20 autonomous languages are spoken in highland regions.

Business Hours
Banks: 8:00am/3:00pm Monday - Friday
Shops and Shopping Centers: 8:00am/1:00pm and 3:00pm/7:00pm Monday - Saturday
Commerce and Industry: 8:00am/12:00pm and 2:00pm/6:00pm Monday - Friday
Some businesses are open on Saturdays.

Back to useful information