What to see in Guatemala

Embark on a journey to the heart of Central America and discover a country that will captivate you with its rich cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and fascinating history. Welcome to Guatemala, where the natural beauty of majestic volcanoes, lush jungles, and ancient civilizations intertwines with the warmth of its people and vibrant culture.

In this virtual tour, I’ll take you through the hidden treasures of Guatemala, from ancient Mayan ruins to vibrant colorful markets, immersing you in the essence of this unique destination in the world. Get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Guatemalan lands!

Where is Guatemala?

Guatemala is a country located in Central America, in the northernmost part of the region. It borders to the north and west with Mexico, to the east with Belize, to the southeast with Honduras, and to the south with El Salvador. The capital of Guatemala is Guatemala City. The country has diverse geography, including mountains, jungles, lakes, and a coast on the Pacific Ocean to the southwest. Guatemala is known for its rich culture, pre-Columbian history, and natural beauty.

Interactive Map of Guatemala

Map Drawing

Are you ready to explore the wonderful diversity of tourist destinations that Guatemala has to offer? Join us on an exciting journey through an interactive map that will take you to the most iconic places in this beautiful Central American country.

From ancient Mayan cities that will transport you through time to natural wonders that will leave you breathless, this map will guide you through the highlights of Guatemala. Get ready to discover the cultural richness, scenic beauty, and hospitality of this unique destination. Let’s start the adventure and explore the treasures of Guatemala in this exciting interactive tour!

What language is spoken in Guatemala?

Translation Drawing

The official language of Guatemala is Spanish. However, in Guatemala, numerous indigenous languages are also spoken, as the country has considerable ethnic and cultural diversity.

Some of the most spoken indigenous languages in Guatemala include K’iche’, Q’eqchi’, Mam, Kaqchikel, Poqomam, among others. These indigenous languages are spoken by a significant part of the Guatemalan population, and the country is known for its rich linguistic diversity. The Guatemalan government recognizes and promotes the preservation and use of indigenous languages in the country, in addition to Spanish.

Antigua Guatemala

Religion in Guatemala

Church Drawing

The predominant religion in Guatemala is Christianity, and the majority of the Guatemalan population is Christian. The Roman Catholic Church is the largest Christian denomination in the country, and a significant portion of the Guatemalan population identifies as Catholic. In addition to Catholicism, there is a significant number of Guatemalans who are Protestant or evangelical, including various Protestant denominations.

It’s important to mention that Guatemala also has a rich heritage of indigenous spirituality and religiosity, manifested in traditional forms of religion, such as the worship of saints and belief in interaction with nature and spirits. These beliefs often blend with Christian religion in the daily life of many indigenous communities.

Moreover, Guatemala is known for its traditional religious celebrations, such as Holy Week, which involves processions and religious ceremonies, especially in cities like Antigua Guatemala.

Lake Atitlan

Time Difference with Guatemala

24-Hour Clock Drawing

The time difference of Guatemala with other countries depends on the geographical location of those countries and whether they are in daylight saving time or standard time. Guatemala is in the Central Time Zone (UTC-6) for most of the year.

Here are some typical time differences with respect to some places:

Mexico: Mexico City is in the same Central Time Zone (UTC-6), so there is no time difference with Guatemala.

New York: Guatemala is generally 1 hour behind New York. When New York is in standard time (EST, Eastern Standard Time), Guatemala remains in UTC-6. However, during daylight saving time in New York, the time difference is 2 hours, as Guatemala does not observe daylight saving time.

Spain: Guatemala is generally 7 hours behind Madrid. When Madrid is in standard time, Guatemala remains in UTC-6. During daylight saving time in Madrid, the time difference is 6 hours, as Guatemala does not observe daylight saving time.

What Currency is Used in Guatemala?

Exchange money drawing

The official currency of Guatemala is the Quetzal (abbreviated as GTQ or Q). In addition to the Quetzal, the United States Dollar (USD) is also widely accepted in many parts of the country, especially in tourist areas, and is used in parallel with the Quetzal in many commercial transactions.

However, the Quetzal is the official and widely used currency in Guatemala for most daily transactions. It is recommended to carry some local currency (Quetzales) when traveling to Guatemala, although it is possible to use dollars in many places.

If you want to take some money from home, I recommend exchanging currency with RIA as they offer the best commission-free exchange rate and send and collect the currency at your own home.

Cambio de Divisa Dolar

RIA Currency Exchange:

  1. Key Services:
    • Currency Exchange: RIA provides currency exchange services for various currencies, including US dollars, yen, pounds, and many more.
    • Money Transfers: In addition to currency exchange, RIA is known for its international money transfer services.
  2. Exchange Rates:
    • Ria stands out for offering competitive exchange rates. You can compare their rates with other options to ensure you get the best possible exchange rate.
  3. Physical Offices in Spain:
    • RIA has a physical presence through its offices in Spain. You can visit one of their locations if you prefer to conduct transactions in person.
  4. Home Delivery:

Pay with Fee-Free Cards in Guatemala

Credit Cards Drawing

If you’re traveling to Guatemala, you might want to apply for the free Revolut Card to pay abroad, with no fees. With the Revolut Card, forget about those extra expenses, as the currency exchange fees that bank cards usually have are around 3% or 4%, no joke!

TERJETA REVOLUT

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Lanquen, Guatemala

What is the Best Time to Travel to Guatemala?

Climate Drawing

The choice of the best time to travel to Guatemala depends on your personal preferences and what you want to experience on your trip, as the country offers different climates and events throughout the year.

Dry Season (November to April)

Summer Drawing

This is generally considered the best time to visit Guatemala, as the weather tends to be drier and pleasant. During these months, you can enjoy moderate temperatures and less likelihood of rain. It’s a good time to explore colonial cities like Antigua or visit the impressive Mayan ruins in Tikal.

Rainy Season (May to October)

Weather drawing

These months tend to be more humid, with frequent rains, but it’s also the time when vegetation is at its greenest and most lush. If you enjoy green landscapes and are willing to face some rain, this is a good time to visit. Additionally, it’s the season when traditional festivities and Easter processions are celebrated.

High season (late December to early January and Easter)

During the Christmas and New Year festivities, as well as during Easter, Guatemala receives a large influx of national and international tourists. Accommodation prices may be higher, and tourist spots are usually more crowded during these periods.

Therefore, if you prefer dry weather and moderate temperatures, the months from November to April are ideal. If you want to experience the beauty of the rainy season and participate in traditional festivities, then the rainy season can be an attractive option.

The temperature in Guatemala can vary significantly depending on the region and altitude, as the country has diverse geography that includes lowland tropical areas and cooler mountain regions. Below, I provide a general idea of average temperatures in some key areas of Guatemala:

  1. Guatemala City (the capital):
    • Average annual temperature: around 20-25°C (68-77°F)
    • The temperature can be cooler in the evenings and due to the city’s altitude.
  2. Antigua Guatemala (at a similar altitude to Guatemala City):
    • Average annual temperature: around 18-22°C (64-72°F)
    • Similar to Guatemala City, nights are usually cooler.
  3. Lowland tropical areas (e.g., Petén, where Tikal is located):
    • Warmer and more humid temperatures.
    • Average temperatures can be in the range of 25-30°C (77-86°F) or higher.

It’s important to note that temperatures can vary throughout the year, and the time of year you visit will also influence the weather conditions. Higher altitude regions tend to be cooler, while lowland tropical areas are warmer.

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Tikal Guatemala

Attractions to do in Guatemala

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Excursion drawing

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Guatemala Discover the best things to do in Guatemala. Book tickets and activities online with the best price guarantee! Read reviews about top tours and Attractions in Guatemala.

Lake Atitlán

Just two hours away from the incredible Antigua, Guatemala’s jewel, you’ll find Lake Atitlán, a corner that radiates pure good vibes.

Lake Atitlán is surrounded by 3 enormous volcanoes: Atitlán (3537 meters above sea level), Tolimán (3158 meters above sea level), and San Pedro (3020 meters above sea level).

The lake itself, the villages around it, and the vibrant Chichicastenango market, which is like an explosion of colors, make this area an absolute must if you are exploring Guatemala. You can’t miss it!

Crossing it by boat is falling in love with its landscapes. It’s advisable to stay overnight in one of the villages around it. It has its charm and a lot of magic!

*Note: If you prefer to book an online excursion around Lake Atitlán and/or Chichicastenango from Antigua in Spanish with free cancellation, click here. And from Panajachel, click here

Many people take a day trip from Antigua, but I recommend at least spending one night at the lake. It has its charm and a lot of magic

Another option that can be very interesting is to take a tour with Gray Line Guatemala, they organize the transportation, and you can use the morning to explore the market. In the afternoon, you can visit the lake, spend the night there, and the next day explore various villages around. I definitely recommend it if you prefer not to do everything on your own!

Guatemala San Juan

San Juan La Laguna

San Juan La Laguna is known for its artists. You can see it in the number of painting shops there, which bring color to its streets.

Building a new facade in front of the old one without tearing it down is truly surprising. Now, the church has two facades, one superimposed on the other, a unique blend of architectural past and present. Definitely a place worth visiting to appreciate this peculiarity!

Santiago Atitlán

The second stop of the day was Santiago Atitlán. Undoubtedly, the highlight for me was the view of the lake with the San Pedro volcano in front. Both from an improvised viewpoint and from the pier.

In the main square, you’ll find the Church of Santiago Apóstol, which gives the town its name. As a curiosity, it has 18 steps in reference to the Mayan calendar, and inside, the blend of various religions is palpable, such as the Catholic faith and this very Spanish sculpture.

It’s fascinating to discover the diverse expressions of religiosity in different cultures. In Guatemala, they have their own religion descended from the Mayans, and one of the venerated saints is Maximon.

If you approach one of these altars, where both believers and non-believers make offerings, money, cigarettes, and alcohol are the main elements. The experience can seem somewhat surreal.

You can also wander through the streets and eat in the town. There, the tuk-tuk is the typical vehicle for moving around its streets.

San juan Guatemala

Panajachel

Panajachel, the most developed town on the shores of Lake Atitlán, turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Panajachel offers a wide gastronomic offer and impressive views of the lake. It was the perfect place to immerse myself in the beauty of the surroundings while enjoying local hospitality.

7-day Itinerary in Guatemala

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Remember to check the availability of flights and other means of transportation, as well as plan travel times between different destinations to adjust the itinerary according to your preferences and needs.

A 7-day itinerary in Guatemala will allow you to explore some of the country’s most prominent attractions. Here’s an example itinerary to make the most of your time:

Day 1: Guatemala City

  • Arrival at La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City.
  • Visit some points of interest in the city, such as the Historic Center, the Metropolitan Cathedral, and the National Palace.
  • Accommodation in a hotel in Guatemala City.

Day 2: Antigua Guatemala

  • Transfer to Antigua Guatemala (approximately 1 hour from Guatemala City).
  • Exploration of Antigua, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its cobbled streets, colonial churches, and historical charm.
  • Visit La Merced Church, the Santa Catalina Arch, and other points of interest.
  • Accommodation in a hotel in Antigua.

Day 3: Antigua Guatemala

  • Excursion to the Pacaya Volcano, where you can take a hike to observe volcanic activity.
  • Free time to explore more of Antigua or shop for handicrafts.
  • Accommodation in Antigua.

Day 4: Lake Atitlán

  • Transfer to Lake Atitlán (approximately 2-3 hours from Antigua).
  • Boat ride on the lake and visits to some of the picturesque villages around it, such as Panajachel or San Pedro La Laguna.
  • Enjoy the stunning views of the lake and the surrounding volcanoes.
  • Accommodation in a hotel on Lake Atitlán.

Day 5: Lake Atitlán

  • Further exploration of Lake Atitlán, whether it’s hiking, visiting local markets, or simply relaxing in the natural beauty of the area.
  • Accommodation on Lake Atitlán.

Day 6: Antigua Guatemala or Chichicastenango

  • Return to Antigua or visit Chichicastenango if you are interested in its famous market (approximately 2-3 hours away from Lake Atitlán).
  • In Antigua, you can enjoy additional activities such as visiting museums or relaxing in the numerous cafes and restaurants.
  • Accommodation in Antigua.

Day 7: Guatemala City and Departure

  • Return to Guatemala City.
  • Depending on the time of your return flight, you can take advantage of last-minute shopping or visit any other places of interest you haven’t explored yet.
  • Departure from La Aurora International Airport.

This itinerary will allow you to experience the natural beauty, rich history, and culture of Guatemala in one week.

Lanquen v Guatemala

Hire the Best Tours in Guatemala

Dibujo binoculars

It is an ideal place to engage in a variety of activities, as mentioned here, and you can hire them directly, hassle-free and at a good price, including Free Tours that are free of charge.

The best Tours in Guatemala, you can also hire transportation from the airport to the hotel or to the final destination you need to reach.

 Healthcare in Guatemala

Nurse drawing

Healthcare in Guatemala varies in quality and access, and it is important to be well-informed about healthcare conditions before traveling. Here are some key considerations about healthcare in Guatemala:

Medical Care: Guatemala has both public and private hospitals and clinics. Private clinics often provide a higher level of medical care in terms of quality and amenities. In urban areas like Guatemala City and Antigua, you can find quality hospitals and clinics.

Medical Insurance: It is highly recommended to have Medical Insurance (save 5% just for being a reader) before traveling to Guatemala. Make sure your insurance policy covers medical treatments, emergency medical evacuation, and other necessary health services.

Vaccinations: Consult with a doctor or health center before your trip to Guatemala to ensure you are up-to-date with recommended vaccines. Yellow fever may be mandatory in some regions, and hepatitis A and B, typhoid fever, and rabies are considered important vaccines.

Vector-Borne Diseases: Guatemala has areas where there are risks of mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue and Zika. Use insect repellent and appropriate clothing to protect yourself.

Food Safety: Be cautious about what you eat and drink. Drink bottled or purified water and avoid ice in drinks. Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before consuming them.

Altitude: If you plan to visit high-altitude areas, such as Antigua or Lake Atitlán, be aware of altitude sickness (soroche). Rest and drink plenty of water to help prevent it.

Medical Emergencies: If you need emergency medical assistance, dial 911 in Guatemala to request help.

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coche de alquiler entre montañas y pinar
logo rentcars

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Guatemala

Is it safe to travel to Guatemala?

Police drawing

Safety in Guatemala may vary depending on the region and current situation.  Here are some key considerations about safety in Guatemala:

Crime: In Guatemala, as in many countries, there is a risk of crime, including robberies, assaults, and pickpocketing, especially in urban areas.

Public Transportation: If you use public transportation, such as buses, be aware that the safety and conditions of vehicles can be variable. It is advisable to opt for safer transportation services, such as taxis from reliable companies.

Travel Insurance: Consider the possibility of taking out travel insurance that covers emergency medical assistance and other unforeseen events.

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Get your Travel Insurance 

Travel insurance drawing

If you’re traveling to Guatemala, don’t forget to get Travel Insurance. In this unpredictable world, don’t let unforeseen events ruin your plans. You can get your Travel Insurance with a 5% discount just for being a reader of Viajera por el Mundo. If you experience a flight delay or cancellation, loss of luggage, you’ll have your insurance to help you in every situation.

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Do I need a visa for Guatemala?

Passport and visa drawing

The need for a visa for Guatemala depends on your nationality and the purpose of your trip. Here I’ll provide general information, but I recommend checking the specific visa requirements for your nationality and situation before traveling, as regulations may change over time.

Visa not required: Citizens of many countries, including most countries in North America, Central America, and the European Union, do not need a visa to enter Guatemala as tourists for stays of up to 90 days. You can enter Guatemala with a valid passport.

Tourist visa: If you are not a citizen of a visa-exempt country, you may need to apply for a tourist visa before your trip. This visa will allow you to enter Guatemala for tourist purposes and usually has a duration of 90 days. You should check with the embassy or consulate of Guatemala in your country or the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala for updated information on visa requirements.

Visa for other purposes: If you plan to travel to Guatemala for a purpose other than tourism, such as work, study, or residence, you will likely need a specific visa for that purpose. You must obtain the appropriate type of visa before traveling.

It’s important to check the specific visa requirements for your nationality and situation well in advance before traveling to Guatemala.

Guatemala Bus

How to get to and around Guatemala?

Getting to Guatemala and moving around the country involves a variety of transportation options. Here is information on how to get to Guatemala and how to travel within the country:

Getting to Guatemala:

It’s time to book your flights, and for that, you can read the post about Cheap Flights to find affordable flights and all my tricks, so you can save when booking your flights.

Plane and World Drawing

By air: La Aurora International Airport (GUA) in Guatemala City is the country’s main international airport. It receives direct flights from various cities in North America, Central America, South America, and Europe. From the airport, you can take domestic flights to reach other cities in Guatemala, such as Flores (to visit Tikal) and others.

Bus

By land: Guatemala shares land borders with Mexico, Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador. You can reach Guatemala by bus from these neighboring countries. Make sure to check visa requirements and customs procedures before crossing the border.

Getting around Guatemala:

Bus

Buses: Bus transportation is a common and economical way to move around Guatemala. There are various bus companies connecting major cities and regions of the country. Buses can range from comfortable and modern to simpler and more rustic, depending on the route and the company.

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Taxis: Taxis are a convenient option for moving within cities. Make sure to use official taxis and ensure that the taxi meter is running or negotiate the fare before getting into the taxi.

Uber

Shared transportation services: In cities, you can find shared transportation services like Uber or similar local apps. These services offer a safe and reliable way to get around.

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Car rentals: If you want more independence and wish to explore more remote areas, you can rent a car. However, keep in mind that city traffic can be chaotic, and rural roads can be challenging.

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Domestic flights: If you want to move quickly between different regions of Guatemala, domestic flights are an option. Several airlines offer internal flights to popular destinations such as Flores, Quetzaltenango, and others.

Ferry Drawings

Boats and ferries: In areas with lakes and rivers, such as Lake Atitlán and Río Dulce, it is common to use boats and ferries as a means of transportation.

Remember that road conditions and the quality of transportation may vary in different regions of Guatemala.

Café de Guatemala

How to Make Phone Calls from Guatemala?

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To make calls from Guatemala:

National Calls (within Guatemala): Dial the destination number, including the area code if necessary.

International Calls from Guatemala:

  • Dial “00” (Guatemala’s international exit code).
  • Then, dial the country code of the country you want to call, for example, +34 for Spain.
  • Next, dial the area code (if necessary) and the destination number. 91 for Madrid + phone number.
  • For example, if you want to call a number in the United States, you would dial: “00 + 1 + [area code] + [destination number]”.

Also, keep in mind that emergency numbers in Guatemala are:

  • For police emergencies: 110
  • For medical emergencies: 122
  • For fire emergencies: 123

SIM Card or E-SIM for Internet During Your Trip

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I recommend that you learn about E-SIM Cards; these are virtual cards. You download a QR code, install it on your mobile, and you can have internet from the moment you get off the plane and throughout your stay, allowing you to make calls at no cost and without surprises on your bill when you return from your vacation.

These cards cover practically the entire world, including Argentina, Australia, Cambodia, Colombia, Egypt, the Philippines, India, Israel, Montenegro, Oman, Peru, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Vietnam, among many others.

The physical and the virtual, known as ESIM, whose activation is faster because you don’t have to wait for it to be sent by mail. Contract it in advance and make sure to stay connected on your trip!

SIM Card or E-SIM for Internet During Your Trip

Holafly Descuento por ser lector de Viajeraporelmundo
wifi dibujo

I recommend that you learn about E-SIM cards; they are virtual cards. You download a QR code, install it on your phone, and you can have internet from the moment you get off the plane and throughout your stay, allowing you to make calls without cost and without surprises on your bill upon your return from your vacation.

These cards cover practically the entire world, including Argentina, Australia, Cambodia, Colombia, Egypt, the Philippines, India, Israel, Montenegro, Oman, Peru, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Vietnam, among many others.

The physical and the virtual, known as ESIM Cards with Holafly, with activation that is faster because you don’t have to wait for it to be sent to you by mail. Sign up in advance and make sure to stay connected on your trip!

San Andrés Xecul, Totonicapán, Guatemala

What Are the Plugs Like in Guatemala?

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  • Voltage: 120 V
  • Frequency: 60 Hz
  • Plugs: Type A / B / G / I
The plugs to use in Guatemala are of type A

 
Type A: Japanese type A plugs can be used in the USA, but often not the other way around
 
 
The plugs to use in Guatemala are of type B

 
Type B: Sometimes valid for type A plugs
 
 
 
The plugs to be used in Guatemala are of type G
 
Type G
 
 
 
The plugs to be used in Guatemala are of type I

 
Type I

If you need to purchase a Travel Adapter , I personally buy power plug adapters on Amazon, where you’ll find a great selection. Click directly on the link, and you can buy yours.

The need for a power plug adapter also depends on the country you live in. If you need more information about power plugs from any part of the world, you can visit the Plugs of the World website.

Chimaltenango, Guatemala

Typical Foods of Guatemala

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Guatemala has a rich culinary tradition that reflects its cultural heritage, combining indigenous, Spanish, and other regional influences. Here are some typical foods of Guatemala:

  • Pepián: A thick and rich stew prepared with meat (usually chicken or beef), vegetables, and a sauce made from pumpkin seeds and tomatoes. It is served with rice.
  • Kaq’ik: A turkey stew with a tomato and chili sauce, often served with chayote leaves and rice.
  • Tamales: Guatemalan tamales are similar to those in other Latin American countries. They consist of masa filled with meat, vegetables, or beans, wrapped in banana leaves and steamed.
  • Chiles Rellenos: Peppers stuffed with ground meat and vegetables, covered in a tomato sauce, and often served with rice and beans.
  • Rellenitos de Plátano: A delicious dessert made with ripe mashed plantains, filled with sweet black beans, and topped with sugar and cinnamon.
  • Caldo de Res: Beef soup with vegetables and corn, usually served with rice and tortillas.
  • Pollo en Jocom: Chicken in a thick sauce made with herbs and spices, often served with rice and tortillas.
  • Atol: A thick and hot beverage made from corn masa, milk, and spices, often served with tamales.
  • Roscas y Empanadas: Varieties of sweet bread and pastries filled with ingredients like fruits, cream, and nuts.
  • Chapin: A hot drink made from chocolate with spices and sugar.
  • Fiambre: A traditional dish consumed on November 1st during All Saints’ Day. It is a cold salad made with a variety of meats, vegetables, and pickled items in a vinaigrette.

These are just a few samples of the varied and delicious Guatemalan cuisine. Guatemala’s gastronomy reflects the cultural and geographical diversity of the country, and I invite you to try these dishes when you visit to experience authentic Guatemalan cuisine.

San Pedro La Laguna, Guatemala

Typical Drinks of Guatemala

drinks dibujo

Guatemala also offers a variety of traditional drinks that are popular and refreshing. Here are some typical drinks from Guatemala:

  • Atol: A hot and thick drink made with corn dough, milk, cinnamon, vanilla, and sugar. It can have various flavors, including chocolate, corn (young corn), and rice.
  • Horchata: Guatemalan horchata is a refreshing drink made with rice and cinnamon, sweetened with sugar. It is served cold and is perfect for quenching thirst.
  • Chilate: A traditional drink from the lowlands of Guatemala, made with corn, cocoa, cinnamon, and other ingredients. It can be served hot or cold.
  • Cerveza Gallo: The most well-known beer in Guatemala, very popular among locals. It is produced in various styles, including Gallo Light and Gallo Premium.
  • Cerveza Modelo: Another popular beer in Guatemala, produced by Grupo Modelo.
  • Café: Guatemala is famous for its high-quality coffee. Try a cup of Guatemalan coffee, often grown in the country’s mountains. You can also find coffee varieties with special flavors, such as cardamom-flavored coffee.
  • Rompope: An alcoholic drink made with eggs, milk, cinnamon, and rum, similar to eggnog. It is consumed during the Christmas holidays.
  • Agua de Jamaica: A refreshing drink made with dried hibiscus flowers, boiled with water and sugar. It is red in color and has a sweet and sour taste.
  • Agua de Tamarindo: Prepared from tamarind pulp, sugar, and water, this drink has a sweet taste with a touch of acidity.
  • Ponche: A traditional drink consumed during special celebrations, such as Christmas. It may include fruits, spices, brandy, or rum.

These are just some of the typical drinks in Guatemala. The nation is known for its high-quality coffee but also offers a wide variety of refreshing and tasty drinks that are worth trying when you visit the country.

Bebidas en tienda

What to Wear in Guatemala?

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The choice of clothing to bring to Guatemala will largely depend on the time of year, the region you plan to visit, and your planned activities. Guatemala has a variety of climates due to its diverse geography, ranging from tropical lowlands to cooler mountainous regions.

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Dry season (November to April)

Light and breathable clothing, such as T-shirts, blouses, and shorts.

Swimsuit if you plan to visit beaches or lakes.

Comfortable walking shoes.

Sunscreen and a hat to protect yourself from the sun.

Weather drawing

Rainy season (May to October):

Light and quick-drying clothing.

A raincoat or waterproof jacket, as the rains can be intense in some areas.

Waterproof footwear or sandals that you can use in the rain.

Warm clothing for the evenings, as temperatures can be cooler in the highlands.

In general, keep in mind the following:

Comfortable and versatile clothing is important, as it can be warm during the day and cooler at night in some regions.

For cold climates, if you plan to visit higher altitude areas, such as Antigua or Lake Atitlán.

If you plan to visit religious sites or indigenous communities, modest and covered clothing. In some places, it is appropriate to dress respectfully.

In addition to clothing, make sure to bring insect repellent and sunscreen, especially if you plan to spend time outdoors. To facilitate the Organization of your Luggage, you can print or view, the list you will find at this link, where you will find everything you need to take when you travel. So you don’t forget anything!

Rio Dulce National Park, Livingston, Guatemala

Where to Stay in Guatemala?

hotel drawing

Guatemala offers a wide variety of accommodation options ranging from luxury hotels to budget hostels and traditional lodgings. The choice of where to stay will depend on your preferences, budget, and planned activities. Here are some suggestions for places to stay in Guatemala:

Guatemala City: As the capital and largest city, Guatemala City offers a wide range of accommodations, from luxury hotels to more affordable options. The Zona 10 and Zona 13 areas are popular among tourists and offer a variety of restaurants and nightlife.

Antigua Guatemala: This colonial city is a very popular tourist destination. You’ll find charming boutique hotels, hostels, and mid-range accommodation options in the city center. It’s an excellent choice if you want to experience Guatemala’s historical charm.

Lake Atitlán: Along the shores of Lake Atitlán, there are picturesque towns offering a variety of accommodation options, from budget hostels to luxury hotels. San Pedro La Laguna, Panajachel, and San Marcos La Laguna are some popular choices.

Tikal and Flores: If you plan to visit the archaeological site of Tikal, the city of Flores is an excellent base. You’ll find a variety of hotels and budget accommodations in this area.

Quetzaltenango (Xela): Also known as Xela, this city is famous for its Spanish schools and offers a range of accommodations, from hostels to quality hotels.

Cobán: In the Alta Verapaz region, Cobán is a city with a more tranquil atmosphere, and you can find budget and mid-range accommodations.

Chichicastenango: If you plan to visit the famous market in Chichicastenango, the city offers some accommodation options that are convenient for exploring the market.

Río Dulce: Along the Río Dulce, you’ll find accommodations ranging from boutique hotels to simpler options. It’s a good base for exploring the natural beauty of the area.

Parque Nacional Río Dulce, Livingston, Guatemala

What to Buy in Guatemala?

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Guatemala offers a wide variety of authentic products that you can buy as souvenirs or gifts. Some of the most popular items to buy in Guatemala include:

Textile Crafts: Guatemala is famous for its colorful textiles and handmade weavings. You can buy clothing, blankets, bags, scarves, and other handmade textile products at local markets. Traditional Guatemalan textiles are often crafted by indigenous communities and are highly valued for their beauty and quality.

Jewelry: Guatemalan jewelry often features precious and semi-precious stones such as jade, obsidian, and quartz. Jade, in particular, is highly prized and can be found in necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and more.

Wooden Masks and Crafts: Guatemala is known for its hand-carved masks, used in traditional ceremonies and festivals. You can also find handcrafted wooden sculptures and other decorative items.

Ceramics and Pottery: Guatemalan potters create a wide variety of ceramics, including plates, cups, pitchers, and decorative objects with traditional and colorful designs.

Guatemalan Coffee: Guatemala is one of the world’s leading producers of high-quality coffee. You can buy freshly roasted and packaged coffee beans to take home.

Chocolate: Guatemalan chocolate is of high quality and is made from local cocoa beans. You can buy chocolate bars and other handmade chocolate products.

Traditional Musical Instruments: If you’re interested in Guatemalan music, you can buy traditional instruments such as marimbas, flutes, and drums.

Cotton Weaves: In addition to textiles made from natural fibers, you can also find high-quality cotton weaves, such as tablecloths, napkins, and bedding.

Local Music and Art: Guatemalan music, CDs, and local artworks that reflect the culture and history of the country.

Jade and Gemstone Products: Guatemala is known for its high-quality jade. You can buy jade jewelry, figurines, and other items made from this precious stone, as well as other gemstones.

Make sure to shop at reliable stores and markets to get authentic products and support local artisans.

Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala

National Holidays in Guatemala

Calendar drawing

Guatemala celebrates several national holidays throughout the year, many of which are significant religious and cultural festivities. Here are some of the most notable national holidays in Guatemala:

Independence Day (September 15): Guatemala celebrates its independence from Spain on September 15 with parades, music, dances, and patriotic decorations nationwide. The festivities kick off on September 14 with the “Grito de Independencia” (Cry of Independence).

Holy Week (Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday): Holy Week in Antigua Guatemala is one of the country’s most important events. It is celebrated with elaborate religious processions, sawdust carpets, and a solemn atmosphere. Religious activities are also held throughout the country.

All Saints’ Day (November 1): On this day, Guatemalan families gather in cemeteries to decorate the graves of their loved ones and celebrate the Day of the Dead. Traditional foods, such as “fiambre,” a cold salad consumed on this day, are also prepared.

Christmas (December 25): Christmas is celebrated with family gatherings, music, dances, and fireworks. Christmas festivities begin before midnight on December 24 with the “Misa del Gallo” (Rooster’s Mass).

New Year (January 1): The New Year is celebrated with parties and fireworks throughout the country.

Revolution Day (October 20): It commemorates the 1944 Revolution, a historic event that changed the course of Guatemala. There are parades and civic events in some cities.

Day of the Race (October 12): On this day, the ethnic and cultural diversity of Guatemala is celebrated. Some indigenous communities perform rituals and events to commemorate their traditions.

Patron Saint Festivals: Each city and town in Guatemala has its own patron saint festivals, which are religious and cultural celebrations in honor of their patron saint. These festivities often include processions, music, dances, and traditional events.

These are some of the main national holidays in Guatemala. Dates and festivities may vary in different regions of the country, so it is advisable to check specific dates and planned activities if you plan to visit Guatemala during these celebrations.

I hope you enjoyed this Guatemala Guide, and to not miss upcoming posts, don’t forget to subscribe!

Guatemala Volcano

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2 thoughts on “What to see in Guatemala”

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