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travel guatemala

Guatemala

Travel guide, tips & inspiration

Soaked in Mayan culture and history, Guatemala retains an old world feel and ancient local customs. From the colonial beauty of the old capital, Antigua, to the intoxicatingly vibrant markets of Chichicastenango, the country is dripping in colour. It has some pretty epic landscapes too, Lake Atitlán and Acatenango volcano to name but two. And let's not forget the impressive jungle ruins of Tikal.

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 £10.50

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 £1.60) but if you're looking for a more familiar, imported beer you'll pay about 24Q (approx £2.50).

food in guatemala

Meals

The cost of a meal in Guatemala is 40Q on average (approx £4.20), but if your tastebuds tingle at the thought of street food - sample all the meaty delights from vendors, for as little as 6Q (approx 60p).

taxi guatemala

Taxi Ride

Looking to catch a cab? A normal taxi tariff starts at 25Q (approx £2.60), with an extra 6Q for every km (approx 60p).

transport in guatemala

Transport

Transportation in Guatemala is extremely low cost, with a one way ticket on public transport costing you 1.25Q (about 13p) or a monthly pass costs 100Q (only £10!)

hostels in guatemala

Hostels

Hostels in Guatemala start from as low as £5 a night, with the 'pricier' hostels usually costing no more than £15 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 £33).

Travelling to Guatemala

Many airlines fly to Guatemala City via the USA, where travellers can stop in places like Miami and Los Angeles. Flight times vary, however the average time is around 16 hours. STA Travel can get you some seriously low-cost flights for students and youths, with exclusive discounts you won't find anywhere else.
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Up to 15% off

Guatemala Adventure Tours

guatemala tours
Mayan Sun- Antigua to Playa del Carmen | 16 Days
Find your paradise somewhere between the blazing Yucatan sun and the cool Guatemalan highlands on this 16-day Central American adventure. Speckled with Mayan ruins, this part of the world has plenty of intrigue packed in (not to mention some pretty epic backdrops for photos), plus a good few beaches to boot. 
Now from £722 | Was £849 - 15% off
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antigua and pacaya
Antigua & Pacaya Experience | 3 Days
Arrive in Guatemala and head to the beautiful UNESCO town of Antigua. Spend your first afternoon wandering the cobbled streets, sipping home-grown coffee in shady plazas. The next day, it's time for the hike up to Pacaya Volcano, admire stunning views and if you're luck see a small lava eruption from the peak.
From £133
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tikal and semuc champey
Tikal & Semuc Champey Experience | 6 Days
From Antigua, your first stop will be the mysterious Kanba caves where you'll find a sharp pointed rock altar, the site of the Maya's sacred rituals. After a swim in the clear pools of Semuc Champey, head towards the Maya citadel of Tikal - one of Central America's most iconic sites. Wrap up with a hike up Pacaya Volcano before your tour ends. 
From £356
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Want to know the ins and outs of Central America? Head to our blog for some travel inspiration!

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Terms & Conditions

Get up to 15% off selected Guatemala tours. Talk to your Travel Expert for a full list & T&C's. Book by 28 September 2018.