Wordtravels

Wordtravels

 

 

Guatemala Travel Information

The Basics

Electricity

Electrical current is 110 volts, 60Hz. A variety of plugs are in use including the flat two-pin, flat three-pin and the UK-style three-pin.

Language

The official language is Spanish but English is understood in hotels and tourist destinations. Many indigenous languages are also spoken.

Travel Health

There are a number of health risks associated with travel to Guatemala and travellers are advised to take the latest medical advice at least three weeks prior to departure. Malaria is prevalent in the low-lying areas outside Guatemala City and dengue fever is endemic. Visitors should be careful what they eat and stick to bottled water. Guatemalan hospitals are unlikely to give medical treatment unless the patient has medical insurance or can pay up front. Good travel insurance is therefore essential. State-funded hospitals are best avoided. Travellers should only use private clinics where possible. A yellow fever certificate is required from travellers entering the country from infected areas.

Tipping

Generally a 10% tip is recommended for good service in Guatemala. It is customary to tip waiters if a service charge hasn't been added to the bill. Taxi drivers are not usually tipped. Hotel staff and tour guides expect to be tipped for their services.

Safety Information

The rate of violent crime in Guatemala is exceptionally high. There has also been a relatively high rate of violent attacks on tourists, especially in remote places and in the capital, Guatemala City, especially after dark. Visitors need to be particularly vigilant in the central Zone 1 of Guatemala City where most of the cheap hotels and bus terminals are, and in all parts of the city at night. There has been an increase in crime targeting tourists arriving at Guatemala City airport and travelling to hotels in the business district of Zones 9 and 10; visitors should be extremely alert when leaving the airport.

Pick-pocketing and petty theft are common in tourist areas and market places. An increase of armed robberies targeting tourists has also been reported in Antigua. Many robberies take place on the cheaper buses when travelling on the tourist routes from Guatemala City to Antigua, and from Antigua to Panajachel; keep all belongings close at hand. There has been an increase in reported incidents of attacks, including the rape of female passengers on buses during the day on main routes. Hold-ups by armed gangs occur frequently on city and long distance public buses; visitors are advised not to use them if possible. Armed robberies on minor roads around Lake Atitlan have taken place and visitors are advised to use the boat services between towns on the lakeshore. There have also been armed attacks on tourists at Tikal and on the approach road from Flores to Tikal.

Guatemala's rainy season between April and November usually brings about heavy rain and flooding, mudslides and hurricanes. Fuego volcano is very active and climbing it is not advisable at present.

Local Customs

Guatemalans wave goodbye in a unique manner, which looks similar to someone fanning themselves. The hand is raised, palm facing the body and fingers are waved back and forth, together as if in a mitten. Ask permission before taking photographs, particularly of children, as local people are suspicious of foreigners approaching children for pictures due to incidences of child kidnapping, particularly in remote areas where tourists have been attacked. A small tip might be required. Military clothing is illegal. Public displays of affection between same sex couples should be avoided, particularly outside of Guatemala City.

Business

Business etiquette in Guatemala is similar to the rest of Latin America, except for punctuality. Due to the warm, humid climate men often wear lightweight suits and women should wear a dress or a skirt. Always be punctual for meetings, as Guatemalan business people are very punctual. Use professional titles such as such as 'Doctor', 'Professor', 'Ingeniero' (engineer) or 'Abogado' (lawyer); otherwise address colleagues as Señor (Mr), Señora (Mrs) and Señorita (Miss), followed by their last names. Business cards may be exchanged although there is no ritual around it. Business hours are generally 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday with an hour taken over lunch. Speaking softly is considered polite.

Communications

The international access code for Guatemala is +502. The outgoing code depends on what network is used to dial out on (e.g. 13000 for Telefonica or 14700 for Telgua), which is followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 1300044 for the United Kingdom). City codes are not required. There are generally surcharges on calls made from hotels and it is cheaper to use calling cards. Rates are generally less expensive after 7pm. Mobile phones work in the major towns and cities on a GSM network, but check that your network operator has a roaming agreement covering Guatemala. Internet cafes are available in the main tourist areas.

Duty Free

Travellers to Guatemala over 18 do not have to pay duty on 80 cigarettes or 99g of tobacco; 500ml of liquor or spirits (equivalent 2 bottles); and perfume.

Become our Guatemala Travel Expert

We are looking for contributors for our Guatemala travel guide. If you are a local, a regular traveller to Guatemala or a travel professional with time to contribute and answer occasional forum questions, please contact us.

Intrepid Travel

Intrepid Travel is one of the world's leading suppliers of small group adventures focused on getting off the beaten track and having real life experiences in Guatemala.

ADVERTISEMENT


 

  URI STRING  
/Travelguide/Countries/Guatemala/basics
  CLASS/METHOD  
countries/index
  MEMORY USAGE  
1,590,728 bytes
  BENCHMARKS  
Loading Time Base Classes  0.0016
Controller Execution Time ( Countries / Index )  0.0827
Total Execution Time  0.0847
  GET DATA  
No GET data exists
  POST DATA  
No POST data exists
  DATABASE:  globe_media   QUERIES: 39   
0.0005   INSERT INTO `ci_sessions(`session_id`, `ip_address`, `user_agent`, `last_activity`) VALUES ('7f7a2fed20e4137af7b4b043dfd031db''54.167.241.4''CCBot/2.0 (http://commoncrawl.org/faq/)'1409480294) 
0.0005   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1409480294, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '7f7a2fed20e4137af7b4b043dfd031db' 
0.0003   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1409480294, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '7f7a2fed20e4137af7b4b043dfd031db' 
0.0003   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1409480294, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '7f7a2fed20e4137af7b4b043dfd031db' 
0.0004   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1409480294, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '7f7a2fed20e4137af7b4b043dfd031db' 
0.0004   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1409480294, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '7f7a2fed20e4137af7b4b043dfd031db' 
0.0004   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1409480294, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '7f7a2fed20e4137af7b4b043dfd031db' 
0.0004   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1409480294, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '7f7a2fed20e4137af7b4b043dfd031db' 
0.0004   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1409480294, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '7f7a2fed20e4137af7b4b043dfd031db' 
0.0004   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1409480294, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '7f7a2fed20e4137af7b4b043dfd031db' 
0.0004   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1409480294, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '7f7a2fed20e4137af7b4b043dfd031db' 
0.0003   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1409480294, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '7f7a2fed20e4137af7b4b043dfd031db' 
0.0003   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1409480294, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '7f7a2fed20e4137af7b4b043dfd031db' 
0.0004   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1409480294, `user_data` = 'a:1:{s:16:\"destination_type\";s:9:\"Countries\";}' WHERE `session_id` = '7f7a2fed20e4137af7b4b043dfd031db' 
0.0004   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1409480294, `user_data` = 'a:2:{s:16:\"destination_type\";s:9:\"Countries\";s:7:\"country\";s:9:\"Guatemala\";}' WHERE `session_id` = '7f7a2fed20e4137af7b4b043dfd031db' 
0.0004   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1409480294, `user_data` = 'a:3:{s:16:\"destination_type\";s:9:\"Countries\";s:7:\"country\";s:9:\"Guatemala\";s:13:\"selected_node\";s:6:\"basics\";}' WHERE `session_id` = '7f7a2fed20e4137af7b4b043dfd031db' 
0.0005   SELECT *
FROM (`config_categories`)
WHERE `type` = 'left'
AND `parent_category_idIN (SELECT id FROM config_categories WHERE link "/countries")
AND `
display_order` != '0'
ORDER BY `display_order
0.0007   SELECT `province_code`, `province_name`, `c`.`country_name`
FROM (`provincesp)
LEFT JOIN `countriesON `c`.`country_code` = `p`.`country_code`
WHERE `c`.`country_name` = 'Guatemala'
ORDER BY `p`.`province_name
0.0036   SELECT rc.id as regions_cities_idrc.region_namerc.major_cityrc.key_regionc.country_namep.province_name  FROM regions_cities rc INNER JOIN countries c ON c.country_code rc.country_code LEFT JOIN provinces p ON rc.province_code p.province_code WHERE c.country_name "Guatemala"  AND rc.major_city AND rc.nfuwt != 1 UNION SELECT rc.id as regions_cities_idrc.region_namerc.major_cityrc.key_regionc.country_namep.province_name FROM regions_cities rc INNER JOIN provinces p ON p.province_code rc.province_code INNER JOIN countries c ON p.country_code c.country_code WHERE c.country_name "Guatemala"  AND rc.major_city AND rc.nfuwt != ORDER BY region_name  
0.0039   SELECT rc.id as regions_cities_idrc.region_namerc.major_cityrc.key_regionc.country_namep.province_name  FROM regions_cities rc INNER JOIN countries c ON c.country_code rc.country_code LEFT JOIN provinces p ON rc.province_code p.province_code WHERE c.country_name "Guatemala"  AND rc.major_city AND rc.nfuwt != 1 UNION SELECT rc.id as regions_cities_idrc.region_namerc.major_cityrc.key_regionc.country_namep.province_name FROM regions_cities rc INNER JOIN provinces p ON p.province_code rc.province_code INNER JOIN countries c ON p.country_code c.country_code WHERE c.country_name "Guatemala"  AND rc.major_city AND rc.nfuwt != ORDER BY region_name  
0.0015   SELECT `r`.`id` as resort_id, `r`.`name`, `r`.`major_resort`, `r`.`attr_ski_chk`, `r`.`attr_beach_chk`, `c`.`country_name`, (SELECT region_name FROM regions_cities WHERE country_code c.country_code AND id r.region_city_code) as region_name
FROM 
(`resortsr)
LEFT JOIN `countriesON `c`.`country_code` = `r`.`country_code`
WHERE `c`.`country_name` = 'Guatemala'
AND `attr_ski_chk` != "Yes"
ORDER BY `r`.`major_resortDESC, `r`.`name
0.0013   SELECT `r`.`id` as resort_id, `r`.`name`, `r`.`major_resort`, `r`.`attr_ski_chk`, `r`.`attr_beach_chk`, `c`.`country_name`, (SELECT region_name FROM regions_cities WHERE country_code c.country_code AND id r.region_city_code) as region_name
FROM 
(`resortsr)
LEFT JOIN `countriesON `c`.`country_code` = `r`.`country_code`
WHERE `c`.`country_name` = 'Guatemala'
AND `attr_ski_chk` = 'Yes'
ORDER BY `r`.`major_resortDESC, `r`.`name
0.0013   SELECT `iata_code`, `name`, `url_name`, `c`.`country_name`
FROM (`port_of_callpc)
LEFT JOIN `countriesON `c`.`country_code` = `pc`.`country_code`
WHERE `c`.`country_name` = 'Guatemala'
ORDER BY `pc`.`name
0.0004   SELECT *
FROM (`config_nodescn)
JOIN `config_nodes_categoriescnc ON `cnc`.`node_id` = `cn`.`id`
WHERE `cnc`.`category_idIN (select id from config_categories where link "/basics")
ORDER BY `cn`.`position`, `cnc`.`display_order
0.0030   SELECT `id`, `headline`, `via_title`, `via_link`, `body`, `event_date`, `end_date`, `anchor_link`
FROM (`news`)
WHERE `for_pro` = 1
AND `end_date` >  '2014-08-31'
AND `country_code` = (SELECT country_code FROM countries WHERE country_name "Guatemala") 
0.0012   SELECT *
FROM (`tour_operators`)
WHERE `country_code` = (SELECT country_code FROM countries WHERE country_name "Guatemala")
AND `
show_in_column` = 1
ORDER BY 
`show_in_columnDESC, `name
0.0004   SELECT country_code FROM countries WHERE country_name "Guatemala" 
0.0010   SELECT from tourop_list WHERE destinations LIKE '%GT%' ORDER BY id DESC 
0.0005   SELECT `country_code`
FROM (`countries`)
WHERE `country_name` = 'Guatemala' 
0.0169   SELECT d.id AS destination_idd.overview AS destination_overviewd.extended_overview AS destination_extended_overviewd.photo as destination_photod.*, c.*, 'Guatemala' AS country_nameLENGTH(CONCAT_WS(d.timed.electricityd.languaged.healthd.tippingd.safetyd.businessd.communicationsd.duty_free)) AS basicsLENGTH(CONCAT_WS(d.embassy_consulate_usd.embassy_consulate_ukd.embassy_consulate_cad.embassy_consulate_aud.embassy_consulate_ird.embassy_consulate_nz)) AS contacts(SELECT money FROM destinations WHERE country_code "GT" ) AS money(SELECT LENGTH(CONCAT_WS(passport_visaentry_req_usentry_req_ukentry_req_caentry_req_auentry_req_irentry_req_nz))
 
FROM destinations WHERE country_code "GT" ) AS visa(SELECT group_concat(id) FROM public_holiday p WHERE p.country_code "GT" order by p.weight desc) AS public_holiday(SELECT count(*) FROM tour_operators t where t.country_code d.country_code) AS num_tour_ops(SELECT count(id) AS total_rows FROM tourop_list tl WHERE tl.destinations LIKE ("%GT%")) AS num_tour_operators(SELECT group_concat(name) FROM port_of_call pc WHERE pc.country_code d.country_code) AS ports_of_call(SELECT group_concat(region_name) FROM regions_cities WHERE major_city AND nfuwt != AND country_code d.country_code ORDER BY major_city DESCregion_name ASC) AS cities(SELECT group_concat(region_name) FROM regions_cities WHERE major_city AND nfuwt != AND country_code d.country_code ORDER BY major_city DESCregion_name ASC) AS regions(SELECT group_concat(name) FROM resorts WHERE major_resort AND country_code d.country_code ORDER BY major_resort DESCname ASC) AS resorts(SELECT count(*) FROM dmcs WHERE country_code d.country_code) AS num_dmcs(SELECT concat(caption" © "copyright) FROM images WHERE filename d.photo) AS photo_copyright(SELECT count(*) FROM airports ai where ai.nfuwt != AND ai.country_code d.country_code) AS num_airports(SELECT count(*) FROM events e where e.country_code d.country_code AND show_on_country 1) AS num_events(SELECT count(*) FROM activities where region_city_code "0" AND country_code d.country_code) AS num_activities(SELECT count(*) FROM attractions a where a.country_code d.country_code AND show_on_country AND excursion "No") AS num_attractions(SELECT count(*) FROM attractions a where a.country_code d.country_code AND show_on_country AND show_on_kids AND excursion "No") AS num_kids_attractions(SELECT count(*) FROM attractions a where a.country_code d.country_code AND excursion "Yes") AS num_excursions(SELECT phrases FROM phrase_book pb where pb.country_code c.country_code AND phrases != "") AS num_phrases(SELECT count(*) FROM image_bridge ib LEFT OUTER JOIN images i ON ib.image_id=i.id WHERE ib.destination_code c.country_code) AS num_photos(SELECT count(*) FROM hospitals h where h.country_code c.country_code) AS num_hospitals
FROM 
(destinations d)
LEFT JOIN countries c ON c.country_code d.country_code
LEFT JOIN provinces pr ON pr
.province_code d.province_code
WHERE 
`c`.`country_name` = 'Guatemala' 
0.0005   UPDATE ci_sessions SET last_activity 1409480294user_data 'a:3:{s:16:\"destination_type\";s:9:\"Countries\";s:7:\"country\";s:9:\"Guatemala\";s:13:\"selected_node\";s:6:\"basics\";}' WHERE `session_id` = '7f7a2fed20e4137af7b4b043dfd031db' 
0.0004   UPDATE ci_sessions SET last_activity 1409480294user_data 'a:4:{s:16:\"destination_type\";s:9:\"Countries\";s:7:\"country\";s:9:\"Guatemala\";s:13:\"selected_node\";s:6:\"basics\";s:6:\"region\";s:0:\"\";}' WHERE `session_id` = '7f7a2fed20e4137af7b4b043dfd031db' 
0.0006   SELECT TagID FROM FORUM_DiscussionTags WHERE  Tag 'Guatemala'  
0.0005   SELECT DiscussionID FROM FORUM_DiscussionHasTags WHERE TagID IN (1952)
                
GROUP BY DiscussionID HAVING COUNT(DiscussionID) = 
0.0008   SELECT od.`Name`, od.`DiscussionIDFROM FORUM_Discussion od
                    WHERE od
.`DiscussionIDIN ( 1815,1823,2058,2146,2460,3535,3785,3824,3832,3972,4313,4875,4876,5083,5193,7643 ) ORDER BY od.`DateLastActiveDESC LIMIT 0 15
0.0006   SELECT i.*, e.fullnamee.bioe.pic FROM interviews i INNER JOIN experts e ON i.expert_id e.id
INNER JOIN countries c ON i
.spatial_id c.country_code WHERE i.interview_type 'country' AND c.country_name 'Guatemala' 
0.0003   SELECT TagID FROM FORUM_DiscussionTags WHERE  Tag 'Guatemala'  
0.0003   SELECT DiscussionID FROM FORUM_DiscussionHasTags WHERE TagID IN (1952)
                
GROUP BY DiscussionID HAVING COUNT(DiscussionID) = 
0.0003   SELECT od.`Name`, od.`DiscussionIDFROM FORUM_Discussion od
                    WHERE od
.`DiscussionIDIN ( 1815,1823,2058,2146,2460,3535,3785,3824,3832,3972,4313,4875,4876,5083,5193,7643 ) ORDER BY od.`DateLastActiveDESC LIMIT 0 15