Skip to content

Guatemala Travel Guide

Looking for an in-depth Guatemala travel guide?

Then you’re in the right place!

Located in Central America, Guatemala is a small country with much to offer — like mountains, volcanos, cities full of gorgeous colonial architecture, Indigenous ruins, wellness retreats, and more!

And though the country has gotten a bit of a reputation for violent crime in recent years, don’t let that keep you from visiting this beautiful country; Guatemala is safer than you think.

Guatemala is an excellent destination for travelers on a budget; on average, most travelers spend about $35 USD per day on food, accommodation, and transportation in the country.

There are many affordable places to stay throughout the country, too, including health and wellness retreats like Earth Lodge near Antigua.

Street food is ubiquitous, but even restaurants with set menus are very inexpensive. You’ll definitely get a lot of bang for your buck here!

Looking for active travel adventures?

Hikers will love exploring Guatemala’s mountains and volcanoes like Indian’s Nose and Pacaya Volcano. Note that many of these volcanoes are active, so keep an eye on conditions before heading up to the top.

There are also many parts of the country that have a distinctly bohemian feel. For instance, Guatemala City’s cafes and meeting spots were once regular haunts of famous poets and revolutionaries.

Today, you can also visit relaxed, eclectic villages San Pedro La Laguna to get a similar vibe. And you can’t miss those colorful chicken buses throughout the country’s major cities and towns!

Want to learn more about Guatemala?

Keep reading to dive into resources that will help you with planning a trip to Guatemala.

Note: This ultimate guide to Guatemala travel contains affiliate links to trusted partners!

Guatemala Map

Use this Guatemala travel map to begin planning your trip!

Guatemala map

Click here for an interactive Google Map version of the above graphic.

Things To Do In Guatemala

Discover the best Guatemala attractions & experiences!

Best Places To Go In Guatemala

Discover where to go in Guatemala for an incredible trip that’s truly Central America travel at its finest!

Guatemala Travel Tips

Use this Guatemala travel advice to plan the perfect trip!

Top Guatemala Tours

Explore the local culture with the help of a Guatemala tour guide!

  • Small-Group Cooking Class in Antigua
  • Antigua ATV Sunset Tour
  • Lake Atitlan, Panajachel & Santiago Village Day Trip by Boat from Guatemala City
  • Guatemala City: Holy Guatemole – Food & Market Walking Tour
  • La Antigua Guatemala Chocolate & Coffee Experience
  • Pacaya Volcano Tour & Hot Springs with Lunch from Guatemala City
  • Tikal Mayan Ruins Day Tour from Guatemala City

Renting A Car In Guatemala

Need a rental car for your Guatemala trip?

Use Discover Cars to quickly compare your car rental options.

Their comparison tool does the homework for you, so there’s no need to have up 10+ tabs trying to figure out which company is the most affordable. Actually, you can save up to 70% using their tool!

Guatemala Hotels

Click here to browse hotels in Guatemala!

Prefer self-contained stays? 

Click here to check out unique local rentals!

You can also use this map to search for local stays:

Guatemala Travel Insurance

It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling solo or with a group on a Guatemala tour. When visiting Guatemala — or any other country in the world — make sure to get travel insurance to protect your health and safety.

In my opinion, the best travel medical insurance for travelers is SafetyWing as they’ve got a large network and offer both short-term and long-term coverage — including coverage if you’re traveling for months as well as limited coverage in your home country).

Additionally, SafetyWing is budget-friendly and offers $250,000 worth of coverage with just one low overall deductible of $250.

With coverage, you’ll have peace of mind as you embark on your Guatemala itinerary.

Click my referral link here to price out travel insurance for your trip in just a few clicks.

Guatemala Travel Guide FAQ

Below, find answers to frequently asked questions about traveling Guatemala.

Q: Is Guatemala safe?

Travelers are major targets of crime in Guatemala but there are several steps you can take to keep yourself safe during your trip. Be particularly vigilant and aware of your surroundings at and around airports, as many travelers have experienced carjackings and robberies in these areas.

Pickpocketing and purse-snatching are particularly common in big cities, so learn how to avoid pickpockets by keeping your belongings close and any valuables out of sight. Try not to flaunt any signs of wealth and try not to use your cell phone on the street.

Another suggestion:

Only use ATMs inside bank lobbies or hotels, as scams are common on street ATMs.

There are also certain areas to avoid for safety reasons when traveling through Guatemala. For example, drug smuggling activity is common at the country’s northern border with Mexico, as is narco-related violence. Avoid this area and the northwest corner of Peten if possible.

Q: What are some lesser-known sights to see when visiting Guatemala City, Guatemala?

There are many cool places to visit in Guatemala’s capital beyond the city’s museums, churches, and historic sights. More bohemian travelers will want to check out La Bodeguita del Centro, a cultural meeting place offering live music, poetry readings, film screenings, and more that’s generally free to enter throughout the week.

After the show, take a trip down Pasaje Rubio, a French-style arcade with cute boutiques and old libraries as well as El Portalito, a former hangout of Che Guevara and Pablo Naruda.

Want a bird’s eye view of Guatemala?

Head to Parque Minerva to check out Mapa en Relieve, a giant topographical map of Guatemala featuring viewing towers for the best vistas. This is a great place to start your trip through the country as you’ll be able to get a sense of its size and geography.

Q: How many days do you need in Guatemala?

The length of your trip to Guatemala certainly depends on your budget and time constraints, but most experts suggest planning two weeks for a good tour of the country.

You’ll generally want to spend about two days in each location on your itinerary to fully experience each one.

You’ll also usually need to budget in a full day for travel between each destination depending on how far you’re traveling.

Q: What do I need to know about traveling to Guatemala?

There are a few things to know before traveling to Guatemala. Regardless of the first destination on your trip, you will probably arrive in Guatemala City, home of the country’s major hub airport. There are several non-stop flights to Guatemala City from the U.S., as well as routes with stopovers in Mexico and other Central American countries.

There aren’t a ton of domestic flights between cities in Guatemala, so you will need to secure ground transportation. You can either hop in a shared shuttle upon arrival at the airport or pre-book a shuttle before your trip — which is highly recommended if you’re arriving late at night!

Q: Do I need a visa to visit Guatemala?

Citizens of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the European Union, most South and Central American countries and several other nations can visit Guatemala for up to 90 days without a visa.

It’s recommended to view your country’s Guatemala International Travel Information page for the most up-to-date information on entry and exit requirements. You can also contact the Consulate General of Guatemala.

Q: Are credit cards accepted in Guatemala?

Major credit cards are accepted around Guatemala — especially Visa — though it’s recommended to carry some cash for making purchases from smaller restaurants and street stalls.

Q: What is the best time to visit Guatemala?

While Guatemala is a year-round destination, the dry season is from November to April.

Q: What months are summer in Guatemala?

Summer in Guatemala runs from November to April.

Q: Can you drink tap water in Guatemala?

It is best to avoid drinking tap water in Guatemala.

Q: What is the hottest month in Guatemala?

The warmest month in Guatemala is typically April.

Q: What is the local currency in Guatemala?

The local currency in Guatemala is the Guatemalan quetzal.

What would you add to this Guatemala travel guide?