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Barcelo Guatemala City
Barcelo Guatemala City - dream vacation

7 Avenida 15-45 Zona 9Guatemala City

Radisson Hotel Guatemala City
Radisson Hotel Guatemala City - dream vacation

la. Avenida 12-46, Zona 10Guatemala City

Holiday Inn Guatemala City
Holiday Inn Guatemala City - dream vacation

Primera Avenida 13-22 Zona 10Guatemala City

Grand Tikal Futura Hotel
Grand Tikal Futura Hotel - dream vacation

Calzada Roosevelt 22 43 Zona 11Guatemala City

Casa Santo Domingo
Casa Santo Domingo - dream vacation

3ra Calle Oriente No. 28 AAntigua Guatemala

Porta Hotel Antigua
Porta Hotel Antigua - dream vacation

8A Calle PonienteAntigua Guatemala

Crowne Plaza Guatemala
Crowne Plaza Guatemala - dream vacation

Avenida Las Americas 9-08 Zn13Guatemala City

Guatemala has a rich and distinctive culture from the extended mixing of elements from Spain and the Maya people who are native to Central America. This diverse history and the natural beauty of the land have created a destination rich in interesting and scenic sites. Guatemala is very tough land—you can experience volcanic activity, seismic activity (earthquakes, mudslides), and hurricanes.



  • Guatemala City — Capital and largest city with many amenities
  • Antigua Guatemala — Colonial Spanish capital of Central America, a World Heritage site, and the most popular among tourists
  • Flores — Island city capital of Petén, good starting point to access Mayan ruins of Tikal.
  • 4 Melchor de Mencos — Border city which is the main crossing point to Belize
  • Panajachel — Gateway to Lake Atitlán, a beautiful and busy tourist area
  • Puerto Barrios — Caribbean seaport with speedboats to and from Belize
  • 7 Puerto San José — Pacific seaport
  • Quetzaltenango — Second largest city, in the western highlands. Commonly called "Xela".
  • 9 Sayaxché — River gateway in Petén

Other destinations

  • 1 Aguateca — visit some of the best-preserved Mayan ruins in Guatemala, where you're more likely to encounter archaeologists than tourists
  • 2 El Mirador — still being uncovered, the adventurous few who visit this massive early Maya site will discover a cradle of Mayan civilization
  • 3 Iximché — these Mayan ruins in the Central Highlands are an easy day trip from Guatemala City or Antigua
  • 4 Lake Atitlán — a stunningly beautiful volcanic lake surrounded by picturesque Mayan villages, visitors may find themselves staying longer than anticipated
  • 5 Monterrico — located on the Pacific coast, Monterrico is known for its volcanic black sand beaches and annual influx of sea turtles
  • 6 Nakúm — an impressive Classic Maya site
  • 7 Rio Dulce — surrounded by National Parks, Rio Dulce checks a variety of boxes for the outdoor adventurer: jungles to trek, rivers to swim, and ruins to explore
  • 8 Semuc Champey — a swimmers paradise; this series of stepped, turquoise pools is perfectly situated atop a natural limestone bridge
  • 9 Tikal — long considered the largest of Maya ruins, this impressive site is often the reason folks choose to add Guatemala to their itineraries




See also: Indigenous cultures of North America

The first evidence of human settlers in Guatemala goes back to at least 12,000 BC. Sites dating back to 6500 BC have been found in Quiché in the Central Highlands and Sipacate, Escuintla on the central Pacific coast. Archaeologists divide the pre-Columbian history of Mesoamerica into the Pre-Classic period (2000 BC to 250 AD).

El Mirador was by far the most populated city in pre-Columbian America. The El Tigre and Monos pyramids each have a volume greater than 250,000 cubic meters. Mirador was the first politically organized state in America.

The Classic period of Mesoamerican civilization corresponds to the height of the Maya civilization, and is represented by countless sites throughout Guatemala, although the largest concentration is in Petén in the Northern Lowlands. This period is characterized by heavy city-building, the development of independent city-states, and contact with other Mesoamerican cultures. This lasted until around 900 AD, when the Classic Maya civilization collapsed. The Maya abandoned many of the cities of the central lowlands or were killed off by a drought-induced famine. The Post-Classic period is represented by regional kingdoms such as the Itza' and Ko'woj in the lakes area in Petén, and the Mam, K'iche', Kaqchikel, Tz'utujil, Poqomchi', Q'eqchi' and Ch'orti' in the Highlands. These cities preserved many aspects of Mayan culture, but would never equal the size or power of the Classic cities.

Colonial era

After arriving in what was named the New World, the Spanish mounted several expeditions to Guatemala, beginning in 1519. Before long, Spanish contact resulted in an epidemic that devastated native populations. During the colonial period, Guatemala was an Audiencia and a Captaincy General of Spain, and a part of New Spain (Mexico). It extended from the modern Mexican states of Tabasco and Chiapas to Costa Rica. This region was not as rich in minerals (gold and silver) as Mexico and Peru, and was therefore not considered to be as important. Its main products were sugarcane, cocoa, blue añil dye, red dye from cochineal insects, and precious woods used in artwork for churches and palaces in Spain.


On September 15, 1821, the Captaincy-general of Guatemala (formed by Chiapas, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Honduras) proclaimed its independence from Spain and its incorporation into the Mexican Empire, which was dissolved two years later. After the collapse of the first Mexican Empire Guatemala formed part of the short-lived United Provinces of Central America. Guatemala's "Liberal Revolution" came in 1871 under the leadership of Justo Rufino Barrios, who worked to modernize the country, improve trade, and introduce new crops and manufacturing. During this era coffee became an important crop for Guatemala. Barrios had ambitions of reuniting Central America and took the country to war in an unsuccessful attempt to attain this, losing his life on the battlefield in 1885 against forces in El Salvador. From 1898 to 1920, Guatemala was ruled by the dictator Manuel Estrada Cabrera, whose access to the presidency was helped by the United Fruit Company.

On July 4, 1944, Dictator Jorge Ubico Castañeda was forced to resign his office in response to a wave of protests and a general strike, and from then until the end of a murderous civil war in 1996, Guatemala was subject to a series of coups with massive attendant civil rights abuses. State-sponsored murders of students, human rights activists and the ethnic Mayan peoples, gained Guatemala a terrible reputation around the world. In 1999, U.S. President Bill Clinton stated that the United States was wrong to have provided support to Guatemalan military forces that took part in the brutal civilian killings.

Since the peace accords in 1996, Guatemala has witnessed successive democratic elections.


Guatemala's climate is diverse and varies according to the country's geography. In the lowlands, the climate is tropical and hot, with afternoon thunderstorms that usually reduce the heat a little. In Puerto Barrios, on the Caribbean coast, average temperatures range from 20.1 °C (68.3 °F) in January to 29.5 °C in March, reaching 3,075 mm (121.1 inches) of rain per year. In the mountains, the climate is generally slightly cooler and tends to be less rainy, reaching just 802.1 mm (31.59 inches) in Quetzaltenango. In Guatemala City, the average maximum temperatures is 27 ºC (80.6 ºF) in the months of April and May and lows of 13.2 ºC (55.8 ºF) in January and 2.3 ºC (36.1 ºC) in Quetzaltenango. In the highlands, the rainy season runs from May to October. Due to Guatemala's location between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, the country is vulnerable to hurricanes.

Get in

Entry requirements

The following nationalities do not need a visa to visit Guatemala: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, San Marino, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United States, United Kingdom, Vatican City, Venezuela.

Valid passports are required of everyone except citizens of the following Central American countries: Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador. There is a treaty of free movement between those countries, similar to the Schengen agreement in Europe.

Proof of onward travel is often required by airlines however rarely checked by officials to gain a visa when flying into Guatemala.

By plane

Guatemala's main airport, La Aurora International Airport (GUA IATA), is in Guatemala City. International flights arrive mostly from the other Central American countries, United States, Mexico, Colombia and Spain. The airport is a glass-and-concrete edifice with modern shops and duty-free shops that you might expect in any large city. Food options may be somewhat still limited, however. American Airlines, Avianca, Copa, Delta, and United all offer service to Guatemala, albeit at high prices. Iberia also serves Guatemala City.

Guatemala's secondary airport is situated in Flores (FRS IATA), Petén. This small airport receives flights from Guatemala City and neighboring Belize.

By car

From Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador access is via the Pan-American Highway. Road access is also possible with more difficulty from Belize.

By bus

  • From Belize. Multiple companies have express buses from Belize City to Flores (Guatemala), passing through San Ignacio and Xunantunich, with connections to Guatemala City. A cheaper alternative is a local Belizean bus to the border town of Benque Viejo, a taxi to the border and onward from Melchor de Mencos to Flores by colectivo, or taxi to Tikal.

There are several bus companies connecting Guatemala to neighboring countries of El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico and Belize. Some of the companies continue onwards towards through the rest of the Central American isthmus towards Panama via San Jose and Managua from San Salvador and Tegucigalpa or San Pedro Sula. International buses are usually first class pullman services in newer Marcopolo, Mercedes or Volvo type of coaches and operate on limited schedules (usually early morning departures) with limited number of stops. Except Adrenalina Tours and Grupo ADO addresses given are in Guatemala City:

  • Grupo ADO and OCC (Omnibus Cristobal Colon) (Autobuses De Oriente (ADO)), toll-free: +1800-009-9090 (MX). Grupo ADO & OCC buses do not go into Guatemala from Mexico but they do provide onward connections to Mexico City, Cristobal Colon, Comitan and other places in Mexico from the Mexican side of the border. The nearest ADO/OCC bus stations from Guatemala are in Tapachula, Ciudad Cuauhtemoc and Palenque. There are also various travel agencies in Antigua, Panajachel and San Cristobal de las Casas that sell tickets for various shuttle companies for connections between Mexico and Guatemala in smaller mini-vans or mini-buses. Passengers usually transfer buses/vans at the border. (updated Nov 2017)
  • Adrenalina Tours, 2a Calle Poniente, Casa No, 3, Antigua Guatemala 03001, ? +502 5308-5532. Operates shuttles between the popular tourist spots within Guatemala and to San Cristobal de las Casas in Mexico; Leon, Nicaragua; Tunco, El Salvador; and La Ceiba, Honduras from Antigua. (updated Jun 2018)
  • Comfort Lines, 4 Ave 13-60 Zona 10, ? +502 2501-1000. Operates mainly between the Guatemala city and San Salvador. 
  • Fuentes Del Norte (FDN), 17 Calle 8a. y 9a. Avenidas 8-46 Zona 1, ? +502 7497-7070, +502 7497-1786. Connect Santa Elena to Belize City via Melchor de Mencos and from Guatemala City to San Salvador and San Pedro Sula. (updated Nov 2017)
  • Hedman Alas, 2a Ave 8-73 Zona 10, ? +502 2362-5072. Once daily departures to Tegucigalpa via Copan Ruinas, Tela, San Pedro Sula. Onward shuttle connections to Antigua for arrivals from Honduras. (updated Jun 2018)
  • Linea Dorada, 16 Calle 10-03 Zona 1, ? +502 2415-8900. Goes up to the Mexican border in La Mesilla. There are taxis and tuk tuks from La Mesilla to the OCC and Mexican immigration in Ciudad Cuauhtémoc (updated Jun 2018)
  • Platinum Centroamerica (King Quality), 4 Ave 13-60 Zona 10, ? +502 2501-1000. Serves Guatemala City, San Salvador, Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula and Managua. 
  • Pullmantur, 1a Avenida 13-22 Zona 10 (Hotel Holiday Inn), ? +502 2495-7000. Operates buses between Guatemala City, Tegucigalpa and San Salvador. 
  • Ticabus (Transportes Internationales Centromaericanos), Calzada Aguilar Batres, 22-55 Zona 12, ? +502 2473-3737. departs 06:00 and 14:00. Major central bus company operating buses across the Central American isthmus between Panama City and Managua. From Managua one route goes to Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula in Honduras while another continues along the Pan American Hwy to San Salvador, Guatemala City and Tapachula in Mexico. They also have another north-south route connecting El Salvador to Honduras.. 
  • Trans Galgos Inter., 7a Avenida 19-44 Zona 1, ? +503 2232-3661, +503 2220-6018, +503 2230-5058. departs 13:00. International services to Tapachula from Guatemala City via Retalhuleau and Coatepeque on one route and twice daily to San Salvador on another. They also operate a third domestic route to Quetzaltenango from Guatemala City. US$17. 
  • Transportes del Sol, Avenida las Américas, adentro del Hotel Las Américas, zona 13 (Inside the Hotel Las Americas in Zona 13), ? +502 2422 5000, +502 4147 3104. Office hours M-F 08:00-18:00 and Sa-Su 08:00-16:00. Serves Guatemala City, San Salvador, Tegucigalpa, and Managua. US$28 (one-way). 

By boat

There are several ferries to and from Puerto Barrios and Livingston, and Punta Gorda, Belize.

Get around

By bus

If traveling by bus, there are two classes of buses. The pullman (first class) buses (pullman, expreso, especiales, primera clase), if available, are usually direct routes and are the best option for most. These buses vary in the quality of vehicles. They range from the older MC coaches (older Greyhound buses from the U.S.) to the newer single or double deck Marcopolo or Volvo coaches and anything similar in between. They are comfortable, have washrooms/toilets and will generally show movies, which may or may not be in English with Spanish subtitles (or vice versa) with reserved seating. Others may even offer a drink and a little snack. They may make limited scheduled stops (semi-directo) at specific places en route otherwise they make no stops en-route. They operate on limited schedules and usually from their own offices or terminals rather than from a central bus station in the cities they serve. The first class pullmans are more common on the route between Guatemala City and Flores and on to neighboring countries but also from Guatemala City to CobanHuehuetenango, Chiquimula and Quetzaltenango (Xelaju) as well.

The most common option are the second class buses (chicken bus, camionetas, autobuses de parrillas, polleros, mini-bus, microbus); the more ubiquitous are the decommissioned U.S. school buses painted in all sorts of funky colors and patterns. Other second class buses exist in a Toyota Coaster mini-bus, a smaller Toyota "HiAce" van (referred to as "microbus" or "minibus") or a pick up truck (picop) or some similar type of vehicle that functions the same way as the "chicken bus". Second class bus routes are more frequent and reach more places for a cheaper fare than first class pullman but they also take considerably longer to travel over longer distances (such as from Todo los Santos to Guatemala City) with multiple stops and maybe multiple transfers. They are the most common way for most to travel in and they get crowded with everything and everyone crammed in. Large cargo and luggage usually get placed on and tied to the roof, including live chickens going to market, hence the term "chicken bus". To a visitor riding along, the bus may appear to be full but to the driver and his ayudante (helper or conductor) there's always room for another person even if the space is just a sliver between two people. If it's physically impossible to squeeze on more people there's always room up on the roof or cling on from the outside as the bus barrels down the road. The chicken buses operate from a central bus terminal (Terminal de Autobuses) which usually is nothing more than open lot next to an informal market with no ticket offices. You just walk into the lot, hop on and grab a seat. Once the bus is underway and start picking up others along the streets an ayudante will eventually come around to collect the fares (usually Q10 per hour) and he's usually very good at knowing who paid and giving change, which may not come right away. Check with fellow passengers on what the fare is to a particular destination as it may be more or less than Q10.

Robberies of the buses are frequent along the highway in the countryside and in the capital itself. Usually several people, one or more in the front, middle and back of the bus get up, take out their guns and announce a robbery or simply a group of people -or even children- surround you and demand your possessions from you. Sometimes this is part of the regular routine of the bus drivers, sometimes even the drivers organize these robberies.

A third option many travelers opt for is the tourist shuttle which costs 5 to 15x more than buses but they are more comfortable to ride in and quicker in getting there. They can be in a Toyota HiAce van, a larger Toyota Coaster minibus or some similar type of vehicle. They can make scheduled stops for bathroom and eating breaks at a restaurant en route but otherwise they run non-stop. They typically connect between different popular tourist destinations such as Antigua, Guatemala City, La Aurora Airport, PanajachelChichicastenango (on market days), Lanquin, San Cristobal de las Casas, Ruinas de Copan, etc. Tickets on these are available at the travel agencies in the tourist towns they serve. Pick-up and drop off may be at a their office where everybody meet at or is pre-arranged for pick-up and drop off at hotels and hostels.

See the By bus under Get in in the above and in the Guatemala City article for a list of available bus companies.

By plane

Regular domestic flights only operate between Guatemala City GUA IATA and Flores FRS IATA on Transportes Aéreos Guatemaltecos (TAG) and Avianca Guatemala (formerly Taca Regional and Aviateca). TAG also offer flights from Guatemala City to Puerto Barrios.

By car

Road safety is poor, especially on highways. Roads are in relatively poor condition, except for main roads. During the rainy season, the condition of roads deteriorates considerably.

Driving at night should be avoided. When driving, doors should be locked and windows closed.

Buses and cars are also being robbed on busy main roads in the middle of the day. Criminals posing as police officers have also committed robberies and rapes.

Guatemalan Traffic Police (in Spanish)

Guatemalan Traffic Police on Facebook (in Spanish)


See also: Spanish phrasebook

Spanish is the official language of Guatemala and is spoken by almost everyone in the main tourist destinations. In villages more off the beaten track, most people may only speak a Maya language, perhaps with some broken Spanish. Doctors, teachers, lawyers, police and other professionals in such areas will speak Spanish.

The local vernacular is Guatemalan Spanish, which has extensive loanwords from Mayan languages and has different grammatical rules. The most familiar form of Spanish spoken among good friends is the "tú" and "vos" form, but varies between regions. It is considered rude and very informal if used with someone that you do not know. As a tourist, it is safer to stick with the "usted" form. However, don't be surprised if some homestay families and some language teachers jump right into using the "tú" or "vos" form. If they do, you may respond in kind.

Over twenty-one indigenous languages are spoken, especially in the rural corners of the country. The most commonly spoken indigenous languages are K'iche' (the second most widely spoken language in the country), Q'eqchi', and Kaqchikel.


Maya ruins are the key attractions in the country and the most notable are El Mirador, perhaps the cradle of Maya civilisation, and Tikal.


Guatemala has a lot of volcanoes, many of them over 3,000 m high.

  • Volcán de Pacaya (2500 m) - this is an active volcano about 30 minutes outside of Antigua. Some days it will not be accessible as the volcano may be too active to observe safely. Bring a jacket since it will be windy and cold at the top (although the ground will feel warm) and wear long pants as the volcanic rock can easily give you a nice cut. Tour guides can be organised from Antigua. Until a significant eruption in late May 2010, you were able to walk right up to see real lava and even roast hot dogs and marshmallows over it. Although trips are still common and travel agencies still boast this possibility with pictures of tourist doing so in the past, this is no longer possible.

If you decide to travel to Pacaya alone the prices are quite reasonable. Approximately Q25 (US$3) entrance to the park. At the entrance to Pacaya National Park you will be required to have a local guide, licensed by the park to take you to the top of the volcano. There are two separate entrances to the park, the first located in the town of El Cedro and the second in the town of San Francisco. The El Cedro route is an easier climb, around 2 hours up & 1 hour down the volcano. The San Fracisco entrance is a few miles further past El Cedro. It's a bit of a steeper climb. The entire park is patrolled by local police and soldiers - it is quite safe. Locals also offer horses to bring you for around Q125 (US$15) which if you're not into hiking is a great alternative. These are offered to you when you begin your ascent. There are washrooms, snacks and drinks available for sale at both entrances as well. Secure parking is available for those traveling without a tour group.


Guatemala is rich in natural beauty and travel opportunities, it's a country that offers so much to those willing to step off the beaten track for a little while.

Antigua Guatemala is often regarded as the travellers' hub, a crumbling, picture-perfect Central American town ringed by volcanoes. From here you can take a hike up Volcano Pacaya, take a bus to the bustling market of Chichicastenango, or sip some coffee in a street-side cafe and watch the world go by.

Lake Atitlan (or Lago de Atitlán) is another frequent stop on any visitors itinerary. A volcano-rimmed lake with plenty of backpacker hostels and Mayan villages that dot the shores.

Flores in Guatemala's wild north is a tourist friendly island in the middle of Lake Petén Itzá. From here you can take a bus ride to one of the best preserved Mayan ruins in the world, Tikal. Howler monkeys and dense jungle make walking around the ruins an adventure.

  • Semuc Champey, Lanquin, near Coban, Alta Verapaz. Semuc Champey is a cascade of turquoise limestone pools created by the river plunging below ground for a stretch before rushing back out through a spectacular waterfall. Definitely worth making the trip to Lanquin for, as are the beautiful lodges that have sprung up from the captivating hilly landscape. 

Rio Dulce The Rio Dulce is a majestic emerald river, sandwiched between Belize & Honduras, which sweeps out to the Caribbean. The Rio Dulce area consists of two towns on either side of one of the largest bridges in Central America, Fronteras & El Relleno. Rio Dulce is a haven for sailors and backpackers, with plenty to do and to see. Finca Paraiso is a hot springs waterfall which is like having a spa day in the jungle; Castillo San Felipe de Lara is a historical fort site and an inexpensive way to spend the afternoon touring the castle and swimming in Lake Izabal. The many species of Birds & Animals (including manatees) makes Rio Dulce a great spot for birdwatchers, animal lovers & fishing fans.



The local currency is the quetzal (Q, ISO code: GTQ) which is named after the national bird, which has ancient and mythic connotations even today. U.S. dollars are widely accepted and can be exchanged in most small towns. ATMs can be found in the major towns but do not expect to find them in every tourist spot. It is fairly easy to find your self in a town without an ATM or a place to change money.

Do not expect to be able to easily exchange travelers checks to Guatemala. You might find a few places willing to accept checks issued by American Express but all other types are universally turned down. Even major banks in Guatemala City do not accept Visa travelers checks.

It is common to use U.S. dollars in tourist areas. You will most likely have difficulties in changing other currencies than U.S. dollars, but euros are becoming increasingly common.

Coins of Guatemala are issued in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 centavos and 1 quetzal. Banknotes of Guatemala are issued in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 quetzales.


It is common to bargain for most purchases in the open air market. Though you may be able to bargain in other places, be aware that chain-owned shops have fixed prices (you are no more likely to bargain in a Guatemalan Radio Shack than an American one). These are some characteristically Guatemalan things you might consider buying here:

  • Ron Zacapa Centenario — Guatemala's prize-winning rum
  • Fabrics and traditional textiles — Traditional Mayan blouses are known as huipiles (whi-peel) and skirts as cortes. Be aware that these are almost always entirely handmade and prices for a high-end huipil may be as high as Q1000.
  • Jade — there is large jade working factory in Antigua, but it is course a very stone.
  • Coffee — touted as one of the best-tasting varieties in the world
  • Cardamom — Guatemala is the largest exporter in the world and Coban is the main centre of this trade.
  • Worry dolls — These are tiny, handcrafted dolls made by the indigenous Mayan artisans in the Guatemalan Highlands.


Typical food:

  • Kaq Ik
  • Pepián
  • Jocom
  • Quichom
  • Tortillas and tortillas de harina. Maize tortillas are served with most meals.
  • Frijoles negros - stewed black beans
  • Caldos - beef broths
  • Tamales - steam-cooked corn meal, with a variety of fillings, wrapped in banana leaves
  • Rice 'n beans (Garifunafood in Puerto Barrios)
  • Tapado, ceviche and other fishmeals
  • Churrascos

A typical breakfast is frijoles and rice with coffee of course.

The type of food really depends on how much you want to spend and what type of place you want to spend it at. You can get almost any type of food at the main tourist locations. In the aldeas (small towns) your choices are mostly limited to those items listed above. Guatemalan food differs from Mexican food in that it is a lot less spicy, and chillies are generally served in a separate dish from the main course to be added as desired, rather than included in the food.


Popular Guatemalan beers are Gallo (lager, by far the most popular with Guatemalans), Victoria, Brahva (a light pilsner style), Moza (dark bock), Cabro, Monte Carlo (premium), and Dorada. Don't be surprised if you get salt and lemon with your beer. It's a custom to put some salt on the toes of the bottle, and screw out the lemon in the beer. Sometimes it is mixed with V8 vegetable juice, and the concoction is called michelada.

Guatemala produces a number of rums, including the superb Ron Zacapa Centenario which is aged up to 30 years.

Tequila is a very popular drink in Guatemala.

If you order a bottled drink, you will normally get a tissue to clean the bottle. Coca-Cola and Pepsi-type products are available, plus many from local soft drink manufacturers.


You will likely find cheap hotels (~US$10-15 a night) in every town or village in Guatemala. In the main tourist areas, there are also many high quality hotels (US$200 a night).

Hostels with shared rooms are available in more than 15 towns and villages throughout the country. Very good rated hostels cost about US$6-15 (March 2022).


Guatemala is a great place to learn Spanish. The prices are low, and Guatemalan Spanish is considered pleasing. Antigua has the most Spanish schools and is also the most popular place for tourists. But if studying Spanish is your main concern, you might be better off elsewhere, because you can actually go around in Antigua for a whole day without hearing anything but English.

Because of this, many language students head towards Quetzaltenango in the Western Highlands, where a wide range of language schools also offer Spanish language courses (some quite inexpensive). Another alternative is San Pedro la Laguna, seated by Lake Atitlan.


There are various volunteering opportunities around the country. If you want to be useful to the local community, it is always a better idea to spend some time understanding what are the real needs of said community, instead of paying to help. If an organization only wants your help if you pay them, then what they really want is your money, not your help. Find a grassroots organization, school or community hall that would like your time and help there instead, or leave a small donation in kind or money.

  • Asociacion La Alianza Guatemala welcomes enquiries from potential volunteers who want to help provide care and assistance to, and protect the human rights of, the children and adolescents who live on the streets of Latin America.
  • CARE is said to organise volunteer projects in Guatemala.
  • Casa Guatemala (in Rio Dulce) Houses, cares for and educates over 250 abused, orphaned or impoverished children from the Rio Dulce and surrounding villages. A low-cost volunteer program working with the Children's Village or helping at one of the local businesses which supports the Orphanage is available. Spanish classes are also available. Please visit the website for an application.
  • Entremundos is a registered non-profit organization that hosts a database of over 100 local opportunities, accessible for free on their website. They also offer various additional personalized volunteer services for a small donation which includes working with their volunteer coordinator to arrange possible opportunities for you. For more info email: volunteering@entremundos.org
  • Global Vision International (GVI), run a number of volunteering programs around Guatemala with indigenous communities. They include home stay, Spanish language classes, and other services.
  • Mayan Families Mayan Families is a small non-profit organization operating in the Highlands of Guatemala. Based in Panajachel, they operate a variety of programs to support and empower the Maya people of Lake Atitlan and the surrounding areas. The work of Mayan Families is supported completely through donations, which are tax deductible in the U.S.
  • Partners In Development (PID) is a non-profit organization that works to help the extreme poor of Guatemala. They build houses for families, provide small business loans, and offer sponsorship programs for children in need
  • Proyecto Mosaico Guatemala (PMG), will, for a fee of US$270, set you up with an organisation in Guatemala which needs a volunteer. They also can arrange a home stay, Spanish language classes, and other services.
  • Safe Passage/Camino Seguro welcomes enquiries from potential volunteers who want to empower the poorest at risk children whose families make their living at Guatemala's garbage dump by creating opportunities for fostering dignity via the power of education.
  • Some schools organise social projects as well. See, for example, the Guate Spanish school's entry under Quetzaltenango.


If traveling from Mexico, be aware that Guatemala does not observe Daylight Savings Time. Because Guatemala is generally to the east of Mexico, this creates the quite unusual situation of turning the clock back instead of forward while traveling eastward. Both southern Mexico and Guatemala are on the same time when Daylight Savings is not in effect.

Newspapers and Magazines for tourists:

  • Qué Pasa. Bilingual (English & Spanish) monthly magazine based in La Antigua, with tourism and feature articles, interviews, and calendars of events, cinema, and live music. Print edition is available for free in many places in La Antigua and select locations in Ciudad de Guatemala. Online edition is available at Qué Pasa's website. 
  • Revue Magazine, 6a calle poniente No. 2, La Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala, Central America. 08:00-17:00. Guatemala's English-language magazine 
  • The EntreMundos. Bilingual magazine about development and human rights issues in Guatemala and Central America, published bimonthly and distributed throughout Quetzaltenango, and other areas. 

Stay safe

Guatemala has a reputation for being a dangerous country — a reputation that's not entirely unwarranted, but the average traveller should not be too overly concerned or cautious of their surroundings.

A lot of the crime is drug and gang related, which, to a significant extent, doesn't affect tourists that much. As long as you apply a modicum of common sense and blend in with the locals, your visit will be trouble-free.

Understand that Guatemala is still recovering from a brutal thirty-year civil war and the war has badly impacted Guatemalan society in many ways; many Guatemalans have been pushed into poverty, economic conditions are far from ideal, and the rule of law is still weak. It'll take some time for things to get back to normal.


See also: Travel in developing countries

Guatemala is one of the most criminalised countries in the world; therefore the crime rate is high. Guatemala has one of the highest rates of violent crime in Latin America and reports of theft, carjackings, armed robberies, and sexual assault, are depressingly common.

As a visitor, you may instantly attract the attention of Guatemalan criminals because they normally assume that all foreign visitors are "wealthy". To deter the attention of Guatemalan criminals, don't display signs of affluence, don't flash electronic gadgets (cameras, mobile phones, laptops, and the like), and refrain from using electronic gadgets in public. Cell phone theft is the most common crime in Guatemala. Also, it is dangerous to travel at nightime. Doing so significantly increases your risk of being a crime victim.

In the unlikely event you have been threatened by a robber, do not feel tempted to resist or fight back. Cooperate with the robber and give them whatever they want from you. Tourists have been shot and killed for resisting criminals. You should know that many robbers are off-duty police officers.

While it may be tempting to experience a ride on a local bus, refrain from riding on public buses. Buses are routinely targeted by gangs and incidents of armed robbery are not uncommon on public buses. Some countries, such as the United States, forbid their diplomatic staff from using Guatemalan buses.

Express kidnappings are common in Guatemala. As obvious as it may sound, do not hail taxis on the street. Criminal taxi drivers may pick up their associates along the way and force you into doing something you're not comfortable with (e.g. forcing you to withdraw large sums of money from the ATM).

If you must get around a city, only use trusted, pre-arranged modes of transportation. Your hotel can help you out with this. You may also use radio-dispatched taxis (Taxi Amarillo) and Uber.

Do not travel to areas close to Guatemala's borders with Mexico, El Salvador, and Belize. Border areas see high levels of criminal and drug-trafficking activity and passing vehicles are routinely targeted by gangs who take people hostage, rob people at gunpoint, and demand ransom payments. You will immediately stick out like a sore thumb if you're driving a vehicle registered to a foreign country. There's very little law enforcement can do to help out; gangs operating in border areas far too powerful and influential to be dealt with.

Do not go to the most dangerous areas of Guatemala City (zones 3, 6, 12, 18, 19, and 21).


See also: Corruption and bribery

Guatemala is one of the most corrupt countries in the world and the problem seems to be getting worse year by year. According to Transparency International, Guatemala is the third most corrupt country in Latin America. The country's rule of law is highly weak and corrupt.

The police are woefully ineffective and they are not to be trusted under any circumstances. Guatemalans themselves distrust the police force and often write off them off as inefficient, corrupt, and abusive.

Their response to crimes is severely limited by bureaucracy, inadequate training, corruption, and a lackluster justice system. Don't expect to be taken seriously if you're a crime victim and expect no help if you're not competent in Spanish.


One of the best things about Guatemala is the abundance of natural beauty and numerous treks. Some of these are notorious for robberies (Volcan de Agua, trails around Lago de Atitlán, Volcán de Pacaya). Always ask around about the situation before embarking blindly. Inguat, locals, and fellow travelers are safe bets for information. Traveling in groups during daylight sometimes decreases the risk, but not always.

Traffic can be dangerous. You will encounter many one-lane roads (one lane each way) and drivers are apt to swerve back and forth, avoiding potholes and bumps along the way. There are also various multiple lane highways. Traffic in Guatemala City and surrounding metropolitan areas during rush hour is very slow, but general driving everywhere is usually very fast (average speeds of up to 100 km/h (60 mph) in some city roads).

Demonstrations and other forms of political protest frequently turn violent.

Stay healthy

Drink only purified water (Agua Pura Salvavidas is recommended by most of hospitals and hotels).

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control states that malaria risk exists in rural areas at altitudes lower than 1,500 m, with no risk in Antigua or Lake Atitlán. Preventative anti-malarial medication can and should be purchased ahead of visiting malaria-endemic areas.

Dengue fever is endemic throughout Guatemala.

Hepatitis A&B vaccinations are recommended.


Much of what is considered good manners in Latin and South America is applicable to Guatemala. The various tips found in the respect section of the Latin America article will come in handy when you visit the country.

Address people you don't know in a formal manner (Señor, Señora, Usted), and greet people in the following way:

  • day - "buenos dias", "feliz dia"
  • night - "feliz noche", "buenas noches"

You'll encounter this in more suburban, rural areas. Native Guatemalans are raised to greet strangers formally.


Do not take photographs of children and/or women without explicit permission, especially if you're visiting indigenous communities. Doing so would get many Guatemalans to (incorrectly) think that you are either a kidnapper or a rapist. People have been attacked for doing this. In Guatemala, many children have been kidnapped and exploited on the black market, and sexual assault continues to be a heartbreaking social problem in the country.

In major cities, people are somewhat more open towards being photographed, but still, be cautious. If in doubt, always ask and respect the wishes of the person you wish to photograph.



Internet access is widely available. Even most of the more remote areas have some type of internet access available. Many larger areas also have WiFi. All of the Camperos chicken/pizza restaurants (which are numerous) offer free WiFi, as well as many other restaurants and cafes. Some hotels may also offer computer banks with internet access. Just ask and you eventually will find some sort of free access.

Mobile internet access

Use the local SIM cards (roughly Q25) and the prepaid access plans, which generally come in lots of data and include a number of minutes for domestic (and US) calls. There are only two mobile carriers in Guatemala: Tigo and Claro.

Tigo offers as of March 2022:
• 1 week including 3.3GB for Q30
• 15 days including 5GB for Q50
Tigo Website with more options.

Claro has as of March 2022:
• 1 week including 4GB for Q30
• 15 days including 6GB for Q50
• 30 days including 4GB for Q50 (without included domestic calls)
Claro website for other rates.

Here is a table for the settings and activation options for the providers.


Guatemala's international calling code is 502. There are no area codes. Phone numbers all have eight digits.

The phone system isn't great, but it works. Tourists can call abroad from call centers, where you pay by the minute. It is also easy to purchase a calling card to use at public pay phones. The phones there do not accept money, so to use a public phone on the street you must purchase a telephone card. Typically, the cost is around Q8 for a 10 min call to North America. Cell phones are quite cheap and calling to the U.S. through one can get as low as US$0.08 a min. If you are planning to stay for a while and plan to use the phone, you should consider buying a cheap prepaid phone. Wireless nation-wide internet access for laptops is also available as a service from some companies. Telefónica has good coverage with their PCMCIA EV-DO cards.


The postal system is traditionally not reliable and suspended accepting and delivering of almost all mail starting in 2017. This suspension of mail reportedly ended in April 2019.

As of November 2019, the post office still does not accept international bound mail. The post office does have an arrangement with DHL in which normal sized letters and post cards can be mailed from DHL offices for 20Q (a note from the post office may be required for DHL to honour this price). This mail is handled as regular mail once it leaves the country and is handed off to other countries' post offices.

Go Next

You can cross the land border to Belize, Mexico, El Salvador and Honduras.

Guatemala City has direct low-cost flights to El Salvador, Costa Rica, Mexico and to the United States. (updated March 2022)

Exercise a high degree of caution

The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The purpose of this Travel Advice is to provide up-to-date information to enable you to make well-informed decisions.


In south-eastern districts close to the borders with El Salvador and Honduras, and in northern districts along the border with Mexico, drug-related violence has led to a number of armed attacks. Violence related to drug trafficking has also been reported in the capital, Guatemala City, as well as in other major cities in the country. Foreigners and tourists are not usually targeted but you should nonetheless always remain vigilant.

Military and police forces, deployed along the border with Mexico to combat organized crime and improve security conditions, are conducting random vehicle searches.

Guatemala has one of the highest rates of violent crime in Latin America, but a very low arrest and detention rate. Most incidents are drug- and gang-related and occur in and around Guatemala City and in rural areas. The border with Mexico also presents risks due to drug smuggling and illegal immigration. Handguns and other small arms are very common. Criminals often operate in groups. Foreigners are often targets of robbery, carjacking, armed assault, sexual assault and rape. Crime levels tend to increase during the holiday seasons.

Always be aware of your surroundings. Do not display signs of affluence, especially in airports. Avoid travelling alone (especially late at night) and avoid low-cost hotels with poor security. Ensure that your personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure at all times. Carry only a copy of the identification page of your passport and sufficient funds for the day. Exercise extreme caution when using automated banking machines (ABMs). If you are threatened by robbers, stay calm and do not resist. Injuries or death have occurred when victims have resisted.

Be vigilant, especially in large cities. Avoid walking after dark. Never display laptop computers, mobile phones or other electronic devices.

Vigilante justice has increased in rural areas, resulting in lynchings of suspected child kidnappers and other delinquents. Avoid large crowds and gatherings because of the potential for violence. Maintain a high level of personal security awareness at all times.


Demonstrations occur and have the potential to suddenly turn violent. They can lead to significant disruptions to traffic and public transportation. Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local media.

Road travel

Only undertake intercity travel by car during daylight hours, preferably in a convoy of two or more vehicles.

Secondary streets and rural roads are poorly lit. Local motorists rarely obey traffic laws. Steep, winding mountain roads and lack of road signs present additional dangers.

The Inter-American (or Pan-American) Highway (CA-1) and the road from Guatemala City to the Atlantic Ocean are dangerous because of heavy traffic. Off-road travel in the remote highlands should be undertaken only after seeking advice from the Embassy of Canada in Guatemala City.

Avoid travelling on the isolated small dirt roads near Lake Atitlán. The safest route to Lake Atitlán is via the Inter-American Highway and Sololá, although this is where most disturbances occur. Avoid travelling on the road from Godinez to Panajachel as it is dangerous and rarely patrolled by police. Armed robberies against vehicles with foreign licence plates have occurred on the Pacific Coast Highway (CA-2) and the Atlantic Highway (CA-9).

Roadblocks, which can cause major traffic disruptions, have been reported along roads leading to and from airports. Do not attempt to pass through a roadblock, even if it appears unattended. Stay alert to new developments through local media reports and amend your travel arrangements accordingly.

Roadblocks erected by armed gangs are common, particularly in the northern and western departments of San Marcos, Huehuetenango, Quiché, Alta Verapaz, Petén and Escuintla. Criminals have been known to pose as police officers. Comply and do not resist if attacked. Always drive with car windows closed and doors locked.

Allow enough time for border formalities so that you can arrive in a major town before dark. Many border posts close for lunch and at dusk. Avoid exchanging money at border crossings unless absolutely necessary as doing so has sometimes resulted in armed robbery.

Public transportation

Local and intercity public buses are not safe. Problems include mechanical unreliability, the use of unlicensed drivers, frequent major road accidents and crime on board. Pickpocketing and armed robbery are daily occurrences.

Public buses are frequently targeted by gangs who hurl grenades or fire shots as a way of ensuring compliance to extortion demands or to settle accounts. Drivers have been the targets of violence, including murder. Passengers have been subject to armed robbery, sometimes by fellow passengers.

Do not travel on local public buses (“chicken buses”). Tourist shuttles travelling between popular destinations have been targeted by hijackers in the past.

Only travel on intercity buses during daylight hours and with reliable tour companies, as fraud has occurred.

Ensure that transportation and tour providers are reputable and reliable before booking. The government tourist assistance service PROATUR or hotel staff can provide you with advice on the safest companies. In Guatemala City, only use official taxis and make detailed arrangements for the return trip. Advice on reliable taxi companies may be obtained by inquiring with PROATUR or hotel staff.

Consult our Transportation Safety page in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.

General security information

Tourists may obtain up-to-date security information through INGUAT (service available in English), the Guatemalan Tourism Institute. INGUAT’s telephone numbers for tourist assistance (ASISTUR) are (502) 2421-2810 and (502) 5578-9836. You may also dial 1500 within Guatemala. Tourist groups may also request security escorts and obtain emergency assistance through INGUAT.

When visiting volcanoes and other tourist sites, you should travel in groups and with a reputable tour company. Sexual assaults and robberies can occur, especially when security personnel normally deployed on these sites are absent. Travellers should stay informed of security conditions in the areas they plan to visit.

Do not approach or photograph children and women, since many people in Guatemala fear that children are being kidnapped for adoption or for theft of vital organs. Violent incidents involving foreigners have occurred.

Cruise-ship passengers who book a tour or make other travel arrangements should ensure that the company is recognized by the cruise line. Confirm your itinerary with the ship and port authority as well as with INGUAT, the Guatemalan Tourism Institute, and PROATUR.

Exercise caution when swimming off the Pacific coast, and seek information about water conditions such as strong currents, riptides and undertow. Avoid deserted and unpatrolled beaches after dark.

Emergency services

Dial 110 or 120 for police, 122 or 123 for the fire department and ambulance services. It may be difficult to obtain police assistance. Police forces lack resources and are often corrupt. National police officers do not speak English. PROATUR officers are able to provide assistance in English.


Related Travel Health Notices
Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.

Routine Vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Vaccines to Consider

You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread by contaminated food or water. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.


Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or through personal contact with unwashed hands. Get the flu shot.


Measles occurs worldwide but is a common disease in developing countries, particularly in parts of Africa and Asia. Measles is a highly contagious disease. Be sure your vaccination against measles is up-to-date regardless of the travel destination.


Rabies is a disease that attacks the central nervous system spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from a rabid animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (i.e., close contact with animals, occupational risk, and children).


Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives, or with weakened immune systems. Travellers visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should consider getting vaccinated.

Yellow Fever Vaccination

Yellow fever is a disease caused by the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
  • Proof of yellow fever vaccination is required if you are coming from a country where yellow fever occurs.
  • Vaccination is not recommended.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care provider.

Food and Water-borne Diseases

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

In some areas in Central America and Mexico, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Central America and Mexico. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!

Travellers' diarrhea
  • Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
  • Risk of developing travellers’ diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
  • The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.


Insects and Illness

In some areas in Central America and Mexico, certain insects carry and spread diseases like American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease), dengue fever, leishmaniasis, malaria, onchocerciasis (river blindness), and West Nile virus.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.

Dengue fever
  • Dengue fever occurs in this country. Dengue fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases it leads to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.  
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue bite during the daytime. They breed in standing water and are often found in urban areas.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine available for dengue fever.



  • There is a risk of malaria in certain areas and/or during a certain time of year in this country.
  • Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by mosquitoes. There is no vaccine against malaria.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in well-screened, air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider sleeping under an insecticide-treated bed net or pre-treating travel gear with insecticides.
  • Antimalarial medication may be recommended depending on your itinerary and the time of year you are travelling. See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss your options.


Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Some infections found in Central America and Mexico, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.


Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.

Medical services and facilities

Medical services and facilities

Private hospitals and clinics in urban areas offer equivalent care to those in Canada and are much better staffed and equipped than public or rural facilities.

Physicians and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for medical care.

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

You are subject to local laws. Consult our Arrest and Detention page for more information.

Illegal drugs

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict. Convicted offenders can expect extended jail sentences.


Importation into or export from Guatemala of items such as antiquities and artefacts may be subject to strict regulations. Contact the Embassy of Guatemala in Canada for information and advice.

People found driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs are subject to arrest and detention.

If you are travelling with a vehicle, you must comply with the deadline for leaving the country indicated on the temporary importation form provided by Guatemalan customs at the port of entry. If you fail to leave Guatemala with your vehicle by the expiry date, you will have to pay taxes.

If you are involved in a driving accident that results in injury or death, you may be taken into custody until responsibility for the accident is determined.

An International Driving Permit is recommended.


The currency is the Guatemalan quetzal (GTQ). It is not possible to exchange Canadian dollars (cash or traveller’s cheques) in Guatemala. U.S. currency and traveller’s cheques are readily convertible to local funds at most major banks. Do not accept torn notes as they can be difficult to exchange. Credit cards are widely accepted. Do not exchange large amounts of currency with informal money changers. Some automated banking machines (ABMs) will accept Canadian debit cards with a four-digit personal identification number.


Forest Fires

Forest fires often occur from November to June. Even though they can happen anywhere, they usually affect the department of Peten. In the event of a major fire, you should follow the instructions of local emergency services, particularly with regard to evacuation procedures. Monitor local media for updated information.

Hurricane and rainy seasons

The hurricane season extends from June to the end of November. The National Hurricane Center provides additional information on weather conditions. Stay informed of regional weather forecasts, and follow the advice and instructions of local authorities.

The rainy season extends from mid-May to mid-November. Flash floods and mudslides are common occurrences, causing temporary road closures. You should keep informed of regional weather forecasts and plan accordingly.

Seismic activity

Guatemala is located in an active seismic zone. Familiarize yourself with earthquake security measures in hotels and public and private buildings, and follow the advice of local authorities in the event of an earthquake.


The Fuego, Pacaya and Santiaguito volcanoes present consistently moderate activity which is considered to be within normal parameters. Monitor levels of volcanic activity through the local media and amend travel arrangements accordingly. Hiking on volcanoes should be done only with a reputable tour company that tracks volcanic activity. Follow the advice of local authorities in the event of an explosion or eruption.

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