Guatemala: FAQs

Our frequently asked questions about travel to Guatemala. If you have any other questions, please contact your travel designer or concierge.

Do I need to get a visa?

To enter Guatemala visas are not currently required by citizens of the US and UK and most EU countries, but these can change so we recommend you consult your local embassy prior to travel. Most other countries require visas.  In order to get this please contact your local Guatemala consulate. Please also ensure that you have at least two free pages in your passport before entering and that your passport is valid for six months after your intended departure.

Do I need any vaccinations before I go away to Guatemala?

Please seek professional medical advice and recheck close to the date of travel as the situation may change. What is recommended for all is that you ensure you are up to date with typhoid, hepatitis A and B, tetanus and polio vaccines.

Do I need to take malaria tablets?

Guatemala is a tropical country so we do recommend you bring good quality mosquito spray with you, especially if you are going to Tikal which is frequented by tourists. Check with your medical advisor about the areas you are going to before travelling to see whether you should bring malaria tablets with you and which ones will suit you best. Some excellent medication (with fewer side effects) is available for shorter visits to risk areas.

Using insect repellent and wearing long pants and sleeves also help prevent mosquito bites and sleeping in air conditioned or well screened rooms also help prevent risk.

Malaria is a risk in areas below 1,500m and we suggest you take your doctor’s advice, based on your travel itinerary, on whether or not you need to take anti?malaria medication.

What should I bring in terms of currency?

The local currency is the Quetzal, named after the national bird. Dollars are accepted and changed in all banks. Most major credit cards are accepted by hotels and some shops although a surcharge of up to 7% can often be added. Many cash machines in Antigua, the Capital and Flores can give you cash on a VISA, MASTERCARD, PLUS, CIRRUS cards.

We recommend travelers to bring dollars in cash and a credit or bank card that can be used to withdraw extra money in an emergency. Visa is more widely accepted than MasterCard.

Local custom and safety

Guatemala is still predominantly a Catholic country therefore to respect their views and to avoid unwanted attention it is best to dress a little more conservatively.  Covering your legs (knee-length is fine) and no low-cut tops are important; men generally do not go topless.

Guatemala is still a developing country with an average wage of USD 150 per month.  With that in mind, we suggest that you don’t wear any expensive jewelry and be discreet with your camera gear to avoid opportunist thieves.