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Guatemala Travel Guide Travel Information


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Overview of Guatemala   

Guatemala Travel Guide

Guatemala is a popular Central American destination.

When we hear its name, we immediately think of the iconic Tikal Mayan city.

Even though it is the main travel destination of foreign tourists arriving to Guatemala, there's more to see and experience in this little country than the ancient ruins.

Guatemala is a country of large colourful arable lands, scenic views with high volcano cones, lakes and intense country life.


We will take you on a virtual journey to Guatemala to help you find out more than elsewhere!

Enjoy our travel guide!



Guatemala Travel Factsheet

State, geography 

Official name:

República de Guatemala (Republic of Guatemala)

Government type:

Presidential republic


Central America. South of Mexico with wide long shores on the Pacific and shorter ones on the Caribbean Sea.


108.890 km² or 42,803 sq mi

Geography overview:

Mixed terrain contains mountains, hills and volcanoes in the south, deep jungles in the north.

Guatemala has exits to the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean.

Demographics, population

Official language(s):

Spanish and 22 indigenous languages

Locally used languages:


Other widely spoken languages:


Nationalities, ethnic groups, races:

65 % Amerindian (mainly 9,1 % K'iche; 8,4 % Kaqchikel; 7,9 % Mam; 6,3 % Q'eqchi and 8,6 % other Mayan); 22 % Mestizo and European


14 million

Population density:

134,6/km² or 348.6/sq mi

Capital city & population:

La Nueva Guatemala de la Asunción (Ciudad Guatemala)/Guatemala City (urban area: 2.500.000)

Largest city & population:

La Nueva Guatemala de la Asunción (Ciudad Guatemala)/Guatemala City (urban area: 2.500.000)

Other large cities & population:

Quetzaltenango (central area: 120.000)


55-60 % Roman Catholic; 40 % Protestant; 1 % Indigenous Maya Faith; 1-4 % other (other religions and atheist)



1 Quetzal (GTQ) = 100 Centavo

Symbol/sign: Q

Foreign currencies widely used:


GDP (nominal):

38,983 billion USD

GDP per capita (nominal):

2.850 USD

Other data

Time zone:

Central Time: UTC -6 h

Country telephone calling code:


Internet TLD(s):


Electric power system:

Voltage & frequency: 110-120 V/60 Hz


Plugs/sockets/outlets: A, B

Driving system:

Right-hand drive


Guatemala Interactive Map


View Larger Map




Places to Visit & Things to Do in Guatemala


The country's top attraction. This is the main reason why most tourists visit Guatemala.

Tikal is an ancient Mayan city. What we see today is actually just a short portion of if, which has survived.

You should buy yourself a guidebook on Guatemala/Tikal, there a lot to know about the great civilization that built the city.

Between the pyramids of Tikal, you will see cute long-nosed Coatis running around.

Ciudád Guatemala

The capital of the country, the largest city with many restaurants and old churches.

Over 2 million people live here and except Mexico's big cities, this is Central America's biggest city.

Antigua (La Antigua)

A city with well preserved old architecture, close to the capital. You'd get there in about 45 minutes by bus.

The famous yellow arch is Antigua's top travel attraction. Make sure you see it when there.

Quetzaltenango (Xela)

Small town with old buildings, colourful city life. Great place to take pictures.


Located on an island, in the lake called Lago Petén Itzá, Flores is a dreamlike Guatemalan travel hotspot. The island is connected to the land by a causeway.

Flores is accessible vie the Mundo Maya International Airport, very close, located on the land.

Things to see in and around Flores: Ak'tun Kan or La Cueva de la Serpiente (the Snake's Cave), Petencito Zoo.

Things to do in and around Flores: you can rent a boat/canoe, rent a car or rent bicycles to go around. Adventure travel trips are offered in the area, if you'd love to taste some adventure, then take advantage of the opportunities!

Lake Atitlán (Lago de Atitlán)

A big lake with a picturesque landscape around it. Several large volcanoes are located near the lake: Volcán de Agua, Volcan Tolimán, Volcán Atitlán, Volcán Fuego , Volcán Acatenango, Volcán San Pedro, Volcán Pacaya.

You can hike, there are agencies that offer trips even on the active volcano!

A truly dreamlike place that you must not miss when in Guatemala.


By Air

The best way to get there is to fly in to Ciudád Guatemala. Other cities only have small airports and the country is small enough to travel around on road.

By Road

It's not advised due to theft, bad roads. but, if you happen to be an adventure travel lover, then you may consider travelling through the Central American countries. You can travel through Guatemala and visit the neighboring countries as well. It can be a great adventure, beautiful landscapes. But, only travel in group!

By Rail

The railroad system is not so well developed and trains are old and uncomfortable, dirty. Almost nobody from abroad risks to travel by rail. Also, because there are very few places to reach, the rail network is not so wide. Road travel is preferred over rail travel.

On Water

Not a good option to try, for 2 reasons: few ships ever go to Guatemala, because there are few ports, the other reason is that if you try, you risk your security (poor port security, pirates, thieves).

Best Time for Visiting Guatemala

To avoid the rains, it's best to travel in the dry season: in the December - February interval.

April and May are the hottest months, while the height of the rainy season is in July - September.

Risks & Precautions in Guatemala

Important: We present you some of the most common risks and precautions for you to take in this country, however our list does not cover the whole typology and details of these problems that might occur.


A problem in the capital especially. Take precautions, avoid being near suspicious-looking people.

Swindles, Frauds

Make sure you only buy products/services form reliable merchants. Avoid being tricked, lured into traps that could cost your money or other valuables. If some people insist selling you something or inviting you somewhere, excuse yourself politely and leave them behind, don't stop talking, in no case should you get into a verbal fight.

Various Infectious Diseases

From exotic diseases, such as malaria and yellow fever to air and water born diseases, like cholera, hepatitis B, a long list of illnesses are present in this country. Obtain exact information about the possible angers and take necessary medical measures in your country, before leaving.

Interesting Things About Guatemala

Only 40 % of Guatemala's population lives in cities, the country has a rather rural character.


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