Located in Central America, Guatemala features a rich history and culture, characterized by its strong Mayan and colonial influence, with ruins and towns that will take you back in time. The country also boast incredible natural beauty and warm locals that will welcome you with open arms.
Why Visit Guatemala
Guatemala offers an incredible diverse nature and wildlife, with over 20 different ecosystems. More than 1500 species of animals (between mammals, reptiles and birds) call Guatemala their home. From beaches and jungles to mountains and volcanoes. Its name means “the land of trees” in Nahuatl language (one of the native languages of the country), but is best known as “The land of the eternal spring”.
The mayans used to inhabit what we call today Guatemala. The country houses more than 1,500 ruins all over the country, with the most popular being “Tikal“, “Quiriguá“, “Yaxhá” and “Iximché“, dating back to 700 B.C. A paradise for anybody looking for a cultural getaway.
Guatemalans are characterized for being very friendly, warm and attentive, always willing to help and welcoming you with open arms.
CULTURE & ARCHITECTURE
Thanks to the mayan and european influences that comprise Guatemala’s heritage, the country offers not just mayan ruins but also Spanish colonial cities. The most popular cities to visit are Flores, Antigua, Quetzaltenango, and the Lake Atitlan Region.
Guatemala is a relatively cheap destination. You can get by with a budget of $35/day. Prices are low overall and you could even stretch the budget even more if needed, with a minimum daily budget of $20/day.
What to expect
Spanish is the official language in Guatemala. 21 Mayan languages, one Arawakan language, and two indigenous languages are also spoken, especially in rural areas. Only 60% of the population uses Spanish as their first language. English might be spoken on the main tourist attractions, but not in the rest of the country.
In Guatemala the standard voltage is 110 V and the frequency is 60 Hz. That’s the standard voltage in the american continent; If you are traveling from the EU you will need an adaptor.
The Guatemalan Quetzal is the currency of Guatemala. Dollars are accepted at most places, and Euros only at tourist destinations, however is recommended to however cash in guatemalan quetzals is recommended. Credit cards are widely accepted. It is encouraged to exchange it in a bank or withdraw it directly from the ATM. 1 USD equals 7.70 Quetza.
Guatemala has a tropical climate, typically hot and humid, however weather that is largely determined by geography and altitude. Temperatures annually range from 71°F to 87°F depending on the season.
Unfortunately, violent crime such as armed robbery, and murder is common. Guatemala has one of the highest violent crime rates in Latin America. Most incidents of violent crime are drug- and gang-related. They occur throughout the country, including in tourist destinations. Exercise caution at all times. Try not to wear flashy jewelry.
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