Guatemala’s dry season runs from December through to April, and the rainy season runs from June through October, with May and November being the ‘shoulder’ periods as one season evolves into the other from dry to rainy or rainy to dry.
Known as the land of eternal Spring, Guatemala’s temperature averages 22⁰C, with variances due more to altitude rather than season.
The central region which takes in Antigua, Guatemala City, Lake Atitlan, Chichicastenango and the highlands enjoys average temperatures of around 18⁰C. Further north, in the lowlands around Lake Peten Itza and the ruins at Tikal, the average temperature is around 20C but can reach as mid as the mid-30s⁰C, and this area receives proportionately more rain.
Up-to-date visa and entry requirements for Guatemala can be found at www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/guatemala/entry-requirements.
British nationals can visit Guatemala for up to 90 days without a visa. You may be refused entry if you don’t have an onward ticket out of Guatemala.
The entry tax is US $10 payable in US dollars on arrival as you pass through immigration and customs.
Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Guatemala.
The Guatemalan authorities have confirmed they will accept British passports extended by 12 months by British Embassies and Consulates under additional measures put in place in mid-2014.
UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are valid for entry into Guatemala. ETDs must have a minimum period of 6 months validity from the date you enter Guatemala.
Guatemala is party to the Central America Border Control Agreement (CA-4). Under the terms of this agreement, British tourists can travel within any of the CA-4 countries (Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala) for a period of up to 90 days without completing entry and exit formalities at border immigration checkpoints. This period begins at the first point of entry of any of the CA-4 countries. Fines are applied for travellers who exceed this 90 day limit, although a request for an extension can be made for up to 30 days by paying a fee before the 90 days limit expires. If you’re expelled from any of the four countries you are also excluded from the entire CA-4 region.
Yellow Fever vaccination is required for travellers arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission.
For up-to-date advice on any vaccination requirements and any health risks associated with visiting Guatemala, contact your local GP.
Additional useful Information is also provided at http://www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk/destinations/central-america/guatemala.aspx an NHS web site specialising in providing health information to travellers from the UK.
For up-to-date UK government advice concerning travel to Nicaragua – www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/guatemala
Major Credit cards are accepted at larger hotels, restaurants and larger shops.
Guatemala’s currency is the Quetzal, named after the national bird of Guatemala, Resplendent Quetzal.
Sterling is not readily changed or accepted, so take $US dollars which can be exchanged in banks or in some of the larger hotels. Note damaged dollar notes may be rejected.
There should be no problems finding an ATM in the more major areas – the airport when you arrive; the capital, Guatemala City, Antigua, Panajachel, Flores and all other major tourist destinations.
Exchange rates are subject to change at any time but the following table provides indicative information for countries in Central and South America:
GMT -6 hours
La Aurora International Airport (GUA).
Spanish is Guatemala’s official language and is spoken by 93% of the population as a first or second language. In rural areas 21 Mayan languages are also spoken as well as two non-Mayan Amerindian languages, Xinca, an indigenous language, and Garifuna, an Arawakan language spoken on the Caribbean coast.
120V AC 60Hz – same plug type as USA
Guatemala’s population is just under 15.5 million (2013)