Living traditions, colorful cityscapes and gigantic Mayan temples – that’s Guatemala. If you walk through the lively towns, the colorful costumes of women and men waft towards you. Do you hear the different Mayan dialects? With a little practice you will notice the differences. If only a panoramic view of one of the volcanoes would not always distract the sensory organs. The Tajumulco – the highest volcano in the country – is a must-see. Once you stand up there, you will feel so close to heaven that you can almost grasp it.
Tradition meets modernity
Magical places and genuine encounters with Mayan tribes. This can be found between the volcanoes of the Guatemalan highlands and the lowland rainforest of the almost impenetrable Peten. The Maya culture is omnipresent in Guatemala, because many descendants of the Maya still live the ancient traditions today. When visiting the lively markets, you can get in touch with the locals as well as on a boat tour across the picturesque Atitlán Lake. Numerous small Mayan communities can be visited on the lakeshore. What are you waiting for?
Travel information in brief
The climate in the lower elevations of Guatemala is tropical – in the higher elevations it is temperate and mild. The rainy season is generally from May to October. In the far north, the rainy season can go into December. Most of the rainfall occurs on the Caribbean coast and in the province of El Peten. Nevertheless, Guatemala is easy to travel all year round. But think of a small umbrella or rain jacket.
Currency / money
The official currency of Guatemala is the quetzal. Many prizes are also in US dollars. Therefore, in most cases it is also possible to pay in US dollars. It is advisable to bring a basic set in US dollars and a credit card (e.g. Visa or Master Card). This is accepted in most of the larger hotels, shops and restaurants. You can also use it to withdraw money in large cities.
No vaccinations are required for Guatemala. Nevertheless, the Federal Foreign Office recommends vaccinations against hepatitis A, tetanus and diphtheria. If you are staying for a long time, you should also consider vaccination against hepatitis B, typhoid and rabies. Please contact your doctor or a tropical medicine specialist in this regard. In rural areas of Guatemala there is also a risk of malaria and dengue.
Visa / entry
German citizens can enter Guatemala for up to 90 days without a visa with their passport that is still valid for at least 6 months. However, it is no longer sufficient to enter children on their parents’ passports. In order to enter the country without problems, a child needs their own child ID with a photo. Please also note the provisions of the Federal Foreign Office: www.auswaertiges-amt.de.
Guatemala Travel: From lively towns and turquoise lagoons
Although Guatemala is in the tropics, one should be prepared for a trip that the thermometer can drop well below the 15 ° C mark. Especially in the mountainous regions in the west of the country. Around Lake Atitlán and in the towns of Chichicastenango and Quetzaltenango you should always pack a thick sweater. Those who want to stock up on souvenirs are in good hands in Chichicastenango. On market days, locals and travelers flock to the town and it becomes the center of haggling and noisy bargaining. We offer everything from food to fabrics and clothing to small handicrafts.
Two absolute highlights of the country should not be missed: On the one hand there is the tranquil Antigua. Despite the tremendous earthquake of 1773, some colonial splendid buildings are still preserved in the city. If you step through the city gate, you can see the impressive Agua volcano – one of the most photographed motifs in Guatemala. On the other side are the lagoons of Semuc Champey, hidden in the highlands of Verapaz. In the middle of the forest, water basins were created here, which are connected to each other by several waterfalls. After the hike to the lookout point – you simply have to see the pools from above – you can take a refreshing bath. Just lovely!