Capital: Guatemala City
Time zone: GMT – 6
Telephone services: Country Code: 502
Outgoing Code: 00
Emergency telephone numbers: Police – 120 / 137 / 138, Fire – 122 / 123, Ambulance – 125 / 128.
Tourist information: Guatemala Tourist Commission, 7a Avenida 1 – 17, Centro Civico, Zona 4 Guatemala City, Guatemala Tel: (502) 311 333 Fax: (502) 331 4416 or 331 3004.
Passport information: Valid Passport required by all. Return Ticket Required. Requirements may change at short notice. Contact the embassy before departure.
Visa information: Visa required by all except: Nationals of EU countries for a stay of 1 month with a possible extension to 3 months (except Greece and Portugal, and those on business from the UK or Republic of Ireland who do require visas, and tourists from the UK and Republic of Ireland who may stay for a maximum stay of 90 days without a visa to whom a tourist card will be issued by the authorities at the airport.). Nationals of Argentina, Andorra, Belize, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Nicaragua, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, Uruguay and Vatican City for stays of I month with possible extensions to 3 months. Nationals of Australia, Canada, Mexico and the USA entering Guatemala by air do not need a visa providing they are entering for tourist purposes, for a maximum stay of 90 days.
Health information: Polio, Typhoid: Vaccination recommended
Malaria: Exists throughout the year in areas below 1500m.
Yellow Fever: A vaccination certificate is required by travellers arriving from infected areas
Other Health Risks: Hepatitis, Rabies, Onchocerciasis, American trypanosomiasis and Altitude sickness can occur in higher areas.
Food & drink: Water is untreated and not safe to drink. Avoid dairy products as they are not pasteurised. Fruit and vegetables should be peeled before consumption.
Currency: Quetzal (Q) = 100 centavos
Visa and Amex are widely accepted other cards have only a limited acceptance. Travellers cheques in US dollars are recommended.
ATM availability: Over 120 locations.
Cost of living: For the budget traveller prices can be very reasonable. Accommodation is diverse and priced accordingly. Food and local merchandise are relatively inexpensive especially in markets.
Languages: Spanish. English and over 20 indigenous languages are also spoken.
Weather: Climate varies according to altitude. Lower altitudes being far hotter than highlands. The rainy season occurs between June and Oct.
Electricity: 110 Volts AC 60 Hz. There are some regional variations.
Post: 7 – 21 days
Transport: FLIGHTS: Air transport is by far the most efficient means of internal travel since there are over 380 airstrips. RAIL: There is a daily service between the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. ROAD: There is an extensive road network but only a small amount are all weather. BUS: The bus services are cheap but crowded. TAXI: A flat rate is often charged within the city but prices are often expensive. CAR HIRE: International companies operate in Guatemala City and rates are low. DOCUMENTATION: A local licence will be issued on presentation of a national driving licence.
Special information: Travel arrangements are slowly returning to normal after Hurricane Mitch. Some regions may still be politically volatile. Visitors should register with the Embassy upon arrival. Violent crime is rife throughout the country.