Travel Information Guatemala
- FLAG 🇬🇹
- CAPITAL Guatemala City
- GOVERNMENT republic
- CURRENCY quetzal (GTQ)
- POPULATION 12,293,545 (July 2006 estimate)
- TOTAL AREA 108,890km² (water: 460km² land: 108,430km²)
- LANGUAGES Spanish 60%, Amerindian languages 40% (23 officially recognized Amerindian languages, including Quiche, Cakchiquel, Kekchi, Mam, Garifuna, and Xinca)
- DECIMAL SYSTEM Guatemala uses metric system (kilograms, centimeters, °C)
- TIME ZONE Time zone is UTC-06:00
- LOCATION Guatemala is located in Central America
Most popular cities in Guatemala
- Guatemala City — Capital and largest city with many amenities
- Antigua Guatemala — Colonial Spanish capital of Central America, a World Heritage site, and the most popular among tourists
- Flores — Island capital of Petén, good starting point to access Mayan ruins of Tikal.
- Melchor de Mencos — Border town which is the main crossing point to Belize
- Panajachel — Gateway to Lake Atitlán, a beautiful and busy tourist area
- Puerto Barrios — Caribbean seaport with speedboats to and from Belize
- Puerto San José — Pacific seaport
- Quetzaltenango — Second largest city, in the western highlands. Commonly called “Xela”.
- Sayaxché — River gateway in Petén
- Coban — Town with a rich culture and a great launching point to travel to Semuc Champay
Sockets & Plugs
Guatemala uses 120V, 60Hz with sockets and plugs Type A and Type B.
Guatemala uses the Guatemalan quetzal (symbol: Q), code GTQ.
Banknotes come in denominations of 200, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 quetzals and 50 centavo. Quetzal is subdivided into 100 centavos. Coins come in denominations of 1 quetzals and 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1 centavos.
Automatic teller machines are common in Guatemala. You can usually find them in both large & small cities.
You do not need a chip & PIN card to use an ATM — your standard magnetic card will work fine.
Internet speed in Guatemala is on average 3.1 Mbps.
WiFi coverage in Guatemala is low. It is not as easy to find one.
You can buy a SIM card for about 136.74 GTQ, which includes 1 GB of data plan. You can choose from 3 telecoms: Claro, Tigo or Movistar.
Guatemala uses GSM mobile networks GSM 850, GSM 1900 and GSM 900.
If you don’t want to buy SIM card in Guatemala upon arrival, make sure to check the roaming charges with your telecom provider before your departure so there are no surprises when you return home.
To call Guatemala, dial +, then 502 (the country code for Guatemala), then the area code and the local number.
High crime rate
Guatemala has a high crime rate . Keep large amounts of money, expensive jewellery, cameras and phones out of sight. Don’t change or withdraw large sums of money in busy public areas including foreign exchange facilities or ATMs. Thieves operate at international airports, and bus and railway stations. Keep your valuables safe and baggage with you at all times. Don’t pick up strangers or stop to help apparently distressed motorists, as this is a technique sometimes used by hijackers.
It’s highly recommended to follow security precautions like wearing a money belt, leaving valuables in your hotel room safe or well out of sight, securing your bag, staying vigilant in crowds and steering clear of commotions.
IDP is required
An International Driving Permit (IDP) is required alongside your original license. IDP can be issued by your local automobile association before you leave home.
Rent a car
In order to rent a car:
- you must be over 25
- must hold a full license for at least a 1 year
- almost always have a credit card (Visa & MasterCard are the best)
Alcohol, drugs & prostitution
Minimum age to purchase and drink alcohol is 18 years old.
Prostitution is legal (in a way of exchanging sex for money). Brothels are illegal.
Cannabis is illegal & criminalized
Drugs (including cannabis/marijuana) are illegal & criminalized which means you are risking jail time with other penalties (fine, community service, rehabilitation) if you are caught.
- Police 110
- Ambulance 128
- Fire department 122
- Police 120
- Fire 123
Vaccinations listed are recommended
The following vaccinations listed for this country are recommended for your protection and to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
- Typhoid fever
- Yellow Fever
- Hepatitis A
These apply only to select travelers or persons on work assignments.
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SOURCE & MORE INFORMATION: thebasetrip.com