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US Citizens require a valid passport to travel to Guatemala. Passports should be valid for at least six months beyond travel dates. No visas are required. As of this writing there are no required vaccinations for travel to Guatemala, although in some provinces there is a malaria risk, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which posts its recommendations at www.cdc.gov.
Weather conditions vary considerably from season to season as well as from region to region. Dry season is from late October to early May, rainy season is regularly from May to October. Temperatures are mild and vary a little during the year. Spring clothes, comfortable walking shoes, warm sweater or jacket are recommended.
There are approximately 12 million inhabitants. The population is a mixture of Indigenous and Spanish descendents. There is also a population of foreign residents. Spanish is the official language but more than 20 Indian dialects are spoken throughout the country. top
There are modern, clean, and sanitary conditions and facilities found in most parts of the country. Bottled water is recommended. Tap water is generally not safe to drink unless it has been boiled, filtered or treated.
110 volt AC is found in most of the country, few locations have 220 volts. International direct dial service is available, fax, cable TV, radio and internet services are easily found. The country code for Guatemala is 502.
All major credit cards are accepted and traveler’s checks and U.S. Dollars can be exchanged at most banks. The local currency is “Quetzal”, named for the national bird. U.S. dollars are now accepted as legal currency. Exchange rate fluctuates, so any service that you purchase will be charged at the applicable exchange rate at the date of the transaction. top
Goods and services are subject to 12% value-added tax. Hotels have an additional 10% tourism tax. Generally a 10% tip is appropriate for restaurants. It’s recommended to ask if tips are included since some establishments add it to the bill. Departing air passengers pay US$30.00 and US$3.00 airport security tax.
Guatemala is 6 hours behind Greenwich Meridian Time (-6 GMT) and does not observe daylight-saving time.