Central America’s Guatemala combines a delicious blend of Spanish influences as well as legacies from the Mayan Civilisation. It offers nice beaches, fascinating ruins, rich culture, and more! With friendly people and good transport links, Guatemala is gaining popularity as a travel destination with a bit of difference.
Here is some useful Guatemala Travel Advice for anyone thinking of visiting this great country:
All visitors will need a valid passport to enter the country, with the exception of people from other Central American countries. Many European and South American visitors do not need a visa. Citizens of the USA, Australia, Canada, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and New Zealand also do not need a visa. You should check with your local embassy on the visa status for your country before finalizing your Guatemala travel plans.
Language in Guatemala
The official and main language within Guatemala is Spanish. English is spoken in some areas. There are more than twenty indigenous languages also spoken, but most native groups also speak Spanish.
Getting to Guatemala
There is an international airport in the capital city, as well s a few other smaller airports around the country. Buses connect Guatemala with Belize, Mexico, Honduras, and El Salvador. Some ferry services are also available.
Getting Around Guatemala
Colourful and crowded buses connect most of the main tourist areas, and they are very popular with visitors. Taxis are readily available, although they are the most expensive forms of transport. Minivans and pickup trucks are the main forms of public transport in rural areas.
Food and Drink
In the main tourist destinations you will be able to find a wide variety of international cuisine easily. In smaller towns and local villages, however, your options will be largely limited to traditional Guatemalan fare. Some typical meals may include rice and beans, tortillas, corn dishes, black beans, and items called pepian, quichom, and jocom. Chilies are generally served as a condiment, rather than being added automatically to the food.
When it comes to drinking, there are several great local beers. These include Gallo, Moza, Cabro, and Brahva. There are also some good rums and tequila is a popular tipple.
Places to Visit in Guatemala
Seeing vast and impressive remains of Mayan sites are often the main reason that people visit Guatemala. Tikal is a huge and fascinating Mayan site, and sunrise trips are considered one of the best ways to start a day of exploration. El Mirador is equally as impressive, although as it is still being investigated it is not as well geared for receiving visitors. To reach El Peru you will need to hike and journey by boat for three days – an adventure in itself! Iximche is easy to reach from the capital city and Antigua, and other key sites include Aquateca, Yaxha, and Nakum.
For some relaxation, head to one of the beaches. There is a small slice of Caribbean coastline, as well as more beaches along the Pacific. Monterrico is the closest beach to Guatemala City.
Volcanoes form an interesting part of Guatemala’s landscape, and you can easily get to several towering examples, such as Pacaya Volcano.
Guatemala City is a bustling city with plenty of things to interest all. Antigua Guatemala was the heart of Spanish colonialism in Central America. It boasts some splendid architecture. Lake Aitlan sits in the mountains and volcanoes, with numerous quaint villages all around. Other popular places include Rio Dulce and Coban.
Armed with this Guatemala travel advice, walk in the steps of the ancient Mayans and enjoy the best that the country has on offer.