Guatemala is a mystical land of volcanic landscapes, misty cloud forests and steamy jungles that hide remnants of the mighty Mayan civilisation.
With enchanting towns full of cultural riches, isn’t it about time you got acquainted with the inviting people, exotic wildlife and spellbinding stories of Guatemala?
Top Guatemala travel deals
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Our Guatemala trips
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Guatemala tour reviews
Our Guatemala trips score an average of 4.48 out of 5 based on 291 reviews in the last year.
Central American Journey, January 2017
The tour was a good overview of Central American culture, history, food and if you are extremely lucky, the elusive wildlife. Pack light, you have to carry your bag/backpack and there are ample opportunities to do your washing. If you plan to hike a volcano, bring sturdy shoes. The accommodation was clean and more than adequate. Several had no hot water (common in Central America) and you have to pay extra for air conditioning at a couple of them. Most of the hotels were within walking distance of shops and restaurants. The trip notes re optional tours/costs badly need updating. Overall it was a very enjoyable trip.
Review submitted 19 Feb 2017
Best of Guatemala & Mexico, February 2017
Intrepid travel is a great value. The places they hit are the highlights that usually are hit. If you love travel and are easy going you'll love it. Big tip, if there are people booked on the tour call and ask for their ages. It's always nicer to travel with people closer to your own age.
Review submitted 18 Feb 2017
Articles on Guatemala
Guatemala travel highlights
Admire the classic colonial streetscapes of Antigua
Explore the ancient Tikal ruins deep in the steamy jungle
Get stuck into outdoor activities in Panajachel
Transport in Guatemala
Intrepid believes half the fun of experiencing a new country is getting there, and getting around once there! Where possible, Intrepid uses local transport options and traditional modes of transport - which usually carry less of an environmental impact, support small local operators and are heaps more fun.
Depending on which trip you're on while in Guatemala, you may find yourself travelling by:
Accommodation in Guatemala
Travelling with Intrepid is a little bit different. We endeavour to provide travellers with an authentic experience to remember, so we try to keep accommodation as unique and traditional as possible.
When travelling with us in Guatemala you may find yourself staying in a:
Be treated to a big Central American welcome while staying with a local family lakeside in San Jorge La Laguna.
Guatemala holiday information
At a glance
Best time to visit Guatemala
Culture and customs
Eating and drinking
Geography and environment
History and government
Birds To Spot in Guatemala
Festivals and Events in Guatemala
Guatemala travel FAQs
Australia: Not required
Belgium: Not required
Canada: Not required
Germany: Not required
Ireland: Not required
Netherlands: Not required
New Zealand: Not required
South Africa: Yes - in advance
Switzerland: Not required
United Kingdom: Not required
USA: Not required
It's customary to add 10% to restaurant bills (if this hasn’t already been included). Tipping elsewhere is optional, but leaving spare change at small cafes is a good idea as most Guatemalans typically earn little.
Internet cafes and Wi-Fi hotspots are becoming more prevalent in Guatemala’s cities, although the connection may be slower than what you’re used to. Remote areas will have little to no internet access.
Using your mobile phone while in the cities of Guatemala shouldn’t be problematic. Coverage may be less reliable in remote and mountainous areas. Ensure you have global roaming enabled before leaving your home country if you wish to use your mobile.
Many tourist sites and restaurants have flushable toilets, although some remote areas may have compostable or drop toilets. It’s a good idea to carry your own toilet paper and soap as these aren’t always provided.
Cup of coffee at a cafe = US$1.50
A bottle of beer = US$2
Basic meal = US$4
Dinner at an international restaurant = US$10-15
Drinking tap water isn't recommended in Guatemala. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water; ask your leader where filtered water can be found. It's also advisable to avoid ice in drinks and peel fruit and vegetables before eating.
Credit cards can be used at most large restaurants, shops and other tourist establishments. Expect to pay cash when dealing with smaller vendors, family-run restaurants and market stalls.
Internationally compatible ATMs can be found in most of Guatemala’s major cities. ATMs are far less common in rural areas and small villages so have enough cash to cover purchases when travelling away from the larger cities.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.
For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
- 1 Jan New Year's Day
- 13 Apr Holy Thursday
- 14 Apr Good Friday
- 15 Apr Easter Saturday
- 1 May Guatemalan Labor Day
- 30 Jun Army Day
- 15 Sep Independence Day
- 20 Oct Revolution Day
- 1 Nov All Saints Day
- 25 Dec Christmas Day
Please note these dates are for 2017. For a current list of public holidays in Guatemala go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/guatemala/public-holidays
Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.
Top responsible travel tips for Guatemala
1. Be considerate of Guatemala’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.
2. Dress modestly and respectfully. Shoulders to knees should be covered, especially when entering places of worship.
3. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water instead.
4. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.
5. When bargaining at markets, stay calm, be reasonable and keep a smile on your face. It's meant to be fun!
6. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.
7. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.
8. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.
9. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.
10. When on community visits or homestays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.
The Intrepid Foundation
The Intrepid Foundation provides travellers with an opportunity to give something back to the many wonderful communities we travel to. By donating to The Intrepid Foundation you can make a difference in local communities - in health care, education, human rights, child welfare and the protection of wildlife and the environment.
In Guatemala, The Intrepid Foundation proudly supports:
CasaSito provides educational opportunities in rural areas of Guatemala for children living in poverty. Guatemala has a very high level of illiteracy, particularly in rural areas which lack schools and educational resources. Our support is for their scholarship program, helping keep children in school.
Photo provided by CasaSitol.
To learn more or donate, go to: www.theintrepidfoundation.org