Traveling Guatemala: all you need to know
Visiting Guatemala is an adventure in which you can enjoy from gastronomy to history and unique Mayan architecture. It is a place where it’s eternally spring and where its people welcome abroad to make you feel as if you were at home.
To discover this magical place and its surroundings, it is necessary to know a little more Guatemala: the country of eternal spring. Are you ready? Go ahead and discover everything you need!
What do you need?
No visa is required to enter the country, the passport is enough. Although, it is necessary to have some routine vaccines such as typhoid and malaria. A few words of Spanish will also be of much help to achieve communicate and of course, you need quetzales (national coin) to purchase.
* NOTE: In some places you will get to pay in $ but you better be prepare with the local currency. The change regularly is stable. For a dollar, you get 7.50 quetzales. You can find bills of: 200, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1.
When to go?
The weather is always ideal to visit the country and you will find activities to do at any time. The rainy season is from May to October, in which you can take precautions for delays of flights or detours. But the country has adventure activities in which you’ll enjoy the scenery and they’re going to steal your sighs.
The dry season is from November to April, you can visit beaches, get to know the attractive places of the city and nearby places like Antigua Guatemala.
Where to go?
Mainly, there are three places you can’t miss. Tikal, Antigua and Peten are scenarios that will provide a different experience from landscapes to people or gastronomy in the place.
In these places or anywhere in the country you will find many activities to do. Among them, exploring Mayan ruins, climb volcanoes, shopping market of Chichicastenango, observe toucans, jaguars and monkeys in Peten. Also, you can’t let pass by something as simple but pleasant as walking in the colonial streets of Antigua or visit coffee plantations.
Food to try!
Each region of the country has its typical dish and they are indispensable when visiting the country. Mainly, you should’t miss to taste the famous "pepián" but also the chiles rellenos, empanadas, tapado, tamales, banana in mole and horchata.
Get more information: Guatemalan food is so much more than tortillas
Some people speak English, but not the majority. Around the country you'll hear people speaking another language like Kaqchikel, Q'eqchi and Mam. But, the official language is Spanish.
Part of the basic language you need to know is: Hola (hi or hello), Adiós (goodbye), gracias (thank you), por favor (please), de nada (you're welcome), disculpe (excuse me), si (yes) and no (no).
People greet with a handshake, shaking gently. To say goodbye, you can use the same greeting if they are close, now if you are far away, in some towns hand rises and moves from side to side.
You can appreciate the scenery, take pictures and capture moments anywhere. Only you must be careful to photograph local people in some communities because for them it could represent an offense or identity theft.
More than fifteen million people, three sites that are UNESCO world heritage and more than 200 Mayan sites wait for you so you can live an unforgettable experience in Guatemala. So what do you say, would you get your bags ready?