GUATEMALA (from the Nahuatl Quauhtlemalan) means "place of forests or trees" is the heart of the Mayan world and whose ancestral roots date back to more than 5,000 BC. A small country but one of the largest and most magical in the world. Multiethnic, plurilingual and multicultural and of the most diverse in flora and fauna, possessor of a fantastic climate (called the country of eternal spring). Geographically marked by its 33 impressive volcanoes, endless forests and tropical jungles where we find most of our archaeological sites, black sand beaches, beautiful lakes and above all, full of wonderful people who will help us see things with different eyes.
Why travel to Guatemala?
The Mayan lands are sacred territory, full of magic, hidden messages and great lessons of life for all those who visit them with their HEART, MIND & EYES wide open.
all you need to know
how to get there:
Europe travel to Guatemala (GUA) can be a little expensive sometimes; so we recommend regularly monitor direct flights from: Madrid, Berlin/Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris. Also keep watch for last minute specials, 1 or 2 weeks before the flight. Sometimes; it is more economical to travel to Cancun and then fly to Guatemala or come overland visiting the Mayan lands.
Use www.iberia.com for direct flights from Madrid to Guatemala or other search engines for cheap tickets like www.kiwi.com, www.momondo.com, www.skyscanner.com or www.kayak.com
It all depends on which part of USA come; however we recommend coming by daily flights ; as they are much cheaper departing from: Miami, Ft Lauderdale, Dallas, Houston, Los Ángeles, Atlanta & Chicago. Also keep watch for last minute specials, 1 or 2 weeks before the flight. Sometimes; it is more economical to travel to Cancun and then fly to Guatemala or come overland visiting the Mayan lands.
Use www.spirit.com www.usairways.com www.aa.com www.united.com www.delta.com for direct flights from USA to Guatemala or other search engines for cheap tickets like: www.kiwi.com, www.momondo.com, www.kayak.com or www.skyscanner.com
Today coming from Mexico to Guatemala is not so expensive; so check the daily flights departing from: México D.F, Guadalajara & Cancún.
If you come by land we recommend arriving to San Cristobal de las Casas or Palenque
From SOUTH AMERICA:
South America travel to Guatemala (GUA) can be a little expensive sometimes; so we recommend you constantly check the flights to Panama . And in Panama we recommend you fly with www.copaair.com or www.avianca.com and by land by www.ticabus.com You might also be aware of the different specials, last-minute sales 1 or 2 weeks before the flight.
From CENTRAL AMERICA:
It’s really simple and we recommend you take www.ticabus.com and walking safely throughout Central America.
Official Name: Republic of Guatemala and for us Guatemaya.
Location: In the navel of America, Central America. Having borders with Mexico, Belize, El Salvador and Honduras.
Area: 108,889 klm2. A small country but one of the largest.
Population: 16 million inhabitants, 45% of the Mayan indigenous population (divided into 23 different types of ethnic groups).
Capital: Guatemala City (La Nueva Guatemala de La Asunción).
Administrative Division: The country is divided into 22 Departments (equivalent to one State) and these in turn in 334 Municipalities.
Language: Official language Spanish Spanish and recognized 23 different Mayan dialects highlighting Quiche, Caqchikel, Queqchi and Tzutujil.
Climate: Tropical and Subtropical, known as "the country of eternal spring" and with 2 types of seasons: rainy season (mid May to October) and dry season (November to April).
Religion: Mostly Catholic and Evangelical Christian; However, there is freedom according to the religious cult and the ancient Mayan spirituality practiced today by the Ajquij or Spiritual Guides in all parts of the country.
Is it dangerous to travel to Guatemala?
It really is not, and please do not believe everything you see and hear out there and especially in the mass media. As in all countries of the world there is delinquency (in its different degrees) here there is also, but give yourself that opportunity you will definitely not regret it. When traveling with us you will always be safe and enjoying the best company. Definitely you will want to return to Guatemala.
traditions & holidays:
National Holidays and Relevant Holidays in the country:
December 31st. New Years (night).
January 1st. New Years (day).
Easter Week of Holy From Wednesday to Easter Sunday.
May 1st. Labors Day.
June 25th. Teachers Day.
June 30th. Army Day.
September 15th. Independence Day.
October 30th. Revolution Day.
November 1st. All Saints' Day, Day of the Dead.
December 24th. 25th. Good Night and Christmas.
Traditions, Customs and Days of Plaza or Market in the Mayan World:
Guatemala is one of the countries in the American continent that has more traditions and ancestral customs as well as Mexico, Peru and Bolivia. And if you plan your trip with a little anticipation; You can also live and be part of these spectacular traditions.
Holy Week (from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday).
Antigua The most colorful and spectacular processions in the world.
Friday of Crucifixion
Santiago Atitlan and San Juan La Laguna): The most colorful and spectacular Mayan Indigenous Processions (Maximon).
November 1st. (Day of the Dead).
Todos los Santos Cuchumatanes (Huehuetenango): One of the most interesting and strange competitions on horseback you've ever seen.
Sumpango and Santiago (Sacatepequez): The most visionary, spectacular and giant kites in the world. Speechless …
December 14th. – 21st.
(Fiestas Patronales) Chichicastenango: The spectacular celebration and ritual of Palo Volador.
(December 21st. and June 21st.) Archaeological Sites: Tikal, Yaxha, Mirador, Iximche. Ideal ceremonial places for performing rituals and ceremonies.
(March 21st. and September 21st.) Archaeological Sites: Tikal, Yaxha, Mirador, Iximche. Ideal ceremonial places for performing rituals and ceremonies.
And we definitely could not leave behind our colorful and impressive markets, which are also part of our pre-Hispanic traditions; carried out from thousands of years ago until today and fundamental in the development of our peoples.
Monday: Antigua, Chimaltenang and Zunil.
Tuesday: Acatenango, San Juan Comalapa and Totonicapan.
Thursday: Antigua, Chichicastenango, Panajachel, San Pedro Sacatepequez.
Friday: Chimaltenango, San Francisco el Alto, Santiago Atitlan and Sololá.
Saturdays: Antigua, Todos los Santos, Santa Cruz del Quiche and Sumpango.
Sundays: Chichicastenango, Nahuala and many others, a day cataloged as the market square day for most of our towns.
When is the best time to visit us?
We are known worldwide as the country of "Eternal Spring" and our climate is generally warm. It all depends on what part of the territory you are visiting. Our season of "sporadic rains" is from May to August where the territory becomes a little vulnerable to landslides and floods however; all the months of the year are excellent to come.
High season to come and visit us: From 01 November to 04 April, from 01 July to 20 August and from 01 November to 31 December.
Low Season to come and visit us: From 05 April to 30 June and from 21 August to 31 October.
Important Documents and Visa Requirements:
Before coming check the validity of your passport and if you need or not this to be able to come.
Embassies of the country of Guatemala and Visa Requirements:
To call us prefix +502 (our area code).
Local Currency and Exchange Rate:
The national currency is the Quetzal (so called by our national bird) and US $ usd dollars are accepted in most tourist places in the country, like almost all international credit cards such as: American Express, Visa, MasterCard and Diners Club. According to the Euros, there are a few places that accept them. www.banguat.gob.gt/change
The time difference according to the Greenwich Meridian is 6 hours less.
09:00 - 17:00 Monday to Friday.
09:00 - 12:00 Saturday and Sunday closed.
ATM: 24 hours a day.
Office, Shops and Restaurants Schedules:
Offices: 08:00 - 17:00 Monday to Friday. 08 - 12:00 Saturdays and Sundays (optional).
Shops: 09:00 - 20:00 all week.
Restaurants: 07:00 - 21:00 all week.
Food and drinks:
The fundamental basis of our diet from pre-Hispanic times until today is marked by the sacred corn, beans and squash. Being able to find in the country all kinds of foods of the world. We recommend you always eat at our suggested places and also always drink bottled pure water and never directly from the tap.
What kind of clothes will you bring ?
During the summer (October to April): Bring light and fresh cotton clothes for the morning and definitely bring sweaters or coats for the evening / evening. During the winter: (from May to August): Bring woolen clothes and definitely be prepared for any eventuality of rain. Our country is very variable according to its type of climate depending on the place, date, elevation, vegetation, etc. So be aware of the weather conditions before coming.
Type of Electricity:
Usually electric current alternates with 110 volts and 60 cycles and sometimes 220 volts. We recommend you bring a voltage adapter.
In hotels, bars, restaurants, etc., 15% tip is customary, if the service charge is not included in the bill and suggested between $ 10 - $ 15.00 per person, per day for guides and $ 05 - $ 10.00 per person, per day for the bus driver.