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Guatemala Frequently Asked Questions


  • Agua Volcano, Guatemala

What language is spoken in Guatemala?

The offical language in Guatemala is Spanish

Is English spoken in Guatemala?

English is spoken in most tourist destinations however, it is not commonly spoken outside of that.

What currency is used in Guatemala?

The official currency of Guatemala is quetzal (Q). US Dollars  are accepted in most places but be sure to have local currency on hand. 

Do I need a visa to travel to Guatemala? 

A visa is not required when travelling as a tourist from Canada and the United States for up to 90 days. Passports are required to have 6 months validity from date of entry.

When is the best time to travel to Guatemala?

November through April is the dry season in the country making it the best time to visit the country. 

Is there transportation within Guatemala?

The main forms of local transportation within the country include buses, tuk-tuks, taxis and shuttle mini buses. 

Is Guatemala a family friendly destination?

Guatemala is a great destination for a family and the tourist centric areas are well accustomed to interacting with families. Guatemalans are a friendly and welcoming community willing to share with their guests their customs and traditions. 

How welcoming is Guatemala to LGBTQ travellers and families?

In Guatemala, non-commercial, private same sex sexual activity is legal but there are no laws protecting from discrimination or harassment. Guatemala city and Antigua are the two best places to find LGBTQ bars and parties. It is recommended to use discretion, especially in more rural areas.   

Electricity

In Guatemala the common voltage is 120 V. The standard frequency is 60 Hz. The power plugs and sockets are A / B type

Tipping

Tipping is expected in some areas such as restaurants. 10% is common and is sometimes automatically added to the bill in tourist areas so it is recommended to check your bill before paying. Tipping is also common for hotel staff like doormen and housekeeping. Tour guides do not expect tips but it is appreciated.  

Events

Many events and festivals are heavily based around religion. Semana Santa (Holy Week), the weeklong observance of Christian Holy Week, is the biggest celebration in Guatemala with the festivities in Antigua being arguably the most impressive due to  the intricate brightly colored carpets made of colored sawdust and flower petals known as Alfombras. The Carnival is celebrated in February, the week leading up to lent which incorporates elements like masks, singing groups, parades, and street parties. La Fiesta Nacional Indígena de Guatemala (National Folkloric Festival) is held in July where indigenous groups from around the country gather and perform traditional dances and music, with a pageant of Mayan women competing to be Queen of the festival.  

 


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