Facts of Guatemala

Below you can get important information in connection with your trip to Guatemala – for example about visa rules, vaccinations and travel insurance.

  • Language: Spanish and various indigenous languages
  • Capital: Guatemala City
  • Residents: 15 mill.
  • Religion: Roman Catholic and original Mayan religions
  • Currency: Quetzal
  • Surface: 108 889 km2

Worth knowing

Before departure

About a week before departure, you will receive your final departure letter. The departure letter contains important information about the place and time of departure. It also contains a telephone and address list of the hotels we use on the trip and the tour guide’s name.

Travel insurance

Since the general health insurance does not cover the cost of travel home and care in Guatemala, you should definitely take out travel insurance that covers both the cost of care and any repatriation. Furthermore, we recommend that the insurance covers luggage in the event of damage or lost luggage. Albatros Travel cooperates with Gouda Reseförsäkring and we are happy to help you take out travel insurance.

Hand luggage

We recommend that you pack your hand luggage, so that you have what you need easily accessible, should the rest of your luggage be delayed. Furthermore, we advise you to pack valuables and important medicine in your hand luggage. If you bring prescription medicine that you need to take during the flight, the name of the prescription and flight ticket must match.

We otherwise refer to the Swedish Transport Agency’s website: www.transportstyrelsen.se (under Traveler / Before the flight).

Time difference

Time difference between Sweden and Guatemala can vary, depending on whether Sweden has summer or winter time:

Summer time – 6 hours
Winter time – 7 hours

Transportation in Guatemala

Bus The
buses in Guatemala do not meet the standard we are used to in Europe. However, our buses have a good standard and air conditioning.

On our round trips in Guatemala, we often fly longer distances with domestic flights. Prior to such flights, the Swedish tour guide informs about the time of departure and what applies at check-in at the airport.

Price level

It is relatively cheap to go out and eat in Guatemala. You can get a lunch for SEK 50-70 and a dinner costs around SEK 80. So including drinks, you can manage for about SEK 250 a day. Souvenirs and crafts are available in different price ranges, but much is relatively inexpensive.


On our travels, you come into contact with everyday life and the country’s customs and usages. There may be certain conditions that you do not like or that you are not used to, such as tipping. In many countries, the system of tips is more organized than we Swedes are used to and there is an expectation that local guides and drivers will receive a certain amount of tips during the journey. We enter an amount in our travel program so that you can count on this when you make up your travel budget at home. The price of the trip does not include the cost of tips as you decide how much you want to give during the trip. The system of tips can be said to be part of the culture you visit and which you should therefore follow and respect. In Guatemala, tips are widely accepted in the tourism industry. It is normal for a traveler to pay tips to bus drivers, local guides,

In practice, it is possible to arrange for the tour guide to collect money for the entire trip and ensure that the right people get what they need. We would like to emphasize that it is of course voluntary to tip, even if it is common practice.

In Guatemala, a service surcharge of 10-15 percent is often added to bars, cafes and hotel restaurants. In that case, it appears from the bill. In addition, it is common to give an additional 5-10% in tips to the waiter.

Currency and credit cards

In Guatemala, the currency is called quetzal. You can advantageously bring USD, which you can exchange for quetzal when you arrive. Very often you can also pay with USD in Guatemala. You often get a change in the local currency and in that way you often get a local currency without having to change. It is usually not possible to switch to quetzal at home in Sweden. If you bring USD, you should be careful not to bring banknotes larger than $ 20. It is usually not possible to pay with larger banknotes, as they are often counterfeit.

Visa cards can be used at most restaurants, hotels and in larger stores. You can also withdraw money at ATMs. MasterCard and American Express can also be used, but are not as widespread as Visa.


Guatemala has 110 volts AC, 60 Hz. The sockets look different than at home, so we recommend that you bring an adapter.

Telephone and internet

According to allcitycodes, the international country code for Guatemala is +502. It is expensive to call home and therefore you should check with your mobile operator regarding coverage and rates for calls from Mexico.

Internet cafes are now available in most cities, but we know from experience that it can be difficult to have time to visit such places other than during your own time or completed day program. Most hotels in Guatemala have internet service, but expect a slower connection compared to home. Some hotels charge extra for this.

Drinking water and hygiene

In Guatemala, hygiene conditions are slightly worse than in Western Europe. Hotels and larger restaurants, on the other hand, usually meet modern / western standards. Out in the city and in the country, you can count on going to so-called pedal toilets, and that there is often a lack of toilet paper. The standard of public toilets or in the countryside can thus be relatively primitive. Bring your own toilet paper, intimate napkins and perhaps hand sanitizer (available at Swedish pharmacies, for example), so you will not be as dependent on access to water.

All water that you want to use to brush your teeth, make ice cubes or drink should be bottled water or boiled water from the tap.

Food and drinks

Guatemala offers many different kinds of restaurants. Here you will find everything from Chinese to Mexican and there are many cafés with an international touch. Keep in mind that even though there is a big difference in the price of the food, there is no major difference in the quality.

Customs and traditions

Guatemalans are generally open and treat tourists in a friendly way. Although the locals are usually used to many tourists, it is expected that local customs and practices are respected. More important than anything else is nature conservation. Most often, the areas we visit are protected, and the preservation of these areas has the highest priority among the authorities and the local population. You should therefore listen extra carefully when the tour guide and local guide during the trip inform about nature reserves.


In holy places you should follow the instructions and you should ask before photographing someone.


Smoking is prohibited during all flights and bus transport. Smoking is also prohibited in most restaurants and hotels. If you are unsure, consult your tour guide about current smoking restrictions.

Facts of Guatemala