Guatemala Travel Overview

Guatemala Travel Overview


Official name of the state

Republic of Guatemala.


Guatemala City.


According to a2zgov, Guatemala is located in Central America and borders Mexico to the north and west, Belize and the Caribbean to the northeast, and El Salvador and Honduras to the southeast. The landscape is predominantly mountainous and heavily forested. There is a chain of volcanoes in the southern plateaus on the Pacific coast, three of the volcanoes are still active. In the volcanic area there are valleys rich in rivers, in which the majority of the population lives. To the west of the capital is Lake Atitlán, which is surrounded by volcanoes. To the north lies the El Petén plateau (36,300 square kilometers), an impenetrable wilderness with dense hardwood forests. This region, in which only 40,000 people live, takes up about a third of the country.


Presidential republic since 1986. Constitution from 1986, last amendment 1993. The parliament, which is elected every 4 years, has 158 members. Direct election of the head of state every 4 years. Independent since 1821 (former Spanish colony); 1839 Leaving the Central American Confederation.

Head of state

Jimmy Morales, since January 2016.


115-125 V, 60 Hz. Regional differences.

Time zone

Central Standard Time: CET -7



The official language is Spanish (60%), and a total of 23 Maya languages ​​(40%) are spoken. English is understood in tourist regions and in larger hotels and restaurants.



Discos and nightclubs are mainly found in Guatemala City. Marimba music comes from Guatemala and is played by four to nine musicians on a giant xylophone – in the country, bottle gourds of various sizes (marimbas de tecomates) are used for this. There are also theater performances and other cultural events in English. In the larger cities, films with Spanish or English subtitles are shown.




There are numerous hotels in all price ranges in Guatemala. There is also a large selection in La Antigua Guatemala, the former capital. In Puerto Barrios, Chichicastenango, Quetzaltenango, Panajachel (on Lake Atitlán) and Cobán the choice is also quite large. In the other parts of the country the hotel offer is limited. First class hotels offer numerous facilities such as: B. Restaurants, Bars and Nightclubs. Registered hotels must post a list of room rates. The Guatemala City Tourist Office will handle any complaints.


Simple campsites are common. At Lake Atitlán, camping is only allowed in the campsites.



The constitution grants freedom of religion. The majority of the population is Roman Catholic; there is also a Protestant minority and some followers of natural religions.

Social rules of conduct

Etiquette: Along with El Salvador, Guatemala is the most densely populated country in Central America. Around half of the population is of American Indian descent, although the Spanish influence is unmistakable. Many Guatemalans have two surnames, in conversations or letters you should either use the first surname or both.

Clothing: Casual clothing is often appropriate, only in high-end restaurants and clubs is a more neat wardrobe expected.

: Photographing the indigenous Maya population, especially in rural areas, should be avoided. Children should also not be photographed.

If not included in the bill, 10%.


Best travel time

Different depending on the altitude (average annual temperature: 20 ° C). On the coast and in the northeast, warm all year round (average 37 ° C); cooler at higher altitudes. Rainy season in the interior of the country from May to September, otherwise relatively dry. Nights cool all year round.


Area code +502 Area (sq km) 108 889 Population 14 918 999 Population density (per sq km) 137 Population in 2015 Member of the EU No main emergency number 1500

Guatemala Travel Overview