- Location and Geography
Guatemala is the northernmost country in Central America. It is bounded by
Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Belize, the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.
It is 42,000 square miles and made up of high mountains and volcanoes (the
highest reaches 12,000 feet above sea level),
jungle plains, tropical forests, crystalline lakes and rivers.
Guatemala's central mountain mass divides the country into two systems: the
Sierra Madre, which runs along the Pacific Ocean, and the Cuchumatanes Range,
which crosses the middle of the country to the Caribbean. These formations
extend to other important ranges.
Guatemala features over 30 volcanoes and some of the easier ones to
the Pacaya, the Agua, the Acatenango, the Fuego, the Atitlan, the San
Pedro and the Toliman.
Guatemala is also doted with many lakes, quite a few of them are volcanic origin,
which abound in fish and where different watersports can be practiced. The most
outstanding lakes are: Lake Atitlan, Lake Izabal and Lake Peten Itza.
- Climate and Suggested Clothing
- The average annual temperature is around 75 degrees F (20 degrees C). In the
coastal regions the temperature reaches 100 degrees F (37 degrees C), while in
the highlands it drops to freezing. In general, nights are quite cool at any
time of the year. In the central highlands the rainy season lasts from May to
October and is characterized by clear skies before and after the showers which
usually fall in the afternoon or evening.
In summer, light cotton clothes and a sweater for the evening are sufficient.
From November through January, when the weather becomes somewhat cooler, light
woolen clothes are suggested. Shorts are not allowed to be worn in most churches
by men or woman and are generally not recommened unless you will be hiking (ie:
Tikal, Copan, etc)
- Shopping & Business Hours
- Regular shopping hours are from 9 a.m. to 12:30 noon and from 3:00p.m. to
7:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. We recommend to our clients that purchases
made in Guatemala be taken with them rather than shipped. U.S. money is accepted
in most major shops, hotels and restaurants but you should exchange dollars for
Quetzals and use local currency. Banks will offer the best exchange rate but
do not attempt to exchange U.S. $100 bills. It is not advisable and
practically impossible anywhere in Guatemala.
Business hours in Guatemala are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon
and from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at private establishments and 8:00 a.m. to 4:30
p.m.in public offices. Banks are open 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
- In hotels, restaurants, bars, etc., a 15% tip is customary wherever a service
charge is not included in the bill. Tipping is not included in the price of any
tour and how much to tip is up to you with the following suggestions: A $2.00 per
person, per day tip to guides and $1.00 per person per day for driver/assistant.
- National Holidays are:
- January 1 - New Years Day
- March or April - Holy Wednesday through Easter Sunday
- May 1 - Labor Day
- June 30 - Army Day
- August 15 - Our Lady of Assumption
- September 15 - Independence Day
- October 20 - Revolution Day
- November 1 - All Saints Day
- December 24 - Christmas Eve
- December 25 - Christmas Day
- December 31 - New Year's Eve
- Transportation Equipment
- Most of our tours are arranged on a private basis with your own personal guide or guides.
Some tours include transportation on a seat-in-car or microbus basis, escorted
by a professional English/Spanish speaking tour conductor.
- Tours do not Include
- Airfare to/from Guatemala City except when specified. Meals, except when
specified; tips to drivers, guides, waiters and chambermaids. Also excluded are
entry and exit taxes and expenses of a personal nature such as: laundry, liquor,
soft drinks, telephone calls, etc.
- Prior to arrival in Guatemala, every client must verify that his documents
are in order, and that he has obtained a tourist card or visa if required.
Visas are available only at Guatemalan Consulates abroad. Tourist cards are a
vailable to citizens of some countries at airport ticket counters at point of
embarcation to Guatemala.
- Accommodation Information
- Accommodations are based on rooms with private bath in standard or first class hotels and can be upgraded to superior or deluxe accommodations (where available) for an additional charge. All of our tours include a 10% tourism tax on rooms accommodations and 10%
value added tax.
- Holiday Bookings
- Hotel bookings over certain holidays (Easter and Christmas for example),
carry a surcharge and are subject to strict pre-payment and cancellation policies.
These will be advised at the time of booking.
- Hotel Listing
- We offer the following hotels in conjuction with our tours or we can offer
them on a single nightly basis with no tours booked. Please note: Hotels in
Antigua, Lake Atitlan, Tikal and Rio Dulce impose increased rates and possible
minimum stays during certain holiday periods.
- Guatemala City
- Camino Real
- Guatemala City Marriott
- Pan American
- Crowne Plaza Las Americas
- Hyatt Regency Guatemala
- Lake Atitlan (Panajachel)
- Hotel Atitlan.
- Hotel Arca de Noé
- La Iguana Perdida
- Del Lago
- Posada de Don Rodrigo Atitlan
- Rio Hondo
- Rio Dulce/Lake Isabel
- Flores/Santa Elena
- Tikal/El Remate
- Copan (Honduras)