Best Central America Destinations

Guatemala Travel Guide

Are you planning a vacation in Guatemala soon? You’ve made an excellent decision! Guatemala isn’t just a beautiful country packed with endless adventures and activities, it’s also the Mayan heart of Central America.

The country is home to some of the region’s most incredible ruins and ancient historical sites. When you add in bustling markets, colorful architecture, dense jungles, and looming active volcanoes, you soon realize how unique Guatemala is.

Martsam Travel has carefully curated a range of tours in Guatemala that explore everything it has to offer. We have used all our local insights to ensure every visitor can make the most of their time in this diverse, picturesque country.

Nothing is too much for the team at Martsam Travel, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions you have about our day trips and tour packages.

In the meantime, read through our Guatemala travel guide for all the inspiration and information you need ahead of your trip.

Where is Guatemala?

Let’s start by getting our bearings. Guatemala sits in the heart of Central America. It shares borders with Mexico, Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador.

This central location makes Guatemala a popular hub for exploring all these neighboring countries. With Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama within easy reach too, Guatemala is an ideal gateway for adventures in Central America.

What is the Weather Like in Guatemala?

Guatemala sits squarely in the Tropic of Cancer. Because of this, temperatures here are very mild and vary little throughout the year. As with any other country, however, there are regional and seasonal differences.

In the Central Valley, the average high temperature is 77°F (25°C) with the average low coming in at 55°F (12.7°C). Keep in mind that at higher altitudes temperatures drop significantly at night.

Guatemala also has a dry and rainy season. The dry season typically lasts from October to early May, while the rainy season occurs between late May and the end of September.

Learn more about the best time of year to visit Guatemala.

Guatemala is a Natural Paradise!

If you’re a nature lover, you may never want to leave Guatemala! The natural landscape consists of rivers and valleys, spectacular lakes, lowland jungles, temperate plateaus, tropical plains, swamps, and an incredible 37 volcanoes!

The Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean meet our coastlines to the north and south, respectively.

Guatemala is home to 19 ecosystems, 300 microclimates, and millions of species of flora and fauna. These include over 700 bird species, mammals like the jaguar and tapir, and a huge range of reptiles and insects.

Around 1.4 million hectares of Guatemala’s natural paradise belong to the Mayan Biosphere Reserve, national parks, private reserves, and communities focused on conservation.

Is Guatemala Safe for Tourists?

Every traveler has their own sense of safety, so it’s impossible to give a universal answer to this question. However, Guatemala is like every other tourist destination around the world: the most popular areas and attractions are safe for everyone.

Planning your trip in advance lets you obtain plenty of information about the places you want to visit. You can also assess the quality of professional, certified tour companies like Martsam Travel.

Choosing from our range of day trips and tours in Guatemala offers fun, adventure, education, and, most importantly, peace of mind.

When in Guatemala, tourists should simply take the same precautions they would in any other country that isn’t their own.

What is the Official Language of Guatemala?

Guatemala’s official language is Spanish. Many locals also speak one of the 22 native languages descended from ancient Mayan communities, as well as Xinca and Garifuna.

You can rest assured that when you’re in locations popular with tourists and expats, communicating in English shouldn’t be a problem. What’s more, the team at Martsam Travel also speaks English.

Do You Need a Visa to Enter Guatemala?

For many visitors, a valid passport is the only document needed to enter Guatemala. US, Canadian, and European citizens do not need a visa.

What Essential Items Should I Pack for a Guatemala Trip?

What you should put in your suitcase or backpack depends on your personal needs and the kind of trip you plan to take. Will you be backpacking around the country and staying in hostels? Or do you want to make leisurely day trips while staying at a luxury hotel?

It’s impossible to draw up a comprehensive list of the things you should bring, so we encourage you to use this information as a starting point.

The official currency in Guatemala is the quetzal. Many top tourist attractions accept US dollars and credit cards, but you should visit a bank to exchange your native currency for quetzales. You will need to show your passport when doing this.

Guatemala is an incredibly diverse country, so the clothes you should bring depend on what region(s) you plan to visit. Some items speak for themselves: if you’re going to the beach, bring swimwear. Plan to go hiking? Bring broken-in hiking boots or walking shoes, thermals, and waterproofs.

And remember, at high altitudes, the temperature plummets at night, so bring warm-weather gear!

Generally speaking, focus on packing comfortable and functional clothes. And always look to dress in layers. This means you can still regulate your temperature even if you do get caught out.

Highlights of Trips to Guatemala

No two itineraries for traveling in Guatemala are the same. Budgets, available time, interests, age, and general travel preferences will influence what you can and want to see.

However, some of the most popular highlights of vacations in Guatemala include:

  • Exploring centuries-old traditions and history in Antigua Guatemala
  • Visiting the modern, international metropolis of Guatemala City
  • Hiking Acatenango or Pacaya, two of Guatemala’s impressive volcanoes
  • Entering the 950-acre cloud forest in Finca El Pilar private nature reserve
  • Marveling at Lake Atitlán, “the most beautiful lake on Earth”
  • Purchasing beautiful Mayan handicrafts at Chichicastenango market
  • Admiring the ancient rock art at Quiriguá, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

While this list contains awe-inspiring, unforgettable sites and activities, it’s only an introduction to all the things you can see and do in Guatemala. For example, you can find national parks, nature reserves, and archaeological sites spread across the country.

This is why we provide such a wide range of tour packages, from Guatemala cultural tours to adventure tours in Guatemala.

Unlock an Authentic Guatemala Experience with Trusted Tour Guides

We hope our Guatemala travel guide has inspired as much as it has informed. If you have any further questions that we haven’t addressed, please feel free to get in touch. Our team is on hand to answer queries of every kind.

Our Guatemala tour packages truly showcase the beauty, history, and culture of this amazing country.

For the ultimate in flexibility and freedom, consider a tailor-made itinerary. Our custom tour packages in Guatemala let you design your own experience. The type of hotel, methods of transport, and places to visit — the choice is yours!

Day Tour

Pacaya Volcano Day Tour

El Mirador is a large pre-Columbian Mayan settlement, located in the north of the modern department of Peten.
Culture Tour

El Mirador Jungle Trek

El Mirador is a large pre-Columbian Mayan settlement, located in the north of the modern department of Peten.
Culture Tour

Las Guacamayas Nature Tour

The park is a refuge that allows the visitor to enjoy a balanced combination of pre-Hispanic cultural patrimony and biodiversity.
Jungle Tour

Yaxha Nakum Tikal Jungle Tour

The park is a refuge that allows the visitor to enjoy a balanced combination of pre-Hispanic cultural patrimony and biodiversity.
Jungle Tour

El Zotz Tikal Jungle Trek

With steep cliffs and an internal cave system, the mountains possess two of the most impressive characteristic of El Zotz: bats and scenic views.
Adventure Tour

Tikal Sunrise and Sunset Tour

Enjoy a guided expedition across the trails of one of the most well-known metropolis of the Mayan world, in the glorious sunset and sunrise.
Day Tour

Chichicastenango Market Day Trip

Enjoy the ethnic market of Chichicastenango, held every Thursday and Sunday an exciting and distinctive native commercial process.
Day Tour

Yaxha & Topoxte One Day Tour

Visit the archeological site Topoxte, inside the natural monument Yaxha – Nakum – Naranjo, at the basin of the central lakes of Peten.
Antigua Guatemala
Day Tour

Antigua Guatemala Biking One Day Tour

On this biking tour you will learn about the process of textile production and also the daily life of a Mayan family.

Over 200 5 Star Reviews

5 star reviews

Visiting the Maya ruins in Peten Guatemala is a fabulous travel experience. Lily and the team at Martsam Travel in Guatemala are experts at making your travel plans come true. ln addition to the immense cultural value of the sites, you have chances to see unusual tropical animals. Totally great experience!


5 star reviews
A travel agency that makes you feel assisted every step of the trip – what a nice experience. Lily was checking every day to make sure things were going as well as possible, and went out of the way to accommodate last minute changes to my trip.


5 star reviews

I am beyond thankful that we found Martsam as they made our 10 day trip so perfect. We learned so much about Guatemalan and Mayan history. The hotels they booked for us were beautiful, luxurious, and affordable. I HIGHLY recommend using Martsum to plan a trip to Guatemala!!!


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