Guatemala is the hidden gem of Central America. It is a rare find that has a good mix of travel options to satisfy the adventurer in you. Everyone from travelers looking for a little relaxation to beach worshippers to culture seekers will love the country.
This cultural hotspot of Central America is rich in heritage and colonial architecture. Whether it’s the ancient Mayan ruins of Tikal or the cobbled streets of Antigua Guatemala, you’ll love it here.
Taste the world’s best coffee, freshly picked from the slopes of Guatemalan mountains. It’s a great place to mingle with the locals and roam the country in a colorfully painted “chicken bus”. Discover the country at its very best while dipping your feet in the stunning blue lakes. And as you’re planning your trip, remember to buy
travel medical insurance and
in case things go awry.
Things to Do for Travelers in Guatemala
Mayan Ruins of Tikal: Near the border with Belize, in the humid jungles of north Guatemala, lies one of the greatest archaeological sites in the world. Tikal showcases more than 3,000 structures from 600 BC to 900 AD. Apart from pyramids and temples, Tikal also has a national park that is home to many species endemic to the country.
Semuc Champey: Semuc Champey is worth the 30-minute ride over bumpy jungle roads to get there. Relax atop a natural limestone bridge or unwind by swimming in the gorgeous, turquoise-blue pools. The Chabon River runs under the limestone bridge that has caves within it. Some of these caves can only be reached by swimming underwater.
Quetzaltenango: It is the perfect Guatemalan town for tourists. Quetzaltenango, or Xela (Mayan name), is a town that was occupied by Spain and used as a coffee-growing center. When the Germans took over and moved in after the Spanish, the town got a multicultural vibe. The city is famous for its hikes to the active Santa Maria volcano, and Laguna Chicabal, a dormant volcano.
Antigua Guatemala: Antigua is the country’s top travel destination and is the best city to settle in for a bit. Antigua includes trendy restaurants and quality hotels at a reasonable price. Cobblestone streets pass through old colonial buildings and contribute to the city’s appeal. Incredible churches, lush green surroundings, and convents make this city a center of attraction.
Lake Atitlan (Lago de Atitlan): Lake Atitlan is one of the most beautiful lakes in the world and a destination that makes travelers linger. Tourists usually spend more than a week exploring the beautiful small towns and villages around the lake. Boating and fishing around the lake are the best ways to live like a real Guatemalan.
Travel Risks for International Travelers in Guatemala
Armed Robbery: Most travelers wander the streets of Guatemala without fear of theft or robbery. However, zones 1, 3, 5, 7, 12, 6, 18, 21, and 24 in Guatemala City are notorious as crime hotspots. Tourists here have been robbed at gunpoint and threatened with knives or grenades in tourist buses.
ATM and Credit Card Scams: Account phishing and bankcard scamming were born in Guatemala. ATMs in Antigua and Guatemala City have led to fraudulent transactions from the accounts of many travelers. Cloning of credit cards is also very common, so try to use cash whenever possible.
Crime: Gang activities like narcotics trafficking, violent street crime, and extortion are widespread throughout the country. A car may not be a secure place to keep your valuables, as Guatemala has a high rate of carjacking and car break-ins. Avoid dark streets or going out after midnight, as the city is packed with criminals.
Muggings: Muggings are very common in all cities of Guatemala. When climbing the volcano at Volcan de Agua and walking on tracks throughout the country, tourists have also been mugged, usually at gunpoint.
Diseases: Tuberculosis and malaria are very common diseases in Guatemala. Avoid consuming food and water from untrustworthy sources, and do your best to prevent mosquito bites. Lower respiratory infections are also very common in the country due to the burning of solid fuels.
Guatemala Travel Medical Insurance for International Travelers - FAQs
The Guatemalan government is committed to free healthcare for its citizens through the Ministry of Health. Medical facilities are now available in most rural areas. However, the challenges to the healthcare system still exist, and quality may be rather substandard in many areas. Travel medical insurance becomes a necessity when traveling to Guatemala.
Do I need travel medical insurance for Guatemala?
Guatemala doesn’t require that a traveler have travel medical insurance on arrival. However, it would be a grave mistake to enter the country without travel medical insurance. Given that the quality of treatment is uneven at best, buy travel medical insurance for Guatemala beforehands.
Why buy travel medical insurance for Guatemala?
A large majority of public health resources are dedicated to hospital procedures in the cities. The country’s healthcare system focuses on the treatment of disease rather than prevention. This means that hospitals have limited resources, infrastructure, personnel, and supplies. Treatment in Guatemala will cost you dearly if you don’t have medical insurance and get seriously injured or ill. Buy travel medical insurance for Guatemala to mitigate these costs.
Guatemala Trip Cancellation Insurance for International Travelers – FAQs
Guatemala takes its security very seriously. There may be interruptions in your trip or unscheduled cancellations that occur due to security reasons or natural disasters. Traveling to Guatemala carries many risks; buy travel insurance for Guatemala to help cover the cost of trip cancellation.
Why buy trip cancellation insurance for Guatemala?
Border closures, airport closures, and business closures are very common in Guatemala. Sometimes, to nab drug traffickers and smugglers, the government may increase security at transportation hubs. This could require you to make sudden changes to your travel plans, or even to cancel your hotel reservation. Buy travel insurance for Guatemala to provide coverage for these unnecessary expenses. Trip cancellation insurance applies if you have to cancel or interrupt your trip for a covered reason listed in your plan’s certificate wording.
What all is covered under travel insurance for Guatemala?
Be a smart traveler and buy travel insurance while booking accommodations and flights. Travel insurance gives you benefits and coverage in case of:
- Cancellation of the trip due to a covered reason
- Trip interruptions due to a covered reason
- Hotel cancellation due to security reasons
- Missing or lost baggage at the airport
- Unscheduled flight delays or missing your connecting flight
- Emergency assistance service or medical evacuation cutting the trip short
Before You Travel to Guatemala – Do This
- Guatemalan border security is very cautious and requires you to have proper identification at all times for security checks.
- Pack a breathable cotton mask to protect yourself from the lower respiratory diseases found in Guatemalan cities.
- If you’re carrying any sort of class-A or class-B drugs or medications, you are required to show a prescription and keep it in the original packing.
- Assess your travel insurance needs and make sure you find the right insurance plan. Compare a wide variety of options, and select the one that best fits your needs.