Name: Republic Of Guatemala
Nick-Name: Guate (Guatay)
Capitol City: Guatemala City
Main Language: Spanish
English Speakers: Low
Main Religion: Christianity
Slogan: Land Of Eternal Spring
Our Slogan: Land Of Volcanoes
Favorite Destination: Lake Atitlan
Top Experience: Meet The Maya
Safety: 3.7 out of 5.0
Friendliness: 4.1 out of 5.0
Deliciousness: 4.0 out of 5.0
Cheapness: 4.8 out of 5.0
Recommended Budget: 18$/Day
Guatemala is the largest country in Central America. It’s territory extends from the pacific, through highlands home to the modern Maya, across dense jungles filled with ancient ruins, and over to the Rasta rhythms of the Caribbean coast. There are so many different peoples, cultures and epic landscapes that there’s something for every traveler. Not only that, but Guatemala is one of the cheapest countries in Central America and the world.
World Travel Expert Rank: 4.8 out of 5.0
Guatemala isn’t as dangerous as you might think. Neither is El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, or Panama for that matter. Yes gang related violence does exist. Tourist are robbed, rooms are broken into, and violent crime does occur. But Guatemala, like the USA or any country, isn’t dangerous everywhere all the time. In fact, most cities, aside from Guatemala City, have a heavy police presence and are actually pretty safe. You really have to go looking for danger it if you want to experience it.
As long as you take necessary precautions like going out at night with groups, and staying out of bad neighborhoods, chances are you’ll never have a problem. Nevertheless, travel insurance is recommended.
Guatemala is extremely diverse both ethnically and culturally. In the highlands you’ll encounter the Maya. Along the Caribbean coast you’ll find the Garifuna. In large cities you’ll meet people of direct Spanish descent. And everywhere else, you’ll find a beautiful fusion of the three. Despite this cultural melange, or perhaps because of it, most people welcome gringos and other foreign travelers.
The Maya, much like the Japanese, tend to smile politely but are often weary of getting too close to foreigners. The Garifuna, descendants of Brazillian/African slaves, love to share their culture and coast with travelers. And the upper class Spaniards are so astonished you came that they’ll bend over backwards to show you a good time.
Guatemala, like much of Central America, is no culinary hotspot. Chicken with rice, beans and corn tortillas is the most common dish. In terms of street food, it’s all about the fried chicken and tacos. It’s good for what it is, but after a month you’ll wish you had more variety in your diet.
By far the most delicious part of Guatemala is it’s fruit and vegetables. Although you can buy almost any kind of produce, the avocado, papaya and mango really stands out. Remember to buy the fruit whole as opposed to pre-cut (dirty water used to clean fruit knifes = weeks of diarrhea).
Guatemala, along with El Salvador and Nicaragua, is one of the cheapest countries in Central America. Prices from food to accommodation can generally be found for 50-60% less than in the United States or Europe. Even in tourist hotspots, like the ancient Guatemalan capitol of Antigua, you can still find a budget hotel room with breakfast included for around 10$/night.
Top 10 Things To Do & See
6) Hang From A Truck
7) Go Garifuna In Livingston
8) Climb Volcan Pacaya
9) Drink More Coffee
10) Learn From The Maya
Guatemala is extremely cheap, it’s much safer than you think, and the locals, from the Garifuna in the north to the Maya of the highlands, make you feel simply comfortable. For these reasons and more, Guatemala received a score of 4.8 out of 5 from over 25 world travel experts.
Guatemala is my favorite country in the world for taking a short vacation, an extended backpacking adventure or even living longterm.Step 1: Get Prepared