Information before a student internship in Guatemala

Guatemala

Guatemala is situated in Central America on the Atlantic Coast from the East and Pacific Ocean from the West. Sharing the borders with Mexico, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador.

Population

17,263,239 inhabitants in year 2018 (ranked 67th).

Area

108,890 km² (107th).

Capital

Guatemala City also called by locals Guate

Currency

The local currency is called Quetzal. In the last years the quetzal has been quite stable, balancing between 7,5 GTQ-7,7 GTQ to 1USD. Guatemalan currency comes in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200. Coins are used in 1, 5, 25 and 50 centavos.

It is common to pay in American Dollars, but you should keep in mind, that in some places it might be a problem to receive a change from big notes like 100$, in this case you also should keep in your pocket some Quetzals or same smaller bills of Dollars. Exchanging money is not a problem, you can make a transaction at banks or in the exchange points, where rate might be better, many of these you will fins at the borders. Most of the stores and hotels accepts MasterCard, VISA and American Express, credit and debit cards. In Guatemala the VAT, or IVA (Impuesto de valor agregado), is 12%. Nevertheless 10% tax is usually already included in the price of restaurant, hotels and shops.

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Weather

The country is located within the humid equatorial climate of the El Peten Lowland and the humid equatorial climate on the Caribbean coast. Because of the mild climate Guatemala is known as the land of eternal spring. Guatemala has only two seasons: dry and rainy. The rainy months are starting in May and continue in June, July, August, September and October. The dry season are in: November, December, January, February, March and April. Months with potential hurricanes are July, August, September and October.

The best time for visiting Antigua is between January – April and also in months of November and December. February, March, April and May are the warmest month in this city. The rainfalls are in May, June, August and September.
January is the month when in the afternoon the average temperature reach 16 °C, you should expect the rain every day. However the temperature is pleasant and still tolerable, it is good time to travel especially for those who can’t stand the heat waves. Between February and April the temperatures rising up to 28°C and the scale of rain shows 58%. Worst possible months are between May and September when the temperature is 28°C and during this time the rainfall scales shows 670mm rainwater per month. October continues with high temperatures, it is 29°C and around 500mm rainfalls. During November the weather is getting nicer and the temperatures are easier to stand. The maximum temperature is 23°C and average of rainfalls is about 76mm. December is known as the best month, weather is very good, the temperature oscillate around 24°C and the rainfalls is 26mm during this month.

The best time for going to Guatemala

The best months to visit Guatemala are: December, January, February, March, April, June and July. October is known as not the best month to travel to this country, as it is the peak of the hurricane season at this time. Northeast and coastal regions are hot during the whole year.

Tourist Seasons in Guatemala:

  • Low season: May-October
  • High season: April and November
  • Very high season: January, February, March and December

Time difference

Time zone is measured in a difference to UTC, i.e. the ‘Universal Time Coordinated’. Guatemala has only one time zone CST (UTC−6), there is no time change between summer and winter time. For example the time difference to U.K. is 7h and to any of the Central European’s capital like Berlin or Rome amounts 8h.

Phone and Internet

It is possible to use your mobile phone in Guatemala. The main phone providers are Millicom, Claro, Movistar, Digicel. You can easily purchase a SIM Card for less than 4,42€ and easily communicate via WhatsApp, Facetime, Messenger etc.

For international calls:

– From the UK to Guatemala: 00 + 502 + city code + number of the correspondent.
– From Guatemala to the UK: 00 + 44 + number of the correspondent.

For emergencies dial 911. The number allows you to contact police, firefighters and ambulances throughout Guatemala from a mobile phone.

The Hotspots in Guatemala which you cannot miss

Discover all the must-see Travel destinations in Guatemala

Entry Requirements for Guatemala

Many nationalities including EU, Switzerland and Norway citizens can enter on the territory for up to 90 days without visa, even though some countries do need visas. Citizens of some eastern European countries are in the group who is required visa. In order to receive more details you should contact closest embassy of Guatemala. It is mandatory to travel with either a valid passport. The document should be valid for the whole duration of the stay in this country.

Useful adress

British embassy
Edificio Torre Internacional,
Nivel 11, 16 Calle 0-55,
Zona 10 Guatemala City
Guatemala

Tel: +502-2380-7300
E-mail: embajadabritanicagt@gmail.com

Website: https://www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-embassy-guatemala

Local information

Stay tuned about exhibitions, concerts and events in Guatemala thank to national diary El Periódico.

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