La Aurora International Airport is located 6 km south of the historic center of Guatemala City. Most flights here come from cities in North America. It is convenient to get from Moscow with one transfer by Iberia airlines (connection in Madrid) and Lufthansa (connection in Frankfurt), as well as by KLM and Aeroflot airlines with transfers in Amsterdam and Panama (travel time – 16-17 hours excluding transplants). For other air carriers, Miami is often the second transit point. The second largest airport in the country is located in Flores.
Note: according to allcitypopulation, the population of Guatemala is 17.11 million (2021).
Real adventurers can buy a ticket to Cancun and from there get to Guatemala by bus or, having flown to Mexico City, continue their journey on budget airlines.
Bus service is established with Mexico, El Salvador, Belize and Honduras, rail – only with Mexico. And the last option for the most restless is to get to Guatemala by sea from Belize.
Find cheap flights to Guatemala
Visa to Guatemala
Russian citizens are allowed visa-free entry to Guatemala for a period not exceeding 90 days. They won’t ask for medical insurance when crossing the border either, but you shouldn’t fly to South America without it.
Foreign currency can be imported and exported without restrictions (declaration is required), but national currency is not recommended. Persons over 18 years old can bring up to 80 cigarettes or about 100 g of tobacco and up to 1.5 liters of alcohol (but no more than 2 bottles). In the declaration at the entrance it is necessary to indicate all imported valuables. It is not allowed to export antiques, archaeological treasures, rare animals and birds, as well as their stuffed animals and skins from the country.
Embassy of Guatemala in Moscow: st. Cow Val, 7, entrance 4, office. 98; tel.: +7 (499) 238-22-14, 238-59-14, fax: (499) 238-14-46
Embassy of Russia in Guatemala City: 2A, Avenida 12-85, zona 14, Ciudad de Guatemala; tel.: 236-809-79, 236-727-65; Web site
Tourist Office of Guatemala (INGUAT) 331-13-33 or (801) 464-82-81 (24 hours and free of charge).
Ambulance 128, Firemen 122, Police 110 or 120.
Codes of some cities: Guatemala – 2, Antigua Guatemala – 9, Amatitlán – 9, Quetzaltenango – 9, Puerto Barrios – 9, Zacapa – 9, San Jose – 9.
In the capital and popular tourist areas, you can easily find Internet cafes or use Wi-Fi at the airport or hotel. You can call to another country from a call center (at the post office), and within the country – from a street pay phone.
In Guatemala, Catholicism sometimes takes rather bizarre forms: traditional Indian customs are mixed with Christian dogmas, and the pantheon of saints is generously diluted with local characters.
Transport of Guatemala
Public transport in Guatemala is called camioneta and is a fleet of old US school buses. The main person in such a bus is the conductor, who, leaning out of the open door, shouts out the route (many locals are illiterate) and functions as turn signals and brake lights. Landing can be done even at the crossroads, the fare is a bit.
Even a short trip will allow you to fully experience the Guatemalan flavor: a crowd of people, a lot of pickpockets and a chance to be attacked.
It is more pleasant, safer and more expensive to travel on tourist shuttles, they run between the main cities, pick you up at the hotel and bring you back. All seats are seated, buses are divided into classes according to the degree of comfort. There are also taxis, we recommend that you negotiate the price before boarding. Some national parks can only be reached by boat.
The railroad connects the cities of Puerto Barrios and Santo Tomas de Castilla on the Caribbean coast with the capital and the Pacific coast. Minor railway lines depart to the north and south of the country. Domestic flights connect the main cities. For example, 4 flights depart from Guatemala to Flores every day.
Rent a Car
There are no problems with car rental in Guatemala, you will need to leave a deposit, but a bank card is not required. The driver must be over 25 years old. The insurance does not cover damage from theft, so you should only leave your car in paid parking, and drive in the capital with your windows closed and doors locked. It is pointless to take a passenger car, country roads are too tough for her. Lost in the labyrinth of the streets of a small town, you should not ask women for directions – they are rarely in the know, and men can give false “testimony” with the most serious look. In the department of Peten, the roads are the worst developed, there is one good highway to Flores, but it passes through a dangerous area – it is not recommended to travel in a small group. The most expensive rental option is a car with a driver, but also the most convenient.
Tourist safety in Guatemala
The most unsafe area of the country is its capital. It is better for a lone traveler not to meddle in certain areas of Guatemala City. In busy places (markets, crowds of tourists), hold on tightly to your wallet. Expensive jewelry, watches are best left at home, and do not carry large amounts of cash with you. Solo excursions (to the volcano, for example) are also not the best idea. In most cases, one cannot rely on the police, the country has a very high level of corruption.
Local laws require you to carry your passport or a certified copy at all times.
You should also take the necessary precautions regarding your health: do not drink tap water and do not brush your teeth with it, do not buy cut fruits in the street market, do not eat unwashed fruits and vegetables, do not dine in questionable eateries. Special vaccinations before the trip do not need to be done, but it will be useful to take a course of an antimalarial drug in advance. And don’t forget to stock up on quality repellant and sunscreen.