The Semana Santa (Holy week preceding Easter) is Guatemala's largest festival, with beautiful processions and celebrations throughout the country. Antigua’s Semana Santa is the most exuberant of them all. Each indigenous group has its own religious customs and folklore. Independence Day is celebrated on 15th September. All Saints’ is also a major celebration here on 1st November. Every town here celebrates the day of its own patron saint. The inhabitants of Chichicastenango, for example, honour Santo Tomás from 13th to 21st December.
We sleep in mid-range hotels in twin rooms with private facilities. There will also be one night in Rio Dulce in cabañas (lodges) without private facilities.
The climate in Guatemala is pleasant throughout the year. However, generally the best time of year to visit is during the height of the dry season, between December and February. April and May are the hottest months and July - September tend to be the wettest.
Please click here to check what voltage and plugs are used in Guatemala. You could also consider taking a universal electric adaptor.
Please check the world clock in order to find out the exact time difference between Guatemala and your home country.
If you want to take a travel guide or map, we suggest you click on Lonely Planet.
Yes, you have the option to pre-book airport transfers and secondly the option to pre-book pre and post tour nights.These extra services should be added to your booking.
UK citizens do not need a visa for Guatemala, but these things can change. So please click here and check out the current situation. You can also check on that website if a visa is required for any other nationality. Make sure you find out if you need a visa at least a month before departure so you do not run out of time.
If you need a visa, please contact your nearest embassy unless you choose to use a visa service. Shoestring does not organize your visa. You are responsible for having a valid passport and visa when you travel. You can also obtain the visa through a specialised visa agency like www.travcour.com.
The international access code for Guatemala is +502. The outgoing code depends on what network is used to dial out on (e.g. 13000 for Telefonica or 14700 for Telgua), which is followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 1300044 for the United Kingdom). City codes are not required. There are generally surcharges on calls made from hotels and it is cheaper to use calling cards. Rates are generally cheaper after 7pm. Mobile phones work in the major towns and cities on a GSM network but check that your network operator has a roaming agreement covering Guatemala. Internet cafes are available in the main tourist areas
If you book alone you will share your room with a fellow traveller (same sex when possible) unless you have booked a single room.
Pickpockets operate in the big cities, especially in markets and bus stations. To prevent them from succeeding: keep money and valuables beneath your clothing in a non-visible position. Keep some cash to hand so you do not have to search through all your money in the middle of the street. If your day backpack contains valuables, carry it on your front. Also, carry your camera round your neck or tie it to a solid belt. Few robberies occur and when this does happen, it is normally in isolated or empty places which you should try and avoid anyway. There is no need to be worried, but there is good reason to exercise caution. Bandits occasionally hold up buses in the countryside. The odds are less than 1 in 1000, but when this happens it is well organized. You will be requested to hand over all your valuables and would be wise to do so. Luggage is reasonably safe in hotel rooms but do not leave money or valuables lying around. Put them in a locked bag, hand over to the staff of the hotel or keep inside a safe.