Guatemala Guide

Guatemala Guide

Guatemala – country information

Country name Guatemala
Official name Republic of Guatemala
Capital Guatemala
continent North America
Area 108,889 km
Population 15 806 675 (2014)
Foundation of a state 15. 9. 1821
The highest mountains Tajumulco 4210 m
Longest rivers Usumacinta 1000 km (in the country 700 km)
State system a pluralistic presidential republic with a unicameral parliament
The biggest cities Guatemala (capital) 1,175,000 (agglomeration 2 mil.), Escuintla 125,000, Quezaltenango 120,000
Official language Spanish
Ethnicity/National Composition Indians 45%, Ladins (mestizo) 45%, whites 5%, blacks 2%, other mixed race and Chinese 3%
Religious affiliation Roman Catholics 76%, Protestants 24%
Currency 1 quetzal (Q) = 100 cents
gross domestic product (GDP) US$5,153 (2012)
Average life expectancy of the population men 61 years, women 66 years years (2006)
Structure of GDP agriculture, forestry and fishing 25%, mining and industry 18%, construction 2%, services 55%

Guatemala – Neighboring States

State Capital Area Populace
Belize Belmopan 22,966 km 349 728
Honduras Tegucigalpa 112,088 km 8 555 072
Mexico Mexico City 1,958,200 km 119 713 203
Salvador San Salvador 21,041 km 6 340 000

Country overview

According to Abbreviationfinder, Guatemala is located in Central America and occupies the territory between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. It shares a long border with Mexico and borders Belize, Honduras and El Salvador to the east and southeast.

Guatemala is a country in Central America. Shared borders with Belize, El Salvador, Honduras and Mexico. The capital is Guatemala.

The country is washed by two oceans – Pacific and Atlantic. Popular resorts – Monterrico, San Jose, Retaluleu and beaches – Punta de Palma, Livingston.

The climate is tropical. Temperature +26*С.

Resorts and attractions of Guatemala

Guatemala is a country in Central America. It is safe to call it a major tourist center with history and traditions. This is the pearl of Central America – the birthplace of the Mayan civilization, a state with a unique ancient culture.

This country impresses with its architectural monuments. Beautiful beaches, a large number of equipped resort areas, comfortable hotels and inns – that’s what a holiday in Guatemala is all about.

Guatemala is surrounded on all sides by mountains and volcanoes. It is thanks to this geographical position that mountaineering is developed in the country.

Country data

Location: Central America

Time zone: CET – 7 (during summer time: CET – 8)

Total area: 108,889 km²

Land area: 107,159 km²

Water area: 1,730 km²

Length of the state border: 1,667 km

Belize: 266 km
El Salvador: 199 km
Honduras: 244 km
Mexico: 958 km

Coastline: 400 km

Capital: Guatemala City

Regions: 22
Alta Verapaz, Baja Verapaz, Chimaltenango, Chiquimula, El Progreso, Escuintla, Guatemala, Huehuetenango, Izabal, Jalapa, Jutiapa, Peten, Quetzaltenango, Quiche, Retalhuleu, Sacatepequez, San Marcos, Santa Rosa, Solezola, Suchequapan Zacapa

Electric current: 110 V / 60 Hz

Telephone code: 00 502 (Source: Allcitycodes)

Highest point: Tajumulco volcano 4,211 m


Population: approx. 14.6 million residents (Countryaah, 2021)

Population growth: 1.9% per year

Population density (residents per km²): 134

Life expectancy: 70 (male), 74 (female)

Official language: Spanish

Religions: Roman Catholic, Protestants


In the tropical climate it is always humid and warm. Only inland (at higher altitudes) does it get a little cooler.

The dry season lasts from November to May, but the humidity is often over 80%. In the remaining months from June to October it rains almost every day.


Currency / finance

Currency unit: Quetzal (GTQ)

Classification: 1 quetzal = 100 centavo

ATMs: Occasionally available in the larger cities.

International credit cards: These are rarely accepted by larger hotels and shops.

Regulations: Foreign currencies can be imported in unlimited amounts and exported in the amount of the declared import. There is no limit to the number of imports and exports of the local currency.

It is recommended to only carry US dollars as foreign currency.

Cash payments are common in rural areas.

Customs regulations

The following may be carried duty-free:

  • 100 cigarettes or 100 g tobacco
  • 1 liter of alcoholic beverages
  • small amounts of perfume

(Information applies to people aged 18 and over)

Tourists and people in transit can bring items of personal use with them duty-free.

All products of animal origin (meat and sausage products, dairy products, etc.) carried along must be declared upon entry.

Travel advice

An increase in Zika virus infections is currently being observed in the region. The Zika virus is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes.

The Federal Foreign Office recommends that pregnant women refrain from avoidable trips to ZIKA virus outbreak areas, as the risk of early childhood malformations if the woman is infected cannot currently be ruled out.

Due to the troubled internal political situation, travel in the country should not be undertaken alone.

You should only undertake volcano climbs and excursions in the company of a local guide.

Behavioral advice

Tap water should be boiled before use, as the quality is very poor.

The crime rate in Guatemala is very high. In clashes between rival youth gangs, bystanders are increasingly becoming victims.

Drug trafficking and the associated crime against acquisitions have also increased significantly in recent years.

You shouldn’t resist a robbery. Firearms possession is widespread and quickly used.

Always carry 2 purses with you. In the first one (which you carry well hidden) you keep your money for the day. The second should contain a few small bills and coins. So you can give out the second wallet in the event of a robbery and satisfy the perpetrator with it without losing all of your money.


The civil war, which lasted from 1961 until the 1990s, caused great damage to the economy. For example, tourism and the mining of natural resources have almost completely come to a standstill.

Economic growth picked up again after its end, but is slowed down again and again by the widespread corruption, the poor security situation and the lack of legal certainty.

Most of the foreign currency is earned through the export of coffee.

Industries: chemistry, textiles, tourism, sugar

Natural resources: petroleum, fish, wood, nickel

Land use:

  • Usable land: 12%
  • Grain cultivation: 5%
  • Pasture area: 24%
  • Forests: 54%
  • other: 5%


There are many large forests with hundreds of different tree species in Guatemala. The still great diversity in the flora is also found among plants, shrubs and grass species.

With the establishment of national parks, this condition should also be maintained for the future.


The large forests are home to many mammals, reptiles and bird species. Especially in the winter months, Guatemala is home to many migratory birds.

Comments are closed.