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Guatemala is a country gathering its wits after thirty-odd years of insane civil war. Budget-challenged travelers have been drawn to the country throughout this period of turmoil because it offers Central America in concentrate form: its volcanoes are the highest and most active, its Mayan ruins the most impressive, its earthquakes the most devastating and its history of repression decidedly world-class.


Guatemala is the Mayan heartland of Central America, though the government has both touted and tortured the Maya - sticking pictures of them on its tourist brochures while sticking guns in their faces. Despite this, indigenous Guatemalan culture is alive and well, in the ancient ruins of Tikal, the Mayan/Catholic rituals of Chichicastenango and the blazing colors of everyday Mayan dress. Since the peace treaties were signed, inspiring even the least-intrepid travellers to venture beyond the Guatemala City-Antigua corridor, indigenous Guatemala has been rolling out the red carpet to once-isolated and lovely villages accessible to some of Central America's wildest natural wonders.


Guatemala is a country of Dreams

Regions and Attraction

Click for Guatemala, Guatemala Forecast

Visas: Visa regulations changed in 1996 and citizens of most countries no longer need either a visa or a tourist card. Depending on the country you come from, stays are limited to 30 or 90 days. Citizens of some countries still need either a visa or a tourist card, so check with the closest Guatemalan embassy for up-to-date information.


Health risks: Cholera, dengue fever, malaria, hepatitis, typhoid, dysentery.


Time: GMT/UTC minus 6 hours


Electricity: 115V to 125V, 60Hz


Weights & measures: Metric