Guatemala Entry Requirements

is a general requirement for traveling to Guatemala. The passport must be valid when entering Guatemala. A return or onward ticket is required for entry by plane. A temporary passport is not sufficient.

Visa :
Citizens of EU countries, Switzerland and Turkey do not need a visa for tourist trips of up to 90 days. During this period, tourists in the so-called “CA-4 region” (Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras) can travel without a visa. You get the residence permit free of charge upon entry. Make sure that you get an entry stamp when entering Guatemala.

It is possible to apply for an extension of 90 days at the Immigration Service.

Entry with children :
For accompanying children, the same visa requirements apply as for their parents. Every child needs their own travel document.

Germany: German child ID with photo or your own passport.

Austria: children need their own passport.

Switzerland: Children need their own passport.

To avoid problems, it is recommended that minors traveling alone be allowed to enter the country Guatemala get a certified declaration of consent from their parents / guardians in German (with translation into Spanish) or in English.


You can find detailed information on recommended and required vaccinations for traveling in Guatemala in the chapter Guatemala – Health and Diseases.

Entry with pets:

In order to introduce cats or dogs into Guatemala, a health certificate issued by the official veterinarian of the country of origin is required.

If the animal comes from a country where there is rabies, a rabies vaccination certificate is required.

The rabies vaccination must have been more than 30 days and less than a year ago when you entered Guatemala.

Vaccination against the parvovirus must be proven in dogs. Duty-free is only possible for purebred animals.

Guatemala – money

Local currency: 1 quetzal equals 100 centavos

Currency abbreviation : Q, GTQ

Banknotes are issued to the value of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 quetzals, coins to the value of 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 centavos and 1 quetzal.

Currency Exchange: the easiest way to change US dollars is, difficulties arise with all other currencies (including those from neighboring countries). Banks and exchange offices (casas de cambio) exchange US dollars. at the best rates, however, travel agencies, hotels and some shops also swap. Outside of Guatemala, the Quetzal is difficult to change, so any excess Quetzal should be exchanged before leaving Guatemala.

Visa, American Express, Mastercard credit cards are the most widely accepted. Upscale hotels, restaurants and shops accept credit cards.

ATMs can be found in practically all places. Visa / Plus cards are the most widely accepted, followed by MasterCard / Cirrus cards. Cash at bank counters (cash advance) is often issued against Visa cards, sometimes also with MasterCard. Due to the high crime rate in Guatemala, you should be careful when withdrawing and not carry too much cash with you.

Travelers Checks: can be exchanged for cash in banks, in large hotels it is also possible to pay with travelers checks. Checks should be made out in US dollars, travelers checks in euros are rarely used. American Express travelers checks are the most common.

Foreign exchange regulations: Currencies can be imported and exported without restriction, but amounts of an equivalent value of 10,000 US dollars or more must be declared.

Bank opening times: Mon – Fri 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. (in some cases also until 8 p.m.), Sat 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Topography map of Guatemala

According to, Guatemala lies on the Central American land bridge, roughly between the 14th and 18th parallel of north latitude. The country has a long coastline to the Pacific Ocean in the southwest, but has only a narrow access to the Caribbean Sea. Guatemala borders Mexico to the northwest and north, Belize and Honduras to the east, and El Salvador to the southeast. The country is roughly as big as the new federal states of Germany. Between the west and east or between the north and south borders there are approximately 350 to 400 kilometers. Its highest point, the Tajumulco volcano, rises 4,211 m above sea level.

Only about a fifth of Guatemala is mountainous, followed by wide hills and lowlands in the north, but also in the south. Geologically, the northern part still belongs to the Yucatan Peninsula. Their flat limestone layers are karstified.

The central mountain country has a complicated geological structure. Its bottom floor consists mainly of crystalline rocks from the ancient times, above it are rocks from the Middle Ages, which are also folded. The rocks from the ancient times and the Middle Ages come to light in the 2,000 to 3,500 m high mountain ranges and high plateaus of the north-eastern mountainous region.

The further you go to the southwest, near the Pacific coast, the thicker the blanket of volcanic rocks that spread over the older subsoil in the New Age. About 60 kilometers from the coast, several dozen high volcanic cones, including the Tajumulco, are lined up above a fracture zone in the earth’s crust, through which liquid lava can rise. Some of them are still active today.

In the tropical climate of Guatemala, the rock weathers very quickly. The red or reddish yellow soils of the country are therefore mostly deep, depleted and agriculturally not very productive. Only the clay- and humus-rich soils in the northern lowlands and the soils on slightly weathered volcanic ashes in the mountainous region have larger nutrient reserves.

Health and Diseases in Guatemala

Vaccination protection

For shorter trips in Guatemala, vaccination against hepatitis A, diphtheria and tetanus is recommended, for longer trips (longer than 4 weeks) vaccinations against typhoid, hepatitis B and possibly rabies may also be appropriate.

Malaria and dengue fever

There is a medium risk of malaria in rural areas of Guatemala. Dengue fever, which is transmitted by diurnal mosquitoes, also occasionally occurs in the country. You should therefore consistently protect yourself against mosquito and insect bites and use mosquito nets and mosquito repellants such as Autan or NoBite.

There are different prescription drugs available for malaria prophylaxis (e.g. Malarone, Lariam and Doxycycline). Be sure to seek advice from a travel or tropical medicine specialist on the selection, side effects, possible intolerances and personal adjustment.


When traveling in Guatemala, you should pay particular attention to the following hygienic measures:

  • Use only absolutely clean water as drinking water (agua pura), boil tap water beforehand.
  • Raw salads are only safe in restaurants that have a good hygienic standard. Cooked and well-cooked dishes, on the other hand, can be consumed without any problems.

In addition to my general disclaimer, please note the following important note:

A guarantee for the correctness and completeness of the medical information and liability for any damage that may occur cannot be assumed. You stay responsible for your healthy.