Guatemala Travel Information
Due to the coronavirus, no foreign travelers will be
allowed to enter the country. Keep track of information
from local authorities for extraordinary entry
requirements. Please note that information may change
quickly. For more information about coronavirus, see the
entry Entry and Health.
Norway is represented by an Honorary Consulate
General in Guatemala City. The Norwegian Embassy in
Mexico City is responsible for the Norwegian embassy.
Contact information for consulates and the embassy in
Mexico can be found under "Emergency".
One should not openly bring valuables and no more
money than is reasonable for today's consumption.
Luggage and personal belongings should be carefully
monitored at airports, bus stations and the like.
Electronic equipment and mobile phones are especially
sought after. Valuables should not be left in hotel
rooms. If there is no safety deposit box in the hotel
room, the reception will usually help with this. Be in
possession of ID at all times, possibly photocopy of
Ask the hotel for advice on what precautions you
should take in your area. If you are subjected to
robbery or assault, it is not recommended to provide
resistance, as most offenders carry weapons. The police
are not necessarily reliable or helpful. Bribes are
often expected. Reporting theft or abuse can be
bureaucratic and time consuming.
Politically and economically motivated kidnappings
and abductions have shown decline, and it is the local
population who is most at risk. Abduction of foreigners
The drug-related violence in Guatemala is very
serious. The violence is brutal and merciless, and even
though it is mainly a matter of internal settlement,
innocents are also affected. There have also been cases
of armed robbery in Antigua Guatemala (the old capital)
which is one of the most touristy cities in the region.
A good advice is to stick to the city center streets and
use the recommended taxi companies in the evening. It is
always reassuring to be with others.
- Countryaah: Guatemala City is the capital
of Guatemala. Check to find information of population, geography, history,
and economy about the capital city.
Copying (cloning) of bank cards both from card
vending machines and at bars/ restaurants/shops is
frequent and it is recommended to regularly check their
online banking to check that the card has not been
misused. ATMs should be used inside bank premises,
hotels or airports and avoid ATMs in the street. Avoid
cubicles that must be opened with the debit card.
The political situation is considered clear, but can
quickly change due to growing dissatisfaction among
Risk of terrorist incidents in Central America is
There is right-hand traffic throughout Central
America. Traffic accidents are a frequent cause of death
and accident that also hit tourists. The roads are of
Local buses in Guatemala have evolved into an arena
for armed robberies and killings of bus drivers and
passengers. In addition, local buses are usually in poor
condition and congested. There is a high frequency of
accidents involving local bus traffic. For long bus
journeys, established bus companies are recommended with
comfort, although this is more expensive than the local
buses. Roads are subject to armed robbery and you should
avoid traveling at night. In larger cities it is safest
to use taxis. When using a taxi, prices should be agreed
in advance and the taxi should not - as is often the
case - bring other passengers on the trip. Tourists
should also be wary of people begging at traffic lights
and generally keep windows and doors closed and locked.
There are no rail networks in Central America. There
are frequent flight connections, including to remote
locations, but when using small airlines, it is
recommended to use those who partner with or are part of
the larger international airlines in the region.
Guatemala is particularly prone to volcanic and
earthquake activity, as well as tropical rainstorms and
Guatemala and all over Central America, lie above
three tectonic plates (continental plates). The region
has grown as a result of volcanic activity between these
plates. This geological foundation explains the high
volcanic and earthquake activity. The country very often
experiences weak shaking.
Guatemala's location between the Caribbean Gulf and
the Pacific makes the country particularly vulnerable to
tropical rainstorms and hurricanes with subsequent
floods and landslides, especially during the rainy
season that stretches from May to November. Hurricanes
usually hit the coastal regions hardest, while floods
and landslides due to heavy rainfall also hit the
highlands. The last major natural disasters the country
has experienced are Hurricane "Mitch" in 1998, and the
"Stan" rainstorm in October 2005.
With the exception of Belize, relationships between
two people of the same sex are legal in all Central
American countries. However, most residents have a
conservative relationship with homosexuality, and it is
recommended that gays exercise discretion to avoid
getting into unpleasant situations.
Norwegian citizens staying for a shorter or longer
period in Central America are encouraged to register at
Norwegian citizens are encouraged to have valid
travel insurance. Make sure that the insurance also
covers hospital stays and be aware of the type of
activities that are not covered.
Local emergency number is 110. Local tourist police -
police - can be contacted on phone number 1500.
In case of crisis and emergency, Norwegian citizens
are encouraged to contact the Norwegian Embassy in
Mexico on +52 (55) 50 47 37 00. The embassy's central
table is open Monday-Thursday from 09:00 to 15:00 and
Friday 09: 00-12: 00.
Outside office hours, you can contact UD's 24-hour
operating center on tel: +47 23 95 00 00 or by e-mail:
Norwegian citizens can also contact Norwegian
honorary consulates and general consulates for
assistance. There are Norwegian honorary consulates in
Belize City (Belize), Guatemala City (Guatemala),
Managua (Nicaragua), San Salvador (El Salvador) and
Tegucigalpa (Honduras). Updated contact information can
be found here.
Please note that entry regulations may change. The
Foreign Service is not responsible if the following
information on entry regulations or visa requirements is
changed at short notice. It is the responsibility of the
traveler to ensure that travel documents are valid for
entry and to familiarize themselves with the current
entry rules for each country.
Due to the coronavirus, no foreign travelers will be
allowed to enter the country.
Norwegian citizens do not need a visa for tourist and
business stays of less than 90 days in Guatemala. The
passport must be valid for up to six months after the
scheduled departure date.
It is possible, for both tourists and travelers with
business visas, to extend their stay beyond 90 days
once. Alternatively, you can leave the country for at
least 72 hours, but you must then travel to a country
outside CA-4 (a Schengen-like agreement between
Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua). Of
countries sharing borders with Guatemala, only Mexico
and Belize are not included in CA-4. There are direct
flights to Mexico, but the flights to Belize are poor. A
fine must be paid for any illegal stay.
For up-to-date information on entry rules, travelers
are encouraged to check with Guatemala's nearest
Although Norwegian citizens do not initially need a
visa to travel to Central America, only a passport
(including an emergency passport) is the approved
identification document. The passport must be valid for
at least six months after scheduled departure.
One cannot enter Guatemala with emergency passport.
If the passport is stolen or lost in Guatemala, you can
return to Norway on an emergency passport, but not
through the United States. If you need to travel
further, you must go to the nearest embassy to apply for
a new biometric passport.
It is the traveler's responsibility to ensure that
travel documents are valid and that entry and stay
regulations are complied with.
Coronavirus (covid-19): Due to the
coronavirus, no foreign travelers will be allowed to
enter the country.
Norwegian travelers should keep abreast of the
development of the coronavirus in the country. Follow
local authorities' advice, guidance and instructions on
how to deal with the situation.
Also, keep track of information from local
authorities for exceptional entry regulations. Please
note that information may change quickly.
You can find more information and guidance from the
Norwegian health authorities on the website of the
Norwegian Institute of Public Health. See also UD's
answers to frequently asked questions about travel and
There is acceptable medical and hospital quality in
all the major cities. Offers outside cities are limited.
Public hospitals often lack basic medicines and
equipment, so Norwegian citizens are advised to use
private services. It is common to have to pay before
treatment takes place.
Main numbers for ambulances are 122 (volunteer corps)
and 123 (municipal), but private ambulance services such
as Alerta M¨¦dica (tel. +502 249 31 800) and Care (tel.
+502 511 10 000) are recommended, although these can be
Malaria occurs. Therefore, one should guard against
mosquito bites with clothing, mosquito nets and/or
mosquito spray, possibly also with malaria tablets, in
areas where there is a lot of mosquitoes. In the
highlands, where The capital and Antigua are located,
there is normally little mosquito prevalence, and the
risk of malaria is minimal. Therefore, malaria tablets
will not be needed here. However, one should consider
the use of these when visiting the archaeological sites
of El Pet¨¦n (including Tikal National Park), Rio Dulce
and the mangroves on the Pacific coast.
Bottled drinking water should be purchased.
Supermarkets in major cities can buy chlorine for
disinfecting raw vegetables and fruits. It is
recommended to avoid buying food on the street (in
stalls, etc.) or in places where you have doubts about
hygiene. If in doubt or have no choice, choose
well-cooked and cooked dishes and avoid raw vegetables
and fruits without peel.
Dengue is a growing problem in the tropical regions.
There is the greatest risk of infection in Izabal
county, but it also occurs in the rest of the country.
The number of infected with both traditional dengue and
dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) has increased
dramatically, and more have died. There are also zika in
Guatemala. For official health professional travel
advice and health professional guidance, you can contact
the Institute of Public Health.
No vaccines are required for entry into Guatemala.
For information on travel vaccines, see the
recommendations of the Norwegian Institute of Public
The access to medicines is acceptable. There are no
official rules for the import of medications for
personal use only.
Guatemala is one of seven countries that form Central
America. The official language is Spanish.
There is tropical climate in the lowlands, colder in
the highlands including the capital. The rainy season
lasts from May to October.
Guatemala has many beautiful churches to visit. One
should dress with respect for religious customs when
visiting these (avoid only shoulders and short skirts /
shorts). The same is true if one visits holy Mayan
places. In the region in general, it is common to be
easily dressed on beaches and in the immediate vicinity
of these. On the other hand, more formal clothing is
expected in modern urban areas and public places.
The indigenous people, mainly Maya, with their
colorful and beautifully woven and embroidered regional
suits, are sought after photo objects. However, one
should always ask for permission before taking
pictures/filming the locals, and preferably ask an adult
before taking pictures of children. About 60 percent of
the population is indigenous.
In addition to Spanish, there are 21 Mayan languages
in Guatemala. In all major places/tourist places the
population speaks Spanish. The proportion of
English-speaking people is small but growing. It is an
advantage to have some Spanish skills if you are
planning to take a longer trip in Guatemala. Many cities
offer Spanish courses; the most popular are Antigua (the
ancient capital), and Quetzaltenango.
The local currency is called quetzal. Visa is more or
less universally accepted, both as a means of payment
and for withdrawals at ATMs. Mastercard, American
Express and Diners Club are accepted to a lesser extent.
Better hotels generally accept the most common types of
credit cards, as opposed to smaller, less expensive
The area code for Guatemala is +502. The telephone
and mobile networks are stable. The Internet domain of
The usual opening hours for shops are 9-20, while
banks and public offices usually open 8 and close around
17. Shopping centers are normally open on Sundays. This
also applies to many smaller shops.
Public holidays: January 1 (New Year's Day), Easter
Sunday (half day) through Easter 1st Day, May 1
(Workers' Day), June 30 (Military Day), September 15
(Independence Day), October 20 (Revolution Day)),
November 1 (All weekend), December 24 (half day) and
December 25, December 31 (half day).
In addition, all municipalities and counties have
their local holiday and festival, dates vary between the