The beautiful country of Guatemala, bordered by Mexico on the north,
Belize on the east, and El Salvador and Honduras on the south ,
has a surface area of 108,889 square kilometers, (42,042 square
miles). It is located in the tropics and has a range of climates
that vary according to the altitude.
The rainy season runs from May to October and the dry season from
November to April. The average yearly temperature is 75 degrees
F. However, in mountainous areas, the nighttime temperatures may
fall below freezing, and daytime temperatures in coastal areas may
surpass 100 degrees F. Guatemala is a small country with a striking
variety of topographic features. Nearly two-thirds of the country
is mountainous and volcanic.
Parallel to the Pacific lies the Sierra Madre mountain range, with
peaks that rise to an elevation of up to 12,000 feet. 33 volcanoes
dot the landscape, and these, with lush tropical rain forests to
the north, the fertile plains of the south and east, the beautiful
lakes and rivers, make this a land of varied contrasts.
Guatemala has approximately 11 million inhabitants of which 3.5
million live in the capital city. Approximately 4 million inhabitants
belong to one of 21 ethnolinguistic Mayan groups who have retained
their cultural traditions There is also a large mestizo population.
The Caribbean coastal population has retained its Afrocarribean
Guatemala is a country where temperatures vary. We recommend that
you bring light clothing for day use and a jacket for the evenings
when it's a bit cooler.
Guatemala does not turn its clock back or forward. So during Standard
Time in the USA and Canada, Guatemala's time corresponds to US.
Central Time. During the summer Daylight Savings period, the local
time corresponds to US. Mountain Time.
Spanish is the official language of Guatemala, but 21 Mayan groups
have kept their ancestral languages alive. Garífuna and Xinca are
also spoken. . English is spoken in all main tourist centers.
The official currency is the quetzal which is equivalent to approximately
13 US cents. US dollars and credit cards are welcome in most places.
There are no serious health issues in any of the major tourist areas.
However, to be on the safe side, drink only bottled water. Also,
be vary wary of eating in sparsely populated fancy restaurants.
Entry & Exit Policies
For residents of most countries, a valid passport is all that is
required to enter Guatemala. Check with your local Guatemalan consulate
for the latest information. There is, however a US $20 airport exit
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