Guatemala holidays guide and useful for travel and tourism
Travel Guide Guatemala with all the things to know and tips for trips and vacations in the state of Central America.
Guatemala in brief
- Capital: Guatemala City
- Surface area in sq km: 108 889
- Population: 14.6 million (first half 2006)
- Religion: Catholic, Pentecostal, mixture of Mayan and Catholic cults
Where is Guatemala
Guatemala is a country of Central America, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south west of the Pacific Ocean. guatemala flag It is bordered to the north and west with Mexico, northeast with Belize, east with Honduras, southeast with El Salvador. The territory is occupied mostly by reliefs, which constitute the prolongation of the Mexican Sierra Madre. The side of the Pacific Ocean is dominated by volcanic (Atitlan, Tajumulco, Tacaná, Fuego, Agua, Pacaya, Santa Maria), some of which are still active. Despite frequent earthquakes, the slopes of these mountains are densely populated, with average high altitude, which mitigates the tropical climate and thanks to the presence of very fertile land. To the north lies the limestone plateau of Petén, a region of low and uniform, covered with forests (in the past it was inhabited by the Maya). An alluvial plain formed by the rivers that descend from the Volcanic Cordillera, characterizes the Pacific coast.
The most important river is the Motagua which flows on the side Carib, in the Gulf of Honduras, and is partly navigable, while the rivers that bestow the Pacific Ocean are short and torrential. In the karst region of Petén, which has an underground hydrography, lies Lake Peten Itza. Among the beautiful lakes of the largest are the Izabal Guatemala and Atitlan.
In Guatemala, the climate is warm and humid in the lowlands (Tierras Calientes), on the coast of the Pacific Ocean and in the region of Petén; regions of medium height (Tierras Templadas), plateaus and mountain ranges, the temperatures are moderate; in the higher regions (Tierras Frias) over 2000 meters high, the temperatures drop and the temperature difference between day and night is very strong. The dry season covers the months from November to April; from May to October is the rainy season.
More than half of the population is made up of Indians (descendants of the Maya), the remainder is made up mostly by ladino (mestizo descendants union between Guatemalan and Spanish colonizers, who occupy privileged positions in society than the Indians) and minorities of Creoles (descendants of the Spanish), Zambos (descendants from the union of blacks and Indians), blacks and mulattos.
Time zone Guatemala
In Guatemala must move the clock seven hours behind Italy. (8 hours back when in Italy there is daylight saving time).
Language spoken in Guatemala
The official language of Guatemala is Spanish. In addition there are about 20 Mayan languages and dialects (including Quiche, Cakchiquel, ketchi, Garifuna, and Xinca mam).
Guatemala has a poor economy, which is largely based on the export of agricultural products such as coffee, bananas, sugar cane, tobacco, cotton and cocoa from plantations owned by the ladino, who are owners of large estates landowners . The crops are imposed by foreign multinationals, which together with the ladino, they benefit most. The few and less fertile soils are the Indians, who are forced to go to be exploited in the plantations, in order to survive. For domestic consumption are grown: rice, beans, corn and wheat. The industry is lacking, the major industry is the food and canning, in addition to textiles and paper (ca. 40% of the territory is covered with forests). Despite the great tourist attractions in the tourism sector is hampered by internal security issues.
When you go to Guatemala
The best time to visit Guatemala is the dry season, from November to April.
Documents required to travel Guatemala
To enter Guatemala need a passport valid. For tourism, up to a maximum stay of 90 days do not need an entry visa, for other activities, other than tourism, you should contact the Embassy or consular services in Italy, for periods of less than 90 days, or if already in the country, the Italian Embassy in Guatemala.
– To call in Guatemala the country code is: 00502
The electric current in Guatemala is 110 volts, so you need an adapter.
Money and credit cards Guatemala
The currency of Guatemala is the Quetzal. The US dollar is a currency that is changed easily (in the banks, at the airport). They can be used also major credit cards; regarding ATM withdrawal you can do so only in the banks of major cities.
Vaccinations for Guatemala
To enter Guatemala there are no mandatory vaccinations to be done, however, are recommended malaria prophylaxis and vaccination against hepatitis A and B.
Drink only bottled water and soft drinks, without adding ice, and avoid foods and raw vegetables.