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Destination: Guatemala

  • Travelling there: Most people arrive by plane into the capital’s La Aurora International Airport (GUA).
  • Capital city: Guatemala City.
  • Population: 16.643 million.
  • Religion: Guatemala is the least Catholic Latin American country. Almost forty per cent of the population now belong to one of several dozen US-based Protestant churches.
  • Language: Spanish.
  • Currency: Guatemalan quetzal (GTQ).
  • Climate: Guatemala has distinct wet and dry seasons but despite its location in the tropics and because of its mountains, it has three climatic regions; tropical along the coasts and lowlands, temperate between 1000 and 2000 metre elevations and cool in the high mountain regions — temperatures can drop to below freezing here.
  • Transport: Air travel is the quickest way to get around. Local transport includes bus services and shuttles (shared vans), tuk-tuks (motorised rickshaws) and taxis.
  • Best time to travel: Weather-wise the best time is December to February, when the land is lush and green from the rains, but skies are clear. This also coincides with peak tourist traffic, so consider the shoulder months to avoid crowds.
  • What to wear: Smart casual and conservative clothing is best as the local women rarely wear sleeveless or revealing clothing and the men are always in long trousers. Always cover up when visiting churches. Good walking shoes for the cobblestoned streets are a must.
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