Guatemala is a small country in Central America, which, together with Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua, forms a single customs territory. Among the travelers it has the reputation of a country where can you get by with a really low budget. This may not be entirely true as some things are even slightly more expensive than in Mexico, but with little planning, the costs can be significantly reduced.
This is how much we spent in this beautiful country:
OUR GUATEMALA TRAVEL BUDGET: HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Travel time: 20 days
Travel costs: 1187€
Average costs per day: 59,35€ or 29,68€ /person
ACCOMMODATION: 504€ (cca 42,5%)
We spent an average of 25.2€ per night on accommodation, which is practically the same as in Mexico (you can read more about our travel budget for Mexico here). This time, however, the accommodation represents a higher % of our daily budget. We only slept in three different places, but at the same time in three different accommodations – in the hostel, the guesthouse (booked through Booking) and the apartment we booked through Airbnb.
By the way, if you book your accomodation through Booking using the link below, you will receive back 10% (of the accommodation price) after your stay, which you can then use for subsequent reservations.
You can share the link below freely via email and social networks. Just be aware that you can use this discount only once – if you have used such link for 10% discount in the past, uncle Booking will know and you won’t get another reward on your Booking account 😉
So, by using this link you will sleep for less money: https://www.booking.com/s/11_6/b7bb5d87
TRANSPORTATION: 132,2€ (cca 11,1%)
During our trip to Guatemala, we only moved three times, which significantly contributed to lower transportation costs. The biggest expense was the transfer from Flores to Guatemala City, and then with taxi to Antigua (app. 80 euros). Tip: In Flores, at one of the agencies (the one at Green Monkeys Hostel is ok), book the whole trip to Antigua since in the bus station on the outskirts of Guatemala City, where the bus stops, there are no further buses to Antigua. And then you have to pay a taxi and the total amount is then the same as if you would book a whole transport from the start.
FOOD AND DRINKS: cca 406,6€ (34,3%)
Out of this:
- GROCERIES: 76,4€
- RESTAURANTS: 251,1€
- ADDITIONAL BEER/COFFEE: 79,1€
If we spent less money for foods and drinks in Mexico than we thought we would, we spent more than we expected in Guatemala.
Prices of street food are similar to that in Mexico. But I must admit that we ate on the street only a couple of times. 😛 In Antigua, I could not help myself since there were such good Italian restaurants in the town (Feed her pasta and she is happy, Bojan comments :)), and Bojan could not resist trying some steaks. Otherwise, we did eat out only once a day, but the price was usually around 15€ or more (for both). In cheaper restaurants.
At Atitlan Lake, where we settled for the whole week, we cooked by ourselves all the time! 🙂 Well, Bojan cooked for us …;)
Average prices in Guatemala:
Small watermelon: 1,2€
Lunch/dinner in cheaper restaurant: 6-8€
Beer: national cca. 2€, craft 5€
TOURS AND ENTRANCE FEES: cca 112,9€ (9,5%)
The largest expense in Guatemala was the visit of the Mayan archaeological site Tikal, which amounted to 25 € / person (of which entrance fee was almost 20€ ).
The ascent to the Pacayo volcano (including the entrance fee) was app. 20€ per person, and the soaking in hot tubs at Atitlan lake cost us 6€ / person. Rental of kayaks is very cheap – less than 2 € / person / hour. 🙂
OTHER COSTS: cca 30,4€ (2,6%)
Other costs include laundry, internet and card for Guatemalan number, purchase of magnet and postcards.
An additional 30€ (not included in the daily budget) applied for two cash withdrawals with MasterCard!
HANDLING WITH MONEY IN GUATEMALA
The Guatemalan currency is quetzal (Q), the ratio is: 1 € = cca 8.7-8.85Q
You can also pay in dollars at many places, but this is worse for your wallet. ATMs are available in major tourist resorts, buuuut …. they are out of order sometimes (this applies to Flores especially)! Or they work, but transactions can not be performed for some reason. Sometimes, it is possible to withdrawl money only in the third attempt or the next day.
In Flores, no ATMs accepted the Maestro card, and in addition, you could withdrawl a very small amount (so we were forced to make withdrawl with MasterCard twice, as I mentioned above 🙁 ) There was no problem in Antigua, and the Maestro was working normally. Credit cards are usually accepted in hostels and major restaurants. However, the terminal may not work from time to time. 🙂
SO…DID WE STICK TO OUR GUATEMALA TRAVEL BUDGET?
Despite the fact that prices in Guatemala (especially after arriving to Flores) were somewhat unpleasant surprise for us (this is to put it mildly :D), the final average cost per day was even lower than the target! Yeeey! 🙂 This is mainly due to the fact that we did not move around too much, and that we cooked our own meals for a whole week. But hey, there’s no such thing as homemade baked potato and guacamole! 😉