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Guatemala

If you’re travelling to Guatemala our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information. 

Security Status

  • Normal precautions
  • High degree of caution
  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • Do not travel
  • Overview
  • Safety and Security
  • Local Laws and Customs
  • Health
  • Entry requirements
  • Embassy Contact

Overview

General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation

For the latest update please read the General COVID-19 Travel Advisory >

Overview

Security Status

High Degree of Caution.

Latest Travel Alert

Citizens planning travel abroad should take into account the ongoing risk of testing positive for COVID-19 while abroad and are advised to take out comprehensive travel insurance that includes COVID-19 cover. Before departure and during travel, citizens are advised to monitor our Travel Advice, follow us on Twitter, and register with their nearest Irish Embassy or Consulate.

A number of tourist areas can be affected by rainfall during the rainy season (June to November). Visitors should monitor local media and consult their tour operators and PROATUR  as travel routes are likely to face disruption. Visitors should monitor local and international weather updates from the World Meteorological Organisation and the US National Hurricane Centre, and follow the advice of local authorities.

Travel to Guatemala

Travel to Guatemala

There are no COVID-19 restrictions in place for travel to Guatemala from Ireland. There is no requirement to present certificates of vaccination/testing for COVID-19, or to complete a Passenger Locator Form.

Please contact the nearest Embassy of Guatemala for information on other migration requirements and documentation that you may need prior to travelling.

Citizens are advised to follow official government sources for updates:

General Travel Advice

The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems, try talking to your local contacts, local tour guide or hotel management.  If there is an emergency, or if you need help and advice, you can contact the Embassy of Ireland in Mexico

Under the EU Consular Protection Directive, Irish nationals may seek assistance from the Embassy or Consulate of any other EU member state in a country where there is no Irish Embassy or permanent representation.

Crime and violence are prevalent throughout Guatemala, and the security situation poses a risk for foreigners. You should therefore make sure you research your destination thoroughly, and take all the necessary precautions in all parts of Guatemala.

Foreign citizens visiting Guatemala should ensure that they do not overstay their visas.

The rainy season in Guatemala normally runs from June to November, coinciding with the hurricane season in the Caribbean. Heavy rains cause frequent flooding, landslides and collapsed roads and bridges throughout the country.

Up to date security information is available in English through the Guatemalan Tourist Institute (INGUAT) and their PROATUR Arm who offers escort services for tourists. PROATUR can also provide guidance to tourists who experience difficulties when travelling, or are the victim of a crime. You can contact them on +502 2290 2810, or by dialling 1500 in Guatemala.

Travel between Mexico and Guatemala

We advise a high degree of caution at the Guatemala-Mexico land border. Disruption and closures are common, so you are advised to check with local authorities before attempting to cross. Passengers should avoid crossing at night, and take extra care at walking border crossings.

Safety and Security

Safety and Security

Hurricane season

The hurricane season in the Caribbean normally runs from July to October. You should pay close attention to local and international weather reports and follow the advice of local authorities. Always monitor local and international weather updates for the region by accessing, for example, the Weather Channel,or the US National Hurricane Centre website.

Crime

Crime and violence are prevalent throughout Guatemala, and the security situation poses a risk for foreigners. You should therefore make sure you research your destination thoroughly, and take all the necessary precautions in all parts of Guatemala. Some precautions - include:

  • Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place. 
  • Leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
  • Avoid showing large sums of money in public and don’t use ATMs after dark, especially if you’re alone. Check no one has followed you after conducting your business.
  • Avoid dark and unlit streets and stairways, and arrange to be picked up or dropped off as close to your hotel or apartment entrance as possible.
  • Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and hold on to them in public places such as internet cafés, train and bus stations.
  • Avoid travelling alone, particularly in remote areas.

While most incidents involve local gangs, crime can be indiscriminate and can occur in tourist areas. Tourists may be directly targeted, or may be affected as a bystander or passer-by. You should exercise caution when travelling in all areas of the country and avoid travelling on your own at night. Beware of scams.

There have been armed attacks on tourists travelling by road to/from major tourist sites like Antigua, Tikal, Petén and Lake Atitlan. Boat services between towns on the shore of Lake Atitlan may be a safer alternative.

You should only use radio or hotel taxis. You should remain vigilant and aware, including when using ATMs. Petty theft of passports and other personal belongings is common. You should be particularly aware when travelling on public transport as bags left in overhead compartments can be stolen. Avoid displaying valuable items, and carry small amounts of cash.

Up to date security information is available in English through the Guatemalan Tourist Institute (INGUAT) and their PROATUR Arm who offers escort services for tourists. You can contact them on +502 2290 2810, or by dialling 1500 in Guatemala.

PROATUR issues advice on which routes to take when travelling in and around Sololá, Panajachel and Lake Atitlan. Avoid the Godinez by-pass via Patzun between Guatemala City and Panajachel. Use the Pan American Highway to Sololá instead. You should also avoid the road between Cocales (Suchitepequez) and San Lucas Toliman (Atitlan) if possible.

Local Laws and Customs

Local laws and customs

Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or may even be illegal.

Carry Photo ID with you at all times.

Do not get involved with drugs of any kind in any way. Penalties for drug offences are severe, and convictions carry very long sentences – 8-15 years.

Public displays of affection by same-sex couples may draw unwanted attention, particularly outside of the capital, and travellers should exercise caution in this regard.

Health

Health

Vaccinations

Take all relevant precautions in relation to COVID-19. Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling to see if you need any vaccinations for this country and consult them on any other health related concerns.

Guatemalan medical service providers can be reluctant to offer care/treatment if you cannot prove you have comprehensive medical insurance. It is therefore essential that you carry evidence of your insurance cover at all times. In the event you need medical care, you should contact your insurance provider as a matter of urgency. Make sure you get confirmation from the hospital administration that your insurance coverage is accepted, as some hospitals may ask you to pay upfront and you may have to claim on your insurance later.

Zika Virus

There may be a risk of Zika virus in Guatemala. Irish Citizens especially those with a weakened immune system or women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant are advised to follow guidance available on the website of the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) at http://www.hpsc.ie/A-Z/Vectorborne/Zika/.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Visa/Passport

If you are unsure of the entry requirements for this country, including visa and other immigration information, ask your travel agent or contact the country’s nearest Embassy or Consulate.

You can also check with them how long your passport must be valid for.

 

Embassy contact

Embassy Contact

The Embassy operates an out of hours service for Irish citizens requiring emergency assistance on weekends and public holidays.

If you are in need of emergency assistance during these times, you should leave a message on the emergency message system by calling +52 55 5520 5803.

Embassy of Ireland
Cda. Blvd. Avila Camacho, 76-3
Col. Lomas de Chapultepec
11000 México D.F.

Tel: +52 55 5520 5803
Fax: +52 55 5520 5892

Monday to Friday 09:30 - 12:30

Contact us

Honorary Consulate Contact

Mr. Andres Wyld,
Honorary Consul of Ireland,
8 Avenida 3-90 Zona 14
Edificio La Rambla torre II oficina 3-1
Guatemala City 01014
Guatemala

Tel: +502 48022222

Email: Email us