Guatemala was once the center of the Mayan empire that spanned across Central America. The Spanish conquered the region in the 16th century and brought in waves of new influence and trade and expanded their empire across the jungles. Although the Mayan culture was defeated their people and monuments remain to this day.
35 Km west of the capital of Guatemala City lies the ancient city of Antigua. Once a cluster of colonial churches Antigua now boasts a unique combination of ancient ruins, modern accommodations, public markets and opportunities for jungle exploration.
Citizens from the United States do not need a Visa for stays up to 90 days. And if your stay is for longer an extension for up to an additional 90 days can be easily approved by Guatemalan immigration. Generally a valid US passport is all you need while visiting unless your trip is for something other than a vacation.
Other countries’ requirements vary depending on where in the world you are traveling from and your citizenship. Many countries throughout Central America do not have any visa requirements for visiting Guatemala. Countries throughout Europe and Asia though may be slightly different. It’s always best to make sure your passport is up to date before heading out for a long trip.
Why travel to Antigua
The city's economy these days relies heavily on tourism. As Antigua has become known as an eco-tourists heaven because of the bustling jungle, coffee plantations and numerous active volcanoes surrounding the area the city has responded by supporting these activities with private charters to take you anywhere you want.
The local currency in Guatemala is the Quetzal, which exchanges for about 7.34 to the US Dollar. Although there are few ATMs in Antigua it’s worth pulling out some local cash and seeing how far the exchange rate can take you. As long as you avoid the tourists traps in the public market where they want to sell you cheap trinkets for $20 each you can walk away with armfuls of fresh fruit for just a few dollars.
Experience life on the lake in Panajachel and Lake Atitlan