Destination Information for Guatemala
Guatemala (located on the south of Mexico in Central America) is a country offering something for everyone. From deserted sandy beaches to bustling, vibrant festivals; from stunning lakes and mountains to Spanish colonial towns, there’s so much to explore here. Guatemala is home to many important Mayan archaeological sites, and indigenous Mayan communities still live and flourish in the forests of the highlights.
Traditional beliefs, crafts, dress and culture is still of the utmost significance.
The capital, Guatemala City, has many modern facilities, including an airport, but it’s the nearby Antigua that is the most popular destination for tourists looking to experience city life in Guatemala. Antigua is a World Heritage Site, with fascinating colonial architecture, buzzing markets, plazas and churches, along with a stunning volcanic backdrop.
Lake Atitlán, in the Western Highlands, is a beautiful destination offering peace and solitude, with picturesque villages surrounding the waters. There are plenty of opportunities for day trips into the mountains and more remote areas from Antigua, and it is worth leaving the more obvious tourist areas to get a glimpse of rural Guatemala.
The main tourist seasons coincide with key events in the calendar including Christmas, New Year and Easter. Hotel prices are high and accommodation and tours must be pre-booked. During quieter times, especially April – September, you won’t need to book and you can avoid the crowds, but you may find it colder and muddier getting around.
Rabies (Human) in the Americas
The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) have issued an Epidemiologial Alert on rabies in the Americas.
Although progress has been made towards the eradication of canine rabies virus transmission to humans, some countries in the region continue to report human cases of rabies infection. Since the beginning of 2014, to date, human cases of rabies following canine exposure have been reported from: Bolivia (6 cases), Haiti (3 cases), Guatemala (2 cases), Brazil (1 case) and Dominican Republic (1 case).
Of concern, canine rabies has been identified in areas of some countries where previously rabies was not reported: Jujuy and Salta in northern Argentina, Mato Grosso do Sul in central-western Brazil and Loma Plata city in the department of Boquerón, western Paraguay.
Canine rabies was reported in the Arequipa region of south-western Peru; an area declared free of rabies more than 10 years ago.
Advice for Travellers
Rabies pre-exposure vaccination is sometimes advised for high rabies risk countries of the Americas; see individual country records for further information. Travellers are advised to avoid animal contact and report any bites sustained as soon as possible for medical assessment.
Malaria and regions within country:
There is a variable risk of P.Vivax malaria throughout much of the country. Affected areas include the Pacific coastal areas, Alta Verapaz, Baja Verapaz, Chiquimula, Peten, Suchitepequez and Zacapa. There is low to now risk of malaria in Antigua, Guatemala City and Lake Atitlan.
Malaria chemoprophylaxis for variable risk zones:
Chloroquine or Proguanil (But only if Chloroquine is not deemed suitable)
Edificio Torre Internacional,
Nivel 11, 16 Calle 0-55,
Zona 10 Guatemala City