Are you traveling or moving to Guatemala? Do you know how much money you will need there to maintain your current standard of living? What do things cost in Guatemala? After spending five months in this beautiful country, I would love to share some of my financial knowledge with you.

The costs below are the average I encountered during my time in Panajachel, Guatemala. This will allow me, and you, to make a comparison of living and travel costs across Latin America. Please be aware that costs may differ in other parts of Guatemala. The currencies are GTQ / € EUR / $USD. Conversion rate as at time of publication.

Photo by Niels Steeman via Unsplash

On $40 for two you can easily dine out twice a day, enjoy decent accommodation and a few beers, whilst still having more than enough change for a bus ride to your next town and an activity or two.

Accommodation

Possibly some of the cheapest rooms in Latin America!

  • Dorm bed: Q60–100 / €7-12 / $8-13 per night
  • Budget hotel double room: Q130–200 / €14-24 / $17-26 per night
  • Hotel double room: Q200–550 / €24-64 / $26-72 per night
  • Superior hotel double room: Q550 / €64 / $72 or more per night
  • Homestay: Q1.600,00 / €185 / $208 per 30 days

Food

Buy your fruits and veggies on the local market, stick to cooking in your hostel, or eat cheap local food in a comedor, to save some money.

  • Basic breakfast out for one (eggs, frijoles, tortillas and coffee) Q20 / €2,5 / $2.6
  • Set meal in a comedor (cheap eatery): Q30–45 / €4-5 / $4-6
  • À la carte meal in a local restaurant: Q100–130 / €12-15 / $
  • Meal in an elegant restaurant: Q150 / €18 / $20 or more
  • Combo meal in fast food restaurant Q42 / €5 / $5.5
  • One banana Q0.5 / €0,06 / $0.07
  • One apple Q1 / €0,12 / $0.13
  • One kg of tomatoes Q3 / €0,35 / $0.4
  • Fresh strawberries Q3 / €0,35 / $0.4
  • One avocado Q3 / €0,35 / $0.4
  • Half-dozen eggs Q7 / €0,80 $/0.9
  • A 4-pound chicken Q50 / €6 / $7
  • A pound fresh fish for Q15 / €2 / $2
  • A pound pork and beef Q20-Q25 / €2,30-3 / $2.6-3.3
  • Papas Fritas Q5-10 / €0,06-1,15 / $0.07-1.3
  • Thee tacos Q20 / €2,30 / $2.6
  • Regular pizza Q50-70 / €6-8 / $6.5
  • Piece of small bread or cookie Q1/ €0,12 / $0.13
  • Four tortillas Q1 / €0,12 / $0.13
  • 500g Dried spaghetti + 1kg marinara sauce Q27 / € 4 / $3.5
  • Large tube of Pringles Q17 / €2 / $2.2
Photo by Arturo Rivera via Unsplash

Drinks

Water and beer are almost the same price! Be careful, don’t get too drunk! 😉

  • One liter water Q6 / €0,70 / $0.8
  • One liter whole fat milk Q12 / €1,40 / $1.6
  • Cup of coffee in expat area Q20 / €2,30 / $2.6
  • Bottle of local beer (330mls) Q15 / €1,75 / $2
  • Can of coke Q5 / €0,60 / $0.7

Transportation

Cozy and clammy rides it will be! 

  • Tuk Tuk Q5-Q25 / €0,60-3 / $0.7-3.3
  • Three-hour ‘chicken-bus ride: Q20 / €2,30 / $2.6
  • Three-hour shuttle-bus ride: Q100 – 165 / €12-19 / $13-21.5
  • Airport shuttle Q50 / €6 /$6.5
  • Shuttle boat lake Atitlán Q 25 / €3 / $3.25
  • 4WD car-hire per day: Q650 / €75 / $85
  • 1 Liter of gas Q7 / €0,81 / $0.9

Other

  • Pack of 20 local cigarettes Q20 / €2,30 / $2.6

Tipping

A 10% tip is expected in restaurants (often automatically added to your bill in tourist towns such as Panajachel or Antigua). In small comedores (basic, cheap, local eateries) tipping is optional, but follow local practice and leave some spare change. Some other tipping tips:

  • Homestays Better to buy a gift than give cash.
  • Hotels Q10 per bag
  • Restaurants 10% maximum (if not already included).
  • Taxis Not customary.
  • Trekking and tour guides Q50 per person per day (optional).
Photo by Steve Johnson via Unsplash

Other financial things that are good to know:

  • Guatemala uses the Guatemalan quetzal, available at any ATM (our preferred method for getting cash abroad. Foreign debit cards are easy to use with ATM machines.
  • Guatemala is a very cash-based country, so don’t expect to use your credit cards for much of anything while on your trip.
  • Like in most developing countries, you can book tours and activities online in advance–but you will pay a steep markup. If you’re traveling Guatemala on a budget, negotiate all tours and activities in person once you arrive.

If you have any other financial tips or things that should be included in this list, please leave a comment in the comment section below.

Author: Daphne

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