Lake atitlan Panajachel

Guatemala trip cost: how much budget do you need?

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Are you going to travel to Guatemala and would you like to know how to keep costs for backpacking in Guatemala low + how much Guatemala budget you need? Then you are on the right page, here you can read how much a trip through Guatemala costs and how much daily budget you need for Guatemala, depending on the type of traveler.

We spent $53 per day during our trip through Guatemala, in this article you can read in detail how we were able to keep our costs so low.

Guatemala is one of the cheapest countries in Latin America to travel through. How much Guatemala travel budget you need for a trip through Guatemala ultimately determines whether you will travel through Guatemala.

Our tips, categories, and personal Guatemala trip cost are based on our trip. When you visit other areas in Guatemala, this can affect the travel costs.

Tip: it is possible to use US dollars at certain places. We advise you not to do this because they calculate with a bad exchange rate. Pin your money yourself at the ATM so you always have the best exchange rate.

Semuc champey hike

Trip to Guatemala cost per day?

It is good to know that if you are going to travel through Guatemala on a tight budget, you can still have a great trip. This is because many activities can be done independently. The difference in costs mainly lies in the places you are going to stay and where you eat.

Budget traveler: if you have a tight budget and you pay close attention to what you spend, $24 – $36 per person per day may be sufficient.

Mid-range traveler: If you want it a bit more luxurious, for example doing a few more expensive activities or staying at nicer accommodations, plan a budget of $36 – $97 per person per day.

Luxury traveler: if you want comfort during your holiday in Guatemala, for example by staying in luxury accommodations, eating culinary delights, and following many private tours, you should count on a Guatemala budget of +$120 per person per day.

The amounts don’t include airline tickets. Flight costs are very diverse. We always use Skyscanner and recommend it!

$6 – $9
Street food:
$1 – $3
$2 – $3
Travel guide:
Budget room:
$12 – $21
$7 – $12
Lake Atitlan-Flores:
Travel insurance
3 weeks:
Local beer:
$1 – $2
Chicken bus:
 Water bottle:
Luxury hotel:
   Sleeping bag:
Below you can read each Guatemala trip cost category in more detail.

Guatemala trip cost: accommodation

Accommodation costs are often a large part of your budget. In Guatemala, you do not have to spend a lot of money on this, but these costs can quickly increase without following the right tips. Fortunately, there are plenty of options in Guatemala for budget travelers. Guatemala is still a backpacking country where it is less developed compared to surrounding countries, so backpackers find it a great country to visit. For this reason, you will find many hostels. Guatemala is ideal for travelers who travel alone because you easily get to know other people in the hostels.

There are also plenty of hotels where you often get a little more luxury. Depending on your personal preference, a hostel or hotel is more suitable. We always try to do a mix during our trip, we like to meet other people in a hostel, but sometimes it is also nice to get some luxury in a hotel.

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The price per night for a hostel and hotel is comparable to Southeast Asia. Spending the night in a dormitory costs about $6 to $9, a budget room $12 to $21 and a more luxurious room costs more than $50 per night.

To keep the Guatemala daily budget low, it is important to book all your accommodations in advance. As a result, the range is the largest, so the options that fit within your budget are still available. If you decide to book your accommodations late, you run the risk that choice is very limited.

Want to know about our favorite hotels and hostels in Guatemala?
Check it here.

Guatemala hotel

Guatemala trip cost: food

Eating in Guatemala is awesome! Breakfast in Guatemala is simple, normally it consists of: egg, tortilla, beans, plantains, and fresh fruit. The main course consists mainly of: corn, beans, rice, pork, beef, chicken, cheese, and tortillas. Meat stews (caldos) and soups (sopas) are the most popular dishes among the locals. On average you pay about $12 to eat in an average restaurant. If you go to a local place or buy something on the street, it will cost you between $2 and $7.

If you want to keep food costs low, it’s recommended to buy food from the supermarket and prepare it yourself. In particular, buying fruit, snacks, and drinks in a supermarket, saves a lot of money.

You should try the following dishes: Chiles Rellenos, Chicken Pepian and guacamole. Chiles Rellenos are chili peppers filled with rice, cheese, meat, and vegetables. They are served with tortilla and tomato sauce. Chicken Pepian is chicken in a spicy pumpkin and sesame sauce. You must have tried this dish because it is the national dish of Guatemala. Finally, you have guacamole, which is mainly served with fries or as a topping with other Guatemala dishes.

Looking for a Guatemala itinerary? Read more here.

Antigua food

Guatemala trip cost: transport

The distances in Guatemala between different destinations are big, so it is recommended to visit a select number of sights so that you have to travel less often, you do not lose a lot of time and transport costs do not become too high.

We have made a traditional trip to Guatemala where you discover the main highlights of the country. Due to its popularity, there is plenty to choose from, which keeps transport costs low. Read our Guatemala itinerary if you would like to read more about this.

All public transport tickets can be found at Bookaway. We used Bookaway to book all our bus tickets. They are easy to use and book, we have had good experiences with them.

If you want to buy your tickets for a bus in Guatemala, you can do this at the bus station. I.R.C. Travel Antigua and Linea Dorada are two bus companies that we have used and recommend. A long-distance bus ride costs about $24 to $36.

Other transport types that you can use in Guatemala are planes, cars, colectivo, chicken buses, and taxis. For average distances use a colectivo. This is a minibus that takes you quickly to your destination for an average of $12. You can often buy a ticket for a colectivo at an accommodation. For short distances, it is recommended to use a taxi or chicken bus. A chickbus is an old American bus where you can often travel to a place for $1.

If you travel to Guatemala by plane and you are looking for a car to rent, you can rent it through Rentalcars. We use Rentalcars when we want to travel by car to discover new destinations. They’re easy to use and book with.

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Guatemala trip cost: activities

In Guatemala, you can do almost all activities independently. Two excursions are relatively expensive but well worth it. The visit to Tikal costs $70 and the mountain Acatenango $97. There are plenty of other activities you can do, such as taking cooking classes, taking a city tour of Antigua, kayaking in Lake Atitlan, and tubing in Semuc Champey. However, you do not necessarily have to do these activities.

Our advice is that usually the more expensive excursions, such as Tikal and Acatenango, are often very special. We always advise not to cut down on this because it is precisely these kinds of activities that make a trip unforgettable.

Antigua Acatenango

Guatemala trip cost: miscellaneous

A travel guide provides you with detailed information about the country, weather, culture, travel routes, advice on where to eat and sleep. We always use Lonely Planet and are very fan of this. It is best to order this book for Guatemala.

A water bottle is always handy to have with you. We use a Crazycap, this is a water bottle that kills all bacteria in the water using UV. This allows us to drink tap water anywhere in the world through this bottle. So we never have to buy water and can always drink tap water safely without bothering our stomachs. It is a one-time amount, but in the longer term you have this out.

Finally, you can also buy a sleeping/dry bag, the advantage of this is that you always sleep in “your bed”. If you find it annoying to sleep in unknown beds and do you like hygiene, sleeping in a sleeping bag is a good solution.

Travel insurance

World Nomads travel insurance policies offer coverage for more than 150 activities. Get a quote, make a claim, or buy or extend your policy while on the road.

image 100550758 15379715

How much did Guatemala travel cost us per day

  • Sleep $18
  • Food $21
  • Transport $6
  • Activities $8

Total: $53 per day (amounts have been rounded). This does not include airline tickets and other costs. The airline tickets were $970 for us. In total our trip costs per person: 21 (days) x $53 + $970 = $2083.

Accommodation: you can travel cheaper than us by saving on accommodations. When you stay in most hostels, your costs will be lower than $18. Just try not to stay at too cheap places. Cheap accommodations are usually located outside the center and the facilities are not as good.

Food: when you stay at the accommodations we recommend on this list, you won’t have to spend a lot of money on food because breakfast is included. You can reduce the costs of food by buying lunch and dinner at the supermarket and preparing it yourself. In addition, try to eat where the locals are, this is tasty, cozy, and often cheaper.

Transport: if you take a traditional trip where you discover the main highlights of the country, you will not spend a lot of money on transport. Buy your tickets in advance at Bookaway so that your transport costs do not become too high.

Activities: in our articles about Guatemala you can see that there is a lot to do. You also see that many activities can be done independently. It is better not to cut back on activity costs because the activities we recommend will make your trip unforgettable.

Lake atitlan hike

Trip to Guatemala cost FAQ

1. How much does it cost to go to Guatemala?

Traveling through Guatemala is not expensive at all. When you travel as a middle-class traveler, a trip of 3 weeks where you visit the highlights of Guatemala, you fly from the United States to Guatemala City, costs you €1333 (if you travel as a couple).

You are on average 21 days x $53 = $1113 for accommodations, food, transport, and activities. Flight costs are on average $220 per person for Guatemala.

2. How much money should I take to Guatemala?

Bring $265 (about 5x the daily budget). This allows you to pay for the bus, taxi, food, and accommodation in the beginning. It is best to assume that you will not be able to withdraw money immediately upon arrival.

Once arrived at the destination (usually Antigua), you can withdraw money. It is not necessary to take a huge amount of money with you to Guatemala because you can withdraw money in every village or city.

3. How much does it cost to go to Guatemala for a week?

This depends on what exactly you are going to do. As a guideline, if you are an average traveler, a week’s trip in Guatemala will cost $661 per person (if you are traveling as a couple).

We spent $53 on accommodations, food, transportation, and activities. However, if you are going to travel through Guatemala for a week, the daily budget is a lot higher, because you want to see more in a short period. This increases the average costs. As a result, you will spend $63 per person per day.

For accommodations, food, transport, and activities you spend 7 days x $63 = $441. Flight tickets are on average $220.

4. How to visit Guatemala on a budget?

Making a trip through Guatemala on a tight budget is possible and great fun. You should follow the following travel tips to spend $30 per day.

Only stay in hostels and book them far in advance. As a result, the offer is the largest and the cheaper hostels are still available. If you do this you will spend $6 per day on accommodations.

Food is possible but does not have to be expensive. Stay in hostels where breakfast is included. In the afternoon and evening, you can eat at local places or go to the supermarket and buy and prepare your food. When you do this you will spend about $13 on food per day.

It is best to only use the buses for transport. These are less fast than a shuttle bus but cheaper. Another option is to visit a limited number of destinations, which keeps transport costs low. If you only use the buses it cost $4 per day.

You need tickets for certain sights, such as visiting Tikal. You can do most things independently, if you do this it cost +/- $7 per day.

Conclusion cost of travel in Guatemala

Guatemala isn’t expensive to travel to. Now that you know this, you come to the next point in preparation for your trip: drawing up your travel route through Guatemala. To help you on your way, we have put together a travel route through Guatemala in which you will see all the highlights. For each destination, there is an article in which you can read everything in detail if you want to know more. Click here to open it: Guatemala itinerary. You can combine this itinerary with places to stay in this article. All you have to do is follow the article and your preparation is done!

If you are looking for a complete overview that shows how to prepare yourself, we recommend that you read our Guatemala travel guide. Here you can read which period is the best to visit Guatemala, how safe Guatemala is, how to pack your bag, and much more useful information.

What do you think of our budget tips for Guatemala? Share your thought in the comments below!

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Hello, we are Cynthia & Alexander, the team behind Travel Your Memories! Traveling is our passion. When it comes to exploration, we love sharing our tips and adventures to inspire you. Welcome to Travel Your Memories, where we share our love for travel with you! Read our story.

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