Guatemala trip cost: how much budget do you need?

An important question that many travelers have regarding Guatemala trip cost: how much budget do you need to travel through Guatemala? This partly determines your choice whether you are going to travel to this country. Guatemala is one of the cheapest countries to travel to compared to other countries in Central America. The amounts we mention in this article are based on our travel route through Guatemala. In this article, you can read how much budget you need and how much you spend on different cost categories.

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

Guatemala trip cost: How much budget do you need for Guatemala per day

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

The amounts don’t include airline tickets. Flight costs are very diverse. We ourselves always use Skyscanner and really 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 part in more detail.

Guatemala trip cost: Sleep

To keep the costs of your trip low, there are several options for budget travelers. First of all, you have the choice between staying in hostels and hotels. If you travel alone, we always recommend staying in hostels so that you can meet new people. If you travel as a couple, it is sometimes nice to stay in a hotel and enjoy all the luxury. Not saying you should skip hostels. We always love to sleep in a hostel even though we travel as a couple. We always enjoy meeting other travelers, this is more difficult in a hotel. Hostels and hotels are comparable in price to other countries in Central America and Southeast Asia. A dormitory will cost you about $6 to $9, a double budget room $12 to $21 and if you want more luxury, you will spend more than $30 per night. To get an idea of ​​the prices per destination you can read our article about the best places to stay in Guatemala. In this article, you find prices for dorms and rooms.

Guatemala hotel

Guatemala trip cost: Food

Eating in Guatemala is a mix of Guatemalan food, which is nutritious and fresh. Breakfast is simple in Guatemala, normally the assortment is egg, tortilla, beans, plantains, and fresh fruit. The main course mainly consists 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 tent or buy something on the street, it will cost you between $2 and $7. If you want to keep costs low, you can easily buy and prepare your own food in a supermarket. We often buy vegetables, snacks, and drinks in the supermarket.

You should definitely try the following products: 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, this is mainly served with fries or as a topping with other Guatemala dishes.

Antigua food

Guatemala trip cost: Transport

The distances in Guatemala are very large in contrast to other Central American countries. As a result, the transport costs are somewhat higher. For large distances, you can use a bus or plane. Longer distances by bus are about $24 to $36. You can travel short distances with a minivan, for which you pay about $12. You can also use chicken buses, which is about $1 for shorter distances.

Guatemala trip cost: Activities

Guatemala is a country where you mainly undertake the activities independently. You can easily get to your destination by public transport and find your way without a guide. If you follow our Guatemala itinerary you will do two excursions just like us, namely, visit Tikal and climb the volcano Acatenango. Tikal excursion will cost you about $70 and climbing Acatenango $97.

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.

In our opinion, travel insurance is extremely important. We will not travel without travel insurance. The risk that you run when something happens and you are uninsured is not manageable in amounts. Imagine that something happens and you are not insurers. You must then reimburse the final costs that must be paid, you do not want to experience this! So you must insure yourself to exclude such surprises.

We use World Nomads for all our trips. Fill in the widget below with your details to see how much it costs to insure during your trip through Guatemala.

A water bottle is always handy to have with you. We ourselves 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 own 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.

How much did Guatemala 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.


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.

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