Budget tips: What did we spend in Guatemala?

Last Updated on by Charlotte van de Sande

How expensive is travelling through Guatemala? The answer to this question depends on the type of traveller you are, the activities you do and how long you will be travelling for. However, in this blog, I will tell you what we spend during our trip through Guatemala.

How much money did we spend in Guatemala?

First a big disclaimer: we are not extreme budget backpackers. By this, I mean that we almost never sleep in a dormitory, do not cut down on activities and food. On the other hand, we certainly don’t travel luxuriously: we sleep in hostels, almost never take a taxi and try not to eat out too expensive. Everyone has different priorities and budgets while travelling. Maybe you don’t care that much about the accommodation you stay at, but prefer to eat out more often. That is totally fine! Just keep this in mind while you read this blog. It’s always possible to travel cheaper or more expensive than we do.

Is Guatemala a budget destination?

Guatemala is one of the cheaper countries in Central America. But it is certainly not as cheap as in Southeast Asia. We didn’t do extremely expensive things, but since we travelled a lot with other people, we were slightly easier than budgeted in advance. Meaning: we spent more money on eating out and Cuba libre’s than our budget allowed ;-). However, since we were in Guatemala during its shoulder season, some hotels were slightly cheaper than usual.

We combined this trip with a trip to Belize, from where we flew back to the Netherlands. Our plane tickets were therefore slightly more expensive than a return ticket to Guatemala. Are you flexible and not bound to a certain period then you already have flights from Europe to Guatemala starting at €350.

Cost of traveling in Guatemala

Our budget facts

Number of days: 13

Total spend: GTQ 12708  / € 1454,46 / $ 1649
Avg. spend per day: GTQ 978  /  € 111,88/ $ 127

 Our budget: GTQ 874 / € 100 / $ 113
Days on or below budget: 46%
Days above budget: 54%

All expenses are for 2 people and calculated on the basis of exchange rates during the trip. This amount is excluding our flights. The currency displayed are Guatemalateekse Quetzal (GTQ$), Euro (€) and USA Dollar ($).

Is accommodation expensive in Guatemala?- 25% of the total budget

Total spend: GTQ 3179 / € 363,80 / $412
Number of nights: 13
Average amount per room for 2 pers:  GTQ 265/ € 30,32 / $ 34

We slept almost every night in a hostel, but always in a private room. A few times we have had some more luxurious ho(s)tels, such as in Lanquin, Tikal and Flores. The hostel we had in Lanquin, was really overpriced for what we got, not recommended. The last night in Flores was relatively expensive because I was sick and liked to sleep in a more luxurious air-conditioned room.

These are the hotels and guesthouses we stayed in Guatemala:

Here you will find a hotel guide with hotels and accommodations we can recommend!

What did we spend in Guatemala?

How much money to budget for transportation in Guatemala? – 14,2% of total

Total spend: GTQ 1803 / € 206,39/ $ 234
Taxi Guatemala airport – Antigua: GTQ 250/ € 28,03 / $ 32

We have almost always travelled with shuttle buses. This is faster than with chicken buses but is more expensive. Everywhere the transport costs were not that high in Guatemala.

What did we spend in Guatemala?

How expensive is food and going out in Guatemala? – 35,3% of total

Total spend: GTQ 4484/ € 513,17 / $ 582
From which eating and drinking out: GTQ 3798/ € 434,68/ $ 493
Of which groceries: GTQ 617/ € 70,64 / $80
Other: GTQ 69 / € 7,85/ $9

Ha, as almost always, the biggest expense for us. We went out for dinner very often, have never cooked ourselves and almost never ate food at street stalls. But the restaurants where we ate, were generally not very expensive. We often chose simple meals.

What did we spend in Guatemala?

Are activities expensive in Guatemala? – 24,2% of the total

Total spend: GTQ 3068 / € 351,12 / $ 398
Acatenango hike (inc tip & tax): GTQ € 1240 / € 139/ $ 158
Visiting Tikal: GTQ 1020 / € 115,32  / $ 131
Semuc Champey (cave and pools): GTQ 370/ € 41,82 / $48
Other: GTQ 480/ € 54,98 / $62

Especially our visit to Tikal was expensive. We paid for the guides and three times for access (we saw both sunset, sunrise and just during the day). However, this was more than worth it.

What did we spend in Guatemala?

Exchange rate fee at the bank: 1,4% of the total budget

Total spend: GTQ 174/ € 19,97 / $ 23

What do things cost in Guatemala?

Cappuccino: GTQ 20 / € 2,31/ $2,60
Despite the many coffee beans that grow in Guatemala, most of the coffee served is not great.

1 Kilo of banana’s: GTQ 7 / € 0,81/ $0,91

1 Big avocado: GTQ 3/ € 0,35/ $0,39

Bottle of Coca Cola (3L): GTQ 15 / € 1,68 / $1,91

Yoghurt (1L): GTQ 30/ € 3,43 / $3,90

Bread (2pers): GTQ 15 / € 1,73/ $1,95
We often bought buns or a whole loaf in Antigua while hiking. Tasty and super cheap!

Bottle of water (3,3L): GTQ 10 / € 1,12 / $1,27

Glas of wine in a wine bar : GTQ 35 / € 4,00 / $4,54
Guatemala does not produce wine itself but imports wine from Argentina and Chile. A good glass of wine is quite expensive.

Cuba Libre in a bar: GTQ 20 / € 2,31 / $2,60
The drink in Guatemala, delicious and especially during Happy Hour relatively cheap!

Local beer in a bar: GTQ 15/ € 1,73 / $1,91

Simple breakfast (1 pers) eating out: GTQ 30 / € 3,43 / $3,90
We ate some delicious breakfasts consisting of beans, fried banana, egg and bread for this amount. And believe me, you’ll be full for all morning long!

Simple lunch / evening meal (1 pers) eating out: GTQ 60 / € 6.87 / $ 7.80
Usu,ally a simple meal consists of rice, chicken and beans. In general, we ate a bit more luxurious because I don’t eat meat and like to eat a bit more vegetables.

Conclusion: is Guatemala expensive?

No Guatemala is relatively not expensive compared to the rest of Central America. We could have spend less money (and stayed within our budget) but well, this was a holiday and that’s why we quickly decided to let go a bit more.

In general, we noticed that tourists often get ripped off a bit. And that didn’t give us a pleasant feeling. When we talked about this with other travellers, we heard that this is something happening only the last years, Guatemala was not like this before. This is most likely due to tourism itself. Too bad, but good to be aware of as a traveller.

Overall I found Guatemala an amazing country and I can definitly recommend everyone to visit it. I’m curious, do you have any budget tips for a trip through Guatemala?

Blogs on Guatemala

All my other blogs about Guatemala.

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What did we spend in Guatemala?

Other blogs about Guatemala

Diary Guatemala: Lake Atitlan and San Marcos
Travel guide Guatemala: Climbing volcanoes Acatenango & Fuego!

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