Foreign travel advice

Guatemala

Important COVID-19 Travel

Under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, you must stay at home. It is illegal to travel abroad for holidays or leisure purposes. Check the rules in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Do not travel unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so. In England, from 8 March you must complete a declaration form for international travel (except for travel to Ireland).

Check our advice for all the countries you will visit or transit through. Some countries have closed borders, and any country may further restrict travel or bring in new rules with little warning.

To enter or return to the UK from abroad (except from Ireland), you must follow all the rules for entering the UK. These include providing your journey and contact details, and evidence of a negative COVID-19 test before you travel. When you arrive, you must quarantine and take additional COVID-19 tests. This will take place in a managed quarantine hotel if you enter England from a red list travel ban country, or enter Scotland.

Summary

The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to:

  • the whole of Guatemala based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.

Travel to Guatemala is subject to entry restrictions

  • Guatemala does not permit the entry of travellers who have been in the United Kingdom or South Africa in the 14 days prior to their arrival. This measure is not applicable to Guatemalan nationals, diplomats or foreign nationals who are legal residents in the country. This measure came into force on 23 December
  • If you are eligible for entry you must provide a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test, dated no more than 3 days before the date of your arrival at a Guatemalan airport. For a full list of options available to meet the criteria to enter Guatemala, see Entry requirements
  • Local authorities announced that from 6 January 2021, passengers who do not have a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test, will be required to take a test upon arrival at La Aurora International Airport at a cost of US $ 25 or Q.200 (Quetzales, local currency). However, passengers with journeys originating in or transiting the UK or South Africa will not be permitted to board flights to Guatemala

See Entry requirements for more information before you plan to travel.

Preparing for your return journey to the UK

If you’re returning to the UK from overseas, you will need to:

If your return journey to the UK transits another country, you should check whether it is subject to a travel ban or any other additional requirements. If so, contact your travel provider.

Check our advice on foreign travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and sign up for email alerts for this travel advice.

If you’re planning travel to Guatemala, find out what you need to know about coronavirus there in the Coronavirus section.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) guidance on foreign travel insurance.

For information about COVID-19 vaccines, see the Coronavirus page.

You will need to provide contact details on arrival in Guatemala. See entry requirements.

Due to the movement of migrant caravans, you should take extra care at the land border crossings with Honduras and Mexico where a significant security presence is possible. As these migrant caravans move, they may delay or disrupt travel within the country.

15,229 British nationals visited Guatemala in 2019. Most visits are trouble free.

The rainy season in Guatemala normally runs from June to November, coinciding with the hurricane season in the Caribbean. See Rainy season. You should plan any travel carefully. You should monitor local and international weather updates from the US National Hurricane Centre. Follow the advice of local authorities, including any evacuation orders. See Natural disasters.

Guatemala has one of the highest violent crime rates in Latin America. Take care in all parts of the country, including Guatemala City. You should carry personal ID when travelling (certified copies are fine). See Crime

Guatemala has active volcanoes, some prone to heightened activity. From 12 February, local authorities have reported an increase in activity associated with the Fuego and Pacaya volcanoes. You should be mindful of the greater risk when in the vicinity of these volcanoes. See Volcanoes

Avoid travelling on public buses (repainted US school buses). Private inter-city coach services are safer, but not immune from attack. See Local travel

UK health authorities have classified Guatemala as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For more information and advice, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website

Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in Guatemala, attacks can’t be ruled out. See Terrorism

You can contact the emergency services by calling 120 (police) or 122/123 (ambulance and fire).

If you are abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.