The Mayans may seem like ancient history, but the culture remains lively in Guatemala.
Between ancient temples and locals practicing centuries-old traditions, Maya thrives in Guatemala. A country and culture that have grown with modern times and technology without forgetting its past.
This may be why Guatemala is often considered one of Central America’s underrated locations.
Many islands in the area are covered in beaches, but visitors love Guatemala for its variety.
Stunning oceans lead to sprawling jungles. Those giant temples are scattered around volcanoes and mountains. The towns still immersed in Maya culture cover the country, welcoming curious travellers.
But, with so many different environments, Guatemala is not without some health risks. The country is not considered a disease hotbed. But, you will need some preparations to avoid falling ill from a trip.
Here’s the vaccines and some tips to stay healthy while visiting Guatemala:
Which Vaccines Do I Need For Guatemala?
The CDC and WHO recommend these vaccines for a trip to Guatemala: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, rabies, yellow fever, malaria and other routine vaccinations.
Immunizations are the most reliable way to avoid getting sick or catching a virus while abroad.
Want more information about each vaccine? Take a look at the individual pages or contact Passport Health. Give us a call at or book an appointment online.
Zika in Guatemala
The Zika virus is present in mosquitoes throughout Guatemala.
Not all areas in the country pose the same risk of catching the virus.
The mosquitoes that primarily carry Zika, Aedes aegypti, rarely live at elevations higher than 2,000 metres. While most of the country is below that elevation, parts of eastern Guatemala lie above that threshold. This puts visitors to cities like Quetzaltenango at a much lower risk for Zika virus.
Despite this, the CDC does not recommend avoiding Guatemala altogether.
Practice safety measures when visiting the country. Because there is no vaccine for Zika, the best precaution is to repel the mosquitoes.
Mosquito nets and insect repellent spray are needed throughout the country. Wear clothing that covers most of your skin when in areas prevalent for mosquitoes.
Where Should I Go While Visiting Guatemala?
Talk of Antigua likely causes an image of the small Caribbean island.
Guatemala has its own Antigua, and it’s far different from the Caribbean location.
The former capital is home to ancient colonial relics that trace back for centuries. Cathedrals and markets cover a town perfect for those digging into Guatemala’s history.
Anyone visiting the country to see some towering structures, head to Tikal.
The city stands for everything ancient Maya. Ruins cover the area that’s located in the middle of the Guatemalan rainforest. Wild animals call home to the ruins, giving you a chance to explore the city near a turkey or monkey. Due to the ruins’ popularity, you will have to time the trip right. Avoid visiting during the middle of the day when Tikal is busiest.
Guatemala’s natural wonders may be its most underrated attraction.
Volcanoes at Pacaya and Santa Maria have a steep hike, but drop the jaws of anyone witnessing an eruption. Sitting near three volcanoes, Lago de Atitlan lays out Guatemala’s landscape in a serene environment. Stunning lagoons fill the land at Semuc Champey, offering one more natural option for visitors.
Did we miss any crucial places or information for a trip to Guatemala? Let us know in the comments, or via Facebook and Twitter.