Typical Costs When Traveling
The currency in Guatemala is the Quetzal. Exchange rates have held relatively steady in the last few years: 1 Quetzal (Q) is equal to about £.10 British Pounds, $.15 U.S., €,12, and .9 Yuan.
A budget hotel is in the Q130–200 a night range (£13-20., $17-25, €15-23, 118-182 Yuan). A mid-range hotel can be anywhere from Q200–550 a night (£20-55, $25-71, €23-64, 182-500 Yuan), and more luxury accommodations will start at Q550 a night (£55, $71, €64, 500 Yuan). There are a limited number of Airbnb rentals in Antigua, Guatemala City, Lake Atitlán, and outside of Monterrico that range from Q93-2335 (£9-233, $12-300, €11-270, 84-2120 Yuan).
Quick food in a comedor (cheap eatery) is relatively inexpensive around Q30–45 (£3-4.5, $4-6, €3-5, 27-40 Yuan). An à la carte meal in a local restaurant is Q100–130 (£10-13, $12-17, €11-15, 91-118 Yuan), and a meal in an elegant restaurant would start around Q150 (£15, $19, €17, 136 Yuan). You should NOT drink the tap water here, so plan on buying bottled water.
A chicken bus ride is around Q20 (£2, $3, €2, 18 Yuan). A shuttle-bus is about Q150 (£15, $19, €17, 136 Yuan). Renting a car will cost around Q107 (£10, $14, €12,75, 98 Yuan), and hiring a car will start around Q650 per day (£65, $84, €75, 592 Yuan).
Uber is only available in Guatemala City, and Lyft doesn’t operate in Guatemala.
I’d budget around Q200 a day (£20, $26, €23, 182 Yuan) for entrance to archaeological sites, tours, guides, snacks, tips, and souvenirs.
Banks exchange cash, but casas de cambio (currency-exchange offices) are usually quicker and offer better rates. ATMs are widely available, and credit cards are accepted in many hostels and most midrange and above hotels and restaurants.
A 10% tip is expected in restaurants (often automatically added to your bill). In small comedores (basic, cheap eateries), tipping is optional, but I suggest following the local practice of leaving some spare change.
If you’re participating in a homestay, it’s better to buy a gift than give cash. At hotels, it’s Q10 per bag (£1, $1.25, €1,15, 9.05 Yuan). It’s not customary to tip for a taxi, and the standard tip for trekking guides is Q50 per person per day (£5, $6.50, €5,75, 45.50 Yuan).
Suggested Daily Costs
These budget estimates include eating and drinking out at least once a day and a couple of bus rides between cities.
Lower End: Q380-465 (£38-47, $49-60, €44-54, 346-423 Yuan). Midrange: Q650-1030 (£65, 103, $84-$133, €75-120, 592-937 Yuan). Higher End: Q1550 and up (£155, $200, €180, 1410 Yuan).