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This article contains content imported from the English Wikipedia article on History of Guatemala. View the page revision history for a list of the authors.

Formatting and language conventions

For articles about Guatemala, please use the 24-hour clock to show times, e.g. 09:00-12:00 and 18:00-00:00.

Please show prices in this format: Q100, and not GTQ100.

Please use American spelling.

For future reference the Project:CIA World Factbook 2002 import can be found at Talk:Guatemala/CIA World Factbook 2002 import.

Deletions by anonymous editor on 9 Jan 2006?[edit]

On 23:06, 9 Jan 2006, anonymous editor deleted several sections of the Guatemala page:

  • When to go
  • Get in
  • Get around
  • Talk
  • Buy
  • Eat

I agree that a lot of the content there could stand to be improved, but I'm not comfortable with deleting all the existing content and not providing any improved replacement. I'm reverting these deletions. Anonymous editor, I welcome your participation, but I'd appreciate it if you post a note here telling what content you'd like to provide to move this article forward. (WT-en) JimDeLaHunt 02:37, 10 Jan 2006 (EST)

I rolled it back. Nice catch! --(WT-en) Evan 02:39, 10 Jan 2006 (EST)

Guatemala#Tour operators[edit]

Anyone object to the deletion of this section and all its contents?

Testing Quickbar[edit]

Should the sandbox type testing or the quickbar be a part of this article? Or should it be deleted or moved elsewhere? - (WT-en) Aditya Kabir 03:17, 18 November 2006 (EST)

Can you clarify what you're referring to? The quickbar in this article looks fine to me. -- (WT-en) Ryan 03:19, 18 November 2006 (EST)


Are we really going to do travel guides for each of these volcanoes? I think for ones that you actually camp on, etc., it would make sense, but otherwise they should be covered in the guides for nearby towns or regions. --(WT-en) evanp 17:13, 14 January 2007 (EST)

Murder rate[edit]

Should the article say that travel is strongly discouraged? What is that based on? The US State Department doesn't put Guatemala on it's travel warning list, neither does the UK, Canada or Australia. Should there be a report on the murder rate in the Stay Safe section?

On 18:50, 2007 January 15, added the following statement to the Stay Safe section:

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights reported last year that Guatemala had the highest murder rate in all of Latin America, with 70 homicides per 100,000 population. In Guatemala the murder rate is 20 times higher than in Seattle, and thirteen and a half times higher than the greater New York area.

Later that day, (WT-en) Nskinn revised the text slightly and added references. Shortly after that, (WT-en) Cjensen removed the references with the comment, "Remove references. Thanks for them -- but we don't need them unless it's on a talk page to resolve a dispute."

On 18:53, 2007 February 10), (WT-en) Rfmarves deleted the revised text. Thus we have an implicit dispute about this claim.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (wikipedia) has a web site, . In a quick search, I wasn't able to see a report posted there which validates the 70 homicides per 100,000 statistic quoted in the article.

I'm willing to believe that there's a high homicide rate in Guatemala, but I'm not sure what's appropriate to say about it in a travel guide. Thus I'm not changing anything now. I'm just noting the issue. (WT-en) JimDeLaHunt 14:50, 11 February 2007 (EST)

Feedback: this article doesn't give newcomer the right level of guidance[edit]

Some feedback from a friend who knows Guatemala, and was looking for a URL for a Guatemala first-time vistor to read: this Guatemala article wasn't useful. I think the comment was that it lacked an overview and list of top itineraries. The beginning of the article and the "See" and "Suggested Itineraries" sections are natural places to put these. I think the problem is that there is too much detail, and not enough overview content supplied yet. Yes, I'll add my contributions. But I wanted to post this feedback in the hopes of encouraging others too. (WT-en) JimDeLaHunt 15:33, 16 May 2007 (EDT)

Yeah, Central America is one of the lesser-developed areas of Wikivoyage, so we can definitely use your help prioritizing and organizing the information we have, and adding to it. - (WT-en) Todd VerBeek 16:05, 16 May 2007 (EDT)

minor delete[edit]

Took out the line in the Stay Safe section about being murdered because of taking a photo. While taking photos is very culturally insensitive and causes much fear, a statement as extreme as the one that was there needs a citation. The child slave trade (often for sex) is alive and well in Guatemala so the fear is warented but I have not seen a documented case of a pre-emptive murder because of a photo. (During the civil war there was a case of a mob killing a woman suspected of kidnaping but 20 years ago in Guatemala was a different tale.)


As in various central and south american countries the region system is a mixture of too many department pages that are almost empty and not widely used region pages. I d be willing to sort all that but but I've never been to Guatemala. The current region system on the main page appears fine to me but i d need confirmation from someone more knowledgeable.


Here s a map and a list of the departments of the country :

  1. Alta Verapaz
  2. Baja Verapaz
  3. Chimaltenango
  4. Chiquimula
  5. Petén
  6. El Progreso
  7. El Quiché
  8. Escuintla
  9. Guatemala
  10. Huehuetenango
  11. Izabal
  12. Jalapa
  13. Jutiapa
  14. Quetzaltenango
  15. Retalhuleu
  16. Sacatepéquez
  17. San Marcos
  18. Santa Rosa
  19. Sololá
  20. Suchitepéquez
  21. Totonicapán
  22. Zacapa

I d need help from someone who knows Guatemala as to which department fit in which region before starting the reorganization. Thanks for input. (WT-en) Rafcha 17:51, 29 October 2009 (EDT)

This needs pinning down. The five top level regions seem to make sense. Could someone who knows Guatemala (we seem to get a lot of content, so you must be out there!) suggest the precise boundaries with reference to the helpful departments map above?--(WT-en) Burmesedays 23:58, 24 April 2010 (EDT)
The list of Other destinations is huge and decisions will need to be made about which are the the most important 9 and the others moved to their relevant region article. --(WT-en) Burmesedays 23:58, 24 April 2010 (EDT)
Having not even attempted to sort out that enormous list of cities and ODs, here is my wild guesses on which department should go where: I think Peten and Caribbean are straightforward, they are 5 and 11 on the map respectively. 9, 16, 2, 6, 22, 12, and 4 should go to Central Highlands, since the description says "around Guatemala City" (the department of which is marked with 9 on the map). Pacific Highlands should be 13, 18, 8, 20, 15, 17, all bordering the Pacific. If the "highlands" definition here makes it OK to put the departments with no coast at all in, then I guess 14 also fits well here. And the rest (3, 7, 19, 21, and 10) is Western Highlands. 1 can go in Central, or Western, or even in Peten but I guess Western is best (on purely geographical grounds, it may best be attached to Central, but it's far away from Guatemala City). – (WT-en) Vidimian 03:28, 28 April 2010 (EDT)
That's very helpful Vidimian and seems logical. I will push on with the map and post here in the next day or two for comment. It would be good if someone who knows Guatemala gives it the once over before the final regionalisation work is done. Guatemala has a relatively large number of articles so the work involved is quite substantial. --(WT-en) Burmesedays 11:14, 28 April 2010 (EDT)
The deeper I dig, the larger the chaos becomes. A real mess with breadcrumbs all over the place, random low level sub-region articles etc..... Trying to instill some order --(WT-en) Burmesedays 11:39, 28 April 2010 (EDT)
For now at least, I am sticking Alta Verapez (1) in Central highlands and not West. Further complicated as there is a low level region article for this department.--(WT-en) Burmesedays 11:59, 28 April 2010 (EDT)
And reading about it, Quetzaltenango (14) seems to fit better into the Western Highlands.--(WT-en) Burmesedays 12:43, 28 April 2010 (EDT)

After a large clean up, the only the only valid departmental level sub region articles were Quiche and Alta Verapaz. These I have merged and redirected to the top level region. Given the large number of village articles from the area, Lake Atitlan will remain as a sub-region of Western Highlands. Otherwise, I think all of the second level region articles have been removed as unnecessary. It is a tangled maze though, and I might find some more surprises. --(WT-en) Burmesedays 22:50, 28 April 2010 (EDT)

I have got the list of ODs down to 9 - Lake Attitla of course, plus the best known beach area ,and as far as I can determine, the 7 most notable Maya ruin sites. It would be so helpful though if somebody who knows Guatemala could look over all of this. --(WT-en) Burmesedays 00:51, 29 April 2010 (EDT)
Done. Pretty much as proposed except it made no sense to follow the borders of Quetzaltenango and San Marcos departments in relation to the Pacific Highlands region. This has been a tough map to get right and it is still very much open to comment. I am also wondering if Pacific Highlands should be renamed Pacific Gautemala as it is both mountains and a long stretch of coast? --(WT-en) Burmesedays 06:24, 30 April 2010 (EDT)
Also, why is it called Caribbean Coast and not Izabel, as the region consists solely of that department?--(WT-en) Burmesedays 12:24, 30 April 2010 (EDT)
Wikipedia says it's Izabal, there should be a typo involved somewhere (Izabel redirects to Jezebel over there, which seems to be entirely unrelated). Although I won't loudly oppose a move to Izabal, I think "Caribbean Coast" is more familiar, at least for travellers who haven't been to Guatemala yet. And I support moving "Pacific Highlands" to Pacific Guatemala, per the reason you stated. – (WT-en) Vidimian 14:12, 30 April 2010 (EDT)
Ah yes, Izabal is indeed correct. I will leave as is for a while and see if there are any other comments.--(WT-en) Burmesedays 23:12, 30 April 2010 (EDT)
This discussion needs resurrecting - I was brought here after finding the so-called "Pacific Highlands" region, which did not actually include any highlands (Pacific Guatemala is a lowland plain and the foothills of the Sierra Madre). The regions currently used could do with a little reorganisation. In particular, a new region "Eastern Guatemala" ought really to be created, referred to as "El Oriente" in Guatemala. This is a generally lowland region with a Hispanic-majority population, rather than Maya as in the Highlands, and countryside dedicated to plantations and ranching, with its own distinctive subculture. I would suggest the following:
  1. Alta Verapaz - Doesn't fit very neatly as a department. Anywhere in the southern half of the department into the Central Highlands, and anywhere in the northern half into the Northern Lowlands.
  2. Baja Verapaz - Central Highlands
  3. Chimaltenango - Central Highlands
  4. Chiquimula - Eastern Guatemala
  5. Petén - Northern Lowlands
  6. El Progreso - Eastern Guatemala
  7. El Quiché -Western Highlands
  8. Escuintla - Pacific Lowlands
  9. Guatemala - Central Highlands
  10. Huehuetenango - Western Highlands
  11. Izabal - could stay as is, in its own Caribbean region, or could be lumped in with Eastern Guatemala
  12. Jalapa - Eastern Guatemala
  13. Jutiapa - Eastern Guatemala
  14. Quetzaltenango - Western Highlands, except Coatepeque and Flores Costa Cuca, which should be put into the Pacific Lowlands
  15. Retalhuleu - Pacific Lowlands
  16. Sacatepéquez - Central Highlands
  17. San Marcos - Northern parts of the department should be in the Western Highlands, southern parts in the Pacific Lowlands.
  18. Santa Rosa - Pacific Lowlands
  19. Sololá - Western Highlands
  20. Suchitepéquez - Pacific Lowlands
  21. Totonicapán - Western Highlands
  22. Zacapa -Eastern Guatemala

Any thoughts? Simon Burchell (talk) 10:05, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

What number of cities would each region have, based on your proposed division? Ikan Kekek (talk) 11:40, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
I think this a bit complicated to follow this way around. What would the new regions look like and which administrative divisions would they (partially) include? Or better yet, which are the most important changes to the current structure? Keep in mind that we try to avoid regions with much more than 9 and much less than 5 cities on the same level if possible and doable. Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:16, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
When I have time, I will dig out my maps and list the major towns in each region. The problem at the moment is that you potentially have lowland towns showing up in highland regions. Although some of this is fixed since I renamed Pacific Highlands to Pacific Lowlands (Guatemala) it still leaves places like Jutiapa and Chiquimula listed as being in a region that they really aren't. Simon Burchell (talk) 10:09, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Also note that the current Western Highlands division covers a large portion of western Guatemala, and must certainly include more than 9 municipalities.
The regions I suggest would be roughly as follows:

Western Highlands

  1. San Marcos
  2. Quetzaltenango
  3. Totonicapán
  4. Huehuetenango
  5. Todos Santos Cuchumatán
  6. San Mateo Ixtatán
  7. Nebaj
  8. Sacapulas
  9. Uspantán
  10. Sololá
  11. Panajachel
  12. Chichicastenango
  13. Santa Cruz del Quiché
  14. Santiago Atitlán

Central Highlands

  1. Guatemala City
  2. Antigua Guatemala
  3. Chimaltenango
  4. Rabinal
  5. Joyabaj
  6. San Juan Sacatepéquez
  7. Cobán

Pacific Lowlands

  1. Malacatán
  2. Ocos
  3. Champerico
  4. Coatepeque
  5. Retalhuleu
  6. Mazatenango
  7. Tulate
  8. Tiquisate
  9. Santa Lucía Cotzumalguapa
  10. Escuintla
  11. Puerto San José/Puerto Quetzal
  12. Monterrico

Eastern Guatemala

  1. Jutiapa
  2. Chiquimula
  3. Jalapa
  4. Esquipulas
  5. Gualán
  6. Zacapa
  7. Los Amates

Northern Lowlands

  1. Chisec
  2. Lanquín
  3. Poptún
  4. Dolores
  5. Sayaxché
  6. Flores
  7. Cahabón


  1. El Estor
  2. Morales
  3. Río Dulce
  4. Livingston
  5. Puerto Barrios

Simon Burchell (talk) 13:13, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

I think that division looks fine. We might want to debate whether there is a sensible way to split "Western Highlands", but if that is more hassle than it's worth, we should not do it. Especially if it is one continuous region in the perception of a traveler. Thank you a lot for your work! Hobbitschuster (talk) 15:10, 10 February 2016 (UTC)


Guatemala WV regions map 2016 EN.png

I guess we need a new map here. I found some data to match the states to the existing map, so I should be able to have an amended map up in a few days. -Shaundd (talk) 06:29, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

That would be great - this topographic map on Commons gives a good indicator for highland/lowland divisions for the Pacific and Northern Lowlands - I would run the division along the border between yellow/green. Best regards, Simon Burchell (talk) 09:20, 16 February 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. I'm working on the map and have the states superimposed over the topographic map you linked to above. Should Santa Rosa state also be split between Pacific Lowlands and either Eastern Guatemala or the Central Highlands? When I look at the maps, a significant portion of the north of the state seems to be in the mountains. -Shaundd (talk) 06:57, 17 February 2016 (UTC)
Hi Shaundd - the northern portion should be in Eastern Guatemala. Although hilly, it just doesn't reach the altitudes found in the highlands, and is culturally distinct. All the best, Simon Burchell (talk) 09:32, 17 February 2016 (UTC)
A draft version of the map is to the right. It still needs cleanup, but let me know if I've got the region boundaries right. Two things I have questions about is:
  1. The Northern Lowlands boundary around Cahabon does a little jog based on the mountains. Is this correct?
  2. Strictly following the state boundaries means Eastern Guatemala touches the Pacific. Is this correct or should that very southern piece be part of the Pacific Lowlands?
Thanks. -Shaundd (talk) 23:59, 18 February 2016 (UTC)
The map is looking good!
  1. Should be OK - things are dropping off to low altitude, and it wouldn't be right to include it in the highlands (Cahabón itself is in the lowlands). Simon Burchell (talk) 09:47, 19 February 2016 (UTC)
  2. I would put the southern piece in the Pacific Lowlands, roughly following the green/yellow division on the topographic map.
Many thanks for all the work on the map. Best regards, Simon Burchell (talk) 09:47, 19 February 2016 (UTC)

Volcano & tropical storm[edit]

Here is this article that discusses the volcano and tropical storm, for which I posted a warning box: BBC News 02:16, 30 May 2010 (EDT)

Democracy and recent elections[edit]

I have not yet set up an account and am also not confident of the level of historical detail that is best to include. But the statement in the text that the most recent democratic election was in 2007 is quite out of date. The most recent election was in November of 2011 and the winner and current president is Oscar Perez Molina 03:55, 19 January 2013 (UTC)

Hi there. You should feel confident to insert basic information of this kind. Please do. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:06, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
Btw, there have now been more recent elections than that. The current President is Jimmy Morales, a former TV comedian. Hobbitschuster (talk) 15:12, 10 February 2016 (UTC)


Well, as you can see, the banner of the Bank of Guatemala is very good, but a landscape of virgins sites of Guatemala would not be wrong to represent the country since it is a green and beautiful country. For this reason, i will place it, and this banner it's better representing Guatemala that the last. Thank you Rexdv (talk) 20:23, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

Other destinations update?[edit]

I was thinking of update the Other destinations section: removing red links, removing the Mayan ruins subhead, updating photo, and normalizing/updating listings to conform to the "one liner" format. Does this seem ok? Thanks! ButteBag (talk) 16:53, 30 November 2019 (UTC)

  • 1 Aguateca — visit some of the best-preserved Mayan ruins in Guatemala, where you're more likely to encounter archaeologists than tourists
  • 2 El Mirador — still being uncovered, the adventurous few who visit this massive early Maya site may arrive to discover a cradle of Mayan civilization
  • 3 Iximché — these Mayan ruins in the Central Highlands are an easy day trip from Guatemala City or Antigua
  • 4 Lake Atitlán — a stunningly beautiful volcanic lake surrounded by picturesque Mayan villages, visitors may find themselves staying longer than anticipated
  • 5 Monterrico — located on the Pacific coast, Monterrico is known for its volcanic black sand beaches and annual influx of sea turtles
  • 6 Nakúm — an impressive Classic Maya site
  • 7 Rio Dulce Dulce River (Guatemala) on Wikipedia — surrounded by National Parks, Rio Dulce checks a variety of boxes for the outdoor adventurer: jungles to trek, rivers to swim, and ruins to explore
  • 8 Semuc Champey — a swimmers paradise; this series of stepped, turquoise pools is perfectly situated atop a natural limestone bridge
  • 9 Tikal — long considered the largest of Maya ruins, this impressive site is often the reason folks choose to add Guatemala to their itineraries

Proposed currency, time formatting and spelling conventions[edit]

Below is a proposed infobox to let readers know which formatting conventions to use in Wikivoyage articles. Do you agree with these proposals? If you have direct knowledge of what is most commonly used in the country, please let us know. Ground Zero (talk) 14:03, 28 December 2019 (UTC)

As there have been no comments, I've implemented the proposed box. Ground Zero (talk) 06:45, 14 February 2020 (UTC)

A Commons file used on this page or its Wikidata item is missing permission[edit]

The following Wikimedia Commons file used on this page or its Wikidata item is missing permission information and may be deleted:

You can see the details at the file description page linked above. —Community Tech bot (talk) 03:36, 22 March 2020 (UTC)


Do we really need or want a warningbox about the crime rate at the top of this article in perpetuity? It's not as though the travel advisories tell you not to visit Guatemala at all. The crime levels are also unlikely to change significantly for the foreseeable future.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 12:02, 18 August 2020 (UTC)

Template:Warningbox says "This template is meant for non-obvious dangers to life and limb, and should be used sparingly." I think a cautionbox in the Stay Safe section would be more appropriate for an ongoing high crime situation. Ground Zero (talk) 12:14, 18 August 2020 (UTC)
Do criminal kill tourists? —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs)
Yes. They also kidnap and ransom them, rape them, mug them in the street etc. Not that any of that is Guatemala-specific, but relatively "wealthy" tourists are always going to be targets for criminals, especially in developing countries. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 12:22, 18 August 2020 (UTC)
On balance I tend towards downgrading the screaming warning box at the top of the page to a smaller caution advisory in the stay safe section... Hobbitschuster (talk) 13:44, 18 August 2020 (UTC)

Done. I've started a project to go through all of the articles with warning boxes to update, downgrade or delete our old warnings as appropriate. Since the world is going you-know-where in a handbasket, that usually means updating, sadly. Ground Zero (talk) 21:24, 18 August 2020 (UTC)