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Guatemala was next on our itinerary after spending a month in Mexico. We were excited to learn even more about the Mayan influences, learn about their culture and were really looking forward to sampling some of Guatemala’s cuisine. The biggest draw to backpacking in Guatemala though was the landscape; mountains, volcanoes and lakes definitely sounded right up our street!

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Guatemala Backpacking

Top Tip

We found a lot of places that we went to in Guatemala are quite expensive for what you get. That being said don’t be disheartened as you can still travel on a budget if you put a little more effort in with haggling and finding things at a better price. We found it a little tricky in some places as a lot of people have jumped onto the ‘make as much money from the tourists as possible’ bandwagon. Cooking for yourself is always a sure fire way to save some pennies, searching around for slightly out-of-town places to eat or street food will definitely give you some cheaper options, taking public rather than private transport and going things alone rather than with a guide where possible are all good ways to stick a to a low budget.

Our Breakdown

Total amounts including % spent in each area


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Accommodation = 3,240 GTQ    33.1%

Our accommodation was mainly hostels such as Matiox in Antigua, Los Amigos in Flores but for the most part we used AirBnB for our stay in The Treehouse on Lake Atitlan. Which was amazing!


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Eating Out = 2,350 GTQ   24%

There were always an abundance of places to eat in Guatemala with a great range of cuisine. Antigua  was the most varied, there you can find any sort of cuisine along some very nice restaurants indeed. After having no curry for 3 months we had a little splurge and went for a tasty Indian in Antigua!


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Transport (Public) = 850 GTQ    8.7%

We didn’t use huge amount of public transport in backpacking through Guatemala, just on our connecting buses from to Lake Atitlan to Antigua and then onto Flores & Tikal. You can find a quite a few different companies in Antigua / Lake Atitlan that will offer the same service to anywhere you would like to go next. They don’t differ hugely in price but if you do want to save a few pennies it is definitely worth checking out a few different places to see what the best deal is.


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 Transport (Private) = 180 GTQ    1.8%

We used the odd taxi and mostly Tuk Tuks especially around Lake Atitlan which were only 5 GTQ each to get from the village back to the place we were staying at which was about 3 km.


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Water / Drinks  = 340  GTQ   3.5%

Pretty much all of the Hostels we stayed at in Guatemala and our AirBnB  had its own water filter so we didn’t spend a huge amount on water and drinks as we would also make sure we had a enough in our portable water bottles for any journeys or hikes we went on.


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Alcohol = 551 GTQ    5.6%

Meeting up with a friend and meeting some new ones on Lake Atitlan and in Antigua we had a couple of nights out. If you hit a good happy hour you can be looking as low as 5GTQ per drink making it possible to party on a budget!


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Groceries / Sweets / Chocolate = 912 GTQ    9.3%

We did a few trips to the markets, local shops and supermarkets when we were staying in a place or hostel for a few days as sometimes its nice to have a bit of home cooked food and it also saves some pennies! With our stay in the Treehouse at Casa Mot Mot the owners left us some Pigeon peas which we had never come across before and are really tasty. We would suggest you grab some if you ever see them! We also were left some basic cooking materials which was really nice and saved us a bit of money!


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Sights / Museums = 830 GTQ    8.5%

Our big tour / hike in Guatemala was our hike up to Volcan De Acatenango we also visited the Mayan ruins of Tikal which if you are heading to Guatemala these two, we would highly recommend! We also rented a kayak on Lake Atitlan for a few hours which was an awesome way to see San Pedro and the beautiful surrounding volcanic landscape!



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Street Food = 230 GTQ     2.4%

The majority of our street food was bought in the villages in Guatemala as there are usually a few vendors together in the squares selling a few different delights including local cuisine, pizza slices, sandwiches and of course churros! 🙂


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Other = 298 GTQ    3%

Included – 2 days of Spanish School


Backpacking In Guatemala Costs – To Sum It Up

Currency = GTQ Guatemalan Quetzal

Days in Guatemala = 18

Total amount spent = 9,779 GTQ (£1,010)

Average daily spend = 543.20 GTQ (£56.33) 2 people

Most expensive day = 690 GTQ (£71.50)

Cheapest day = 190 GTQ (£19.70)

We really hope you find this cost guide of backpacking in Guatemala useful, if you have any questions please tell us in the comments as we’ll be more than happy to answer them 🙂

You can check out all of our blog posts and some great ideas for your Guatemala itinerary right here.

Happy Travels!

Adam & Kelly x

Backpacking Guatemala Costs – Related Posts

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about the wilder route...

The Wilder Route - Author Bio. Image shows Kelly & Adam sat on a rock with a cloud encompassed mountain behind them, they are facing the camera & smiling. Kelly is wearing a bright yellow coat, a brown hat, jeans & yellow leg warmers. Adam is wearing a navy blue coast & jeans.

In 2017 Kelly & Adam Peck embarked on a journey that would change their lives forever... 

Equipped with a couple of second-hand bikes, they took a one-way flight to Havana, Cuba &, after a cycling escapade that took them over four hundred kilometres - through remote villages & untouched landscapes, the roots of The Wilder Route were firmly planted. 

From there the adventure was destined to continue... this intrepid couple spent the next 10 months soaking up the vibrance of Mexico, hiking up volcanoes in Guatemala, taking in the wild scenery of Canada & experiencing the beauty & diversity of Colombia, before eventually returning to the UK. 

With the feeling of exploration in their souls, Kelly & Adam knew that they wanted to build a life that brought them closer to nature, a life that made adventure part of their every day. Selling most of their belongings & packing the rest of what they owned into their tiny home on wheels, van life became the next step of their journey.

Since moving into their motorhome in 2018 (a Bessacar E560 named Barnaby) they have experienced many more magical moments, built their online business on the road & have even planned a wedding & said "I do" along the way.

Featured in publications such as Wanderlust Magazine & Housesitting Magazine & speaking at events such as Destinations ShowsBorderless Live & The Caravan & Motorhome Show about living a location-independent lifestyle - they are passionate about helping & inspiring others to explore, to connect with nature &, to live alternatively.

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