what we spent in guatemala

budget: £2310 / $3850

total spent: £1957  / $3270

# of days: 77

avg. daily spend : £25.4 / $42.5

all costs for two people in exchange rate at time of post.

currencies are £GBP / $USD

days on budget: 6%

days under budget:  74%

   days over budget:   20%

So, yet another budget post where we prove that yes, you can survive on less than £15/day per person. More than two and half months spent in Guatemala's highlands, lowlands, climbing volcanoes and floating in lakes and lagoons.

Looking back at where we spent our money, there is no doubt that we could have survived on much less. In a number of places we ate out far more than necessary and given that beer was often considerably less than water, we spent twice as much on alcohol than transport - despite covering almost every road in Guatemala, sometimes more than once. 

Almost certainly, our decision to travel almost exclusively on chicken buses instead of the much more expensive (and far less entertaining) tourist alternatives was a key reason we came in under budget, but even if we had been chauffeured around the country, it is unlikely we would have been over. 

Guatemala is cheap country. If you eat and drink with locals, look around for cheaper accommodation and are even a little savvy when arranging activities, you can live like a king with change to spare.

Total: £601 / $1005

Accommodation is cheap, cheap, cheap in Guatemala. Even on the odd occasion we chose to stay in some of the fancier hostels, a double room very rarely cost more than a third of our daily budget. 

Accommodation: 31%

Total: £133 / $222

You may be packed on tight, but for the couple of dollars the bus ride will cost you, you don't really mind!

Transport: 7% 

Total: £382 / $639

As with a lot of places, if you eat in backpacker haunts, you will be paying premium for your dinner - Antigua proved this quite well where your quetzal wont go quite as far.

11 days in Flores - where we were eating in possibly Central America's cheapest restaurant - not having a kitchen took a larger chunk of the budget than we would have liked.

Eating Out: 19.5%

Total: £240 / $401

Yeah, we know, We spent a lot on booze. 

Alcohol: 12%

Total: £238 / $398

We love the markets. The bright and colourful, brilliant for photos - and dirt cheap for fresh food. We ate like kings at home, but the budget breakdown doesn't reflect that.

Groceries: 12%

Total: £120 / $201

One of us was battling a diet coke habit, the other had a penchant for sweets - no further explanation needed!

Sweets & Treats: 6%

Total: £76 / $127

In preparation for our trip to Mexico, and then when passing back through on our way to El Salvador, we bought A LOT of sun-cream - but it was the cheapest we found in all of Central America. 

Toiletries: 4%

Total: £162.5 / $272

Volcano trekking, bike rental, caving, museum entry, national park entry, archeological site roaming and all the small stuff in between - we did a lot in Guatemala, but turns out even activities are fairly cheap here!

Activities: 8.5%

Total: £0 / $0

Woohoo for countries with no entry or exit tax - although they may try and pretend there is one.

Crossing Borders: 0%


Heading to Guatemala? find some travel ideas below