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Gap Year in Guatemala

Ruins of the Mayan Temples, incredible biodiversity, picturesque beaches, rich culture and warm people - there's nothing lacking in Guatemala. This Central American country is nothing short of its neighbors like Belize, Costa Rica or Honduras, yet it was never a popular backpacking destination, until the recent years. If you are planning to set out on an offbeat trail during your gap year and explore some of the 'not-so-known-yet-beautiful' places, then you must plan a Central American tour that includes Guatemala in it. Walk down the lanes of the ancient world, visit the pristine lakes and nature reserves, indulge in adventure activities or just relax on the coastal areas, bathing in the sun rays before dipping in the Pacific waters!

Gap Year in Guatemala

A gap year in Guatemala is all about exploring the mysteries of the civilizations past and feasting on the crumbling ruins of colonial grandeur in the cities like Antigua. If Maya civilization and what happened to them is a topic close to your heart then Guatemala is the place where you can find your answers and witness live Mayan culture in the highlands, like Ixil Triangle. Explore the ancient city of Tikal and take a moment to absorb the jaw-dropping architecture of this Mayan citadel. Put on your walking shoes, get your backpack and set out for a day of exploration in Guatemala. With all the time in your hands this gap year, lose yourself in the natural highs of this amazing nation and treat your wanderlusting soul to an amazing backpacking journey!

Tours in Guatemala

On your gap year in Central America and want to do Guatemala in a few short trips? Or on an all encompassed Guatemalan adventure on your vacation? We understand your time crunch-- that’s why we have condensed all that is amazing in Guatemala into short trips to make your Guatemalan experience the best. From the lush canyons of Rio Dulce to the expansive beauty of Lake Atitlan, from the breathtaking jungle treks to the cobblestone streets of Antigua-- the diversity of Guatemala is all lying in wait for you. So get up, get out and explore!

General Questions

All travelers except the passport holders of the Visa exempt countries need to acquire a visa for entering Guatemala. Citizens of US, Canada, Japan, EU Countries, Norway, Australia, New Zealand are a few among those who can travel in Guatemala without a visa for up to a period of 90 days. If your country’s name is not on the visa exempt list then you will need to apply for a visa at your nearest Guatemalan Consulate. 

Whatever suits you best! It’s completely your choice whether you want to go for a soul-searching solo adventure or some roof-raising time with your bunch of BFFs, or have a romantic getaway with your partner- our programs will accommodate you in any which way. If you are coming in a group of more than 5, we can also provide you with customized packages as well as amazing discounts.

Most of our adventure tours do not have a single supplement. This means that accommodation will be provided on a twin sharing basis, and if you are traveling alone, you’ll be sharing a room with another one of GDA’s traveler of the same sex. What could be better than bonding with your new travel mates and making amazing new friends along the way of your journey? 

Some tours have optional single supplement for couples and solo travelers and a private room can be availed at an extra cost. The cost and details vary by trip so we suggest you to get in touch with your coordinators regarding the same beforehand. 

If you’re traveling alone you’ll find some awesome travel mates along the way, and if you’re coming in a group, then you’ll get a chance to add a few more crazy adventurers into your gang. In case you want to get in touch with others who are traveling to the Cuba, you can join our Facebook Group and chitchat with your fellow travelers!

You need to buy your Medical and Travel Insurance before setting out for your trip. GDA also provides the insurance facilities, at an additional cost.

Yes! We always advise our travelers to get some pre-nights and post-nights booking done if they want to explore more upon arrival or continue with their travels after the tour ends. In most cases, we can arrange additional accommodation at our starting or ending hotels, excluding European tours. If we are unable to provide you with the extra nights we will give you the name of a hotel you can contact directly. Please also note that extra accommodations must be booked outside of 30 days of departure.

Most of our adventures, apart from the volunteering programs do not include Airport transfers. We advise our travelers to arrange for a Taxi on Arrival as it is the most economical and efficient way to go about this. If you would prefer a pre-arranged transfer, we can provide the same for you at an additional cost from your point of Arrival. Do get in touch with your coordinators for more information. 

You will need to carry extra money for personal expenses, add-on tours, eating out while traveling Guatemala. For basic personal expenses, a budget of 40-50 USD per week is more than sufficient barring the extra costs of add-on activities. If you’re planning on using credit/debit card in Guatemala, it is advised to let your bank know about your travels beforehand so that they don’t suspicious of your account activity. We also advise all our participants to keep an emergency fund of 200 USD only to be used in case of an emergency, if one arises. 

We advise our participants to get in touch with their physicians regarding vaccination requirements and get the ones as instructed. The recommended vaccinations for traveling in Guatemala are Hepatitis A&B, Typhoid, Malaria, Rabies and Yellow Fever. Zika virus is a risk in Guatemala and travelers should take necessary precautions to prevent any mosquito bites.

You will be on the move a lot so our advice for you is to pack light. Smart, casual look and layering is the way to go when traveling in Guatemala. Pack light layers like T-shirts, camisoles, dresses for summers and some warmer layers like long-sleeved shirts and sweaters for winter. In the winter months of December-March the weather is nice and mild, neither too hot nor too cold, so lightweight warm clothes like fleece jackets, sweaters, hoodies and track pants would be perfect for this time. From May-August the weather tends to get really hot and humid and light-colored clothing in breathable fabrics should be your clothing essential for this time. The highlands, also known as the Land of Eternal Spring experiences pleasant days and cool nights, so it’s always a good option to keep a light windcheater on you at all times. Do look up the weather before locking in on your packing list! 


GDA has a fantastic range of voluntours, adventure tours, internships, work abroad opportunities and responsible traveling options which will surely add a new meaning to your gap year. Pick whatever suits your interests and book your flight tickets for your dream destination. It's time to tickle your wanderlust cells! Calling out all backpackers, gap year students, solo travelers and adventure seekers - it's time that you take the leap and Go, Discover Abroad!

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