Accommodations in Guatemala span from the lowly autohotel to the most expensive 5-star resort. On the low end of the spectrum are the drive-in motels used by Guatemalans for romantic getaways with their secret lovers. On the high end are exquisitely decorated luxury resorts with fancy restaurants, swimming pools, and complete spa services. A wide variety of quality budget and mid-range options nicely fills the gap between the extremes. Camping is possible in certain parts of the country, but established campsites are few and far between. It is advisable to make sure camping is both allowed and safe before pitching your tent.
Names for places to stay in Guatemala include posada, hospedaje, hotel, hostal, cabaña, casa de huéspedes, and even bungalow, but a place’s title is rarely an accurate indicator of the quality to be expected. Guatemala has plenty to offer when it comes to cheap tourist hang-outs. Staying in dorm rooms is a great way to save money and meet fellow travelers. Most main tourist destinations have a variety of safe places to choose from at very reasonable prices.
Prices tend to fluctuate depending on the season, reaching their highest around Semana Santa (late March/early April) and Christmas. INGUAT, the National Guatemalan Tourism Institute sets maximum prices for a given hotel, but rates are typically set well below these guidelines.
Finding a cheap, secure place to stay will be most difficult in Guatemala City, where the most affordable options may also be the most dangerous. Everywhere else, it is relatively easy to stay safe on a budget. Tourist hotspots like Antigua, Flores, and Lake Atitlán are slightly more expensive than the rest of Guatemala, but there is enough competition to keep prices down. Bunk bed dorms usually cost Q50 per night, whereas private rooms cost between Q50 and Q100 depending on whether or not you’ll have a private bathroom. More comfortable rooms start at the Q100 mark. Be sure to check out our post on the Top 5 Bang-for-your-Buck places to stay in Guatemala.
Photo Credit: Rosa Vazquez,