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What are the best currency tips in Guatemala ?

 Guatemala‘s currency is the quetzal (GTQ), divided into centavos. The Guatemalan currency is indexed on the US dollar meaning that it fluctuates exactly like US dollars.

We advise you to carry dollars,  but no other foreign currencies.

Indeed it is very hard to exchange those other currencies (euro, British pounds, even Mexican pesos …) . There are not many currency exchange retail. Even if you find a way to exchange them into quetzal, the exchange rates are just very unfavorable. Besides, many prices are displayed in US dollars. Be sure to have dollars in good condition, neither torn nor damaged, otherwise they may be refused.

It is difficult to exchange Mexican pesos to Quetzal. Similarly, it is virtually impossible to get Quetzales in Mexico. Except with the black changers at the border, but the rate is disadvantageous when you leave the country. Exchange your money as you go, to avoid having too many quetzales at the end of the trip.

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Exchanging US dollars to Quetzales is done without problems in banks (preferably in the morning and expect a little wait).

Each bank imposes a maximum withdrawal amount per week: from 200 to 400 US $ depending on the bank. If you want to exchange large amounts, change bank at each withdrawal or use your payment card to an ATM.

You can also buy quetzales at the counter with your Visa payment card. It is a bit more difficult with a MasterCard. There are many ATMs in major cities and touristic towns.

The commission is around 5%. Of the 2 cards, Visa is the most widespread and accepted in the ATMs.

Banks are generally open from Monday to Friday all day, sometimes until 7 pm, and on Saturday morning.

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Photo credits : Fernando Reyes Palencia