Summary: Expats are really forthcoming about the pros and cons of life in Guatemala. Pros include the spring-like weather, the low cost of living and also the lifestyle. Cons include minimal access to quality health care (especially external of Guatemala City), gringo pricing, crime and also the reality that the rainy season deserve to be depressing.

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"Guatemala is a wonder place...but like anywhere you need to take great with the bad, understand, respect and be patient v the means things occupational here. And learn the language," remarked one expat. Keep this advice in mind if you space considering a move to Guatemala. The complying with list of pros and also cons of living in Guatemala are provided by expats:

Pro: The cost of living in Guatemala

In most of Guatemala, the price of life in much reduced than the US and Europe. "Medical treatments below are much less expensive. I had actually hernia surgery last august for less than $2,000 and also that include one night in the hospital. Yes, American-style groceries are much more expensive but what do you mean they because that the most component are imported. Ns am responsible because that a family members of 5 that contains two males 17 and 20 who eat one outrageous amount and also I still have actually a budget plan of much less than $3,000 per month and also that consists of paying high college for one and also university because that another. Difficult to be everywhere close to that in the U.S.," wrote one expat.

Pro: The Weather

For most expats, the weather is among the things that attracted them come Guatemala. An expat in Lake Atitlan said, "The location. Positioned at 5000 feet (1524 m) above sea level, this is no the hot tropical jungle one normally associates with living in main America. We speak to it the floor of eternal springtime."

An expat in Antigua wrote in his article, It"s always Springtime in Guatemala, "When girlfriend see and also experience what over there is to market in the Antigua area you will quickly understand why. Antigua is maybe the many beautiful city in Latin America. An agreeable climate is high top top the list of most retirees and also it doesn"t get any better than right here in Antigua. At an elevation of 1500 meters - 5000 ft. The temperature is never ever goes below 50f or over 80f. Winter is the dry season and the summer-wet season is very tolerable with predictable afternoon showers. Add colonial architecture linked with lush environment-friendly vegetation surrounding by 3 volcanoes and you have actually an ambiance unmatched all over in the world."

"The weather was exceptional there. Just a couple of days the end of the year walk it obtain unbearably hot. My favourite time the the year was the rain season together it felt so refreshing during each afternoon"s shower. The public season was a joy," stated a previous expat who lived in Panajachel.


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Pro: The Lifestyle

An expat life in Lake Atitlan talked about the why expats love living there, "Low price of living. Virtually everything is substantially much less than what one would pay in the first World. The location. Situated at 5000 feet (1524 m) above sea level, this is not the hot tropical tropical one commonly associates with living in central America. We call it the floor of eternal springtime. Carry a sweater. And bring a camera...this is among the many beautiful places on Earth. Lifestyle. You deserve to be retired and also as lazy or active as you desire (lots the volunteer opportunities). If you have actually a brand-new Age orientation, the lake area is a vortex because that seekers and practitioners that every sort."

Another expat in Antigua wrote, "You will certainly truly see two worlds, the basic life that the indigenous people next to modern ways. And also it is regarded comfortably below in Guatemala"s safest city. There is a considerably expat population of well over 2000. There are miscellaneous clubs and also groups in the area providing comradely, tasks and recommend to newbees. Friend will check out the natives walking approximately everywhere, especially at the vast local Mercado. Here is whereby one can find most every family members item alongside fresh fruits, vegetables and also meats of every variety. This is among the factors that life is so cheap here. If you don"t choose wandering with aisle ~ aisle and also bargaining with the locals, over there is a nice tiny supermarket in town."

Pro: You"ll go a Lot an ext in Guatemala

We asked what space some things you appreciate most around the new culture? One member wrote, "The busy social norm the walking. I notification my health & vigor have improved due to the fact that I have to WALK a lot more!?!"

Con: expense of living is higher in Cities favor Antigua and Panajachel

"If you space thinking about living in Antigua psychic the prices there space ridiculously high-quality in everything. Cuidad Vieja is an extremely close come Antigua (10-15 min.) and everything here is really inexpensive. Example I have huge 5 Br. Residence 3Br. Garage and a killer view of the volcanoes all for $187.00 every month, no even possible in Antigua. Cuidad Vieja is a very quite city and really low crime. A an excellent Place come retire to," recommend one expat.

Con: Guatemala is Noisy

When us asked what space the most complicated aspects that the brand-new culture, one expat replied, "The chronic noise of vehicles... Grind gears, horns and also just general loudness not of the people however the blaring speakers and vehicles....non stop chaos.....!"

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Con: The rainy Season deserve to Be Depressing

For part expats, rainy periods are hard to handle emotionally. Our advice: it is in realistic v yourself about how the weather will affect you. "The weather was another shock and also important as it to be not specific either on the web...so to be not all set for the weather emotionally or mentally...quite the shock actually...yes i knew that rained, yes ns knew it could be choose chilly, no ns did not know it to be dark, gloomy, down appropriate frio, and also there to be days you just did not desire to get out that bed due to the weather...but few of this needs to do with where my casa is located...high up on the cliffs, and in the shade," claimed one expat.

Con: healthcare in Guatemala have the right to Be high-quality

"There is a many hype around the medical care costs in Guatemala being cheap. Yes, on part procedures. And, us pay our regional doctor 100Q ($12.00) because that office visits, yet needing shoulder surgery sent me right into Guatemala City for a price quote native a specialist. Expense $8,000-$12,000. Outrageous. We cancelled our Medicare in the States prior to our relocate here based upon all the hype around medical treatment costs. Having needed the shoulder surgery, I need to travel come Mexico because that $5,500 surgical cost. If you have Medicare, carry out NOT publication it. You will need it. ~ above a insurance allowance website referred to as CompareNow, for 2 66 year olds we are quoted $11,352/yr and that"s after a $7,000 discount. One prescription I use as a maintenance drug is $95 because that a month"s supply. Every in all, Guatemalan health and wellness insurance IS no a bargain for larger people." cautioned one expat."I agree the one must not publication Medicare. Friend would have the cost of getting ago to the States, however then it would certainly be taken care of pretty much. Medicines are not necessarily cheaper, yet then U.S. Prices room outrageous uneven you have actually a drug plan. Mine husband is diabetic and we priced the U.S. And also Guatemala and also found castle to be pretty much equal. We now go to Canada where his daughter resides to gain his insulin. The course, the finest deal below is dental," included another expat.

Con: The quality of healthcare in Guatemala

The us State room wrote, "The full range of medical care is accessible in Guatemala City, but medical treatment outside that the city is limited. Guatemala’s windy hospitals typically experience serious shortages of even the most simple medicines and equipment. Care in private hospitals is usually adequate because that most typical illnesses and injuries, and many of the clinical specialists working in them space U.S.-trained and also -certified."

One expat said, "The price of health treatment here varies widely in both quality and price. 2 people I know had actually emergency appendectomy surgical treatment at the general public hospital, it conserved their lives, however the problems at the hospital were appalling. Life in Pana, if I required emergency medical treatment I"d walk to the Hospitalito in Santiago de Atitlan."There room some clinical clinics that expats recommend, "I have done a full inspect up in Clinicas Medicas , with Techniscan... They have different facility in Guatemala City. You buy a package according her age and what you want to check out. Ns bought the one favor Premium and also it is really complete i spent practically the job doing exams. Very clean, professional, slick procedure and then I have actually a short article visit with a medical professional to interpret my results and also a nutritionist to discuss my food diet.. It price me like $800.00 however totally worth it." one more added, "Alerta Medica is here in Antigua and also GTE. They sell the same type of organization as Clincas Medicas and make house calls." Yet an additional added, "Alerta medica is an emergency response unit that will be dispatched in situation of medical need, stabilize you and also then relocate you to the nearest hospital.. They only operate in between Guatemala city and Antigua.. Not exactly what girlfriend need."

To learn much more about healthcare in Guatemala, review our article, 5 vital Tips around Healthcare for Expats in Guatemala.


Con: Guatemala"s Postal business is Unreliable (at Best)

Guatemala"s postal company was officially suspended indigenous 2016 through at an early stage April 2019. A contract problem with the postal agency, El Correo de Guatemala, led to the practically 3 year suspension. Throughout that time, expats and Guatemalans were left in limb. Countless didn"t also know the the postal organization had to be suspended. "In all of my research, I never found any kind of mention that Guatemala not having a postal service. There is no this knowledge, I had a mail forwarding service send letter to me in Guatemala. It satellite somewhere for a month or so and also was finally returned. Learning that DHL to be the only global mail carrier, I had actually the mail sent out to me here. Expense $140," claimed one expat in a thread about things come consider about living in Guatemala.

What walk the future hold for Guatemala"s postal system? It"s certainly uncertain and people moving to Guatemala must make arrangements v an worldwide mail forwarding organization to receive and also scan necessary mail items.


Con: Gringo Pricing and also Treatment in Guatemala

One expat in san Juan La Laguna said, "Another challenge is the double price standard for foreigners. I"m no a tourist, ns live here but still am charged twin or higher for plenty of goods and services."

Another expat wrote, "The most difficult of "phases" was being an American (USA Citizen). Everyone having actually their hand out since I come from the us of A and supposedly was rich. The feeling of being treated unequally and not relatively and always feeling that someone wants to take advantage of you."

Con: warm Showers are tough to Find

"It takes hrs to discover things prefer a warm shower & it take it months to realize you CAN obtain clean and get provided to tepid water!? This was my just real cultural shock....," said an expat in Guatemala."Many homes only have hot water in the shower which is provided by a shower nozzle that instantly heats the water together it sprays out. Yet for middle course families and up many new homes have hot water throughout. I have experienced both. Of food like any type of country, in the very poor areas there can not be hot water or even running water in the homes however I doubt you would live in among those areas," commented one expat. The is essential to keep in mind that the shower head nozzle that heats water is typically referred to together a "suicide shower." These varieties of showers are discovered in plenty of parts of the world, yet that doesn"t typical that they space safe (in fact, lock are perhaps deadly).

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Con: Crime in Guatemala

According to the us State Department, "Theft, armed robbery, and carjacking space the most typical crimes against U.S. Citizens. Travelers have actually experienced carjackings and armed robberies ~ above leaving the airport. Victims have been violently assaulted when they resisted an attack or refuse to give up money or valuables. Reports the sexual assault remain high. Support for victim of sexual assault is lacking. Pickpockets and purse-snatchers are prevalent in major cities and tourist sites, especially the central market and other components of region 1 in Guatemala City."

The State room went top top to recommend the following, "To decrease the likelihood of ending up being a victim: do not usage public ATMs. Only use ATMs within secure financial institution lobbies or hotels. Scams involving attempts to gain a victim’s ATM card and personal identification number (PIN) room common. U.S. Citizens have been victims of credit card scams wherein the card is copied and also used improperly. Perform not display screen signs that wealth, such together wearing expensive jewel or watches. Stop from using a cell phone on the street. A typical crime against foreign citizens in Guatemala is rob of cabinet phones. Carry a star chep of her passport in instance you lose your passport. Be conscious of your surroundings. Report any type of crime incidents promptly come the police. carry out not use neighborhood public buses. U.S. Embassy personnel room not allowed to use any kind of local buses. Windy buses space subject to frequent strikes by equipped robbers and also often room poorly maintained and dangerously driven. Do not hail taxis ~ above the street in Guatemala City, rather use radio-dispatched taxis (Taxi Amarillo), INGUAT authorized taxis from the "SAFE" stand from the airport or hotel taxis. Uber is likewise generally for sure to usage in Guatemala City and also Antigua. Avoid low-priced public inter-city buses (often recognizable as recycled and repainted U.S. Institution buses). Travelers also have been attacked on first-class buses on highway CA-2 near the border areas with both Mexico and also El Salvador, top top highways CA-1 and CA-9 close to the border with El Salvador, and in the highlands between Quetzaltenango and also Sololá."

Expat wellness Insurance in Guatemala

Expats interested in expat health insurance need to take a minute to acquire a quote indigenous our trusted expat health and wellness insurance partner, CIGNA.