Driving as a foreigner in Guatemala You can drive in Guatemala for 30 days if you have a valid foreign driver's license and are at least 18 years old. International licenses are preferred but not required. Following the initial time, you may request for interim permissions (permisos). The Ministry of Public Works can give these out at Mexican Consulates or Embassy offices in Guatemala. You must show that you will be able to pay penalties if you are asked to leave the country.
In addition to these requirements, you need liability insurance, a car with a current license plate, and proof of fuel. It is recommended, but not required, that you also have third-party coverage.
See our driving page for more information about driving in other countries around the world.
Guatemala, we understand, accepts the International Driver's License, which is accessible in the United States via American Automobile Association chapters (AAA). When driving with an international driver's license, a valid state license from the United States should also be carried. An international license does not replace your need for insurance or use of seat belts.
In order to hire a car and/or drive lawfully in Belize, visitors must be 18 years of age or older and have a valid driver's license or international driving permission. If you have a driver's license from the United States, don't worry; it is valid in Belize. In fact, since most countries recognize each other's licenses, if you are stopped by the police and found to have your U.S. license, you can prove that you are not breaking any laws by showing your license.
The only exception is if you are brought into Belize against your will. In this case, you cannot use your U.S. license as proof of your identity or legal presence in our country. You will need another form of identification such as a passport or birth certificate to prove your identity and show that you have the legal right to be here.
If you are traveling with children, check with local authorities about required licensing before you go. Some countries require young drivers to be licensed even if they are not going to drive themselves.
Also, make sure you bring your license with you when you travel outside of Belize. Police officers in other countries may ask to see it before letting you continue on your journey.
Finally, know your rights if stopped by the police. The best way to avoid being pulled over is to follow the rules of the road and be cautious while driving in unfamiliar areas.
Citizens of the United States traveling to Guatemala will require a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond their anticipated duration of stay. A ticket for further or return travel is also required. Without a visa, US residents can stay in Guatemala for up to 90 days. Subsequent stays must be done with a visa.
Guatemala's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration provides more information on passports and visa requirements.
Information about visas for Mexicans requires a visit to the Guatemalan Consulate in Los Angeles because there are two separate visa programs - one for citizens of North America and Europe, and another for everyone else. In addition, Canadians need to know that although they do not require a visa for visits up to 180 days, after this period Mexican immigration officials can ask them to prove that they have been offered employment in Guatemala. If they cannot provide evidence of this offer, they may be denied a visa.
Mexicans who want to enter Guatemala without a visa can do so at the border or at any embassy or consulate of Guatemala abroad. However, these offices can't process extensions or renewals of stay, so if your visa expires you'll need to go back to Mexico City to get it renewed.
There has been some discussion about introducing a visa requirement for Americans, but as of now this does not appear to be forthcoming.
To apply for a 4-day residency visa at Guatemalan Immigration, the applicant must give the following information:
In Guatemala, Uber is accessible. However, Guatemala is inexpensive, and Uber cannot undercut taxi drivers to the same amount as it does in Costa Rica. The most important reason for utilizing Uber in Guatemala is safety. It's a method to travel with someone who is responsible. When you get in an Uber, you can track its location on a map. If anything happens to it, they will contact you directly.
Additionally, Uber cars are well-maintained and come with air-conditioning, which is important during the summer months. Most importantly, you don't have to pay a driver cash up front. All payments are made through the app. This eliminates the opportunity for theft or accidents due to lack of experience driving a car.
The only disadvantage to using Uber in Guatemala is that there are no areas where it's prohibited. So if you get in an Uber and something doesn't feel right, get out immediately. But since crime in Guatemala is low, this shouldn't be an issue for most people.
All in all, Uber is safe and convenient way to get around Guatemala. If you want to travel with someone else but don't want to deal with haggling over prices, then Uber is the way to go.