Guatemala has a wide variety of good accommodation options, from tried-and-trusted backpacker hostels to boutique hotels and international chains. It’s generally not necessary to book your accommodations in advance. If, however, you’re planning on being in Antigua or down at the beach during Semana Santa, the sooner you book the better.
- Hotels From desperate dives out by the bus terminal to fancy-pants boutique numbers, there is no shortage of options.
- Hostels Starting to make a dent in the budget accommodations scene, especially in backpacker-favored destinations such as Antigua, Quetzaltenango and around Lago de Atitlán.
- Homestays Generally organized through Spanish schools, these are a great way to connect with local culture. Expect to pay between Q300 and Q600 a week on top of your tuition for your own room, a shared bathroom, and three meals a day except Sunday. It's important to find a homestay that gels with your goals – some families host several students at a time, creating more of an international hostel atmosphere than a family environment.
- Camping Can be a hit-or-miss affair as there are few designated campgrounds and safety is rarely guaranteed. Where campsites are available, expect to pay from Q20 to Q50 per person per night.
- Auto Hotels Anonymous drive-in hotels usually found on the edge of towns. Don't expect a quiet night if you stay in one; rooms are usually rented by the hour.
There are two important features in hotel bathrooms that first-time visitors need to adjust to:
- Toilet paper always goes in the bin provided, and never in the toilet itself, due to easily blocked drains.
- At cheaper hotels, bathroom showers might come with a an electric fitting on the shower head to heat the water. Finding the balance between having water pressure slow enough to heat the water and strong enough to actually get you wet is always an adventure – along with worrying about the proximity of live electricity to water.