Traveling to another country can be nerve-wracking, so we’ve put together some of the most frequently asked questions, along with their answers.
How many people will be on my trip?
This depends on the trip. Our tours have a maximum of 20 travelers, but we also travel with a minimum of 4.
Can I bring a group myself?
We would be happy to host your group, as long as there is a minimum of 4 people. Contact us for more details.
Are tips included?
Tips for included meals, as well as for the drivers of our transport is included, but you are welcome to tip extra if you feel the service warranted it.
Is it mandatory to bring donations?
You don’t have to bring donations in order to travel with us, but it is highly suggested that you bring at least one bag of items per person. You can find a list of suggested items to bring here. Keep in mind that you don’t have to purchase everything yourself . . . many people do toy drives or talk to their dentist or doctor about donating items to bring.
Do I need a visa to go to Guatemala?
You will be given a 90 day tourist visa upon arrival in the country.
Do I need travel insurance?
Yes. At the very least, you’ll want to buy travel insurance that will cover any medical costs should something happen while you are here. It’s also recommended that you opt for insurance that covers trip cancellations and baggage delays or loss.
Is Guatemala dangerous?
The areas we travel to are no more dangerous than areas in your own country. We advise taking care with your money and personal belongings, as you would in any country. Passports may be left in the hotel safe for security.
Do I need vaccinations to travel to Guatemala?
Please check with your doctor for recommendations.
Food and Drink
Can you accommodate dietary issues?
Just let us know before traveling what your dietary restrictions are. We will do our best to make arrangements accordingly, but it’s always a good idea to bring some safe snacks with you, since it may be difficult to find snacks and food in small shops to fit your needs.
Where will we be eating?
On the longer tours, we will take you to pre-approved restaurants where the food is safe. These tend to be mid-range places, but sometimes we’ll take you to a smaller, mom-and-pop type eatery. For the day tours, we will be eating with the families we meet with for classes.
Is the water safe to drink?
We recommend that you use bottled water for drinking and brushing your teeth. Some hotels do use filters, but do not drink the tap water unless you are expressly told you can do so. Restaurants will have safe water and ice.
Packing and Luggage
Is luggage handling included?
In most cases, our shuttle drivers will load and unload your luggage, and hotels will have staff to bring bags to your room. However, any gratuities for these services is not included.
How much luggage can I bring?
The amount of luggage is up to you. We can accommodate quite a bit on our shuttles and in the hotels.
Is there a need for formal clothing?
You will not need formal clothing, but it’s a good idea to pack something semi-formal or nice casual for the final Mayan Families’ dinner. For further packing recommendations, please see our What to Pack page.
Traveling with Kids
Are kids allowed on the tours?
Most definitely! We love kids and feel that Guatemala is a great country to explore as a family. You’ll find that it is very family friendly here.
Is there food for picky eaters?
Most restaurants offer a range of foods, so your picky eater can find something he or she will enjoy. We can also make special requests where needed.
Do kids pay full price?
For our weekly tours, children over 8 will pay full price, but there is a 15% discount for children under 8, provided they are sharing a room with their parents. For our day and half day tours, one price fits all . . . but if you have a child who will not be participating, for example, in the weaving, then they can come along for free.
I have a child adopted from Guatemala, will this be overwhelming for them?
We have extensive experience in traveling with families who have adopted from Guatemala. It can be overwhelming for adoptees from here, so we recommend planning some down time for discussion each evening. If need be, we have access to adult adoptees who are willing to talk to your family before or during the trip. If you want to meet with a foster or birth family while here, we can also help with the arrangements for this. Please see our Services page for more information.