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The Weather is Always Perfect!
Guatemala is known as the "Land of Eternal Spring," so the weather here is always ideal. It is neither too hot nor too cold, with the average temperature across the country a beautiful 72-degrees, except for the coastal regions where it is quite a bit warmer. Temperatures here vary more upon the altitude rather than the seasons, and Guatemala has a "wet" season and "dry" season. November through April is the dry season and ideal for any outdoor adventures and enjoying the many festivals held during those months; however, the rainy season of May through October is lovely as well. Most days begin with blue skies with thunderstorms arriving in the afternoon.
The Amazing Healthy Food!
Guatemala has a great culinary history, dating back to the rise of chocolate in Mayan times to the current push into sustainable, fresh, organic crops. If you are a foodie, and especially if you are a foodie that is into getting your hands dirty, Guatemala offers a wide variety of things to sample. Some of the best rum in the world is found here, coffee comes straight from the Finca (farm in Spanish!), hand-made chocolates are the "bean to the bar,” and a wonderful collection of organic produce, superfoods, and some fantastic fruits and vegetables we're pretty sure you probably haven't seen or tasted before are all here in Guatemala. And restaurants??? In Antigua, as well as in Guatemala City, you will find an astounding selection of restaurants and bars. Guatemala is a gastronomic paradise with 100's of choices such as small, authentic eateries to five-star upscale restaurants, including steak houses, French/Italian/Chinese/Thai cuisine, and even Texas BBQ!
The Cost Of Living & Housing!
Guatemala is considered a budget country. How much you should budget varies considerably based on your travel style and lifestyle, though. Despite its initial stereotype of being "cheap," it’s easy to spend more than expected in Guatemala. So how much does it cost to travel or live here? As in all countries, Guatemala has areas that are more expensive and areas that are cheaper. Antigua is the most expensive city, and prices per meal can reach $15 per person in one of the many upscale restaurants. Lake Atitlan is also considered one of the country's priciest areas, and popular places like Monterrico and Flores near Tikal can have costly lodging. Overall though, prices in Guatemala vary a lot. You can find a delicious meal in one of the local eateries for as little as $3.50, and the fresh fruits and vegetables and souvenirs are incredibly inexpensive. Living in Guatemala is very affordable, with most ex-pats living on a monthly budget of $1200-$1500, including your rent and dining out frequently. Home prices average $150,000 to $200,000, just outside of Antigua, and purchasing a home directly in the city of Antigua averages $250,000 to $350,000.
A Time For A Change!
Guatemala is an incredibly warm and welcoming country with a dynamic cultural heritage that blends indigenous Mayan, Spanish, and Caribbean influences. Today, ethnic diversity is visible in the various languages and lifestyles that exist throughout the country. Essential parts of Guatemalan culture are its food, music, and fashion. Guatemalan people are known for their percussion bands featuring the marimba, the national instrument. They love music, laughing, AND ice cream (true)! Guatemalan fashion is also beautiful and uses of brightly colored yarn textiles. You will see the Maya women wearing gorgeous blouses, sashes, and skirts known as traje tipico (traditional indigenous clothing) or "huipil." Huipiles are handmade and represent the village they are from as each area has its own specific design and colors and can take up to one month to make. One word that perfectly describes Guatemalan culture is VIBRANT!
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