Bienvenidos a Guatemala!
Guatemala is the first country we’ve been to with a currency named after a bird – Quetzal.
Crossing the border was uneventful. The Mexican side was particularly easy. On the Guatemalan side we ran into a snafu when it came time to pay for our vehicle entry permit. The official processing the permit said to go to the “bank” next door and pay the Q160 fee. We didn’t have any Quetzals but the “bank” would – or so we thought. So Chris went to the “bank” while I stayed in the air-conditioned office. Only it wasn’t a bank, it would not do any currency exchanges. And it wouldn’t accept pesos or dollars. Chris ended up buying Quetzals with pesos on the black market.
We’ve read several “how to cross the border” articles online and not one of them mentioned the need for Quetzals to pay for the vehicle import fee.
When we had to pay for the vehicle fumigation pesos were accepted
The roads in Guatemala are about the same quality as those in Mexico. And there are just as many topes (called “tumulos”) in Guatemala as in Mexico.
Once in Flores, we were able buy auto insurance that will cover us through Guatemala and the rest of Central America with the exception of Panama.