Q. Do I need a passport or visa?
A. Yes, you will need a passport. At the Guatemala City airport, it will be stamped with a 90 day tourist visa, which covers you during your stay.
Q. How big are the running groups?
A. Your running group will usually consist of 4-12 runners and 2-3 bilingual guides depending on the size of the group.
Q. Do I need to speak Spanish?
A. No, Spanish language skills are not necessary. Your host and running guides are fluent in English and Spanish. Most hotel and restaurant staff also speak enough English to communicate with English speakers without any problems.
Q. What if I’m a slow runner?
A. Some groups may have different paces among runners. We will not require the group to stay together at all times; however, we will occasionally regroup at designated points along the trail. This is for safety and logistical reasons.
Q. Is it safe in Guatemala?
A. The Lake Atitlan area of Guatemala is safe. It is a well-visited tourist destination and the Guatemalan government works to make sure foreign tourists feel safe. Basic common sense practices, the same you would practice where you live, will prevent most problems. Like nearly every country in the world, if you read the newspaper headlines, you will find instances where bad things happen. Of course, those instances do not represent the country as a whole. There are thousands of foreigners who make their home in Guatemala. For example, the owners of Mayan Running Adventure live here fulltime with their four young boys.
Q. When do I need to arrive in Guatemala?
A. You will arrive at the Guatemala City Airport (Airport code: GUA). We will be there to pick you up and we will take care of the rest, including getting you back to the airport at the end of the trip. You should arrive in Guatemala City on Saturday, preferably before 5pm. Schedule your return flight for the following Saturday, preferably after 10am.
Q. Do I have to run every day?
A. No, you can run when you want and at the pace you want. If you want to run a shorter run or take a day off, you can. Steep trail conditions in some places may make it necessary to slow to a brisk hiking pace.
Q. Do I need to have trail running experience?
A. Experience running trails would be helpful, but it is not a requirement. The trails will be manageable for anyone in decent running shape.
Q. What do I have to carry on the run?
A. You will need to carry a light pack with lunch and snacks and a hydration pack with sufficient liquids.
Q. What type of running terrains should I expect?
A. The terrain will vary. Most trails are dirt single track. There is some rocky terrain to climb.
Q. What is the food like? Is is safe to eat?
A. The food is excellent. We will enjoy food from the finest restaurants at Lake Atitlan. You can enjoy typical Guatemalan cuisine or stay with the types of food you are used to. Expect lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Vegetarian meals will be available. Guatemalan food is not typically spicy. All the food we eat is prepared by restaurants that maintain strict food handling practices.
Q. What if I come alone?
A. No problem. You will have new friends as soon as you arrive in Guatemala. Your cost includes a double occupancy rate, and single occupancy rates are available at an added cost.
Q. Will I have free time to do what I want?
A. Running will take up the mornings and sometimes the early afternoon. Late afternoons and evenings will be unstructured time, and available for you to do what you want.
Q. Can I bring a non-running partner?
A. Yes, of course. We still have to charge the same fee because of accommodation and food arrangements, but a non-running partner is welcome. Arrangements can be made for them to do other activities during the day, such as sightseeing, hiking, relaxing, etc. Just let us know when you make your reservation.
Q. What should I bring with me?
A. Mainly, you’ll need light running clothes, running shoes and a comfortable pack for food, water & gear. You’ll also want comfortable clothes for after runs. When you make a reservation for an adventure, we’ll send you a detailed packing list.
Q. What happens to my luggage when we change hotels?
A. During the adventure, lodging will be at varied locations. It will be your responsibility to get your bags packed each morning. We will then make arrangements for your luggage to be transported to the next location.
Q. What is travel insurance?
A. Travel insurance is included in the price of your adventure. It covers trip cancellation, trip interruption, medical expenses, and emergency evacuation.
Q. In what time zone is Guatemala?
A. Guatemala does not participate in daylight saving time. During standard time Guatemala is on U.S. Mountain Time, and during daylight saving time Guatemala is on U.S. Central Time.
Q. Can I plug in my camera battery charger in Guatemala?
A. Electrical outlets in Guatemala are the same as in the U.S., 110V.
Q. Is there internet in Guatemala?
A. Most of the hotels we stay in have Wi-fi. Some of the hotels have computers available for patrons. There are also many cheap (less than $1 per hour) internet cafes where you can access internet and email, Skype, etc.
Q. How do I call home?
A. Depending on you cell phone and plan, some U.S. cell phones will work in Guatemala. At&t works the best for this. You can also pay by the minute (approximately 20 cents per minute) to call the U.S.
Q. Do I need to exchange money?
A. Since this is an all inclusive adventure, you will only need Guatemalan currency (quetzales) for and souvenir shopping you do. Dollars and Euros are easy to exchange at several banks in Panajachel. Only a passport is required. Make sure your bills are in good condition, no tears, missing corners, ink splotches, etc. There are also many ATM’s; you will need to call your bank to check on access and fees. Credit cards are accepted at some places, but often the vendor adds additional fees for credit cards.
Please give us a call or email us any questions you may have. We would love to answer them–even if we’re in the middle of a run.