Do I need a visa to travel to Guatemala?
If you're coming from Europe or North America then you will not need a visa. A tourist visa lasts for 90 days and if you're staying with us for longer than this you only need to travel to the capital, or leave the country for 72 hours to have it renewed for another three months.
Which city do I fly to?
Virtually all international flights into Guatemala use the airport of Guatemala City ( La Aurora ).
How do I get to El Nahual?
Quetzaltenango is around a four hour bus journey from Guatemala City. Bus companies running this service are Galgos, Alamo or Linea Dorada. You can either make this journey independently or we can arrange a pick-up service at the airport, bus transfer to Quetzaltenango, overnight accommodation if necessary and collection within the city. This costs $55 (US) or $80 (US) if an overnight stay in Guatemala City is required. Within Quetzaltenango, we are located within the district of Pacajá (28 Avenida 9-54 Interior - Zona 1) which is about a twenty minute walk from the centre.
How safe are Xela and Guatemala?
Guatemala is a society that is economically underdeveloped and therefore, is prone to some unfortunate yet predictable problems with crime. However, compared to the capital, Xela is much safer. Our advice is, until you get the hang of it, maintain a similar degree of caution as you would in any unfamiliar city. But once you arrive at this point, you'll wonder what all the fuss was about.
What clothes should I bring?
The daytime temperatures in Xela are usually very pleasant and your regular spring-summer clothes should be sufficient. However, because we are at some significant altitude, the evenings can get chilly so it is advisable to bring with you at least a few sweaters and a jacket, and pair of long pants. Also in the rainy season, you should definitely bring a raincoat or an umbrella.
What vaccinations do I need to travel in Central America?
This is dependent upon the individual and the destinations being visited. It is always advisable to contact your doctor. One true blessing is that at this altitude we don't suffer from mosquitoes at all!
Should I bring anything for the school?
It is by no means compulsory, but the school is always in need of supplies for the programs that we run. As such we always very much appreciate donations of any kind, pens, paints, tape whatever it may be…the kids will be very grateful! It is worth it to note that most supplies are found cheaper here in Guatemala, so it may be more economical to bring cash and to buy donations here in Guatemala once you arrive.
Will I be able to trek and do other activites while I'm at El Nahual?
Of course! Here at El Nahual we can help organise weekend hikes to some of the many volcanoes that surround Xela, such as Santa Maria, Tajumulco (the highest peak in Central America), Santiaguito and Laguna Chicabal. It is also possible to visit the coast, as well as to popular places of interest such as Antigua, Semuc Champey, Lake Atitlan and Chichicastenango.