Guatemala

Shopping

shopping
Coffee
Guatemala

Touted as one of the best-tasting varieties in the world

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It is common to bargain for most purchases in the open air market. Though you may be able to bargain in other places, be aware that chain-owned shops have fixed prices you are no more likely to bargain in a Guatemalan Radio Shack than an American one.

These are some characteristically Guatemalan things you might consider buying here:

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Ron Zacapa Centenario

Guatemala's prize-winning rum

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Fabrics and traditional textiles

Traditional mayan blouses are known as huipiles whi-peel and skirts as cortes. be aware that these are almost always entirely handmade and prices for a high-end huipil may be as high as q1000. there are also some fair trade options available to ensure that your purchase fairly benefits the indigenous communities that make the products. trama textiles and y'abal handicrafts (http://www.yabal-handicra...) both have fair trade stores in quetzaltenango.

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Jade

There is large jade working factory in antigua, but it is course a very stone.

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Cardamom

Guatemala is the largest exporter in the world and coban is the main centre of this trade.

money

The local currency is the Quetzal plural: quetzales, the national bird, with ancient and mythic connotations even today. This is symbolised internationally and in our guides by GTQ being placed before the amount with no intervening space.

One US dollar is equivalent to about GTQ7. US dollars are highly regarded and can be exchanged in most small towns at a rate unfavourable to travellers; you will most likely have difficulty using other currencies. ATMs can be found in the major towns but do not expect to find them in every tourist spot. It is fairly easy to find yourself in a town without an ATM or a place to change money. Banks are also very useful, such as Banrural, which is commonly found throughout Guatemalan cities and towns.

Do not expect to be able to easily exchange travellers cheques in Guatemala. You might find a few places willing to accept checks that are issued by American Express, but other types are universally turned down. Amazingly, even major banks in Guatemala City do not accept VISA travellers cheques.

The rate of exchange was approximately 7.65 Quetzales per US dollar in February 2015 and 8.64 per euro.