Travel and Tips
PLEASE NOTE: Due to our concerns for safety, independent student travel outside of the Antigua area is not permitted while enrolled in the field school and is grounds for dismissal from the program.
- Students are responsible for organizing their own air travel to Guatemala City Airport (GUA).
- Students should plan to arrive in Guatemala no earlier than May 26th and no later than May 28th.
- Students should plan to depart from Guatemala no earlier than June 24th and no later than June 26th.
- Arrivals or departures other than on these dates are at students’ own discretion and expense, and are outside the responsibility of the field school. Students wishing to travel in Guatemala prior to or after the field school should be advised that assistance from field school staff will not be available.
Once your flight is booked, please forward your flight information to Tecun Uman at email@example.com (and copy us at firstname.lastname@example.org). This will enable them to arrange your airport shuttle and arrival at your home stay.
- Antigua is about a 30-45 minute drive from the airport.
- Shuttle transportation will be arranged by Tecun Uman between the Aurora Airport in Guatemala City and each student’s individual home stay.
- Students will be met at the airport by a Tecun Uman driver.
- Students must arrive and depart during the time slots designated by the field school in order to receive the airport shuttle service.
You will be required to have a CURRENT passport, with a recommended 6 months of validity following your departure date, in order visit Guatemala.
If you need to apply or renew a U.S. passport, please visit http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html. Current passport application processing time is between 4-6 weeks. Please make sure you apply as soon as possible.
If you are a US citizen you do NOT need to apply for visa in order to visit Guatemala. You will be entering Guatemala as a Tourist, which will allow you to stay in the country for 90 days. All students’ presence in the country will be registered with the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City by the field school. This is to ensure assistance in the unlikely event of an evacuation due to natural disaster or other unforeseen circumstances.
Please check with your airline in case you have connecting flights overseas as part of your journey to Guatemala. It may be the case that countries you pass through en route to your destination may require a separate transit visa. If this is the case you can visit http://www.visahq.com/visas.php for specific country visa requirements.
***It is advised by the State Department that you carry your passport or a Xerox copy of your passport with you at all times while in Guatemala. You will also need your passport or a Xerox copy of your passport to exchange dollars or traveler’s checks at banks.Please make sure to make copies of your passport before leaving for Guatemala. The field school recommends that you carry a copy of your passport, rather than your actual passport, at all times while in Guatemala.
The Guatemala currency is called a quetzal (named after their national bird).
1 US dollar = roughly 8 quetzals
Visit http://www.xe.com/ucc/full for an up to date currency exchange rate.
How to exchange/withdrawal money while in Guatemala
Everyone has their own personal method of bringing and exchanging money in foreign countries. Previous participants have found it useful to carry 100-200 US dollars with them to exchange, and then use their debit card to withdrawal money from ATM machines for the remainder of the trip. There is an ATM machine in the airport either in the baggage claim area or once you leave customs. Some people have difficulties using their debit card in ATMs. Usually what happens is that the card might not work in one machine but it will most likely work in a different machine. You should contact your bank before the trip and let them know that you plan on using your card in Guatemala. Previous participants rarely used traveler’s checks due to them being able to get a better exchange rate by either changing $$ to quetzals or from drawing quetzals directly out of an ATM with their debit card. It is usually easier to use ATMs and exchange actual dollars rather than exchanging or using traveler’s checks, however, some prefer the security of travelers checks.
Average Costs in Antigua, Guatemala
Movie= Free in restaurants or $4.00
Museum Entrance= $3.25
Internet (1 hour)= $ 0.75
Meal in the Market= $1.25
Restaurant Meal= $3.00-$7.00
1 Night in Pension= $5.00-$15.00
Private Mini-bus to Atitlan= $12.00
Private Mini-bus to the Beach= $12.00
Cup of Coffee= $1.00
Frozen blended caramel late= $3.25
Dessert (slice of cake)= $1.00
Fast Food= $1.50-$5.00
- Only carry small amounts of cash on you. If you need to carry a larger sum, place it in a concealed place.
- Many small businesses and buses are not always able to give you change for large bills (e.g. Q50, Q100). So, keep your small change when possible. Try to “break” your larger bills when visiting larger corporations (e.g. restaurants, super market).
If your usual renter’s or homeowner’s policy does not cover your personal possessions while traveling (many do not), you are encouraged to take out travel insurace. STA Travel (http://www.statravel.co.uk/cps/rde/xchg/uk_division_web_live/hs.xsl/travel-insurance.htm) and other travel sites offer low-cost travel insurance. The cost of these policies is much less than replacing lost or stolen laptops or other valuable items!
Students are required to show proof of medical travel insurance covering the full length of their time while participating in the field school. When deciding on an insurance package, please make sure that medical insurance as well as medical evacuation coverage are included in the coverage plan.
When choosing a travel medical insurance plan please make sure that your plan includes the following minimum coverage:
|Coverage and Services||Maximum Benefit per Person|
|Accident and Sickness Medical Expense||$100,000|
|In-Hospital Indemnity||$100/day, maximum of 30 days|
|Unexpected Recurrence of a Pre-Existing Condition sublimit||$1,000|
|Repatriation of Remains||$20,000|
The NAPA-OT Field School Recommends:
TravelMed Choice Insurance Package
The TravelMed Choice plan offered by MedEx contains all of our coverage requirements and more. For a more detailed description of the coverage offered by this plan visit the following websites:
Insure My Trip
Insure My Trip (http://www.insuremytrip.com/) is a website that provides information on additional insurance companies offering medical coverage while abroad. When choosing a plan, please look for plans that match the minimum coverage benefits required by the NAPA-OT Field School.
Your university health insurance may also provide international medical coverage. If so, your coverage must meet the minimal coverage (listed in the table above) required by the field school. If your coverage does not meet the minimal required coverage, then you are required to purchase supplemental travel medical insurance.
You will need to email a copy of your travel medical policy and proof of coverage with your forms.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, http://www.cdc.gov) recommends that you have the following vaccines be up to date when visiting Guatemala:
- Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG)
- Hepatitis B
Make sure your routine vaccinations are all up to date. Routine vaccinations included: influenza, chickenpox (or varicella), polio, measles/mumps/rubella (MMR), and diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT).
Malaria: While participating in the NAPA-OT Field School in Antigua, Guatemala you will not be in a malaria risk area. There is no risk for malaria in Guatemala City, Antigua or Lake Atitlán. There is risk for malaria in rural areas at altitudes below 1,500 m (<4,921 ft).
**While participating in the field school, it is not permitted to visit a Malaria risk area (e.g., Peten coast line, tropical areas). If you plan to visit a malaria risk area before or after participating in the NAPA-OT Field School, check with your health care provider about recommended antimalarial drugs.
You should consult with your doctor for needed vaccines 4-6 weeks prior to leaving for Guatemala. It is also recommended that you consult with a doctor who specializes in travel medicine.
Medicines You May Need
* The prescription medicines you take every day. Make sure you have enough to last during your trip. Keep them in their original prescription bottles and always in your carry-on luggage. Be sure to follow security guidelines, if the medicines are liquids.
* Occasional use medicines, such as EpiPens or inhalers.
* Medicine for diarrhea: Ciprofloxacin is an antibiotic used to treat or prevent certain infections caused by bacteria. It is suggested that you obtain and fill a prescription for Cipro from your personal physician prior to traveling to Guatemala. Over-the-counter Pepto Bismol liquid or chewable tablets and Immodium are also good to have on hand.
Other Recommended Items
* Sunblock and sunglasses.
* Antibacterial hand wipes or alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
* You will learn quickly that mosquitoes also reside in Antigua. To prevent insect/mosquito bites make sure you pack insect repellent (bug spray) with 30%-50% DEET.
The above information was provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/guatemala.htm.
Dress Code for NAPA-OT Field School in Antigua, Guatemala
Think Modest and Practical
We will be guests of many different organizations in Antigua and would like all of our students to adhere to a professionally casual and practical code of dress. During NAPA-OT Field School activities please follow the guidelines for dress listed below:
- Tops should be comfortable and allow for lots of movement
- Tops should not be too loose or too tight
- No tank tops unless worn underneath another shirt
- No midriff skin exposure in any position
- No cleavage exposure in any position
- No transparent clothing
- No t-shirts with large logos or slogans
- No leggings
- Pants should be clean and not have any holes
- Jeans are okay
- Pants should come to the waist level (i.e. no hipsters)
- Capri pants are okay
- No shorts
- No cleavage in any position
- Skirts must fall below the knee
- Clean and neat hiking/walking shoes are highly recommended
- Shoes must be closed-toed
- Shoes should be supportive, non slip, and comfortable
- No sandals/flip flops
- No shoes with heels
- No crocs
- Minimal jewelry
- Religious jewelry should be discrete and worn inside clothing when possible
- Tattoos should be covered
- Modest make-up
- Modest hair color and style
Recommended Packing List
- Short and Long Sleeve Shirts
- Sweater or Fleece
- Shorts (just above the knee length or Capri’s)
- Skirts (knee length or longer)
- Socks, Undergarments, Belt
- Comfortable closed- walking shoes that withstand the rain well
- Sturdy Walking Sandals
- Sandals that can be used in communal showers
- Rain Jacket and/or poncho
- Hat for sunny days
- Toothbrush, Tooth Paste, Floss
- Soap/Body Wash
- Lip Balm
- Contact Lens Solution
- Insect Repellent
- Hand Sanitizer
- One roll of toilet paper or small Kleenex packs
- Light-weight Towel and Washcloth
- Women’s Sanitary Items
- Pads of Paper
- Pens and Pencils
- Laptop and Charger
- Necessary Reading Materials (books, journal articles, etc.)
- Water bottle
- Inexpensive Watch
- Bath towel and wash cloth
- Small Tupperware or Lunch Case
- Ziplock bags
- Travel Amount of Clothing Detergent
- Universal Sink Plug (for washing small items of clothing)
- Copy of passport, travel and health insurance documents, airline ticket/itinerary (leave one set of copies at home)
- Small Flashlight with Batteries
- Money Belt
- Small Medical or First-Aid Kit
- Medications (leave in original container)
- Camera Battery and Charger
- Alarm Clock (battery powered)
- Travel Umbrella
- Small Spanish Dictionary
- Reusable/”Green” Bags to carry items bought in market
- Debit Cards and Credit Cards (both MasterCard and Visa are accepted in the ATM machines in Antigua, but VISA is more widely accepted in the stores)
- Flash Drive
- Duct Tape
- Pack a small carry-on for the plane trip down with important documents, essential items, camera and a change of clothes in case your baggage gets delayed.
- Bring $100-$200 in cash to use to exchange into quetzals. Bring cash in $20, $10, $5, $1s for initial shuttle and first day or days until reaching an ATM. There is an ATM in the airport, but don’t rely on it when you first arrive. Its service has been unreliable in the past.
- You may want to bring a small, inexpensive gift for your host family.
- Leave your expensive jewelry (or anything that may LOOK expensive) and other valuable items at home.
Weather in Antigua
Although the weather in Antigua is fairly temperate, you will be staying in Antigua during the rainy season. Please be prepared for mid afternoon heavy down pours and flooded streets.
Monthly Average Temperature
How to dial a Guatemalan number while in the U.S.:
- Dial 011 + 502 + ???? ????
How to dial a US number while in Guatemala:
- Dial 001 + area code + ??? ????
Where to Work Out
Address: 6a Calle Poniente #31
Phone Number: 7832 7554
Antigua’s Gym offers weights, cardio equipment, spinning, aerobics, Tae-Bo and Pilates.
Day pass Q25; Weekly Q90 (fess subject to change)
The NAPA-OT Field School takes student feedback very seriously, and we encourages students to feel comfortable in raising questions or concerns directly with the field school faculty and directors. If a student has concerns they feel cannot be addressed through these channels, they may be in direct contact with the National Association for the Practice of Anthropology liaison to the field school, Dr. Timothy Wallace at email@example.com.