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Camping Around Guatemala

There aren’t very many designated campsites in Guatemala, not in comparison to other countries at least. With hostel, guesthouse and hotel accommodation so much cheaper than the norm, it isn’t really necessary for those traveling on a budget.

However, if you are traveling through Guatemala in a RV there are some options. Truck stops, gas stations and sometimes hotels will allow you to park in the car park overnight. Always ask permission, usually such places don’t charge but buying a meal at the restaurant or filling up on gas while you are there is a nice way of saying thank you.

If you really want to camp with a tent off the beaten track than it is doable but, in some places, for safety reasons it’s not preferable. A lot of the national parks, reserves, lakes, ruins or cultural monuments will allow you to set up camp for a night. In most instances camping is free - once you have your own gear, but it is usually a good idea to tip the warden or ranger to say thanks. If you do plenty of research before you go it makes camping in Guatemala a whole lot easier.

Corazon del Bosque is a private eco-tourism reserve situated near Panajachel that charges a small fee for camping but has hot showers on-site. Rangers at the various ruins near Sayaxché such as Ceibal or Aguateca will usually let you camp for the night if you ask nicely. Laguna Yaxja is another well equipped site with toilets and pit fireplaces, and places such as Poptún, Finca Ixobel and Fuentes Georginas have also facilitated campers. Whether you plan on camping in a tent or in your RV, always give yourself plenty of time before dark to scout out a suitable area. Always try and ask a local if it is ok to camp at a place you have picked or if they know of anywhere that is better. In towns or cities where there is a tourist information office, ask there about the best places to camp. They will generally do their best to help you out.

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11 Aug 2010

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