Guatemala - Formalities
On arrival yachts are normally visited by Customs, Immigration, Police, Health and Port Captain.
Procedure on Departure: A zarpe (clearance) must be obtained from Immigration and the Port Captain must sign it. Passports must also have exit stamps from Immigration.
For length of stay permitted see Customs.
Details of Fees can be found below.
Last updated September 2014.
Passports must be valid for a period of 6 months,
Prior visas are not required by nationals of the European Union, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Belize, Canada, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, USA and Uruguay.
A tourist visa card must be purchased on entry. This new CA-4 visa applies to the following countries:- Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. The length of stay (normally 90 days) applies to the whole group and only one extension will usually be granted. To remain in the region longer, a visit to a country outside the CA-4 area must be made and a new visa will be issued on re-entry.
There is a daily fine for overstaying one's permitted time.
Passports should always be carried especially if travelling inland.
Last updated November 2015.
Yachts can now cruise Guatemala for up to 12 months without being required to have a marina contract with an INGUAT (Istituto Guatemaltteco de Turismo) registered marina.
The rules that regulate the entry and stay of a yacht in Guatemala are as follows:
1. Boats entering Guatemala from abroad will receive a cruising permit valid for 3 months. The cost of this permit will be US $50,00 to be paid at the bank located near the customs office.
2. Boats who wish to remain longer than 3 months in Guatemala are recommended to ask immediately for an additional 9 month permit at the cost of US $150,00. If they do not ask for the extension straight away, the captain will have to return to Livingston to do this later.
3. Boats who wish to remain after the first 12 months may obtain a permit to remain an additional 12 months at a cost of US $150,00. This extension may be renewed each 12 months thereafter, but it requires that the vessel be located in an INGUAT (Istituto Guatemaltteco de Turismo) registered marina and there must be a contract with the marina.
The fees stated above are SAT fees and do not include fees that may be charged by immigration or an agent.
List of INGUAT marinas.
There is no requirement that vessels leave the country for three (3) months or any other period to qualify for these extensions.
Extensions MUST be applied for at least one month before the current permit expires. Once the previous permit expires the only option is to import the vessel (at 30% of the boat's value). Customs will not issue an extension if you apply for it too close to the time of expiration.
SAT (Guatemalan Customs) in Livingston can advise on the best way to apply for extensions.
Other Customs Rules
Note that SAT do a lot of control on the Pacific side of the country as there are many sport fishing boats there that never pay the taxes, so they enforce the law to the letter. Be sure your boat papers are in proper order, in particular if entering the country at Puerto Quetzal, Puerto Barrios and Santa Tomas.
Firearms must be declared. Firearms will be held by police or the port captain during the stay in port. A receipt will be issued.
Last updated September 2014.
Amoebic dysentery is endemic.
Malaria prophylaxis is necessary.
Dengue fever occurs throughout the year.
Hospitals in Guatemala are reluctant to give medical treatment unless they can be satisfied that you have medical insurance. It is therefore essential that you carry evidence of your insurance cover at all times.
Drink only bottled water.
ZIKA VIRUS ALERT: (September 2016) There have been recent safety alerts from the US State Department, UK Foreign Office, and Center for Disease Control (CDC) regarding travel to parts of Central and South America, Africa, southern Asia, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific islands. Guatemala is an area of interest with multiple reported cases and active virus transmission. There is growing concern about the rapid spread of the ZIKA Virus and the impact of the virus on pregnant women and babies. ZIKA is transmitted by mosquitos in tropical and sub-tropical climates, and there is currently no cure or vaccine. This situation is evolving rapidly, so please refer to the CDC’s dedicated website if you are intending to cruise in one of the effected areas.
Cruising yachts will be issued on arrival with a special permit consisting of a sticker that must be displayed prominently on the boat. The sticker will be attached by the customs officer in the first port of entry.
The new fees shown below (introduced April 2011) apply only to Monday-Friday check ins and check outs. On Saturdays and Sundays, a Q100 overtime fee will be applied.
As of April 9, 2011, US$1.00 = Q 7.66.
The new fees are as follows:
Q 500.00 Customs
Q 225.00 Immigration
Q 175.00 Port Captain
Q 100.00 Doctor
Q 1,000.00 total
Q 160.00 Inmigration 2 persons
Q 25.00 Customs
Q 165.00 Port Captain
Q 550.00 total
Extensions for boat navigational permits have increased Q300 from Q1500 a year to Q1800 a year.
Last updated December 2011.
Animals must be declared and should have up-to-date health certificates. They are not allowed to land.