Travel Tips & FAQ's

Passports: Passports are required, in most cases. Proper documentation is the responsibility of the traveler. US Passport forms can be downloaded at http://travel.state.gov

Visas and Tourist Cards: Some nationalities must obtain visas. Most need only government tourist cards issued by airlines or in the border immigrations office. Check with the consular office or airline. Be careful not to lose your tourist card.

Trip Insurance: Insurance is highly recommended. Most airline tickets are non-refundable. Most hotels and suppliers will not refund within a month of scheduled arrival. You can order trip insurance from: www.accessamerica.com

Health: Water and food standards have improved tremendously and bottled purified water is available throughout the region. Drinking purified water while traveling is recommended. Sun block, hats and insect repellant are also recommended. Remember to take any prescription medicines you may need. Check with your doctor if you have special concerns.

Money: Credit cards and ATM cards may be useful in cities. Most hotels accept credit cards.  Cash is convenient but not as secure.  Bills must be in good shape.  Carry just enough cash for the day. Most hotels will provide safes. Take a supply of US one dollar bills to use as tips

Books: The Maya by Michael D. Coe traces the art, history and culture of the Maya.

Another book that has contributed to the understanding of the ancient Maya Civilization is Chronicles of The Maya Kings and Queens, with deep information about the most important Maya Classic Sites:  Tikal, Calakmul, Palenque, Caracol, Copan, Piedras Negras, Yaxchilan, Tonina, Dos Pilas, Quirigua and Naranjo, including maps and pictures from all these sites.

Electricity: 110-220 volts AC, 60Hz, two pin plugs are in use.

Telephone: The country code for Guatemala is +502. The Internet is available in large towns and you will find an increasing number of Internet cafés opening up across the country.

Time: GMT – 6

Frequent Asked Questions

HOW IS THE WEATHER? The tour runs mostly through lowlands that are warm all year round – milder between late October and early March ( Max high 80F.) – warmer between late March and April (Max high 90F).  The rainy season – May through October – means that there will be some showers in the early afternoon and overnight.  It seldom rains in the mornings.  But a shower can be expected all year round (Rainforest!), so bring a light rain jacket or poncho.

HOW ARE THE HOTELS? The chosen hotels are all nice, clean hotels with local flavor, attentive service and food you can trust, and all the rooms have private bathroom, and hot water.  Some jungle lodges do not have air conditioning, they do have fans.

WHAT TYPE OF VEHICLES WILL BE USED? The groups are small (max 6-8 persons) therefore a Japanese van that holds up to 10 persons is what we use.  It has air conditioning.  It is from a recent model.  The Maya Classic Tour requires the use of an all terrain vehicle to reach the Usumacinta River on the day that Piedras Negras is visited.  The use of boats are also required.  In all cases, they are run by professional drivers.

WILL THERE BE AN ENGLISH SPEAKING GUIDE? During the visits to all the sites and during all the ground and boat transfers, there will be an English speaking professional guide, expert in the Ancient Maya Civilization.  A different guide will be at each different country, due to local regulations.  The group is not left alone at any time: one guide will introduce you to the next one.  It has proven to be good to receive the inputs from the different local perspectives.

WHAT MEALS ARE INCLUDED? Follow the code in every itinerary.  (B=Breakfast – L=Lunch – D=Dinner).  Not included beverages with lunches and dinners.

ARE CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED / ATM – INTERNET AVAILABLE? Most of the hotels accept credit cards when you pay for meals not included, beverages and other services (laundry when staying more than 1 night in same hotel).  ATM are available in major towns.  USDollar bills are accepted.  They must be in perfect condition and better it is   better to bring bills not higher than US$20.   Internet has reached most of the hotels we use.

WHAT ABOUT MOSQUITOES AND VACCINES AND OTHER HEALTH ISSUES? There is no need of vaccines.  The tours don’t drive through areas with malaria risks.  There will be some mosquitoes though, especially during the rainy season.  Bring bug repellent.  Never drink water from the tap and follow the advice of your guide during meals en-route.  In case of need, the guides know at all times how to contact a doctor.

WHAT ELSE SHALL I CARRY WITH ME? Carry with you a bug repellent, solar filter, a flash light, light rain jacket or poncho.  Always travel with a copy of your passport.

HOW PHYSICALLY DEMANDING ARE THE TOURS? Archaeological tours involved walking in uneven paths and some may be slippery.  Climbing pyramids and temples is completely optional.  Once there you may decide to climb them or not.  A person that likes to walk and do that regularly is perfectly fitted for any of the tours.

Spanish Idioms:
Since you will be in Spanish speaking places here you found some useful phrases:

Buenos dias
Buenas tardes
Buenas noches
Por favor
Gracias
Disculpe
Si
No
¿Como se llama?
Yo soy xxx
¿Donde esta el baño?
¿Cuanto cuesta?
Salida
Entrada
Derecha
Izquierda
Arriba
Abajo
Norte
Sur
Este
Oeste
Good Morning
Good Afternoon
Good Night
Please
Thank You
Excuse me
Yes
Not
What´s your name?
I am xxx
Where is the Toilette?
How much it cost?
Exit
Entrance
Right
Left
Up
Down
North
South
East
West
Numeros
Cero
Uno
Dos
Tres
Cuatro
Cinco
Seis
Siete
Ocho
Nueve
Diez
Numbers
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Dias de la Semana
Lunes
Martes
Miercoles
Jueves
Viernes
Sabado
Domingo
Hoy
Ayer
Mañana
Pasadomañana
Days of the Week
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
Today
Yesterday
Tomorrow
Day after tomorrow



Certified in compliance with GREAT Green Deal requirements on sustainable tourism Silver Level

FOUR DIRECTIONS has obtained a Silver Degree Certification in Sustainable Tourism, issued by GREAT Green Deal.

FOUR DIRECTIONS is a Tour Operator and Destination Management Company -DMC- with operations in Guatemala, Belize, Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador. This year, the company undertook the challenge to certify its sustainable tourism practices and accomplished such endeavor with the Silver degree distinction. The GREAT Green Deal certificate number is CCGGD002-101-10, expiration date Sept. 16th, 2011.