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Expat Exchange - Cost of Living in Guatemala City 2024
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Guatemala City, Guatemala


Cost of Living in Guatemala City

By Betsy Burlingame

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Summary: If you're moving to Guatemala City, understanding the the cost of living in Guatemala City helps you know what to expect when it comes to apartment or house hunting, grocery shopping, transportation, dining out, utilities and more.

Cost of Living Guatemala City
Apartment Rentals Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center can range from $400 to $800 per month, while outside the city center, rent can range from $200 to $400 per month.
Apartment Purchases The cost of purchasing an apartment in Guatemala City can range from $50,000 to $200,000, depending on the size and location.
Transportation Public transportation in Guatemala City is inexpensive, with bus fares ranging from $0.25 to $0.50. Taxis are also available and fares start at $2.00.
Groceries Basic groceries such as bread, eggs, and milk can cost around $2.00 to $3.00 per item. Prices for other items such as fruits and vegetables vary depending on the season.
Restaurants A meal at a mid-range restaurant in Guatemala City can cost around $10.00 per person. Fast food meals are also available for around $5.00 per person.
Utilities Basic utilities such as electricity, water, and garbage collection can cost around $50.00 per month.
Private School Tuition Tuition for preschool can range from $200 to $400 per month, while tuition for elementary school can range from $400 to $800 per month. Tuition for middle school can range from $800 to $1,200 per month, and tuition for high school can range from $1,200 to $2,000 per month.

Monthly Budget for Retirees in Guatemala City

"The cost of living in Guatemala City is generally considered to be quite affordable. Basic necessities such as food, transportation, and housing are all relatively inexpensive compared to other cities in the region. Eating out at restaurants is also quite affordable, with a meal for two people costing around $15 USD. Utilities such as electricity and water are also relatively inexpensive. Overall, Guatemala City is a great place to live for those looking for a low cost of living," said one expat living in Guatemala City.

Can I live in Guatemala City on $1,500 a month?

"I've been living in Guatemala City for a while now, and I can tell you that it's definitely possible to live comfortably on $1,500 a month, but you'll have to make some sacrifices. First, you'll need to find an affordable neighborhood to live in. I recommend looking into areas like Zona 12, Zona 15, or Zona 16. These neighborhoods are generally safe and have a good mix of local and expat residents. You can find a decent apartment for around $400 to $600 a month, depending on the size and amenities.However, you should avoid more expensive neighborhoods like Zona 10 and Zona 14, as the rent prices there can be quite high, sometimes reaching over $1,000 a month for a small apartment. Additionally, these areas tend to have more expensive restaurants and shops, which can quickly eat into your budget.As for transportation, you can save money by using public transportation like buses and the Transmetro system, which are quite affordable. However, they can be crowded and not always reliable, so you might want to consider getting a used car or a motorcycle if you can find a good deal. Just keep in mind that traffic in Guatemala City can be quite chaotic, so you'll need to be patient and cautious when driving.When it comes to food, you can save money by shopping at local markets and cooking at home. Eating out can be affordable if you stick to local eateries and street food, but avoid high-end restaurants and cafes, as they can be quite pricey. Also, keep in mind that imported products can be expensive, so try to stick to local produce and products as much as possible.In terms of entertainment, there are plenty of free or low-cost activities to enjoy in Guatemala City, like visiting parks, museums, and cultural events. However, you might have to cut back on more expensive hobbies like going to the movies, concerts, or traveling frequently.Overall, living on $1,500 a month in Guatemala City is doable, but you'll need to be mindful of your spending and make some sacrifices in terms of housing, transportation, and entertainment. But if you're willing to adapt to the local lifestyle and embrace the culture, you can definitely make it work and enjoy your time in this vibrant city," commented an expat living in Guatemala City.

Can I live in Guatemala City on $3,500 a month?

"I've been living in Guatemala City for a while now, and I can tell you that it's definitely possible to live comfortably on $3,000 a month, even if you're used to modern amenities. However, you might have to make some sacrifices in terms of the neighborhood you choose to live in and the type of housing you opt for.For example, some of the more upscale neighborhoods like Zona 14, Zona 15, and Zona 10 can be quite expensive, with rents for a nice apartment or house easily going over $1,000 a month. If you want to live in one of these areas, you might have to settle for a smaller place or share an apartment with roommates to keep costs down.On the other hand, there are more affordable neighborhoods like Zona 11, Zona 12, and Zona 13, where you can find decent housing for around $500 to $800 a month. These areas might not be as fancy as the more expensive neighborhoods, but they still offer a good quality of life and access to modern amenities.In terms of other expenses, you'll find that groceries, transportation, and utilities are generally quite affordable in Guatemala City. Eating out at local restaurants can also be inexpensive, but if you prefer dining at high-end establishments or international chains, you might have to cut back on that to stay within your budget.Another sacrifice you might have to make is in terms of safety and security. While Guatemala City has its share of safe neighborhoods, crime can be an issue in certain areas. To minimize risks, you'll want to choose a neighborhood with a good reputation, invest in a secure home with proper locks and alarms, and be cautious when out and about, especially at night.Overall, living in Guatemala City on $3,000 a month is doable, but you'll need to be mindful of your spending and make some compromises in terms of housing and lifestyle choices," said one expat living in Guatemala City.

Can I live in Guatemala City on $5,000 a month?

"I've been living in Guatemala City for a while now, and I can tell you that it's definitely possible to live comfortably on $5,000 a month, even if you're used to modern amenities. In fact, you might be surprised at how far your money can go here. There are some sacrifices you might have to make, but overall, I think you'll find that the quality of life is quite good.One of the first things you'll want to consider is where to live. There are some neighborhoods that are more expensive than others, so you'll want to avoid those if you're trying to stick to a budget. Some of the more upscale neighborhoods, like Zone 14 and Zone 15, can be quite pricey, with rents for a nice apartment or house easily reaching $2,000 or more per month. On the other hand, there are more affordable neighborhoods like Zone 10, Zone 11, and Zone 13, where you can find a comfortable place to live for around $800 to $1,200 per month.When it comes to transportation, owning a car can be expensive due to import taxes and high gas prices. However, you can save money by using public transportation or ride-sharing services like Uber, which are widely available and affordable in the city. If you do decide to buy a car, be prepared for traffic and limited parking in some areas.As for groceries and dining out, you'll find that the cost of living is quite reasonable. Local markets offer fresh produce at low prices, and there are plenty of supermarkets where you can find familiar brands from back home. Eating out can be as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be, with plenty of options ranging from street food to high-end restaurants.One sacrifice you might have to make is adjusting to the local healthcare system. While there are some excellent private hospitals and clinics in Guatemala City, the public healthcare system can be lacking in terms of quality and availability. It's a good idea to invest in private health insurance to ensure you have access to the best care possible.Finally, it's worth noting that while Guatemala City has a lot to offer in terms of culture and entertainment, it might not have all the same amenities you're used to back home. For example, you might not find the same variety of shopping options or the latest movies in theaters. However, there's still plenty to enjoy, from local festivals and events to exploring the beautiful natural surroundings of the country.Overall, I think you'll find that living in Guatemala City on $5,000 a month is not only doable but can also be quite comfortable. Just be prepared to make some adjustments and be open to experiencing a new way of life," commented an expat living in Guatemala City.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


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Guatemala City, Guatemala

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