Money Exchange in Guatemala City

MoneyAlthough in places like Antigua you will exchange your currency much easier, in Guatemala and in general there is a problem of money exchange. They explained to me that problem was in money laundering schemes that narco bosses implemented in this country. So, every time you encounter a problem with money exchange, thank guys like Pablo Escobar.

Guatemala does not have “casas de cambio” or any type of exchange offices, places specialized for that. Therefore, most of the money is changed in banks. When it comes to US dollars, you will not find any problem – sometimes it can be exchanged outside of banks, but with Euros - you will get into the trouble. And don’t even dream exchanging exotic currencies, like British pound or Swiss Franc.

The problem with banks is that there is no separate service for money exchange. Therefore you will take your number and wait like a normal customer. It can go fast if you are lucky, but in most cases, you will wait while some family negotiates a loan or other complicated transaction. If you arrive with Euros, that waiting will in most cases be in vain; they will send you to the central office of the same bank, sometimes very far away. Nobody here is impressed with Euros, and my advice is to change them in your country before arriving here. Take USD with you instead.

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