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Water Filters in Guatemala

Clearfield, Utah
1 post
Water Filters in Guatemala


I am traveling to Guatemala later this month to meet my birth family and experience my country! I am super excited but I try to live a waste-free life as much as possible. The idea of using multiple water bottles/hugs a day is not a pleasant one..

Are there any water filters that are portable that can filter out the bacteria and such from faucet water? I am also a camper so some I've been looking at don't do a great job of filtering our viruses and bacteria. Looking for opinions and options to try to remain as waste-free as possible. I don't have too much a budget since I will be using this filter for hikes and camping when I return home. But obviously, the cheaper and more efficient the better.

Thank you everyone!

3 replies to this topic
Crowsnest Pass...
Level Contributor
583 posts
12 reviews
1. Re: Water Filters in Guatemala

The cheapest thing is probably the tablets/drops that go in the water and you wait the specified time. In cold water it can take up to a few hours to clear viruses and not all are good against cryptosporidium (things to consider for when hiking at home).

The steri-pen is good for killing viruses and bacteria from water that looks clean (such as tap water in Guatemala) but because its technology it can break or die. Its also expensive.

Very few filters work against viruses as they are so small. Most of those that do have an iodine filter attachment. Where I live (Canadian Rockies), viruses in stream water aren't an issue mainly because of the water temperature. I don't know about the highlands of Guatemala.

Life-straws are cheap but don't filter out viruses.

Sawyer filters get great reviews. I've read the Sawyer mini can clog frequently but the regular one, which is still small does a good job. They make one that does filter viruses. I bought it but gave it to a friend who lives in rural Africa because it is SLOW.

If you haven't read these articles already, they give some good information:



Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
1,218 posts
27 reviews
2. Re: Water Filters in Guatemala

A good summary above. Some people on the forum have recommended the Steripen, and the test data indicate that it's very effective, provided the water has been pre-filtered. Many hotels/hostels and families purchase large containers of purified water from which you can refill your personal water bottle. Depending on where you are staying, you would not need to buy or dispose of so many plastic bottles even if you didn't bring along your own purification device, and you always could rely on the tablets or drops should the need arise.

The Dalles, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Guatemala, Belize
Level Contributor
13,600 posts
331 reviews
3. Re: Water Filters in Guatemala

Steripens have worked great for us with tap water in Guatemala. We use the giant refillable jugs when we're staying someplace longer than a few days and often hotels and Spanish schools provide it so we just refill our bottle.

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