"GUATEMALA - CRIME SECURITY TRANSPORTATION" Top 5 Page for this destination Guatemala by vaticanus
Guatemala Travel Guide: 2,965 reviews and 8,468 photos
a land of dreamscapes...
. . . . . .
Tourists visit Guatemala for its unforgettable beauty,
the colonial architecture of Antigua Guatemala,
the Mayan villages of the Highlands,
the volcanoes of Lago Atitlan,
CREDIT CARD fee is $6. DEBIT CARD fee is $3. Withdrawal per day is ONE THOUSAND QUETZALES = about $125-127 US.
NOTIFY YOUR CREDIT CARD ISSUERS and your BANK you will be making overseas transactions. When you get home change your PIN.
SCAM ARTIST ALERT
THIEVES, either Guatemalans asking for money for MEDICAL CARE etc, or Americans posing as MILITARY VETERANS or TOURISTS- with stories of robbery, assault and destitution- displaying bandaged limbs- asking for money for food, rooms, medical care, air fare-
Give the tourist police a call- ASISTUR (DIAL 1500 nationwide)
USE TAXIS IN GUATEMALA CITY.
Crimes on RED CITY BUSES HAVE FALLEN BUT IT IS BEST HIRING A CAB.
Be vague about your travel plans ie. destinations and schedules.
The election of retired army general Otto Perez Molina as President has seen improved public safety.
for a comprehensive human rights analysis of Guatemala See http://www.rightsaction.org/ ,
1) Use express (PRIMERA CLASS) buses where possible, shuttle vans (uninsured and unregulated) and taxis or three wheeled red TUK-TUCS in cities that allow them ie Flores Yes- Guatemala City No.
First Class Buses are Air Conditioned and are FRIGID!!! -especially overnight runs.
2) Moor boats at marinas. Do not anchor at night on Lake Izabal.
3) Before visiting waterfalls, isolated ruins etc ask store owners about incidents. Hire a local guide and hear about the fauna and flora- Guatemalans are astonishingly knowledgeable about herbs, flowers, birds etc
4) In rural areas do not disturb Mayan altars (stones covered with candle wax and soot).
5) Taking photos in rural areas of Mayan children has led to problems- Make sure EVERYBODY is OK about photography.
6) Do not wander around after dark when streets are deserted. This is also true in rural areas. NOTE: by rural areas I mean non-Mayan areas that are experiencing new settlements attracting transients and migrants. In cities and towns with evening activities it's time to leave when you hear the loud rattling of closing metal store front shutters - streets empty quickly!
7) When discussing travel plans, assume what you say will be repeated.
8) Driving a car is a challenge. The two lane highways are narrow and congested with cargo trucks, buses, motorbikes, and cars jockeying to pass one another on hills and curves. Night driving is easier but watch for pedestrians, animals, bicycles, and speed bumps. On chilly nights people sit and socialize along side the roadways which radiate heat from the daytime- WATCH OUT FOR DANGEROUS UNMARKED SPEED BUMPS.
See DRIVING IN GUATEMALA under Transportation Tips
9) In remote rural and newly settled districts (forests are disappearing fast) pickup trucks provide transport. Ask around for where to sleep which should be arranged first thing. After sunset, all doors are bolted against "mala gente". Personally, I feel rural and frontier areas are as equally creepy and dangerous as cities at night. Getting lost in either in the dark is a full adrenalin rush.
TOURISTS AND CRIME
The crime rate for tourists is 1:1500- the high end for Central America.
If (A) you are robbed AND you have insurance AND you wish to file a claim OR (B) you lost your passport, you MUST file a report which will be needed to file a claim or to replace travel documents.
Call the tourist police- ASISTUR (DIAL 1500 nationwide)
For routine problems consult your hotel or a tourist agency for advice.
SEE WARNING AND DANGERS TIPS BELOW
Sixty percent of crimes occur in Guatemala City- home to 1/4 of Guatemala's 13 million people. Most crime occurs in the "zonas" that tourists only see from a thousand feet when flying into the new Aurora Airport.
Commercial downtown daytime walking is safe but a dozen robberies a month of residents and tourists is now normal. Conference attendees and high-end shoppers will find La Reforma and the Zona 10 district are safe (day & early evening), lively and clean but are not crime free.
Avoid accidents, arguments etc.
Vans at the airport can take you to Antigua. Staying in Guatemala City the night before a flight out avoids an AM rush hour drive from Antigua. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT YOU ARRIVE NO LESS THAN ONE HOUR BEFORE YOUR FLIGHT-!!! You need to fill out forms to clear Customs, to Check In and go through Security and reach your gate. ONE HOUR MINIMUM!!!
The new TRANSMETRO (bright green buses) are very safe Try the CENTRO HISTORICO route. FARE ONE QUETZAL- 12 cents US.
If you do lose your way or need assistance, stop in a farmacia (drug store) for directions- the employees are well educated and they sell many items useful to travelers.
OFFICIAL CITY WEBPAGE
FOR US EMBASSY UPDATE ON SAFETY
UPDATE IS LOADED WITH CURRENT INFORMATION
FOREIGN CURRENCY: If you bring currency to exchange at banks for Guatemalan Quetzales make certain your notes are in Very Good condition without ANY marks, tears, ink marks or stains.
At the top is an extremely wealthy elite of European ancestry who occupy the top tiers of society in government, law, and finance. This group may be no larger than 300 families. (Sorry- I don't know the US number)
Next are the Ladinos who share a dual heritage of Spanish and Indian ancestry. They constitute both the middle and working class. Many are well established as businessmen, government employees and supervisors, workers, store owners and merchants.
Below both of these groups are "Los Indios" - mostly rural they endure a precarious marginal status. The photo gives one view of the historical relationship between the Ladinos and Los Indios. Land once rented to the Indios to grow corn/maize is now used to grow palms on vast plantations for PALM OI. Evictions are sometimes brutal. The price of corn has risen beyond the means of many of the poor in Central America.
Guatemala has the highest population growth in South America. Half of the population is under the age of 18. Half of Guatemala's children are chronically undernourished. One fifth of the population accounts for half of consumption
SOURCE: CIA WORLD FACTBOOK FOR GUATEMALA:
- Pros:Beautiful Tranquil Alegre
- Cons:Poverty, Inequality and Violence
- In a nutshell:Guatemala is lovely, enchanting and unforgetable.
NASA photo showing algae on surface of Lake Atitlan (October) 2009. Lake Atitlan has a problem with sewage and... more travel advice
It's the TRANSMETRO consisting of articulated buses painted florescent lime green that operate in reserved lanes. This... more travel advice
- See All BUDGET LUXURY- CLOSE TO FLORES
- See All IODINE, SALT AND RETARDATION
- See All IODINE AND RETARDATION
Written Nov 2, 2003
IXIMCHE- QUICHE ARCHAEOLOGY SITE
Written Apr 2, 2007
The Whimsical and Art Deco
vaticanus' Related Pages
Guatemala Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
- "GUATEMALA - CRIME SECURITY TRANSPORTATION"
- "Guatemala- Land of Volcanoes & Mayan Temples"
- "A perfect holiday destination?"
- "The Whimsical and Art Deco"
- "Guatemala City, not that ugly!"
- See All...
- Things to Do in Guatemala
- Hotels in Guatemala
- Transportation in Guatemala
- Nightlife in Guatemala
- Restaurants in Guatemala
- Shopping in Guatemala
- Warnings and Dangers in Guatemala
- See All...
Explore the World
Badges & Stats in Guatemala
- 50 Reviews
- 52 Photos
- 19 Forum posts
- 3 Cities
- See All Stats
- See All Badges (4)
Have you been to Guatemala?Share Your Travels
Latest Activity in Guatemala
Top 10 Pages
- India Intro, 34 reviews, 55 photos, 6 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Guatemala Intro, 46 reviews, 41 photos, 2 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Jersey City Intro, 13 reviews, 27 photos, 2 travelogues
- Copán Intro, 5 reviews, 34 photos, 5 travelogues
- Mexico Intro, 9 reviews, 23 photos, 3 travelogues
- Deogarh Intro, 4 reviews, 21 photos, 2 travelogues
- Atotonilco Intro, 1 review, 18 photos, 3 travelogues
- Guanajuato Intro, 6 reviews, 12 photos, 1 travelogue
- San Francisco El Alto Intro, 2 reviews, 14 photos, 4 travelogues
- Varanasi Intro, 11 photos, 1 travelogue
Top Guatemala hotels
- Antigua Guatemala Hotels
- 646 Reviews - 1874 Photos
- Guatemala City Hotels
- 174 Reviews - 403 Photos
- Iximché Hotels
- 7 Reviews - 22 Photos
- Lago de Amatitlán Hotels
- 1 Review - 5 Photos
- San Lucas Sacatepéquez Hotels
- See nearby hotels
- Santiago Sacatepéquez Hotels
- 5 Reviews - 22 Photos
- San Miguel Dueñas Hotels
- 2 Reviews - 22 Photos
- Patzicía Hotels
- See nearby hotels
- La Mesilla Hotels
- 1 Review
- Flores Hotels
- 72 Reviews - 201 Photos
- Lago de Atitlán Hotels
- 171 Reviews - 409 Photos
- Zunil Hotels
- 2 Reviews - 6 Photos
- Parque Nacional Tikal Hotels
- 314 Reviews - 1008 Photos
- Tikal Hotels
- 1 Review - 4 Photos
- Tecpán Guatemala Hotels
- 4 Reviews - 9 Photos