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Planing a Trip to Guatemala

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I'm concidering taking a trip to Guatemala City to meet up with a friend of mine who lives there. My friend is a native and will be accompanying me where ever I go. I've read a lot about travel to Guatemala and know it's not the safest place to go. I know not to show off anything expensive and not to travel anywhere alone (espcially after dark). I was wondering if there was anyone here who has traveled to Guatemala who could tell me how dangerous it really is (or isn't) and any other saftey tips that might benefit me to know.
Another thing I was curious about is when is the best time of year to go?
I'm new to this forum and excited to hear from some of you!
Thanks,
Lauren

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