80° BY THE SEA
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The heat and sun in the Pacific lowlands can be intense. Be prepared with a good sun hat and lightweight clothing that covers your arms and legs. Shorts don't protect legs from the sun, tall grass, insects, and dust. Also pack plenty of sunscreen and insect repellent. The mosquitoes are voracious at the beach. Replenish regularly with lots of fluids.
This is a mostly safe region of the country, and with standard travel precautions—no flashy jewelry, keep valuables well hidden—you should be fine. Strong undercurrents mean swimming poses a risk along the entire coast. Exercise extreme caution, and never swim alone, good advice anywhere, but imperative here.
Both Escuintla and Retalhuleu are home to large hospitals.
Hospital Nacional. Carretera a Taxisco, Km 59.5, Escuintla, 05001. 7889–5146.
Hospital Nacional. Blvd. Centenario and 3 Av., Zona 2, Retalhuleu, 11001. 7771–0116.
Police. 7888–1120 in Escuintla; 7881–1333 in Puerto San José; 7771–0002 in Retalhuleu; 7882–5032 in Sant Lucía Cotzumalguapa.