Is Guatemala Safe?

Old Nov 4th, 2003, 08:43 AM
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Is Guatemala Safe?

I am planning to go to Antigua, Panajachel and Chichicastenango with the final night near the Airport in Guate City after Xmas.

With political events unfolding and the current elections, the situation seems dodgy. The Foreign Office report does not sound that good and the US State Department's verges on hysteria... Can anyone tell me of recent experiences? or assure me that if one avoids certain areas things will be OK? Or should i go to Costa Rica instead?
Many thanks
Juan_Ray is offline  
Old Nov 4th, 2003, 12:21 PM
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I haven't been back to Guatemala for almost 2 years. All the places that you mention are fine. There is a lot of crime in some zonas of Guatemala City, so extreme caution is recommended.
Driving at night is also to be avoided.
I never had a problem the two times I went to Guatemala. I thoroughly enjoyed the country and the people.
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Old Nov 4th, 2003, 05:46 PM
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I too have not been back to Guatemala in about 3 years, but the 3 or 4 times there were safe. Just use caution and like the other reply said, don't drive at night. A very good lodging option near the airport in Guat. is Casa Luna. It is cheap, safe, clean very friendly, and full of single travellers, both men and women. And they'll pick you up from the airport. Also use caution if walking alone anywhere in the countryside. Overall, things are safe if you use caution. As for the political situation, I know a guy who travelled to Guatemal several times during the Civil War and didn't have any trouble. Just don't make yourself vulnerable.

Slim
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Old Nov 5th, 2003, 01:37 PM
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When we were in Belize we went to the Guatemala border. It was the only time we felt at all uneasy. Policia in fatigues carrying assault weapons at the border. There were lots of tours going to see the ruins from Belize (we had a car) but the rule seemed to be to go with a tour to cross the border not on your own. Again, the better you can blend, as always, the better off you are.
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Old Nov 6th, 2003, 08:51 AM
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This Web site lists known crimes against foreign visitors:
http://usembassy.state.gov/guatemala/wwwhcrimee.html

Also, there is a bitterly contested national election taking place, I think this week. I suggest taking a "wait and see" attitude until things settle down.
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