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Traveling alone to Antigua Guatemala as a female. AM I SAFE?

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Aug 1st, 2013, 12:00 PM
  #1
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Traveling alone to Antigua Guatemala as a female. AM I SAFE?

I am in desperate need of a SOLO vacation and Antigua Guatemala came to mind. After doing some research, I am now totally obsessed with the city and really want to go. The only thing stopping me are my friends, family and the thought of my safety.
I am only going for 5 days and 4 nights. Can anyone first suggest if I am safe to go alone, What are the best hotels to stay and what activities I can enjoy in my short stay
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Aug 1st, 2013, 01:21 PM
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That's a great idea! My favorite hotel - very safe and well-located - is Casa Cristina. Cute rooms, helpful owner, nearly next door to an awesome café/coffee house and only half a block from the La Merced church.
www.casa-cristina.com

I'd have Rosario there arrange your transport from the airport and back ($30-35 each way) - nice to have a friendly face above your name on a sign greeting you as you leave the airport.

Go to the tourist office near the parque central and ask for a map and ideas. My favorite activities around town are La Merced, the ruins of Las Capuchinas, San Gerónimo, and the cathedral, people watching in the parque central, and browsing at the Nim Pot store near the arch, though I don't often buy there. There are some interesting villages nearby (esp Jocotenango w/ it's museums and Aquas Calientes) and I loved a chocolate class at Chocomuseo.
www.chocomuseo.com

My photos with blog and travelogue links on the main page of each collection are below in case you're interested - all my recommendations are embedded there. Happy trails! http://www.flickr.com/photos/staceyholeman/collections
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Aug 1st, 2013, 01:25 PM
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So its fine to go alone?
Aderonke is offline  
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Aug 1st, 2013, 01:27 PM
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Safety questions come up a lot so I'm pasting my response from a previous thread below.
_________________________________
I travel in Central America every year. Sometimes I travel alone, sometimes with one or more of my kids and/or my husband, sometimes with a group in tow. I don't feel overly paranoid but have never had a problem and would like to keep it that way.

Here are my concessions to safety when I travel in Central America:
:: I avoid the big cities as much as possible
:: I don't "party"
:: Where recommended I take specific transportation (ex: Hedman Alas in Honduras, avoid chicken buses on the mountain runs in Guatemala, take taxis after dark)
:: I know where I am and where I'm headed and make major transitions with plenty of daylight left
:: I don't wear jewelry (not even my wedding band) and try not to flash camera equipment or money around
:: Some trips I carry a “throw down wallet” with an expired card or 2 and the day’s cash in it
:: I keep important documents and cash under my clothes (except what I need for shopping, buses, etc. for that time period) and keep close watch on my things, especially in crowded places and when I’m tired
:: I ask locals about safety in an area - evenings, hiking, etc.
:: I travel really light so I don't feel vulnerable getting my bag off and on buses, shuttles, etc.
:: I continue to build skills in Spanish (doesn't apply to Belize)
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Aug 3rd, 2013, 08:51 AM
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I was in Antigua a few years ago, and would definitely go again. It's a beautiful city to visit. I usually travel with my husband now, although I did do a fair amount of travelling on my own when I was younger. I don't carry a 'throw down wallet' but I'm always careful anywhere I go (I learned this lesson after having my wallet stolen TWICE here in Toronto). I also wear my plain wedding band and very ordinary gold earrings (small hoops).
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Aug 4th, 2013, 04:32 AM
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There are a few more remote places that you probably would not want to go alone. For example, the city offers police escorts several times a day to Cerra de la Cruz because of mugging incidents there.

There are lots of tours/excursions to take to the Pacaya volcano and other destinations.

My husband and son both liked Casa Cristina mentioned by hopefulist.

On a trip with the whole family in 2009 we stayed at Hotel Posada Los Búcaros. I had picked this hotel from our Fodors guide because it was moderately priced and had parking, a feature that is not always available in the less expensive hotels. We really liked our stay there. It does not seem to be listed in the Fodors destination section any more. This hotel is near Casa Cristina and the church of Nuestra Señora de la Merced. The hotel does not serve breakfast but it does have coffee, and there is a big kitchen guests can use.
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Aug 4th, 2013, 10:40 AM
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Antigua is a very safe place for single women. Just dress respectfully and don't be alone on the street late at night.
When do you plan to visit?
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Aug 4th, 2013, 02:58 PM
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Yes, I think you will be fine in Antigua, Guatemala as a single female, especially if you stay in a higher-end hotel, especially one of the former monasteries. Have you considered do an escorted tour, with a guide, driver, hotels, meals and sightseeing arranged for you. That is my favorite way to travel alone. Anyway, there are children who can be very assertive in their requests to clean your shoes in the central square, but they are harmless and your shoes will be lovely. Use common sense and protect yourself assertively, don't stay out after dark. Take guided tours if you want to go into the countryside. There is a wonderful arts and crafts market - one main one in town and one outside of town, visit BOTH of them. Definitely take private airport transportation. My house is filled with handicrafts and beautiful Guatemalan tapestry from the outer market. However, Antigua is small and you might not have enough to do, if you are a like-to-stay-busy type. Guatemala is beautiful, the people are beautiful.
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Aug 5th, 2013, 11:37 AM
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I went to Guatemala (Antigua and Lake Atitlan) two months ago. It was perfectly safe.
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Aug 5th, 2013, 02:29 PM
  #10
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I would like to go in September alone! I been discouraged for the past few months, but i believe it will be an awesome experience. How do I get an escorted tour person or guide for the week I'd like to go?

Thanks for all your help ladies and Gents!
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Aug 5th, 2013, 03:50 PM
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Here are 2 transportation providers I’ve been pleased with in Guatemala for share shuttles, private transfers, and flight arrangements:
Adrenalina Tours: www.adrenalinatours.com
Rainbow Travel: www.rainbowtravelcenter.com

I like to plan my own trips and travel on my own (or with a group in tow) so haven't used them for guided trips; you could take a look and see what they offer.

My photos with blog and travelogue links on the main page of each collection are below in case you're interested - all my recommendations are embedded there. Happy trails! http://www.flickr.com/photos/staceyholeman/collections
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Aug 5th, 2013, 06:26 PM
  #12
 
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I went to Antigua and Lake Atitlan alone and had a marvelous time. I planned to stay 3 weeks and stayed six. My best advise is to follow Hopefulist's recommendations. Casa Cristina was very comfortable, clean and affordable. Day trip to Chichicastenango if you like markets. You can just go to one of the tour booths in Antigua and pay for round trip shuttle. Lots to do. I never felt unsafe for a minute. Go and enjoy!
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Sep 16th, 2013, 11:59 PM
  #13
 
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Hi Aderonke,

I am going to refute the following comments, as an American and male, I traveled to the place you are going alone last month and I wouldn't recommend it for a woman. I did not feel safe and I am male, people will try and coerce you into things especially once they find out u are alone and are women.

If you google, there is no updated or recent information on solo travelers for women since 2006 and then 2011. It is not a common place for solo women, you'll stick out because no Americans travel there. Especially not in this season, I would not recommend it.

I suggest you consult with an official in the US first before going and if you want a solo vacation for a women try Europe and Asia. much safer

gud luck.
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Sep 30th, 2013, 11:52 PM
  #14
 
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Hmmm....just read this last post. I really disagree but then, he refuted his own comments in the 1st sentence. Glad Aderonke went for it despite this post and had a fabulous time.
http://www.fodors.com/community/mexi...-one-piece.cfm
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