In a medical or dental emergency, ask your hotel staff for information on and directions to the nearest private hospital or clinic. Taxi drivers should also know how to find one, and taking a taxi is often quicker than an ambulance. If you do need an ambulance, it's best to call for one from the hospital you want to go to; alternatively, you can call the Cruz Roja (Red Cross). Many private medical insurers provide online lists of hospitals and clinics in different towns. It's a good idea to print out a copy of these before you travel.

For theft, wallet loss, small road accidents, and minor emergencies, contact the nearest police station. Expect all dealings with the police to be a lengthy, bureaucratic business—it's probably only worth bothering if you need the report for insurance claims.

The government tourist office, INGUAT, operates an Asistur service, available toll-free 24 hours a day from any telephone in the country. Its English-speaking operators can put you in touch with the proper authority during emergencies.

Guatemala City uses three-digit phone numbers for calling police, fire, and ambulance. The rest of the country uses standard eight-digit numbers.

Pack a basic first-aid kit, especially if you're venturing into more remote areas. If you'll be carrying any medication, bring your doctor's contact information and prescription authorizations. Getting your prescription filled in Guatemala might be problematic, so bring enough medication for your entire trip—and extras in case of travel delays.

Foreign Embassies

United States Embassy. Av. La Reforma 7–01, Zona 10, Zona 10, Guatemala City, Departamento de Guatemala. 502/2326–4000; 502/2331–2354; guatemala.usembassy.gov. Mon.-Thurs. 8-5, Fri. 8-12:30.

General Emergency Contacts

Asistur. 1500.

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