Traveling in Guatemala / Security
Guatemala is a diverse country and visitors will find a little bit of everything and everything is beautiful. If you are traveling to Guatemala you need to know some facts. First of all, is not as dangerous as you hear in the news. News is made to talk about bad things happening and omit the good and positive. Like the proverb says: no news is good news. Obviously you have to take precautions when traveling in Guatemala and to any country you are not familiar with. Daily live is different especially in large cities and there are things you should avoid in order to not have problems or being the victim of a crime.
An excellent option is not to adventure on your own. Guatemala is not an expensive country and you can enjoy a safe budget vacation, but it doesn’t hurt to spend a little extra on safety. The public transportation system is out of date and complicated and if you do not know the roads it is not safe to drive a rental car either. A GPS helps but it could take you on a wrong path since it is not like using it in in Europe or the US. Some of the information is not up to date or fully correct or might take you on a dangerous road. An expert driver with a private vehicle will know which roads not to take for safety or because they are not in good condition.
Having a specialist taking you from one destination to the other is the best idea and absolutely safe. Someone who knows the country will give you a worry free vacation and you can enjoy your vacation to the fullest.
Among other precautions you can take is not to travel at night, not leaving the hotel with all the cash, keeping just a copy of your passport on you during the day, avoiding lonely streets and partying until too late at night and into the early morning. Most of the hotels have room safes or the reception will gladly store your valuables.
Guatemala is a small jewel almost everywhere you go. The small towns are very charming and you will meet friendly people throughout Guatemala. You can decide if whether you want to travel just to the main destinations like Antigua, Tikal, Lake Atitlan or be adventurous and visit off the beaten path locations. Whatever you decide follow safety precautions and consult with an expert where it is safe to go.