¿Es Guatemala seguro?
Aunque algunas partes de Guatemala son peligrosas, la mayoría de destinos turísticos son bastante seguros.
Algunas partes del país son violentas e inseguras, pero evidentemente no enviamos aquí a nuestros clientes. Los lugares más peligrosos están en las áreas remotas cerca de la frontera con México. Los cárteles de droga y las pandillas transnacionales tienen presencia allí, por lo que no es prudente que los viajeros visiten estas áreas.
Guatemala ha tenido una caótica historia llena de guerras civiles, gobiernos militares y revoluciones. Las últimas décadas han sido mucho más pacíficas con mayor estabilidad en el gobierno y sociedad. Se espera que esta tendencia siga teniendo auge en el futuro.
Generalmente los destinos turísticos son bastante seguros. Hay mayor presencia policial en dichos lugares y actividad mínima de las organizaciones delictivas. En estos destinos el crimen violento hacia los turistas es poco común; sin embargo, ocurren delitos menores. Para protegerse asegúrese de no exhibir objetos de valor en público o procure guardarlos en la caja fuerte de su hotel. En caso de que sea asaltado, no se resista, despójese de lo que los ladrones le pidan y evite una pelea.
Manténgase cerca de destinos turísticos conocidos. Nuestros Principales Destinos son excelentes ejemplos de esto, al igual que la mayoría de los lugares donde enviamos viajeros. Al apegarse a estas áreas y actividades amigables con el turismo se garantizará un viaje seguro.
Frequently asked questions
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- What Should I Do In Case If An Emergency in Guatemala?
Contact the police by calling 111 or 120. The fire department can be reached by dialing 122 or 123. The tourist police, Politur, can be reached by dialing 1500. It's also a good idea to contact your embassy if you are the victim of a crime.Complete medical care is available in Guatemala City. Smaller towns, however, may have limited medical care. Prescription and non-prescription drugs can be purchased at a pharmacies (farmacias) throughout Guatemala.
- Is the Water Safe to Drink in Guatemala?
It is not safe to drink the tap water in Guatemala. To avoid traveler’s diarrhea and other water-borne diseases, drink bottled water and only eat peeled fruits like oranges and bananas. Bottled water (agua pura) is widely available in grocery stores, restaurants, and hotels. Boiling water for one minute or using iodine pills or a water filter will also purify water. Avoid fruits and veggies that require washing, and stay away from ice unless it’s made from purified water.
- Is It Safe To Swim In The Ocean in Guatemala?
The safety of swimming depends on where you are and when you are swimming. The beaches along the Pacific Coast are usually safe, although they become more dangerous when the tides are changing; this is especially true at Monterrico. The Caribbean Coast is usually much calmer and is nearly always safe for swimming.
- Are There Many Snakes In Guatemala?
Guatemala does have snakes, especially in lowland areas. In fact, some of the world's deadliest snakes live here, including the fer-de-lance and a pit viper known as barba amarilla. The latter is easy to distinguish by its diamond-shaped head and diamond-patterned skin. Barba amarillas are somewhat common in Izabal, Verapaces, and Petén. Its bite is often fatal unless you recieve medical attention within a few hours.Other poisonous snakes in Guatemala include coral snakes, rattlesnakes, and the eyelash viper.
To protect yourself from snakes, wear long pants and high boots while you're hiking in the jungle. Be aware of where you're stepping and watch out around rocks and woodpiles. Snakes are also often found near watering holes. If you'll be hiking with a guide, let them go first; they usually have a much better eye for the snakes.
- Is Crime a Problem in Guatemala?
In some parts of Guatemala, crime is a problem. This is usually the case in border areas near Mexico where drug cartels and transnational gangs have established a presence. Due to this, however, we do not send our clients to such areas.Petty crime and thefts do occur in larger cities and in some tourist destinations. These crimes are not usually violent in nature, but rather involve stealing purses, wallets, or other belongings. Poverty is endemic in parts of Guatemala, and petty theft is a result of this. By taking a few simple precautions, you can usually ensure that you'll remain safe and secure.
Avoid displaying expensive items while out in public, and store valuables in a safety deposit box at your hotel. Don't hike alone; women are not advised to travel alone. Stick to tourist-friendly areas. And if you're robbed, don't resist. Give the theives what they ask for and dont fight back.
If you're interested in learning more about crime and safety in Guatemala, you can do so here.
- What Are the Medical Facilities Like in Guatemala?
Guatemala has good medical facilities and doctors, especially in Guatemala City’s private hospitals. Other urban areas also have high-quality private hospitals. Try to avoid public health facilities like the Instituto Guatemalteco de Seguridad Social (IGSS) — these cater to low-income people and are usually understaffed. Rural areas also tend to lack quality health care.There are pharmacies throughout Guatemala where travelers can purchase medicine. The cost of medical care and medicine is usually cheap in Guatemala. Travelers who are thinking of visiting more remote destinations or having off-the-beaten-path adventures, may want to consider buying travel insurance.
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- If I Need Medicine, Can I Easily Get It in Guatemala?
Yes. There are pharmacies (farmacias) scattered across Guatemala and prescriptions are not necessary. Most towns have several pharmacies, with at least one open all night. Drugs are inexpensive.
- Do I Need to Take Malaria Pills or Get Certain Vaccinations for my trip to Guatemala?
No vaccinations are officially required to enter Guatemala. That said, it’s a good idea to be up-to-date on typhoid, rabies, yellow fever, measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), and tetanus shots. Getting the hepatitis vaccine also makes sense. If you’ll be visiting rural lowland areas you might want to take malaria pills — you’ll need to begin taking these a few weeks before being potentially exposed to the disease.Health conditions and vaccination recommendations do change, however, so it’s best to check with your doctor for current requirements before traveling.
- Are There Many Mosquitoes in Guatemala?
Guatemala has mosquitos, but the amount varies by region and the time of year. Mosquitos are most plentiful during the rainy season — during this time of year be sure to protect yourself using bug spray, long-sleeved shirts, and long-sleeved pants. Sleeping in rooms with screens over the windows and/or mosquito netting is also a good idea. Rural regions, especially in lowland coastal areas, tend to have more mosquitos than the highlands.
- Is it Safe to Eat the Local Fruits and Vegetables in Guatemala?
Yes. Guatemala produces excellent fruits and vegetables. You can find local produce at grocery stores, markets, and roadside stands. It is, however, a good idea to eat produce that requires peeling, like oranges or bananas, rather than washing — this reduces the chance of contracting a water-borne disease.
- Are There Many Insects In Guatemala?
Guatemala is a tropical country and does have bugs. It is, however, not as bad as you might think, and with the proper amount of protection you will be fine.Mosquitos are found here, and are most abundant during the rainy season. If you'll be traveling in Guatemala during this time of the year be sure to take precautions to protect yourself from mosquitos, since they can transmit malaria. A good way to do so is by using insect repellent with DEET and wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants.
Sand fleas are found in some coastal areas, particularily along the Caribbean Coast. You might not even feel them while they are biting, but you'll have welts around your ankles later on. They tend to be worst during the dry months, when oceanic breezes calm down and allow them to flourish. If you'll be visiting beaches in Guatemala, bring pants, long-sleeved shirts, a hat, and insect repellent.