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Safety in Antigua and Lake Atitlan

Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
2 posts
8 reviews
Safety in Antigua and Lake Atitlan

Going to Antigua and Lake Atitlan this coming week. At the last minute having some concerns about safety - mostly from what I am reading online. We will be travelling as a family with kids. Just wondering if anyone who has been there recently has an any suggestions/tips about safety. Thanks!

4 replies to this topic
Bethesda, MD
Level Contributor
3,185 posts
39 reviews
1. Re: Safety in Antigua and Lake Atitlan

This has been discussed over and over here. Did you do a search? Two threads were updated just yesterday. And they're still on page 1 of this forum.

Edited: 30 July 2018, 00:25
The Dalles, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Guatemala, Belize
Level Contributor
13,716 posts
331 reviews
2. Re: Safety in Antigua and Lake Atitlan

Craig is right - this comes up on the forum daily. Craig lives here and I'm here now - I've been visiting since the 80s. Last week the US State Dept. downgraded Guatemala's safety precaution level to the same as Spain, Germany, and Denmark. I'm reposting my response from a previous thread below. Obviously not everyone agrees with this list - some prefer cities and travel to party, for example - but it helps me feel safe when I travel and that's a good thing.


I travel in Central America every year, sometimes 3 or 4 times. 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 (most crime is gang-related and not in the places tourists visit)

:: 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; I try to appear confident instead of lost/map focused (so less like an easy target).

:: I 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

Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
2 posts
8 reviews
3. Re: Safety in Antigua and Lake Atitlan

Thank you for re posting - I really appreciate it. I am new to forums and thankful for all the great info on here.

Washington DC...
Level Contributor
85 posts
32 reviews
4. Re: Safety in Antigua and Lake Atitlan

I just got back from a work trip. I walked all over the city by myself looking awfully lost thanks to Google maps and never felt unsafe. Lots of families walking around well into the evening and many police around directing traffic and helping lost people like me.

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