Guatemala City Warnings and Dangers
Guatemala City is far from a tourist haven, but as the home of the country’s major airport, it’s a common first stop for travelers coming to Guatemala. Here are some tips from fellow travelers about staying safe and healthy while in Guatemala City.
Much of Guatemala City is fairly safe during the day, but once the shops close and there are fewer people on the streets, some areas can get dangerous. In the evening, don’t go out alone. Robberies, muggings, and even murder happen here. Police are said to be not very effective, and even filling out a crime report may be meaningless.
Do not take a bus or taxi unless your hotel arranged it. There are people who operate fake taxis and buses with the intent of robbing or even raping their victims.
Air quality is low in Guatemala City because of pollution. If you have any breathing issues, you might have trouble here. Even healthy people can develop coughs and have trouble breathing because of the smog, Asthma is a common problem among locals.
Many restaurants and shops take credit cards, and it’s wise to not carry too much cash. A warning though: Check your receipts and bills. Many restaurants add a five to 12 percent charge for using the credit card, so you may end up spending more than expected.
The city is broken up into zones, and some are safer than others. Zone 1, for instance, has a reputation for being very dirty and unsafe. There are a lot of homeless people in Zone 1, as well as drug deals and prostitutes working in public in the daytime.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about warnings or dangers in Guatemala City.