I recently heard from family back in Australia that a warning was sent from the government to all australians, advising them not to travel there as there were natural disasters, riots and cultural civil hostility. Is this true? If so can a gutsy Australian travel there in the next few months ?
Guatemala has a very high crime rate and tourists are very deliberately targeted, especially in Guatemala City and Antigua. The criminals often have accomplices inside the airports who tip them off to visitors travel plans.
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There was a "state of siege" declared by the Guatemalan government for the state of Peten (including the site of Tikal) because of civil unrest, and the Australian government advises its citizens they ought to reconsider their need to travel there - that's probably the warning you heard about.
By 'gutsy' I hope you mean experienced and well-traveled rather than reckless! Guatemala is not for the novice traveller, and is more an adventure than a holiday. Up to you to decide if you're up to the task, but take care if you do go.
Phil from the safety hub about 6 years ago
I traveled around Guatemala as a naive 22 year old female for 2 months last year. I commuted between Antigua and a local village every day alone on public transportation and traveled to weekend destinations such as Atitlan and Pacaya. I followed the age old rules of safe travel and had absolutely no problems whatsoever. You do need to stay away from border areas, Guatemala City, and anywhere with a travel advisory. It's a beautiful country which is really opening up and trying to bolster it's tourism industry (there's even a tourism police in Antigua) and it would be a shame not to go. almost 6 years ago
I just got back from spending 3 months working and traveling in Guatemala the only place I felt unsafe was Guatemala city. Guatemala gets a bad rap due to a few high profile crimes. If you're smart and don't act like an idiot you'll be safe. The same rule applies anywhere in the world. It really is sad that when ever anyone asks this question people on the Internet who either haven't. Been to Guatemala in years or only go by what they read answer so negatively. Guatemala is a beautiful country with some of the nicest people I've ever met. By the way my 62 year mother went to Guatemala alone a few years ago and felt the same way, and she doesn't speak any Spanish at all. almost 6 years ago