Is Guatemala Safe for Solo Female Travelers?

Guatemala does have a high level of crime and it's recommended for solo female travelers to maintain a heightened level of caution. Particularly in major cities, it's recommended to steer clear of less populated areas, especially at night. However, if precautions are taken such as not displaying signs of wealth, using reputable transportation services, and staying in safe accommodations, it can be manageable. It is also advisable to learn some basic Spanish, as English is not widely spoken.

Safety rating

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How safe is Guatemala?

Safety at night:

Safety at night:Unsafe

Guatemala can hold potential dangers at night, particularly for solo female travelers. Walking alone at night is not highly recommended due to incidents of petty crimes like mugging and pickpocketing. There is also a possibility of more serious crimes in certain areas. It's best to use a trusted taxi service for transportation after dark or stay in populated, well-lit areas if you must venture outside. Even day travel calls for a vigilant attitude. It's best to keep low-key, avoid flashing expensive belongings, and always be aware of your surroundings.
Public transportation:

Public transportation:Unsafe

Public transportation in Guatemala, specifically local buses, are often overcrowded and can be subject for petty theft. While major cities may have more reliable services, rural areas can be problematic. For long-distance travel, shuttle van services are recommended as they tend to be safer but often a bit more expensive. Always be mindful of your possessions and avoid travel after dark.
Street harassment:

Street harassment:Moderate

In Guatemala, street harassment is a notable concern. This can range from cat-calling to more aggressive forms of verbal harassment. While a large number of locals are welcoming and friendly, some women reported incidents of unwanted attention and comments on the streets. As with any travel destination, it's crucial to stay aware of your surroundings and take safety precautions, especially when alone or in less crowded areas.
Petty crimes:

Petty crimes:High

Guatemala does experience a fairly high rate of petty crime, mainly in areas frequently visited by tourists. You may become a target for pickpocketing, bag snatching, and other non-violent thefts particularly in crowded markets, bus stations, or other touristic areas. While these crimes are usually non-violent, it is always recommended that you stay vigilant, keep your belongings secure, and avoid flashing expensive items in public.
Tap water:

Tap water:Unsafe

Drinking tap water in Guatemala is generally not recommended for tourists. This is due to the different sanitation systems and purification standards that may not be on par with what your system is accustomed to. Bottled or filtered water would be the safer option to avoid potential digestion issues.

Is Guatemala safe to travel?

4.2 /5

Based on 35 experiences

Haley

Haley

United States

Solo travel experience

Guatemala was great! I visited Lake Atitlan, Antigua and Acatenango. I felt very safe as a solo female traveler even though I was there during local protests. Lake Atitlan has many towns to visit, Antigua is rich in culture and a beautiful city, and Acatenango is an unforgettable experience seeing a live volcano erupt. Lots of fun adventure to be had.

Posted: November 5, 2023
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Solo travel experience

I had a short trip to Guatemala. I spent 2 nights at Lake Atitlan (staying in San Pedro and visited San Juan, Santiago and Panajachel) and 1 night in Antigua. I felt very safe and I had a great time.

Posted: October 11, 2023
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Group travel experience

I felt very safe in Antigua and Lake Atitlan. It seemed incredibly easy to join tours and meet people. Personally, I wouldn't choose to explore Guatemala City alone, but I was only there for one night.

Posted: October 9, 2023
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I felt very safe in Antigua and Flores. I did not use public buses, only small buses with other tourists. I did not leave my hotel in Guatemala City on my own because I heard that it is not the safest place.

Posted: October 7, 2023
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Solo travel experience

I stopped in El Remate, Antigua, Xela and San Pedro la Laguna. I didn't have any problems all the time and everywhere I stopped, I really liked it. I heard from a few people that it's not a good idea to travel between towns around the lake late at night - many roads are not safe.

Posted: October 5, 2023
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Solo travel experience

I stayed in Guatemala for 4 weeks in Flores, Semuc Champey/Lanquin, Xela, Antigua, Lake Atitlan and El Paredon. I felt very safe. For extra peace of mind, I avoided chicken buses, especially at night.

Posted: October 4, 2023
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Solo travel experience

I have traveled alone as a woman to Guatemala many times and I have never had any problems. I used common sense and guides, stuck to tourist areas, safe modes of transportation etc. I loved being there.

Posted: October 2, 2023
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Solo travel experience

I went to Lake Atitlán, to Antigua and Guatemala. I felt safe there and didn't experience any strange vibes. From my experience, people there were incredibly friendly and helpful.

Posted: October 1, 2023
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Solo travel experience

I traveled alone to Guatemala. I mostly felt safe there, the tourist areas were fine, such as Flores, Semuc Champey, and Antigua. I avoided Guatemala City, I heard very often that it's not safe there, and by Lake Atitlan there are also trails that are not safe.

Posted: September 29, 2023
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Solo travel experience

I have traveled alone through Guatemala twice. It's an incredible country. Very unique and so beautiful. I did not feel dangerous there at all, except for Guatemala City.

Posted: September 27, 2023
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Is Guatemala safe right now?

Before your visit to Guatemala, it's essential to check travel advisories for Guatemala, including your home country's official travel advisory. These advisories can provide up-to-date information on safety, health, and any specific considerations for travelers.
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United States Travel AdvisoryReconsider your need to travel

The United States government advises reconsidering travel to Guatemala due to crime. Certain areas pose an increased risk. Check the full travel advisory.
Last updated: July 17, 2023
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Canada's Travel AdvisoryExercise a high degree of caution

The Canadian Government advises exercising a high degree of caution in Guatemala, due to high levels of violent crime, along with roadblocks, strikes, and demonstrations that occur throughout the country. Check the full travel advisory.
Last updated: May 6, 2024
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Australia's Travel AdvisoryExercise a high degree of caution

The Australian Government advises exercising a high degree of caution in Guatemala due to the threat of violent crime. Check the full travel advisory.
Last updated: November 10, 2023

Is Guatemala worth visiting?

Overall rating

4.6 /5

based on 35 experiences

Family travel experience

We have been traveling for a month with our 2 children. We have only visited tourist parts. We really liked it. People were very nice and helpful and did everything they could to help us. This is an incredibly beautiful country.

Posted: September 13, 2023
Things to do: 5/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 5/5Safety: 5/5
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Solo travel experience

I was in Guatemala and it was an amazing experience as a solo traveler. I stayed there for two weeks and spent about 500 dollars, but I travel very cheaply. I always choose the cheapest hostel and eat only street food. I was in Antigua, by the lake Atitlan and in El Paredon.

Posted: May 25, 2023
Things to do: 5/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 5/5Safety: 5/5
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Meet locals in Guatemala

Meet local women in Guatemala who are open to meet up for a coffee or a drink, show you around, give local advice or practice a language with.
Laura

Laura

About Me

Soy introvertida, me gusta la buena conversaci├│n y visitar museos y restaurantes.

Speaking

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Andy

Andy

About Me

Trabajar├ę en esta introducci├│n... Por el momento cuento que soy Dise├▒adora, trabajo remoto, me gusta tomar fotos y estar├ę visitando Europa este a├▒o por primera vez. Me encanta tomar caf├ę, cerveza, vino y comer de todo, me gusta mucho conversar y escuchar.

Speaking

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Stay with locals in Guatemala

Stay with local women in Guatemala who offer free accommodation as part of cultural exchange. Couch surfing is a great way to meet new people, learn more about new cultures and experience destinations like a local.
Mirna

Mirna

Guatemala

Can host for:

2 days

About me

Passionated about traveling and animals. Enjoying simple things in life and looking to meet some New friends in this path called life.

Speaking

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Safety in Guatemala