Is Lake Atitlán Safe for Solo Female Travelers?

Lake Atitlán can be a beautiful yet cautionary destination for solo female travelers. With its stunning natural beauty, engaging Mayan culture, and warm-hearted locals, the area is generally safe and welcoming. However, it's crucial to remain vigilant, especially during evenings and while using public transportation. Instances of pickpocketing and petty theft are reported occasionally. It is recommended to stay connected with a reliable local guide or locals for better safety. Sustainable tourism practices and respect for local culture and norms are always advised.

Safety rating

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How safe is Lake Atitlán?

Safety at nightUnsafe

Lake Atitlán after sunset can be a bit risky, especially for solo female travelers. Though the area is relatively safe during the day, it’s not advisable to walk alone at night. Due to limited street lighting and less foot traffic, the risk of potential safety issues increases. It is recommended to use reliable and safe transportation options, avoid secluded areas and always be conscious of your surroundings.

Public transportationModerate

Public transportation in Lake Atitlán primarily consists of boats connecting the villages around the lake and old American school buses, known as 'chicken buses'. While generally safe during the day, care should be taken during night time. Boat rides can get rough depending on weather conditions. As for the buses, they are often overcrowded and drivers can drive very fast which can feel unsafe at times. Furthermore, they are occasionally targets for robberies. Despite these points, they are commonly used by locals and tourists alike. Personal safety can very much depend on individual circumstances and vigilance.

Street harassmentLow

Lake Atitlán in Guatemala is renowned for its serene surroundings and the amicable locals. While there can be occasional incidents of varying degrees of street harassment, it is generally a safe place for solo female travelers. However, as in any touristy location, it's important to adhere to basic safety measures such as avoiding wandering alone at late-night hours and staying aware of your surroundings at all times.

Petty crimesModerate

Lake Atitlán is generally safe but petty crimes like pick-pocketing and bag snatching do happen occasionally. It's important to keep an eye on your belongings at all times especially in crowded areas. Don't flash expensive possessions and avoid isolated areas after dark. Always hire reliable transportation and stick to well-travelled routes.

Tap waterVery unsafe

It's not safe to drink tap water in Lake Atitlán as it may not be treated sufficiently to avoid waterborne diseases. Most locals and visitors opt for bottled water, filtered water, or water purification tablets for drinking and brushing teeth.

Is Guatemala safe right now?

Travel advice: When considering traveling to Guatemala, it is essential to acknowledge the advisories from various government bodies. These include the United States, Canadian, and Australian governments, all of which recommend a high degree of caution due to high levels of violent crime. Additionally, be aware of the potential for civil unrest which can manifest in roadblocks, strikes, and demonstrations throughout the country. It's advised to stay current with local news reports, maintain vigilance, and ensure personal safety measures to mitigate any risks. Reconsider your need to travel to areas with increased risk. Keep friends and family updated about your travel plans.

United States Travel AdvisoryReconsider your need to travel

The United States Government advises reconsidering travel to Guatemala due to crime. Some areas pose an increased risk. Check the full travel advisory.
Last updated: July 17, 2023

Canada's Travel AdvisoryExercise a high degree of caution

The Canadian Government advises exercising a high degree of caution in Guatemala. This is 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: February 26, 2024

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 Lake Atitlán safe to visit?

Is Lake Atitlán safe to live?

Safety in Guatemala