Is Petén Safe for Solo Female Travelers?

While Petén offers unparalleled natural beauty and ancient Mayan ruins, it is crucial to prioritize safety. Petty crime like pickpocketing is common, especially in touristy areas. More serious crimes like robbery and assault are not unheard of. Always be aware of your surroundings, avoid traveling at night, and use reliable transport services. Public acts of aggression towards women is possible. Despite all this, with proper precautions, you can still enjoy your visit.

Safety rating

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How safe is Petén?

Safety at night:

Safety at night:Unsafe

Petén is laden with natural beauty worthy of exploration; however, night walks are not generally advised. Despite most locals being friendly and helpful, night time often sees a rise in crime rates such as petty theft, particularly targeted at tourists. Be sure to take taxis in the late evening hours, avoiding isolated streets, and always keep a firm eye on your belongings.
Public transportation:

Public transportation:Moderate

Public transportation in Petén, specifically buses and minivans is used often by locals and tourists alike. While generally it's safe during the day, it's advisable to avoid taking them late at night due to some petty crime incidents. Additionally, driving standards can be a bit erratic so some might find the journeys slightly uncomfortable. It's recommended to keep an eye on your belongings at all times and be aware of your surroundings. Overall, with sensible precautions, public transportation in Petén can be a viable option for travel.
Street harassment:

Street harassment:Moderate

In Petén, street harassment exists but is not as prevalent in comparison to some more densely populated regions. As with any location, experiences can be variable. Women may encounter catcalling and stares, especially when traveling alone. It's always advised to dress modestly and avoid unfamiliar areas at night. However, most locals are respectful and helpful, so don't let this discourage you from enjoying your travel. Remain cautious and trust your instincts.
Petty crimes:

Petty crimes:High

Petén, although a remarkable location with stunning Mayan ruins in Guatemala, does experience a moderate-to-high level of petty crimes. The most common are pickpocketing, purse snatching, and theft from cars and hotel rooms. These crimes often occur in high tourist areas and crowded public places. It is highly recommended for travelers to stay alert, secure valuables, and avoid displaying expensive items.
Tap water:

Tap water:Moderate

While tap water in Petén is treated, it's highly recommended to drink only bottled or filtered water. The local water may contain bacteria or parasites that foreign visitors' bodies are not accustomed to, which could cause stomach upset or other health issues. Even locals often choose to drink filtered or bottled water. It's always safer to avoid drinking tap water when traveling in Petén.

Is Petén safe to travel?

Is Petén safe right now?

Before your visit to Petén, 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.

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

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, roadblocks, strikes, and demonstrations that occur throughout the country. Check the full travel advisory.
Last updated: June 7, 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

Safety in Guatemala