Is Quetzaltenango Safe for Solo Female Travelers?

Quetzaltenango, often known as Xela, is relatively safe for solo female travelers. Like any city, some areas are better than others, and it's important to stay vigilant, especially at night. Always keep your belongings close to you and avoid showing off expensive items. While most locals are friendly and welcoming, always be aware of your surroundings. The use of common safety measures such as not walking alone at night and not flashing expensive possessions can significantly reduce risks.

Safety rating

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How safe is Quetzaltenango?

Safety at nightUnsafe

Quetzaltenango, or Xela as it is commonly known, is a fascinating city with rich culture and history. However, walking alone at night, especially for solo female travelers, is not recommended. Like many urban areas, it does carry some risks due to lower visibility and higher likelihood of incidents. One should be vigilant about personal belongings and stay in well-lit, busy areas. It's always safer to travel in groups or take a trusted form of transportation after dark. Remember to respect the local culture and customs to avoid unwanted attention.

Public transportationModerate

Public transportation in Quetzaltenango is moderately safe. However, overcrowding and pickpocketing can be common in buses. As such, it is important to stay alert and keep your belongings secure at all times. While these circumstances can offer an authentic local experience, they may also present some safety issues. Some taxis do not have meters, so agree on a price before the journey begins to avoid overcharging. Using app-based rides such as Uber where available, may enhance your safety through journey tracking and driver identification.

Street harassmentModerate

As for street harassment, it is not too prevalent but is not entirely uncommon either in Quetzaltenango. It's a city more frequented by tourists and international students, you might face occasional low-level harassment, such as catcalling. It's crucial to remember Guatemala is still a traditional society where it's best to carry yourself confidently and respect local customs. Response varies individually, and the situation could certainly change over time. Always remain cautious and aware of your surroundings.

Petty crimesModerate

Quetzaltenango, also known as Xela, typically has moderate risk of petty crimes such as petty theft and pickpocketing. While not rampant, these incidents do occur, especially in crowded markets or buses. It is advisable to always be alert, keep personal belongings close, and avoid displaying valuables in public.

Tap waterUnsafe

While Quetzaltenango, is a beautiful city to explore, it's generally recommended to not drink the tap water. It might contain microbes and bacteria that can cause stomach upset or serious illnesses, especially if you're not accustomed to it. Instead, opt for bottled water or drink water treated with a reliable filter or sterilizing agent.

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.
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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
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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. 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
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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 Quetzaltenango safe to visit?

Is Quetzaltenango safe to live?

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Stay with local women in Quetzaltenango 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.
Krista

Krista

Quetzaltenango

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3 days

About me

Hi, I'm Krista. I like to meet new people and places, I like to learn about business, entrepreneurship, and culture and languages. I love to take a walk in nature, I like to dance, sing, swim, and talk haha

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Safety in Guatemala