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Drive to Tikal-Safe?

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Sarasota, FL
6 posts
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Drive to Tikal-Safe?

We're thinking about going down to Guatemala in August. I have never been there before. I'm wondering if anyone can give me a frank assessment of the safety situation in the Peten. Is it safe for tourists to drive a rental car on the stretch of highway from Flores to Guatemala City? Are we likely to be targeted because of our obvious rental car? Are the cartels setting up roadblocks, as they are in certain areas of Mexico? I have travelled quite a bit in Mexico and C.A., so I'm not a traveller who is easily intimidated. However, I have read enough alarming reports that I feel like I need to do my due diligence before making any travel plans and endangering my wife and friend. Any information from anyone who has driven this highway frequently, or recently, would be appreciated!

Port Richey, Florida
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1. Re: Drive to Tikal-Safe?

I've never read of criminals from the drug cartels setting up roadblocks in Mexico. I went by bus from Cancun to Merida without any problems. And the same goes for guatemala. That has never happened in guatemala either as far I know from checking out guatemalan papers on line on a daily basis. FYI drug cartels make their millions trafficking drugs into the US market. So what makes you think they'll be wasting their time robbing people on the roads.

Bethesda, MD
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36 reviews
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2. Re: Drive to Tikal-Safe?

I've not heard of any criminal roadblocks either, along that route or elsewhere. Also, I've driven rental cars all around Guatemala over the last 15+ years and never felt like they stick out as rentals.

Sarasota, FL
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3. Re: Drive to Tikal-Safe?

Thanks for the input. It has been highly publicized that the cartels have set up roadblocks in certain areas of Mexico, although not near Cancun or Merida as far as I have heard. And yes, I am aware that the cartels generally have bigger fish to fry than tourists. Then again, they killed 52 innocent victims in a casino in Monterrey that I personally have visited, and they firebombed a college bar in Guadalajara in a neighborhood that I lived in for 6 weeks. So it isn't always that simple. I guess I am just trying to get a sense of the overall security situation in Northern Guatemala, because some of the things I have been reading are pretty alarming. Its sounds to me like the Guatemalan government has pretty much zero control in that part of the country, and it sounds like a lot of criminals are taking advantage of that situation. And it sounds like more than a handful of tourists have been affected by it. I realize there is risk in traveling anywhere. What I am trying to ascertain is: 1) Do a lot of tourists drive between Guatemala City and Tikal, or will I stick out like a sore thumb. And 2) Are a lot of tourists having trouble on that highway, or have there only been one or two isolated incidents?

Port Richey, Florida
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2,546 posts
12 reviews
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4. Re: Drive to Tikal-Safe?

I think you have a higher chance of getting robbed next time you stop by to get gas in Sarasota. You'v e probably read of the french canadian tourists that got killed in his own RV here in Deerfield Beach a few blocks from my gated community about four months ago. And I've also read on this forum and the lonelyplanet that overnight buses are not only safe but real comfortable for the eight hour ride from GC to Santa Elena/Flores.

5. Re: Drive to Tikal-Safe?

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Removed on: 21 June 2013, 06:17