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Traveling Alone in Guatemala...and female

Chicago, Illinois
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Traveling Alone in Guatemala...and female

Hello,

I was planning a 7-9 day trip around Guatemala in December with a friend of mine who just bailed, but I got so intrigued during my research that I am thinking of going it alone. I am 30 years old, Asian, female, and consider myself pretty attractive. I've traveled alone before and have always had an amazing experience but always get a little concerned with my safety, but at the same time I enjoy meeting new and interesting people.

Are there any safety concerns I should be aware of, and if so, what are the activities or places I should avoid? I am considering hitting Antigua, Lake Atitlan, and the markets at Chi-chi. I also welcome and appreciate any suggestions and tour operators you may recommend.

Thanks for your input!

Port Richey, Florida
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2,546 posts
11 reviews
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1. Re: Traveling Alone in Guatemala...and female

Hi there Chinita: I'd like to suggest you to avoid riding on chicken buses if at all possible. First of all their drivers drive like maniacs without any regard for safety. Also,there have been some armed robberies on these type of buses. For instance you can go on Litegua (deluxe bus service) from guatemala city to rio dulce/puerto barrios,a five hour trip for about US $10.00. What I am trying to tell you is that for a few more dollars you can be safe and have a pleasant experience on this trip . Even if you use shuttle service keep in mind that what you'd pay is a whole lot less than what you would pay here in the U.S. or in Europe. When travelling unaccompanied try not wear shorts. Remember, we latinos see things different than any other cultures. I am going to be in guatemala from Nov 19- Dec 18. I am planning on spending a few days in rio dulce then heading on to Tikal. If I can be of any additional assistance let me know and I'll be glad to be give you my e-mail address. Good luck.

OR
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2. Re: Traveling Alone in Guatemala...and female

When are you planning on going? We are a group of friends (males and females) going to Guatemala in December. Half of the group are Asians and we are fluent in spanish. If you need help or just want to hang out let me know!

We are also going to Antigua, Chichi, Atitlan and Tikal

Chicago, Illinois
4 posts
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3. Re: Traveling Alone in Guatemala...and female

Hmmmm...I did not hear from anyone so I just about gave up as I started to read how dangerous it could be on Yahoo Travel and other sites, let alone traveling alone, so I got really discouraged. My orginal plan was to spend a few days in Miami first, then I go to Guatemala as destination no. 2 before going back home to Chicago. That would be November 30th - December 9th or 10th. But after alot of research, I started to think it was a bad idea to travel like that alone.

Do you and your friends have all your trips and days planned? Are you guys using any tour operators? I found a good tour package on LatinAmericaEscapes.com with all the towns and hotels I wanted to hit, but at the same time I am open. Here is the itinerary:

…adventuresports.com/travel/…Trip188.htm

One important thing - I am in a little bit of a time crunch as I need to book my Miami reservations tonight or tomorrow.

Can you tell me a little more about what you have planned and a little more about you and your friends?

Chicago, Illinois
4 posts
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4. Re: Traveling Alone in Guatemala...and female

By the way 00Bongo...

Thank you for the advice. And don't worry, if I go I do not plan to ride any chicken buses :) Have you been to Asia? They drive like maniacs too! :)

Guatemala City...
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682 posts
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5. Re: Traveling Alone in Guatemala...and female

I think you should be fine. If you start off in Antigua there are many backpackers that you can hook up with and travel together.

Antigua is a must do.. the first place you should go. Its safe small town where you can walk and check out all the ruins, markets, etc.

From Antigua you can pick many different travel agents that will take you in their shuttles to Lake Atitlan, or Pacaya Volano or Volcano Aqua. If you travel in groups you should be just fine. You can go solo but of course as in anywhere else in the world, your risk increases.

Tikal is also a must if you can...

Let me know if you have any questions...

Maryland, USA
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207 posts
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6. Re: Traveling Alone in Guatemala...and female

A lot of women travel alone in Guatemala these days. Sure, you will read a lot of old reports about dangers in Guatemala. If you stay in hostels, you are likely to meet a lot of interesting travelers.

The statement above about the dangers of chicken buses is hyerbolic, but I won't go on them for any sort of distance if there is an alternative. They are slow and stop everywhere and nowhere.

You are considering Guatemala without seeing Tikal? When you get back, anyone who knows anything about Guatemala will ask you that question. Come up with a good reason if you can.

OR
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7. Re: Traveling Alone in Guatemala...and female

We are going the second week of December and most of our plans are set. I think you should be o.k. as long as you are careful like any where else in the world. About being Asian and attractive is o.k. Believe it or not guatemala has a big Asian population.

I heard about LatinEscapes.com, my friends used them to go to Peru and they were very pleased.

Good Luck!

Port Richey, Florida
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2,546 posts
11 reviews
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8. Re: Traveling Alone in Guatemala...and female

Hey Chinita: I hope you don't change your plans about visiting guatemala. Like they said, there are all kinds of tour operators in antigua and I am sure you'll meet other travellers that you can hook up with. Remember the weather in Nov-Dec gets kind of chilly up in the highlands. A light jacket'd be appropriate. Guatemalas are very hospitable and they bend backwards to make sure you're satisfied with their services. FYI, I read four guatemalan newspapers on line every day and I mean every day, that's why I am current about the frequency of fatal accidents involving chicken buses. I've seen many times how they drive. And of course I know this is not unique to guatemala. Because of my 25 years in the US Army I've been all over the world including Asia. But why take a chance if now in days you can find other safe ways to move around the country without having to spend an arm and a leg. Have a nice trip.

Weston-super-Mare...
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9. Re: Traveling Alone in Guatemala...and female

Hello Chinita!!!

I am a guatemalan girl and I know what you mean... how's your spanish? In Antigua Guatemala everybody speaks english so you won't have a problem. I think you have made a great research the places you want to go are "The places to go" :)

check out my page:

http://www.couchsurfing.com/hiphopgirl

if you need any advice or we can get together in december I can show you around if I am available!!

Welcome to Guatemala!!! :)

You won't regret it!!!

Vancouver, British...
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10. Re: Traveling Alone in Guatemala...and female

I am heading there with caravan tours feb 2 -12, i did a tour with them through costa rica and it was amazing so i am doing this tour.

i am also going solo, but doing it with a tour group so that its safer.

feel free to join me if you like