Women Travelers Guatemala Information – In and Around Guatemala. Women Travel Safely Guatemala Facts and Information.
Let’s look first at the safety issues for women travelers in Guatemala.
I’ll say something obvious first. Like anywhere a traveler might find herself, some rules can’t be trifled with. Like, don’t wander around by yourself alone at night looking lost and perplexed (this is a no-brainer). And don’t get overly refreshed in a bar and strike up fast relationships with strangers. (Think twice. Do you want to wake up next to Ramone? Exactly.)
In general, you are safe in most tourist destinations in Guatemala. Having said that, you need to be forewarned when arriving here. More than likely you will first sit down in the capital, Guatemala City, a sprawling metropolis of some 1.3 million people. It can be a rough town and it is not recommended that women walk around at night alone.
Zona 10 is near the airport and this is where the major hotels and embassies are located. It’s pretty safe during the daytime, but you’re better off staying inside once nightfall descends.
You will likely be taken a little aback at the sight of armed security folks with pump shotguns in front of banks, government buildings, many of the stores, and other businesses. Though Guatemala City has many interesting cultural and historical landmarks and museums, I would not recommend a long stay.
The best thing to do is land in Guatemala City take a taxi from the airport and head immediately to Antigua Guatemala. The standard trip price is $30 US and the airport taxis generally abide honorably with this rate. Still, make sure you establish the price before handing over your luggage and installing yourself in the cab.
Language issues Women Travelers Guatemala Information
Even if you don’t speak Spanish you can still get around quite easily as an English-only speaker. In Antigua Guatemala, for example, many people speak excellent English, and just as many speak enough to help you along.
If you do find yourself in a situation where English meets Spanish, the international rules apply. Learn to say “please, excuse me and thank you” and you’ll do well for a start. There is no need to speak loudly and s-l-o-w-l-y in English. You’ll get a better reception if you try a few words in Spanish.
The general rule applies in Guatemala as it does in other parts of the world: exercise humility, and gratitude, and show that you are making an effort by speaking a word or so in Spanish. Guatemalans in general have a very hospitable and accommodating nature and I have found that I can generally make myself understood on a basic level in any given situation.
As well, almost all travel booking and tourist operator services have English-speaking staff as do most hotel front, desk employees.
Women Travelers Guatemala Information cost of Travel in Guatemala
However you like to travel, four-star hotel or hostel accommodation, Guatemala is generally a great deal cheaper than North America or European destinations.
To give you an idea, a restaurant meal for two in a version of an American steak house, including wine and tip, comes to about one-third of what it would cost anywhere in the US or Canada. More modest establishments offering Guatemalan cuisine are even cheaper. A lovely lunch of tortillas, chicken, or beef stew with rice and seasonal vegetables can come in at less than the price of a big latte in your hometown.
There is a wide variety of accommodations in Guatemala. If, for example, you wanted to stay in the center of town in Antigua Guatemala, you can find hotels that range from $25 to $300 a night. Even the lower-priced rooms are clean and comfortable, almost all of them with en suite bathrooms.
Travel costs range in price, from 40 cents for a 10-kilometer ride on a chicken bus to a few hundred dollars to fly to Maya ruins. In the main, the “gray hound-like” buses, whether traveling short or long distances, are about a quarter of the costs of similar distances in North America.