January 29, 2022

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Guatemala Travel Advisory

13 min read

Do not travel to Guatemala due to COVID-19. Exercise increased caution in Guatemala due to crime.  

Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for Guatemala due to COVID-19.      

Travelers to Guatemala may experience border closures, airport closures, travel prohibitions, stay at home orders, business closures, and other emergency conditions within Guatemala due to COVID-19. Visit the Embassy’s COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Guatemala.

Reconsider travel to:

  • Guatemala department due to crime.
  • Escuintla department due to crime.
  • Chiquimula department due to crime.
  • Quetzaltenango department due to crime.
  • Izabal department due to crime.
  • Petén department due to crime.

Violent crime, such as armed robbery and murder, is common. Gang activity, such as extortion, violent street crime, and narcotics trafficking, is widespread. Local police may lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents. 

Read  the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Guatemala:

  • See the U.S. Embassy’s web page regarding COVID-19. 
  • Visit the CDC’s webpage on Travel and COVID-19.   
  • Consider hotels that offer secure parking, doormen, and a dedicated and professional security staff.
  • Request security escorts, available for tourist groups, from the Guatemalan Tourism Institute (INGUAT).
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Avoid walking or driving at night.
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
  • Do not use public ATMs.
  • Do not display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Guatemala.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Guatemala Department– Reconsider Travel

Violent crime, such as armed robbery and murder, is common. Gang activity, such as extortion, violent street crime, and narcotics trafficking, is widespread. Local police may lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents.

The following zones are of particular concern in Guatemala City due to crime: 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 21, and 24. Guatemala International Airport is located in Zone 13. Take appropriate security measures when traveling to and from the airport.

Do not hail taxis on the street in Guatemala City. Use radio-dispatched taxis (Taxi Amarillo), INGUAT approved taxis from the “SAFE” stand from the airport or hotel taxis.

Avoid areas outside of major roads and highways in the Guatemala Department and listed zones in Guatemala City.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas

Escuintla Department – Reconsider Travel

Violent crime, such as armed robbery and murder, is common. Gang activity, such as extortion, violent street crime, and narcotics trafficking, is widespread. Local police may lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents.

Avoid areas outside of major roads and highways.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas

Chiquimula Department– Reconsider Travel

Violent crime, such as armed robbery and murder, is common. Gang activity, such as extortion, violent street crime, and narcotics trafficking, is widespread. Local police may lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents.

Avoid areas outside of major roads and highways.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas

Quetzaltenango Department – Reconsider Travel

Violent crime, such as armed robbery and murder, is common. Gang activity, such as extortion, violent street crime, and narcotics trafficking, is widespread. Local police may lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents.

Avoid areas outside of major roads and highways.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas

Izabal Department – Reconsider Travel

Violent crime, such as armed robbery and murder, is common. Gang activity, such as extortion, violent street crime, and narcotics trafficking, is widespread. Local police may lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents.

Avoid areas outside of major roads and highways.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas

Petén Department – Reconsider Travel

Violent crime, such as armed robbery and murder, is common. Gang activity, such as extortion, violent street crime, and narcotics trafficking, is widespread. Local police may lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents.

Tikal is located in Peten Department. Fly directly into Flores airport if possible.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas

Last Update: Reissued with updates to COVID-19 information.

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