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Guatemala City, Guatemala

Rank#789 Guatemala City, Guatemala

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Travel Infomation Description

Road Conditions and Safety: Road hazards are common. Be vigilant of pedestrians who unexpectedly dart across roads due to the lack of defined crosswalks.

Secondary and rural roads have little to no illumination. U.S. Embassy employees are prohibited from outside the city at night. Embassy employees are also prohibited from driving from or through Mexico to Guatemala for transit purposes.

  • Robberies of occupied vehicles are common in Guatemala City. Often two assailants on motorcycles pull up alongside a car stopped at a traffic light.
  • There have been numerous reports of violent criminal activity along Guatemala?s main highways, including the Carretera a El Salvador (Inter-American Highway CA-2). The Inter-American Highway (CA-1) and the road from Guatemala City to the Caribbean coast (CA-9) are especially dangerous both day and night, due to heavy traffic, including large trucks and trailers.
  • Stay on main roads when traveling to and from Antigua and Lake Atitlan. Secondary roads in those areas are poorly maintained and have experienced higher incidents of robbery, rape, and armed assault.
  • Armed attacks have occurred on roads between Guatemala City and the Pet?n region as well as between Tikal and the Belize border.

Roadside Assistance: PROVIAL, a roadside assistance force, patrols most of the major highways in the country. PROVIAL can be contacted by calling 2419-2121. Travelers may also call the police for roadside assistance by dialing 110 or 120 or the fire department by dialing 122 or 123. However, patrols are sporadic.

Traffic Laws: Valid U.S. driver?s licenses are accepted for the first 30 days of a visit, and international driving permits are accepted for extended stays.

Laws and speed limits are often ignored, turn signals are rarely used, and passing on dangerous stretches of highway is common.

It is against the law for drivers to operate cellular phones while driving.

People found driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs are arrested and may serve jail time.

All drivers involved in accidents resulting in injury may be detained and held in protective custody pending investigation or payment of alleged damages.

Public Transportation: The most common form of public transportation is the system of bright red recycled school buses. Criminal activity and frequent fatal accidents, however, make these low-priced local and inter-city buses particularly dangerous.

Use of radio-dispatched taxis is far safer than hailing taxis on the street. In Guatemala City several radio taxi companies operate.

  • Taxi Seguro can be reached at 2312-4243.
  • Taxi Amarillo Express (yellow taxis) is a radio-dispatch taxi service reached by dialing 1766.
  • A Green Cab radio dispatch service operates in the suburbs near zone 15 and the Cayala entertainment and shopping destination.
  • The Guatemalan tourist assistance agency, PROATUR, may be able to provide additional information and can be reached by dialing 1500.

Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information. Visit the website of Guatemala?s national tourist office and national authority responsible for road safety, or contact them via e-mail.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Guatemala?s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Guatemala?s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA?s safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Guatemala should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings.

Guatemala City, Guatemala
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Guatemala City, Guatemala

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