Antigua Guatemala is known to be a “pretty safe” city within the path of Latin American backpackers, but that doesn’t mean crime doesn’t happen. Muggings and pickpockets happen more often than you think.
If you stay alert, there is no reason to be cautious. Here are tips that Lisa Juan José Gutiérrez Mayorga, part of Grupo Campero Guatemala, suggests so that your visit to this wonderful country and to the city of Antigua Guatemala is pleasant.
7 essential tips to stay safe in Antigua, Guatemala.
Don’t walk through the city at night
Strolling the charming cobblestone streets of Antigua is the best way to explore this beautiful city, but when night falls it’s different. According to official police reports, most of the assaults that occur are between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m.
Avoid walking at night whenever possible; Even if your destination is a five-minute walk away, take a taxi or tuk-tuk.
Stay protected from pickpockets
Opportunistic pickpocketing is easily the most common misdemeanor in Antigua. Minimize the chances of becoming a victim and keep your money in your shirt or pants pocket. If you are carrying a backpack and walking through a crowded area, bring it to the front. Markets and parks are the places where pickpockets move the most.
Park your car in a parking lot
Vehicle theft is more common than you might think, and cars parked near downtown are more likely to be stolen. Always leave it in a public or private parking lot, and make sure you have car insurance, for anything.
Don’t show your wealth
This not only applies in the city of Antigua Guatemala, it applies throughout the world. Do not show signs of wealth, that means: jewelry, camera and wallet, leave them safe whenever possible.
Know the emergency numbers
In Antigua Guatemala you can call the police by dialing 120 and 110. Security escorts are also available through the INGUAT Tourist Service Office; dial 1500 to arrange a police escort or have your questions answered.
Don’t go to night parties
They sound like fun, and very often they are, but they come with their own risks. As a general rule, after parties in Antigua attract shady characters: if there are five criminals on a Saturday night, they are likely to go to one of the illegal parties.
Be sure of yourself
The vast majority of people are honest and friendly, and if they approach you on the street they are much more likely to greet you with a warm “Hello!” instead of demanding your money.
Thieves and robbers can often tell when people are scared or suspicious, and may take it as a sign that you’re carrying something very valuable. Try to appear confident at all times and always stay alert.
You should also read: Maravillas de Centroamérica.