If you are planning on traveling to Antigua Guatemala, the biggest concern would certainly be your safety. After all, Guatemala isn’t known to be one of the safest countries in Central America to travel to.
Violence, crime, danger, all of those words are usually what pop into people’s mind when talking about the safety of Guatemala. As of November 2023, Guatemala was ranked at level 3 by the U.S Department of State in terms of safety, which says “Reconsider Travel”.
However, this is a warning for the entirety of Guatemala, and you might just want to visit Antigua. So does that warning still hold true in Antigua? With so many amazing things to do in Antigua, you don’t want to ruin your trip by being a victim of a crime.
That is why we have written this post to discuss our experience when it comes to safety in Antigua Guatemala.
Planning A Trip To Antigua Guatemala Last Minute?
Make sure you book your tours, places to stay, and airport transfers ahead of time to ensure availability!
Our recommended airport transfer to Antigua:
- La Aurora Guatemala City Airport To Antigua (Safest way to get to your hotel!)
Our recommended tours in Antigua:
- From Antigua: Pacaya Volcano Trek (Great hike for everyone!)
- Overnight Volcano Acatenango Hiking Adventure (See Volcano Fuego ERUPT!!)
- Bean-to-Bar Chocolate Workshop in ChocoMuseo
Our recommended places to stay in Antigua:
How Is The Safety In Antigua, Guatemala?
Is Antigua Guatemala safe or dangerous? The short answer? Yes. In general, Antigua Guatemala is very safe but precautions should still be exercised. Without a doubt, Antigua is one of the safest cities in Guatemala.
I am sure you have heard of terrors when it comes to safety in Guatemala, but that usually pertains to the capital of Guatemala, Guatemala City. (That is why the first thing you do when you get to Guatemala is go from the Guatemala Airport to Antigua!)
Many travelers tend to relate Antigua’s safety with Guatemala City’s safety because they are only an hour apart from each other. However, this cannot be more wrong.
Guatemala City is notorious for being dangerous without much to see. Armed robberies, thefts, and people on motorbikes snatching your phone are not uncommon.
In fact, when we traveled to Antigua, we met lots of locals that chose to come all the way from Guatemala City to Antigua to party because it is just that much safer. Here in Antigua, the ex-capital of Guatemala, you will find a bigger police presence, more beautiful places, and better things to do.
We met numerous solo travelers in Antigua that reaffirmed our speculation. In the daytime, the charming cobblestone streets of Antigua are safe for tourists, even if you are traveling alone. At night, the streets are equally safe, just don’t make yourself an easy target by being under the influence and walking alone.
Crime In Antigua, Guatemala
Perhaps one of the reasons why Antigua is so safe is that crime is relatively low, especially violent crimes. Most of the mishaps that happen in Antigua are petty theft such as pickpocketing and the rare bag snatching.
Most of the theft and pickpocketing occurs in crowded places such as bars, clubs, and markets in Antigua. When going out to these places, it is best that you stay vigilant with your belongings. We always carry an anti-theft waist bag with us when we go to these places.
Violent crimes such as armed robberies are very uncommon in Antigua, but it is something that you should protect yourself against. Avoid walking in empty streets at night, especially if you are under the influence and out of the city center.
It is very interesting, especially since there isn’t a heavy police presence in Antigua. Perhaps there are just so many tourists, so it definitely feels a lot safer than places with more locals.
Guatemala is a country you most definitely want to consider getting travel insurance.
Check out our recommended travel insurance here!
Safety Tips When Visiting Antigua Guatemala
Some of these tips might sound like common sense but you will not believe the number of visitors that have gotten in trouble by not listening to them. These aren’t just tips on staying safe in Antigua, but they are also tips in general for your Guatemala trip.
- Avoid being under the influence – If you are under the influence (intoxicated, drugged, and maybe more), naturally you increase your chance of being the victim.
- Take only when you need when going out at night – Many thieves are out at night looking to prey on unsuspecting foreigners. Bring only what you need when you go out to the bars or clubs and be aware of who’s standing next to you.
- Don’t walk around alone at night with your valuables – A camera that they take from you is more than a month’s salary. We have not heard of anyone getting robbed at night, but we recommend avoiding unpopulated areas and streets when you are by yourself.
- Avoid traveling on the chicken bus (Guatemala’s infamous public transportation) – Thieves are pretty common on the chicken bus. If you do decide to use it (they’re so cheap), make sure to keep your belongings secure!
- Purchase Travel Insurance – This will guarantee that you are covered for anything that happens to your trip to antigua. Don’t let the fear of safety limit your trip to Antigua, Guatemala.
- Take Uber instead of taxis – The safety of taxis in Antigua is not the best. The taxi driver might try to scam you by charging you extra or even take you somewhere you did not intend to go. We always take an Uber when we are in Antigua, it’s just much safer.
- Put on sunscreen – The elevation of Antigua is at 1545 m (~5000 ft). At this altitude, the sun is much stronger and could really burn your skin. Wear some SPF sunblock to avoid sunburn!
- Be careful with street food – I had some street food at Mercado Central (Central Market) in Antigua and ended up with a parasite. To be fair, I did have a ceviche which was totally my flaw. But I’ve heard other people having GI issues after having street food.
- Avoid going up Cerro de la Cruz after sunset – This famous Antigua attraction is on the perimeter of the city, and it can be a little bit sketchy after dark.
Read More: 21 Things Guatemala Is Known For!
Is Antigua Guatemala Safe For Solo Female Travelers?
Solo female travelers definitely get more attention when they are traveling, especially in Guatemala. Sometimes they are seen as “easy targets” for criminals, hence increasing solo female travelers’ risk of getting into dangerous situations.
With that said, Antigua Guatemala is generally quite safe for solo female travelers. During the day, you’ll most definitely feel safe walking around the cobblestone streets and exploring everything Antigua has to offer.
The streets can become quite quiet at night once the businesses have shut down. It is best to be aware of your surroundings when you are walking alone at night in Antigua, but it is typically harmless.
Is Antigua Guatemala Safe At Night?
Antigua, just like many other cities around the world, is more dangerous at night than it is in the day time. However, generally speaking, the city is still very safe, and tourists should have no issue walking around. I personally have never had any problems walking around at night in Antigua, nor anyone that I have met.
However, it is always a good idea to exercise increase caution, especially when you are walking at night in a quiet area alone. Most crime happens at night to people by themselves.
Antigua Guatemala Safety FAQs
Is It Safe To Walk Around Antigua Guatemala?
At all times of the day, it is safe to walk around the streets in Antigua Guatemala. Most crime that happens in Guatemala are petty crimes such as pickpockets and thefts, which typically don’t offer in the streets.
Is The Tap Water Safe To Drink In Antigua Guatemala?
Under no circumstances should you drink the tap water in Antigua, Guatemala, or in Guatemala in general. The tap water can only be drunk if the water has been pre-boiled, otherwise, you’ll put yourself at risk for many illnesses.
Is It Safe To Go Out At Night In Antigua?
Antigua is one of the most popular nightlife destinations in Guatemala, and one of the reasons is that it is very safe. With the streets of Antigua fairly safe at night, travelers only need to worry about pickpockets that occasionally occur in nightclubs and bars.
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I hope that answers your question “Is Antigua Guatemala dangerous or safe?” We hope our Antigua Guatemala safety tips have reassured your travel plans to Guatemala!
Have a question? Let us know in the comments!
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