Bandits in Guatemala

This item appears on page 21 of the October 2008 issue.

Armed attacks have occurred on roads that many travelers take from Guatemala City through the Petén region of Guatemala to see the Mayan ruins at Tikal.

Many of the robbery attempts have occurred in daylight hours on main highways. The robbers also have used a section of highway where the paved portion ends and vehicles must slow to drive on gravel. Carjacking incidents and highway robberies often are violent.

Visitors to Tikal are urged to fly to nearby Flores and then travel by bus or tour van to the site. Tourists planning to drive the highway to Tikal are urged to travel in a convoy of two or more vehicles or with a group.

Travelers also can request a tourist security escort from the Tourist Protection Office of INGUAT, or the Guatemalan Tourist Board (4 Calle 4-37, Zone 9, Guatemala City, Guatemala; e-mail; the request must be received in writing at least three days in advance of the trip. For info, in the U.S. call 888/464-8281.