Summary

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Volcano Fuego is going through a period of increased activity, which may cause further travel disruption. Visitors are advised to follow the advice of local authorities. Guatemala City’s international airport (La Aurora) closed on 3 June 2018 due to falling ash. The airport authorities reopened the airport at 0830 (local time) on 4 June but flights are operating at airlines’ discretion.

If you’re due to fly to or from Guatemala City in the coming days you should check with your airline before you travel to the airport.

Visitors and residents in the vicinity of Guatemala City, Antigua and other areas neighbouring Fuego Volcano should monitor local news channels and follow the advice given by the Guatemalan Meteorological Office, INSIVUMEH.

Access to Fuego and Acatenango volcanoes is currently prohibited. The Guatemalan authorities have declared a state of emergency in the departments of Sacatepéquez, Escuintla and Chimaltenango. Due to falling ash in these areas, the Guatemalan authorities have issued the following advice:

  • Avoid outdoor activities.
  • If you have to go outside, cover your mouth and nose, and if possible use protective glasses.
  • Keep doors and windows closed and place damp towels in any crevices in the property.
  • Dampen fallen ash prior to sweeping it.
  • Clean up all ash from rooftops, patios and streets and place it in bags.
  • Do not throw ash directly into the drainage system.
  • It’s recommended that you don’t drive, but if you have to, do it with lights on and at low speed. Take into account that ash can damage your vehicle’s engine.
  • Avoid consuming any food in public areas, it might be contaminated.
  • It’s essential that you collect the ash regularly and do not let it accumulate.

Visitors and residents should exercise caution in areas to the southeast, southwest and due south of Fuego volcano where there will be an increased risk of fast-moving debris flows (lahars) in the coming days, particularly following heavy rain.

Large demonstrations occur throughout Guatemala, including in Guatemala City and other major towns, often with little or no notice. There may be disruptions to traffic and public transport. You should remain cautious and avoid any demonstrations. See Political situation

When travelling in the country, you should follow the advice of the local authorities (PROATUR) and monitor local media. See Local travel

UK health authorities have classified Guatemala as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For more information and advice, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website

The rainy season in Guatemala normally runs from June to November, coinciding with the hurricane season in the Caribbean. See Local travel and rainy season

Guatemala has one of the highest violent crime rates in Latin America. Take care in all parts of the country, including Guatemala City. You should carry personal ID when travelling (certified copies are fine). See Crime

Guatemala has active volcanoes, some prone to heightened activity. Some are at high altitude with sub-zero temperatures at night. Six tourists died of exposure on Acetenango in January 2017. Warm clothing and waterproofs are essential. Local tour organisers tend to underestimate the risks.

Before climbing volcanoes, you should check and follow the advice of local authorities and monitor the situation. See Volcanoes

Avoid travelling on public buses (repainted US school buses). Private inter-city coach services are safer, but not immune from attack. See Local travel

Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in Guatemala, attacks can’t be ruled out. See Terrorism

15,133 British nationals visited Guatemala in 2017. Most visits are trouble free.

You can contact the emergency services by calling 120 (police) or 122/123 (ambulance and fire).

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.