Guatemala will be holding national elections on Sunday 16th June. There may be heightened tensions in the run up to the Election Day, as well as immediately after. Avoid all political demonstrations and monitor local news channels. You can find more information on the website of the Tribunal Supremo Electoral (in Spanish), the government body responsible for the electoral process.
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
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. See Volcanoes
Some volcanoes are at high altitude with sub-zero temperatures at night. Six tourists died of exposure on Acatenango in January 2017. Warm clothing and waterproofs are essential. Local tour organisers tend to underestimate the risks.
The eruption of Fuego volcano in June 2018 damaged the National Route 14, which connects Escuintla and Antigua, Sacatepéquez. The road has reopened, but for safety reasons it is vulnerable to closure at short notice, during heavy rain or due to volcanic activity. Check with your tour operator and local authorities (PROATUR) before travelling along this route.
Before climbing volcanoes, you should visit the website of the Guatemalan Meteorological Office (INSIVUMEH) and the CONRED disaster agency for information on access, restrictions and recommendations. You should also check and follow the advice of local authorities beforehand.
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
16,109 British nationals visited Guatemala in 2018. 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.