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Anyone know ANYTHING about Guatemala (Izabal)?


jmalstrom

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We are currently rescheduled to Guatemala (Puerto Izabal) for our Nov 27 trip on NCL Sun since Cayman may still be closed. We are excited about teh potential of an exotic port, but I can't find much info on what there is to do in Guatemala. Anyone been there before?????

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  • 2 weeks later...

we were in Santo Tomas last year on the Veendam. we hired a cab (at the dock) and took a "tour" of the local areas and entered Honduras for a bit. the driver seemed very proud of his country but it was very poor and even the posh hotel he took us to was one we would never consider staying in ....

 

our driver was not very good in English and I was not very good in Spanish but we did manage to communicate on a primitive level.

 

there was shopping set up on the dock and that was interesting....lots of repitition but our cruise companions found several gifts for friends (it was Christmas time) that they thought were good values.

 

not the highlight of the trip, but hey, now i can say we have been to Guatemala....there is a security alert out now, i would be more careful this time....perhaps a ship tours would have been safer ! we thought of that that evening.....whew ! we were glad we made it back to the ship.

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Absolutely pay the money and take whatever the official ship tours are. I have traveled extensively in Guatemala, and it is a beautiful country which I am glad to have seen. However, the previous postings makes some excellent points. 1) Rudimentary Spanish will be a must if you travel on your own. We get spoiled traveling thoughout the Carribean and Mexico where there is a healthy English/Native language mix. Not so here. 2) Even Tikal, the beautiful and popular place that is, is quite a chore to get to. 3) Roads, what roads? 4) The state department has issued a travel advisory due to episodic civil unrest and the large amount of kidnappings for ransom in the country. Go to the State Department website to check it out. When you take the official cruise tour, they provide the safety of numbers and the local tour groups consider it bad business to piss off the big cruise lines. They bust their butt for your safety.

 

Buenas suerte! I am jealous, you will have a great time in Guatemala-just be really smart about it.

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  • 2 months later...

Anyone going to Guatemala go to the US State Department web sight and check out the very serious travel warnings. I am suprised the ships are still stopping at this port. I would be nervous even taking a ship tour.

 

I have been following all crime reports in Guatemala the last several months because my 19 year old son and 7 other college students (all Grove City College students) are planning on going on a mission trip to Guatemala over Easter 2005-they were going to volunteer in an orphanage and travel with some missionaries for 14 days. There is a sight you can go to and read the day to day crime that is happening and it is awful how many visitors have been hijacked on the roads and attacked in broad daylight in the last two months- from what I read the police force seems criminal and non-exsistant-the crime against foreigners isn't getting any better I wish the state department would issue a travel warning instead of just a travel advisory.

 

I know that what my son had in mind was a wonderful thing to do but I have FINALLY talked him into choosing something other than Guatemala to do over Easter break!! There are alot of safer areas (especially when it is 19 year old inexperienced people traveling as a group of 8-they will stick out like a sore thumb!!)that need volunteers.

 

Everyone take the Guatemala travel warnings serious they are put out there for a reason-better SAFE than sorry!!

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I have been to Guatemala twice in my life, because that is where my grandmother lived (and where my mother was born and lived until she was 21). This country is so amazingly beautiful, but so very very unsafe. The guerillas target tour groups on the highways. Last year an American tour group was highjacked on the highway. The bad guys killed the driver and robbed all the passengers. Before my grandmother died, my mom would fly down to visit her. She would not take a taxi from the airport, because she knew how many people have been victimized from taxi drivers. She would always have a family friend pick her up. She felt it was too dangerous just to take a taxi, and yet she grew up there and blends in. Cruise ship passengers don't exactly fit in, so they are at a really high risk for being a victim of a crime. My landscaper is Guatemalan. When we established that my family is from Guatemala too, he and I had a great talk. We shared that Antigua, Lake Atitlan, and Tikal are some of the most amazing places to visit in the world. He told me, however, that because I look so anglo (and I'm so obviously American), I would be at high risk for not only robbery but also murder. He actually said "murder". Guatemala is not Cancun. It is a totally amazing country, but it is not safe to visit. Would you, as an American, visit Columbia? If you have any questions for me, I'm a great resource for Guatemala, since that is where my mother grew up plus I have been there twice. I urge you to use great caution when there. This is not the Caribbean. Would you go to Columbia where the drug cartel is in to kidnapping?

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