Essential Tips for Staying Safe in Antigua

Parked cars in Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala
Parked cars in Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala | Photo by Parker Hilton on Unsplash

Freelance writer

Antigua Guatemala is known to be a ‘pretty safe’ city within the Latin American backpacker trail, and while this is true, that doesn’t mean crime doesn’t occur. Muggings and pickpocketing happen more frequently than you might think, but if you keep your wits about you there’s no reason to feel wary. Here are some essential tips to stay safe in Antigua.

Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.

Don’t walk around town at night

Strolling Antigua’s charming cobbled streets is the best way to explore this beautiful town, but when night falls it’s different. Walking around at night in a country you don’t know is never a good idea, and according to official police reports, most of the muggings that occur in Antigua happen between 10pm and 3am. Avoid walking around at night wherever possible; even if your destination is a five-minute walk away, take a cab or tuk-tuk.

Keep an eye out for pickpockets

Opportunistic pickpocketing is easily the most common petty crime in Antigua, so minimize your chances of becoming a victim by keeping your money in the front pocket of your shirt. If you have a backpack and are walking through a busy area, strap it to your front. The markets and Central Park are usually pickpocketing hotspots, so be extra vigilant when walking through these areas.

Only park your vehicle in a parqueo

Vehicle theft in Antigua is more common than you might think, with cars parked near Central Park the most likely to be stolen. Always park in a parqueo, a public or private parking garage, and make sure you have vehicle insurance in case anything does happen.

Don’t flash your wealth

This one isn’t specific to Antigua, but it’s an important one all the same. Don’t show off any signs of wealth, and leave your jewelry, camera and wallet at home wherever possible. Obviously there’ll be times when you want to take photos, but on those instances always keep a firm hold of your camera: don’t just carry it around your neck, as the straps are easy to slice through.

Photo courtesy of PXHere

Know your numbers

Before you enter a new country it’s always important to research what the emergency numbers are, should you need them at any point. In Guatemala you can call the police by dialling 120 and 110. Security escorts are also available through the Tourist Assistance Office of INGUAT; dial 1500 to arrange police escort or have questions answered.

Don’t go to after-parties

Because bars and clubs in Antigua shut at 1am, after-parties have become a real thing here. They sound like fun – and very often are – but come with their own risks. As a general rule, after-parties in Antigua attract shady characters: if there are five criminals out on a Saturday night, chances are they’re going to one of the illegal after-parties. There are exceptions to this (the famous swimming pool after-party has bouncers and is pretty legit) but always bear this in mind if you’re tempted by the lure of partying into the night.

Don’t appear nervous or paranoid

While crime does occur in Antigua, the vast majority of people here are honest and friendly, and if they approach you on the street are far more likely to greet you with a warm “Buenas!” rather than demand your money. Thieves and muggers can often tell when people are scared or wary, and may take it as a sign that you are carrying something very valuable. Try to appear confident at all times, and always keep your wits about you.

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.