Dangers and Annoyances
Corruption, especially among the police remains a problem in Central America. Theft on transport is an issue particularly at night and sexual assault is very common for local women, less so for tourists but something to be aware of.
As a general rule, travel during the day whenever possible in all countries, especially in Guatemala where there have been recent reports of violent hold ups of tourist shuttle buses at night involving armed plain-clothed police.
In Mexico, police have been boarding buses and checking passports for immigration stamps and the associated exit form that are provided when you enter the country and there have been many reports of tourists being arrested and deported. It is possible to cross the northern border without seeing a customs officer and so a special effort is needed to receive the documentation.
In Mexico, there have been several reports of shots being fired at night buses travelling south from Mexico City in an attempt to stop the bus. ADO first class has better security then other classes.
In Belize, there have been reports of drug dealers working with police to elicit bribes.
Drugs are cheap and easily available in all countries and it is a personal choice. It is worth noting that consuming drugs is contributing to the corruption that is being driven by the drug cartels and is paralysing these beautiful countries, leaving many locals in fear and poverty.
Very common in Central America and terribly difficult to get rid of. Avoid putting your clothes or bags on beds. Wash your clothes frequently and if you get bed bugs, wash and dry everything including backpacks on a very high heat.
Mosquitoes are part of travelling with some people far more susceptible than others. Malaria is a problem in the Amazon regions of South America and dengue fever is present throughout both. For tips to reduce your tastiness to mosquitoes check out the guest blog.