Guatemala - Profile
- The Rio Dulce on Guatemala's Caribbean coast is the ultimate destination of almost every yacht cruising this part of the world; yachts that are not hampered by too deep a draft can negotiate the bar at the entrance to the river, after which the river virtually belongs to them.
- Facilities on the Rio Dulce have greatly expanded in recent years, with several marinas on the river catering for visiting yachts where it is possible to leave the boat to travel inland, either to the capital or the ancient Maya sites.
- Guatemala is now one of the more expensive countries to visit. An alternative is to visit the country from Puerto Chiapas, Mexico.
Care should be taken here as there have, in the past, been a number of yacht boardings and robberies. Increases in patrols in the Rio Dulce area has resulted in better security, however the Navy do not patrol at all times and it is not recommended to anchor in lonely anchorages overnight.
Local advice is to moor in one of the many marinas that are around the bridge, which are not expensive. Or, if you really do not want to to go in a marina, anchor in front of the village of Fronteras or in front of Ram Marina - Nana Juana. If you want to anchor down the river then choose Texan Bay.
It is recommended that anchoring overnight in or near the Rio Tatin should be avoided.
Hoist your dingy and outboard on deck always at night here and be sure to secure them properly to the yacht. Dinghy and outboard thefts occur here frequently, even in the marinas.
As with everywhere in Central and South America, avoid walking alone during the night or in isolated places.
Guatemala has one of the highest violent crime rates in Latin America. Take care in all parts of the country, including Guatemala City.
The Caribbean Safety and Security Net (firstname.lastname@example.org) provides information by anchorage or by island, so sailors can plan their cruising in the Caribbean with an eye to appropriate behaviour and precautions wherever they decide to go. Should you have suffered a boarding, robbery or attack on your yacht or have information about a yachting-related security incident, go to the CSSN homepage and click on the "Report an Incident" icon. The associated form is quick and simple to complete and ensures that all the necessary details are reported. The CSSN is the most comprehensive source of Caribbean security incidents against sailors. Remember, it is every cruiser's responsibility to ensure that incidents are reported. Also cruisers can subscribe to e-mail alerts, follow on facebook and twitter and listen to the SSB Voice Service.
The Caribbean Security Index (CSI) is a a tool to assist cruisers in assessing the probability of crime at ports and anchorages throughout the Caribbean. The CSI provides a means of assessing risk in a given area.
Also be sure to check the noonsite Piracy & Safety Pages
Last updated May 2016.
The climate depends very much on the altitude and the coast is hot and humid. The Caribbean coast is occasionally affected by northers in winter. Throughout the year the local prevailing winds are easterly.
For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page