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There is a safe ATM in Panajachel!!

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Victoria, BC Canada
posts: 14
reviews: 186
There is a safe ATM in Panajachel!!

We were there in January and asked two different ex-pats about a safe ATM to get money. There have been many problems with having your cards compromised at machines in that town. The ATM at the local grocery store is safe according to the ex-pats. It is inside the door of the Dispensa Familia. That store is about a 10 minute walk from the lake. You need to be ready to enter your information quickly as it does time out super fast but we had no problem getting money.

29 replies to this topic
Panajachel...
posts: 623
reviews: 10
1. Re: There is a safe ATM in Panajachel!!

I have heard of a few problems but use the one in the Despensa Familiar from time to time with no problems. I also use the one across from Pana Rock.

Lake Atitlan
Destination Expert
for Lake Atitlan
posts: 815
reviews: 151
2. Re: There is a safe ATM in Panajachel!!

I have not heard of any solid confirmed problems with the ATM's in Panajachel. I hear lots of rumor and fear-mongering, but not one confirmed case of ATM fraud. I would like to hear of someone who actually was fruaded. Not the brother of someones cousin who heard of it happening to his neighbor. Lets get to the facts of the matter, and put the rumors aside.

Washington DC...
posts: 6
3. Re: There is a safe ATM in Panajachel!!

Just got back on Sunday- - used the ATM at the top of calle Santander- no problems there or in Antigua either.....

Loved Pana !

The Dalles, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Guatemala, Belize
posts: 6,723
reviews: 137
4. Re: There is a safe ATM in Panajachel!!

Margaret - You might want to change your password and keep checking your statements since it seems that many/most of the problems people have experienced with the Antigua ATMs didn't occur for months after the trip.

Washington DC...
posts: 6
5. Re: There is a safe ATM in Panajachel!!

Ok good idea- thanks. So far the only issues I have had are since I got back to the states

Everything I try to use my cards for in the States- becomes a fraud alert and my cards lock. Have spent 3 hours and two days explaining its me.

I also used it outside Sololá in Aldea Argueta - didn't have an issue there either - bancrural - but I will keep checking

Millones de gracias por su ayuda! Me encanta con Guatemala - voy a regresar con mi familia a Navidad.

Deerfield Beach...
posts: 2,535
reviews: 12
6. Re: There is a safe ATM in Panajachel!!

I totally agree with Kayak. Unfortunately baseless rumors is how guatemala has gotten a bad rap. And potential tourists have missed out on exploring a beautiful country.

Panajachel...
posts: 1
reviews: 1
7. Re: There is a safe ATM in Panajachel!!

On Feb 22, i attempted to get out cash at the ATM in the coffee shop at the end of the main street. The 5B acted like it gave cash, and gave none! I tried again, it made the sound, but no cash! Being worried and concerned, when I looked at my account online, it said I received the cash. I contacted my bank with online chat and they immediately (well 2-3 hours) re-imbursed my account (a first in my 2 years travelling with a visa debit card). The local bank told me to try their ATM machine and it worked fine. However, with the broken ATM, I witnessed the following day two 5B technicians came and fixed it (after I put a broken sign on the machine). I say, always check your bank online to see if it matches your withdrawals.

Lake Atitlan
Destination Expert
for Lake Atitlan
posts: 815
reviews: 151
8. Re: There is a safe ATM in Panajachel!!

Thanks for writing your post about your "first hand experience" with the ATM in Pana. I sounds as though the machine was broken or out of money, rather than it being a situation of fraud.

It was great of your bank to be attentive to your request and re-imburse you so quickly.

San Francisco...
posts: 2
9. Re: There is a safe ATM in Panajachel!!

Here is a confirmed case of fraud: I experienced fraud at an ATM machine in Panajachel. I am 100% positive that this machine was the source of the fraud.

The ATM machine I used was the Cajero 5B, the one on the north side of the intersection of Avendia Santander and Calle Principal. I am certain that this ATM was the source of the fraud as as this was the first time while travelling in Central America that I used this ATM card (from Bank of America). I checked my account online the very next day there were 2 fraudulent transactions. They were purchases (not ATM withdrawals) in Sacatepequez. One was at a place called Casa Santa Clara for $2095.21 and the 2nd was at Galeria de Arte Genesis for $885.56.

I am still in the process of disputing these transactions with the bank, as the ATM card was actually copied, and used like a Visa card for these 2 purchases - I have a copy of one of the transactions and there is an imprint of the card.

I'd love to know if this happened to anyone else out there, as it could help me to resolve this with the bank.

Deerfield Beach...
posts: 2,535
reviews: 12
10. Re: There is a safe ATM in Panajachel!!

I'm sorry to hear what happened to you. And hope you can successfully dispute the fraudulent carges.

Luckily it has never happened to me using my debit card in guatemala. But I use a separate bank where I keep just enough funds on the account for my trips overseas.

Edited: 9:43 pm, March 28, 2013
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