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ATM's, continued.

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Olalla, Washington
posts: 14
ATM's, continued.

OK....I've read the initial posting by Patg1, and all of the replies to that posting. What seems to be the answer here? I love to travel, so not going is not the answer...in fact, a bit of risk is why we all travel, right?

I'm going to Guatemala in 2 weeks, and I'd like the opinion of my fellow travelers regarding the safest way to carry money and use ATM's...thanks in advance!


Costa Rica
posts: 23,975
reviews: 26
1. Re: ATM's, continued.

The safest way to carry money is next to your body - like in a moneybelt. Keep some money out for that day's needs - or at least part of it. I usually carry some money in my pants pocket. Not as obvious as a wallet of some kind.

If you are concerned about using an ATM in certain areas, don't. Most of the problems with ATM's have been reported in Antigua, from what I can read. I did not have any problems with ATM's the whole time I was in the country and used them in Antigua, San Pedro, Guatemala City and Santa Elena. There are also resources on the internet that will tell you what to look for at an ATM that has been compromised.

The safest solution to get cash is to go inside the bank and use your card there with a teller who will give you cash. You will probably have to wait in line, but no big deal.

Winnipeg, Canada
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
posts: 6,167
reviews: 16
2. Re: ATM's, continued.

I too am concerned about this after reading the ATM thread.

Is there currently an ATM in GUA airport?

Hattie and others who have had no recent problems - In Antigua - which ATMs did you use?

How readily are US dollars accepted - especially on arrival for shings like cabs or shuttles?



Bethesda, MD
posts: 1,973
reviews: 24
3. Re: ATM's, continued.

IMO ATMs are for emergencies. Carry travelers checks.

London, United...
posts: 68
reviews: 20
4. Re: ATM's, continued.

Interesting to read this... is it easy to cash travellers cheques? Are the rates quite good? The moneybelt is definitely very good, especially when travelling on transport to take care of passport etc. I'll definitely be taking this.

Bethesda, MD
posts: 1,973
reviews: 24
5. Re: ATM's, continued.

I've had no problems cashing travelers checks in recent years. They're generally converted at the same rate as cash.

Costa Rica
posts: 23,975
reviews: 26
6. Re: ATM's, continued.

I used an ATM near the park -- I just saw a bunch of Guatemalans in line and got in that line. I am not sure which one it was - possibly 5B.

Traveler's checks are not really accepted in Costa Rica but since they are accepted in Guatemala, I would definitely carry them.

Destination Expert
for Albuquerque
posts: 152
reviews: 52
7. Re: ATM's, continued.

My travel companions and I used the ATMs many times in February in Guatemala City, Panajachel and Antigua without incident.

Just to be safe, I have a separate account for travel expenses and only keep as much money in that account as I will need. If I run out, I have it set up so I can make an online transfer from my main account to add funds. Even so, I have never run into any problems with unauthorized withdrawals and my bank has assured me that they would not hold me responsible for any fraudulent activity.

I have found travellers' checks to be less and less convenient, in fact my bank here in the US no longer sells them since so few people use them nowadays. The last couple of times I took them, I ended up coming home with them.

Bethesda, MD
posts: 1,973
reviews: 24
8. Re: ATM's, continued.

I occasionally come home with some unused. I just deposit them into my bank account.

Miami, Florida
posts: 1,412
reviews: 331
9. Re: ATM's, continued.

You can change dollars at a bank. Bring your passport.

Dollars are accepted at decent exchange rate, about 7.5 per dollar at most places.

Street vendors are happy to accept USD.

In my hotel, Barcelo in GC, I was assured that ATM is safe. I'd be very careful to use ATM on the street or where there is possible security issues.

I only changed about $100.00 USD in 5 days in Guate. None was at an ATM.

posts: 3
reviews: 14
10. Re: ATM's, continued.


If you're traveling to Antigua do NOT use the BAC cash machine at the Parque Central! My credit card has been scammed this week as well as my friend's and I got 4 transactions from Peru showing on my account! I would advise travelers to go inside a bank (like banco industrial) with your credit card and ask for a cash advance. This is the safest way to get money now in Antigua.