Zona Viva
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A swinging nightlife kicks in when the sun goes down in this cosmopolitan part of town, which by day is filled with business crowds.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.0
336 reviews
Excellent
126
Very good
132
Average
62
Poor
10
Terrible
6

jacobom762
Toronto, Canada56 contributions
Jan 2020
It is a mixed occupancy area, many hotels, a great variety of restaurants for all tastes, office space, apartment buildings, condominiums, boutiques, drug stores ( pharmacies )
stores, etc.
There is a Coffe shop/restaurant chain calles SAN MARTIN, affordable prices, there is also a McDonalds across the street from this place, and many hotels.
Not to be missed are two Greek Restaurants, DEL GRIEGO and the other MYKONOS, large menus to satisfy any apetite. For Hotels you have the Radisson, The Westin, Holiday Inn, Hyatt, Courtyard by Marriott, etc
Written February 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Luv2TravelFarNWide
Atenas, Costa Rica1,346 contributions
Mar 2023
Only 10 minutes from the airport, this upscale part of the city offers a variety of "better" hotels, restaurants, shopping, clubs, casino, etc. Always felt safe walking around (although we were never out late night).

Biggest problem is if you're doing tours out of the city, you will be spending at least an hour or more getting out of the city and another hour or more getting back into the city after the tour. And this was true 6 days a week!
Written March 11, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mr. Picky
San Diego, CA43 contributions
Dec 2014 • Couples
I've been to a lot of countries for the past 20 years. I also have military training. I visited Italy when it was overrun by criminal gypsies, you had to keep an active eye on your wallet, and the smart avoided dark streets at night, unless you didn't mind the occasional fist fight or altercation with knife-wielding thieves (been there, done that). Same with Crete, parts of southern France, SE Asia, etc. Then add Israel during an intifada and London during The Troubles. Throw in bad parts of Chicago, Washington DC, Dallas, LA, and other dodgy parts of the US. In short, I think I've got a pretty good perspective on what is safe vs. unsafe.

Here's what I observed of Zone 10 in my time in GC, which is supposed to be one of the safest areas in GC (btw, Paseo Cayala is far safer). Teaser: safe in daytime, not so much at night.

NOTE #1: All Guatemalans my wife and I ran into were friendly, pleasant, and helpful, as most of the world's population is, IMHO. When the criminal element does not fear the police and actively exerts its power by preying on tourists, one would be well-advised to be extra cautious, particularly in the touristy parts of town, since tourists are big, easy targets. Our local friend, hotel concierge, and various other service staff confirmed all the below.

NOTE #2: In general, have no fear during the daytime in Zone 10. All my tips below are for dusk and nighttime (except #1).

1) Most places (likely all you will enter) have private security at the door, and many have more guards indoors. E.g., the Design Center (chi-chi mall near the posh Oakland Mall) had more guards visible than patrons. Guards can be anywhere from casually-dressed service staff with no obvious job to well-dressed suits with concealed pistols to bulletproof vests with shotguns. All have readily-accessible radios. These are not paper guards, like you mostly see in the US.
2) These guards are wary and on alert. Even during an intifada in Israel (where guards were ever-present in full military kit with M-17s) and the troubles in London (during the trash bombings), I haven't seen such overt suspicion. If you approach a guard outdoors at night (e.g., asking the hotel doorman for directions), he is likely to radio it in before you get close. Approach a group of them, and they will stop what they were doing and fan out. And "we" were a tall, well-dressed Asian-American with a short blond wife--not the typical gang-bangers. Clearly they feel they have reason to be afraid and/or hyper-cautious.
3) There are obviously safe streets at night, and there is everywhere else. A safe street is one that is well-lit without big gaps (few are, even in this zone) and well-populated, even if just a couple other pedestrians. That pretty much means the main streets bordering Zone 10 (Avenida La Reformat, Carretera Interamericana/CA-1, Diagonal 6) and a few other streets that will be obvious (14 Calle, parts of 1 and 2 Avenida, 6 Avenida, and surprisingly few others). Take a turn, e.g., down 4 Avenida, and you'll notice the difference immediately, complete with groups of male loiterers that are either curious/bored and/or sizing you up. I do not mind loiterers, but when there's a group of them smoking pot, crowding the sidewalk in a particularly poorly lit section of the street, and paying a little too much attention to the pedestrians, it would be wise to be cautious.

I'd liken this to being in a bad part of any big American city (a.k.a. the parts everyone avoids), except *this* is supposed to be the safe part :).

FWIW, my guidance for walking in bad parts of town is as follows. Be aware most thieves are opportunists. They will usually hit one victim per area, so they will take the time to pick a good target. All the tips below are to get them to pick someone else.
- wear nothing of obvious value, including watches, jewelry, rings, and ear rings
- wear a coat or jacket, because coats can hide things, and thieves don't like surprises
- carry the absolute minimum, including id, credit cards, and cash--best if you only carry what you can afford to lose (meaning no passport)
- avoid a purse, if at all possible, since a purse is an obvious theft target
- keep your right hand free at all times (even if you're left-handed, since this is for appearance not practicality)
- walk with a purpose, even if you are lost, to give the appearance of being a local (at least from a distance)
- don't stop (e.g., to check your phone or map or street signs) except in a well-lit, well-populated area
- glance around to give the appearance of area awareness (but don't stare at people, because this is threatening/antagonizing)
- have spare cash (e.g., $20 bill) hidden somewhere, e.g., in your shoe, in case you are robbed
- if you are a victim, give the thieves everything they want without delay (but not so fast that you surprise them--thieves hate surprises, as I've mentioned above)

None of the above should dissuade someone from coming to GC, but what is far worse than extra caution is to have your experience of Guatemala ruined by being the victim of a crime. Let's all hope that they will eventually get the worst of the crime under control so such measures are not necessary.
Written December 7, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jean-Marie S
Washington DC973 contributions
Jan 2012 • Business
I have lived in Guatemala on and off since 1980 and the metamorphosis of zone ten, the "zona viva," from a luxury neighborhood that one could roam by day for souvenirs and by night on the prowl for restaurants exists no longer. Thanks to Guatemala's high crime rate, the zone viva now feels like Bogotá twenty years ago: all the action is centered in hotels and small shopping malls whose common denominator is a surplus of security guards. You can walk around zone 10 in the daytime, but keep a close watch on your wallet or pocket book. Do not flaunt cameras, money, Rolexes, etc. At night, take a taxi everywhere even if it's a few blocks away. I have at least ten friends who have been held up at gunpoint in zone ten, hence the warning.
Written January 23, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Maria S
1 contribution
Aug 2014 • Friends
They still money here, over charges on your credit card and they dont return your money they are thieves and the owner of this place just beat up a 21 year old girl over a bill dispute. this place needs to close!!!!
Written September 11, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

cottontreeAustralia
Australia16 contributions
Dec 2010 • Solo
This bar/grille is owned by an Aussie (Dani) so no language problem here. Aussie events are celebrated and it is a home away from home for expats. This bar is packed on weekends and patrons are usually professional people . Dress is smart casual. Security is a priority .English live bands, sporting events and drinks. Pool table, and laid back service without pressure. Find out the must see and do in this beautiful city.
Written June 25, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

YllaCP
Orlando, FL11 contributions
Aug 2014 • Friends
Just saw a report on the new in Antigua that the owner beat a 21 year old young lady with his fists and a night stick over a dispute in billing! The poor girl required 5 hours of surgery to reconstruct her face! I will avoid this place like the PLAUGE! Not safe for anyone!
Written September 7, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

caroline0029
Melbourne, Australia1 contribution
Jul 2011 • Solo
awesome place !!!! This place has more sports than a sports bar. nfl, nba, nhl, and even aussie footy. No need to try to speak spanish in rattle...... everyone speaks english. Cheap drinks for the city and it wasn't long before i found someone to talk to. The staff were great. Havent seen service like that anywhere in central america. Keep up the good work rattlesnake !!!
Written July 17, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chipilingt
Washington DC, DC4,106 contributions
Sep 2014 • Friends
This place is located in zone 10. A sort of financial district. Nice from 10 am to 3 pm. And then mayhem happens. You might be mugged. Even though there are dozens of police patrolling the area, body guards all over and also security guards at every entrance, you are on your own. So carry a minimum of Q50.00 quetzals to give to whoever turn is to mug you. And then hide away in a restaurant. No kidding.
The walk will take you 30 to 60 minutes, walking around the area. Is nice but now, dangerous.
Written November 7, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Eldementeagil
Guatemala City, Guatemala71 contributions
Nov 2013
Makes you wonder if this Guatemala or any other place,
Nothing representative of
Country and top it all, compared to the rest of the country, very expensive even can say having a Soda Pop and Sandwich is as expensive as in NY MANHATTAN...
Avoid the lonesome streets, you will hardly see people walking and only dumb tourist do: the locals go by car, specially in this rich neighborhoods, everywhere. If you plan buying souveniers, be prepare to pay up to triple the price: downtown central market, not only more representative is better and fearly price.
Written November 25, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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