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Nov 16th 2010 8:07AM Grego, perhaps you've had many incidents of bad luck. But in terms of crime on the back roads to Lake Atitlan I must take exception to your comment.
For the past 3 years the national police have had a permanent bivouac spot between Patzun and Godinez, which was the main area of past concerns for robberies. In addition, there is now always at least one patrol vehicle traveling that road. Reports of robberies since that time have been practically non-existent.
And now since the closing of the road from Solola for repairs, security is significantly higher on both the Patzun and Las Trampas roads. I personally drive both of these roads weekly to Guatemala City and have been very impressed by the number of police I now see on all my trips.
So much of the economy around Lake Atitlan depends completely on tourism. The closing of the main road has been troublesome enough. But one thing these poor people do not need is embellished warnings of crime to tourists when so much is being done to ensure the safety of travelers.
Thank God the tour buses are running.
Nov 15th 2010 7:59PM This report is absolutely incorrect about a main road being closed due to crime.
The road between Panajachel and Solola is closed due to major road repairs caused by this past wet season. This has absolutely nothing to do with crime.
To get to Lake Atitlan and Panajachel from Guatemala City or Antigua, take the back road through Patzun, or take the Panamerican Highway exit for Las Trampas.
Security has been very heightened on both of these roads because they are back roads and to make sure everyone feels safe on these roads until the road to Solola re-opens around Christmas.
There are very large tour buses coming to Lake Atitlan over these 2 back routes every single day!