My wife and I are going to be vacationing in Guatemala. She has been already down there for a month as part of a study abroad program and I am meeting her. She'll be coming in on the ADN bus from Xela and I'll be flying in to the airport. Then we'll both be taking ADN north to flores. I get in a little earlier than she does, so I was just planning to hang out at the bus station for 1-2 hours until she arrives. Is this a safe plan, or are bus terminals not a great place just to be waiting around.

If you aren't familiar with ADN, they're located in Zona 1.

  • What time of day are you getting in -- I think that'll effect the answer. For what I remember being told when I was there and the warnings on Wikivoyage I tend to think the answer is probably no but I don't know that particular bus station. I suspect staying in the airport might be safer, I hope someone with more direct experience can come by and give you an answer. – SpaceDog Feb 25 '14 at 1:37
  • She arrives at that station at about 7pm so I'd be there between 5:00pm and 6:00pm – AndrewSwerlick Feb 25 '14 at 2:48
  • Are you sure which station? There are massive reshuffles since 2012 with the new Centra Sur station. – Mark Mayo Mar 11 '14 at 1:57

Since the reshuffles of 2012, many of the terminals have changed around and companies have moved. So be sure that you're going to the right place.

However, it sounds like you know the details, so assume it IS in Zona 1, which Wikitravel seems to agree with, you may consider this advice from Frommers:

Guatemala City is not very conducive to exploring by foot. The city is spread out, and many of the major attractions are far from one another. Plus street crime is a problem. It's relatively safe to walk around zonas 1, 4, 9, 10, and 13 by day. However, with few exceptions, you should never walk around Guatemala City at night.

Wikitravel seemed to agree with this, saying that many bus crimes happen on night-time bus rides, and that you should avoid travelling by bus at night.

Now if you've done bus travel before, you'll know this is all statistical and nothing is guaranteed - you may well be completely fine, and probably will be. It's a bus station, with staff around, other people watching, isn't in the middle of the night, and so on. However, opportunistic crime can happen at any time, so your best bet is to stay in a public, well-lit area, ideally near any security staff, to maximise your safety, if at all possible.

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