overnight buses to be avoided in Central America?
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Feb 5, 2013 12:25 AM Last Post By: wrightm
Feb 4, 2013 10:25 AM
overnight buses to be avoided in Central America?Sorry if this has already been asked on this form....I'm sure it has but my computer is being very slow in terms of searching.
I have heard in Guat that it is wise to avoid overnight buses as there is a much increased risk of bandits stopping buses in the middle of the night to rob.
Is this still a concern I should have? Is this true throughout CA?
I love the overnight buses as it really cuts out a lot of travel time (you sleep through it) and it also puts you into your location usually in the AM where you can use public transit a bit more safely. If I travel through the day, it is great to see the countryside, but you also often end up at the bus station late at night and from what I've heard it's best not to use public transport by yourself late at night (especially with all of your bags) and thus would need to get the taxi's I'd like to avoid.
Should overnight buses be avoided in all CA or just certain places?
Feb 4, 2013 2:15 PM
1Most people only take the overnight bus between GC and Flores to get to Tikal. This is a very popular and common route. Bandits can hit a bus anywhere in CA, its random and rare overall. Otherwise, there is no need to take an overnight bus, unless headed to another country.
Feb 4, 2013 2:22 PM
2I think a person misses out taking a nite bus for more than one reason. Here's 2 of them...seeing the countryside and conversing with fellow passengers. It's usually feasible to travel less than 8 hours...preferably I prefer around 6. I start out on early buses which I try to book at least the day before and get a window seat up front by the driver
Feb 4, 2013 4:09 PM
3I agree...I like the day buses and the social aspect of things. 6 hours buses are great and getting early morning buses and arriving before dark is always perfect...however I just hate arriving in a town late at night and having to be additionally worried about thugs and having to be forced to take taxi's.
I hope most of my trips will be in the 6 hour range, but I will be hopping from country to country as I only have about 6 weeks...so I will be doing those long bus journeys unfortunately.
Are there any countries that I should take additional care to avoid night buses on long range trips?
Feb 4, 2013 4:24 PM
Feb 4, 2013 4:25 PM
Feb 4, 2013 4:57 PM
6There was just one report about bandits on this forum as I recall for 2012, and it was a shuttle bus going from a not often used Border crossing between Honduras and Nicaragua and it was at night. Many of the Bandit issues listed on the US Embassy website for Guatemala was the road between El Remante and the Belize Border stretch, day and night. 4 years ago a bus was hit on the road from the docks of getting boats to Tortuguero thru the Banana plantations to Carairi...
So, the odds are pretty slim.
Feb 4, 2013 6:04 PM
7Been traveling for about two months now and I have only met two people that were robbed on a bus. They were traveling from Guat City to San Salvador on a 1st class bus with air con. They got hit about a half hour out of Guat City during the day light. They were the only westerners on the bus. Two of the robbers were passengers. A car pulled in front and in back of the bus. Made it stop. They had guns. Robbed everyone on the bus including locals. Did not get the bags underneath the bus. For the westerners, they knew about the waist money belts so the couple bought ankle belts the next day at the mall in San Salvador. So I agree with everyone above. It is random and I think a small possibility that it will actually happen to you. However, what I took away from their experience is this. Keep your money and cards in different places. Put some in the bag underneath and some on you. If you have any expired cards, keep them in your waist money belt along with some cash. A fake wallet may also help you. If you have a phone and can sit on it during a robbery, that may keep you from having that taken. Also have some international data and minutes on your phone so you can call the card companies right away. Also have the phone numbers and/or web sites programmed in your phone and a copy or two of them in your packs. The sooner you can call your card companies the better. If you have to wait until the bus gets to where it is going, they could have already used your cards. The good thing that the couple told me is that everyone on the bus stuck together and became close. Once they got to San Salvador, locals gave them a ride with their family that was there to pick them up to the hostel to make sure they were safe. Plus it will make a great travel story later cause no one got hurt.
Feb 4, 2013 6:36 PM
Feb 4, 2013 11:48 PM
9I wouldn't decide my travel plans based on the risk of armed bandit attack.It is very rare,and can happen on any bus,day or night.
Better to decide on the points raised above...ie Do you want to see the scenery? (for me,yes). Do you want to talk to the other passengers? (depends ;-) Do you need to 'save' time? (for me,no.I allow enough time for my trips that i don't need to rush it...)
Feb 5, 2013 12:25 AM
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