Volcan Agua Robberies Still Occur

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Volcan Agua Robberies Still Occur

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1. Posted by chandler (Budding Member 4 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

I am somewhat embarrassed to say that my wife and I were robbed while climbing Volcan Agua about 3 weeks ago.

Yes, I had read of past reports of this type of problem. We "registered" with authorities at Santa Maria de Jesus, the town at the volcano's base, they collected their "fee" and made no cautionary comments about just the two of us hiking nor made suggestions of guides, etc.

About half way up the volcano three individuals armed with machetes waylayed us and robbed us of some $100, watches and specifically asked for a digital camera which we didn't have. They then told me we could continue to the top of the volcano. We declined!

As we were ascending the very wide path, a road really, one jumped out of the shrubery ahead of us and the other two blocked our retreat behind us. They all wore full face knit caps showing only eye and mouth openings.

It's entirely possible that others working below used some kind of communication device to alert the three to our arrival. I suspect that they were working their fields and took a break to rob us.

We made a police report.

No need for anyone to comment on our foolishness. I am posting this as a service.

2. Posted by donlee23 (Full Member 34 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

This is a very good report and a very common occurence in Guatemala. The theives (known in Spanish as "ladrones")are generally former police officers who have been fired from the force for various types of misconduct or ex-military and "pac" forces, former "civil guards" who patrolled the roads, often working in concert with active members of the local police. They utilize cellular phones and knew your every movement from arrival in Santa Maria de Jesus onwards, in the "old days" (the late 1980s and early 1990s)the theives merely awaited on the summit for the weary climbers to arrive and robbed them there and ascended down. I acted as a guide in Guatemala for several years, where we assisted Inguat and The Government there to institute the Tourist Police in Antigua and other popular destinations for travelers (after running some undercover "sting" operations against the old Antigua force) to insure public safety as much as is possible and now am acting as a tourism specialist for all of Central America. There is of course, a more practical solution to this problem, than to panic and post more warnings. One is to form a group in advance or join a tour group while in Guatemala with one of several operators who utilize "Andanistas" bi- and multi lingual Mountain & Volcano climbing specialists, along with a security guard, you may pay $15 or $20 more per day per person but it is well worth avoiding the aggravation of an armed robbery. As well, here in El Salvador, where I am based, 2 or more persons may request of our tour operator, in advance, an escort, during daylight hours, along with your native Guide, of 2 uniformed National Tourism Police, to accomapny your group without charge, including national parks and volcano climbs, tipping is optional. Since I am not a "traveller" and do not have to rely on advice of other travellers, just because "so and so" got robbed does not mean you are going to be asaulted, it just means doing more research, more planning ahead..very few travelers know of the "luggage scam" upon arrival to Costa Rica, in short, your luggage is put into the "wrong van" at the airport, never arrives at hotel, and the police are able to find it later..for a price..this was part of the old Antigua problem..travel relaxed and worry free in Central America, you may message me for information and include your e mail, due to the rules of the forum. Thank you for posting and this is good advice, however every problem has a solution..so don't be afraid to visit our wonderful Mayan World and enjoy hte most fanstatic journey of your life..back in time..without getting robbed!