Join Date: Mar 2006
Bikes: 2007 Specialized Sequoia Elite, 2005 Cannondale Jekyll
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I was in Honduras and Guatemala for two months last year. I never wanted to to carry more than a day's cash around so I went to the ATM everyday. Smart, right? What the little receipt didn't tell me was that Bank of America was charging me $5-7 dollars each time, for being out of the country and at a non-BOA atm. However, the piece of mind I got from carrying little cash was worth it.
If you're really concerned about worst-case-scenario kidnapping schemes...don't go south of Nogales. Also, there are tons of western unions, etc., all over the region if you need to get emergency cash. Banks are universally well secured and heavily armed, so worry not. Travelers checks are also a really good option - %100 insured and difficult to cash by theives.
Use credit cards cautiously - never let it out of your sight and use only at the fancy places that look like they'll still be there tomorrow.
A todos de los gringos perdidos!