Tourist Information, Antigua Guatemala
Unfortunately I had not read the warnings about this agency. The owner is charming and speaks English etc . I used them to take a tourist shuttle, mini-van from Antigua to Guatemala City bus station. As soon as I got my ticket I realized I had left my bag on the van. I was the last person to get off, people saw me with the bag when I got on, no one else was left on the van. I ran after it as it pulled away. I called Cesar, in Antigua, who was rude and said he was too busy to help, but persuaded him to call the driver and tell him I would return to Antigua to get my bag since the driver could not come back to the bus station. This turned out to be a lie. When I tried to call back to see if he had spoken to the driver he would not answer his cell or his business phone. I had to call my family (I had had a family stay) in Antigua and have them call him and ask him to answer the phone. Finally he told me the driver did find not the bag and then hung up. OOPS two hours later I am still there trying to figure out how to handle this situation, (no passport, and they got my camera and all my photos, a notebook of important contacts and emergency numbers, a missed bus, where will I stay etc) and in walks the driver. WOW was he surprised to see me. I confronted him, but he continued to deny he had it. He could never actually look me in the face and was not the least concerned. So no proof, no crime. I made a window of opportunity and these thieves who pretend to be in the tourist business used it to rob me.
Avoid Ruta Maya at all cost.
Ruta Maya have signs on their wall that state ¨Be nice to us and we will be nice to you¨. This is rubbish! If only I had read the other complaints I would never have booked with them. They are rude and un helpful as soon as you need some help from them. They are only interested in your money, over book tours and buses and have crazy dangerous drivers.
THERE ARE LOADS OF AGENCIES IN ANTIGUA USE ANOTHER ONE WHO IS GENUINE!!!
Avoid the several Ruta Maya tour operators (they've got several agencies in Antigua and elsewhere in Guatemala). They promise the cheapest prices - but you get what you pay for. They might seem nice at the beginning, but they can be really vile and left several people I met in dangerous situations. Spend the extra few dollars and go somewhere else.
Unique Suggestions: Avoid the trap of being told that it's not possible to book a return bus ticket from a destination before you get there; that's rubbish. You'll end up with a very cheap ticket out there and a very expensive ticket on the way back - not to mention wasting your time away trying to find a travel agency that's open and can sell you the ticket you need.
Fun Alternatives: There are LOADS of tour operators in Antigua, take your pick. Don Quijote and Travel+ were very good, but go with whichever one doesn't try and rip you off and remember that paying a couple of extra dollars, doesn't make you a mug, as long as you believe you're getting a good deal and good service.
I fell into a trap, but was actually HAPPY about it in the end. when you get off the bus, you'll be scooped up immediately by "tour information officers" who are willing to give you info on places to stay and schools to study at. well, they usually work for ONE school and are paid by them. they will tell you schools in xela don't know how to teach, or it's dangerous.. i fell for the dangerous thing as the election protests were gearing up. i was also dead tired from not sleeping for two days. he offered to have me in the home of a family and asleep in an hour, and he did just that. the school was no big deal.. it's the teacher that matters.
Fun Alternatives: if you know you don't want to study here, just say no. have your hotel/hostel picked out ahead of time. these 'fishermen' are hard to resist!