The best way to get to Antigua from Guatemala city is to arrange for a shuttle to pick you up from the airport and take you to your hotel. Antigua is located about 45 minutes from the capital, and a private bus should cost around $7-12 per person.
Antigua is about 45min to 1 hr ride from Guatemala City's airport. Shared van is probably the safer more econmical way to get there as the vans leave right from the arrivals level of the airport and will take you directly to a hotel for 10 USD or so..time can vvary based on traffic and or road conditions as there was a rock slide than shut down one lane of the road into Antigua when I was leaving. The Chicken bus is another option but those will take you from the bus stop in Antigua to another bus stop in Guatemala city - one in district 3 the night I tried..yes it is cheaper but then you still may have to haggle with a cab once you arrive in Guatemala city to get to your final destination. The vans are morder passenger vans with seatbelts and comfortable interiors while the chicken buses are retired American school buses that are sold to locals in Guatemala and then rebuilt with new engines, undercarriage and paint in most cases and a bit slower than the vans as they tend to make stops and only leave the origin point once they are full.
As I didn’t have a guidebook for Guatemala and because the journey was long and included changes in Guatemala City I decided to book the shuttle service at one of the offices in Flores for the trip between Flores and Antigua. It was 250 quetzales (July 2009).
The bus was supposed to leave Flores at 9.20 but it didn’t arrive until later. In Flores it picked up tourists and then went on to the bus terminal in Santa Elena. In Santa Elena the new passengers were scanned for metal and they had to show their bags before going on the bus. Around 10.15 we left Santa Elena. There were many foreign tourists on the bus, but they all went off in Rio Dulce, except one. At three o’clock we stopped at a restaurant to eat. When we were on the road again a pickup car had an accident and landed on the roof in front of the bus, but luckily the driver of the car could come out of the car himself. An ambulance arrived quickly and then we continued.
At 18.30 we arrived at the small bus terminal of the bus company in Guatemala City. Someone with my name on a sign was waiting and I was taken to a minibus, in which I was the only passenger. It was rush hour and lots of traffic out of Guatemala City. In Antigua the driver wanted to take me to another hotel than the one I had intended to go to, but I didn’t want to so he drove on to Casa Amarilla. It was then eight o’clock and I was happy I had paid for the shuttle. It was good to be driven to the door of the hotel as it was dark and it was good not having to change buses (and probably bus terminals) in Guatemala City in the evening.
I jhave recived very usefull ansewr from "Hedmanalas" bus service. It seems that everything is possible ;) i paste theirs answer below so it can be helpful for everybody ;)
from Antigua Guatemala to Ruins Copan 3:30 am and
6:30 am (duration 6 hours)
The price (one way)
Executive Service: $. 41.00 for person round trip $77.00
Plus Service: $. 53.00 for person one way round trip $ 101.00
bus service from Ruins Copan to Antigua Guatemala at 1:30 pm and
6:00 pm (with 6 hours of duration) make a stop in Guatemala City.
Buses depart from main Bus Terminal behind the Municipal Market.
There will be a sign on the front of the bus indicating its destination(s) and there will usually be someone yelling these out as well.
Here are some abbreviations: Guate = Guatemala City, Xela = Quetzaltenango, Chichi = Chichicastenango, and so on.
Buses generally run from about 6am to 6pm.
It costs about 8Q for an hour and a half ride. Make sure you find out the price of the ride before you pay for it. there will be a man coming around to collect.
to get to/from the following destinations:
Guate(mala City) - Frequent buses about 5.30 to 19.00. Buses run down 7a Calle to Calle Chipilapa before leaving the city. On the way to Antigua get off as you enter the city if the bus says Jocotenango on it. From Guate you can catch buses to Rio Dulce, Flores/Tikal, Copán(Honduras), Cobán and other locations. check my Guate page for more info.
Chimaltenango - take a bus here and exchange as soon as you reach the main hwy (before you get to the Terminal) and catch buses going North on the Panamericana. Cross the footbridge to the other side of the highway. (to Chich, Atitlán, Huehue, Quiché, etc.)
From Chimaltenango you can head northward to these destinations. if you're lucky you'll get a bus going all the way to your destination but if not you please read through the whole thing because it is a multi-stepped process depending on your point of arrival:
Panajachel - direct or change at Los Encuentros (direct bus from Antigua at 7am from Bodegona)
Chichi - direct or change at Los Encuentros
Quiché - direct or change at Chichi
Sacapulas/Nebaj - change at Chichi
San Pedro la Laguna - direct or change at km ?
Xela - direct or change at Cuatro Caminos
Huehue - direct (only with transporte Velasquez) or change at Cuatro Caminos
La Mesilla (border) - direct (w. Velasquez) or change at Huehue
Email me if you have specific questions
Tourist Shuttles are available direct from your hotel / street address to these locations and more:
Guatemala City (airports and bus terminals)
Shuttles are significantly more expensive than regular buses but take you basically door-to-door.
Hundreds of Antigua agencies can organize a shuttle.
The easiest and cheapest way to get to Antigua when you come from Guatemala-City (or wherever in the country) is by Chickenbus. This great way of transportation is used by the majority of the locals and is the best way to experience the real Guatemala.
If you want to take a bus to Antigua you simply have to find the major avenue "Diagonal 12 / Boulevard Liberation" that runs straight through the centre of Guatemala-City. Here the Chickenbusses to all destinations northeast of the capital pass all day long. Every five minutes busses pass with men hanging out of the door screaming "Antigua, Antigua, Antigua". Every few hundred metres there is a busstop where you can jump on and off the busses. Just put out your hand to make sure it stops and you can jump in.
You pay later, when the bus has already left the city. The normal fee for a trip by Chickenbus is about $ 1,- per hour, so a trip to Antigua of about one hour will cost you about 8 Quetzales or 1 dollar.
There's another way to get to Monterrico, it's nicer and shorter!
Take a bus to Escuintla, then continue to Taxisco... transfer to La Avellana (Q$ 5), and there take a boat (Q$ 5) to get across the manglar. That part is beautiful and much more fun than all the other vans and buses!
The boat will leave at the end of Monterrico's main avenue, that's a 15-minute walk to the beach.
If you follow what the Lonely Planet guide-book says, take a chicken bus to Escuintla (Q$ 7) and from there another one to Puerto San Jose or to Iztapa (Q$ 10). If you can't catch the one to Iztapa, ask the driver to drop you off in the highway... before you get into town. The van you'll take in the highway will charge you Q$ 5 and you need to ask the driver to take you to the river where you can continue to Monterrico.
Once you're in the river, catch a little boat to get you to Pueblo Viejo (Q$ 3) at the other side. There you'll take another van that will finally drop you off at Monterrico's main avenue.
Chicken buses are the most inexpensive way to travel in Guatemala, for example: from Guaetmala city to Huehuetenango (near the Mexican Border) is Q50.00 (about US$6.40) for a 5 hr trip (250 km aprox).
The only advice: always keep your belongings in sight, don't fall asleep and take food and water always with you.
If you inmerse yourself into this adventure, you'll see all the beautiful landscapes Guatemala has to offer!!!
Palacio de Dona Leonor Antigua Guatemala
6 Reviews and 58 Opinions On a business trip we stayed at the Palace Hotel Dona Leonor. I really liked the decoration of the...
Casa Santo Domingo Antigua Guatemala
19 Reviews and 292 Opinions An incredible atmosphere transports you to the colonial era, we provide everything that needs...
Meson Panza Verde Antigua Guatemala
6 Reviews and 127 Opinions Really beautiful and small. Close to parque central but not in the center of things. Nice...