Getting Around Guatemala

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Most Viewed Transportation in Guatemala

  • spilosof's Profile Photo

    a pick-up or any other 4x4

    by spilosof Written Feb 24, 2008

    While planning my trip to Guatemala, I tried to find out what type of vehicle should I rent. So now that I am back from a month long trip, going to most of the recommended sites in the country, here is my most important insight on the mater.

    If you plan to stick to the main CA roads (Guatemala-Antigua-Tikal) most of them in good shape and you will be quite all right with any car.

    If you plan to go on side roads or somewhere away from the capital for that matter, be prepared to face roads which are in pretty bad state, stocked with cruel bumpers, switching into dirt roads with no warning - Like when going from San Pedro La Laguna to Santiago Atitlan. Most of the private vehicles we met on rural areas were pick-ups and SUV. I belive your best choice will be - any 4x4.

    We got the best advice and offer from Mr. Fernando Rodríguez - "Guatema Rent a Car", and we drove a new Pick-up 4X4, Mazda BT50.

    Todos Santos
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  • HasTowelWillTravel's Profile Photo

    Ready for an Adventure?

    by HasTowelWillTravel Written Sep 17, 2007

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    The "chicken buses" of Guatemala have a fairly bad reputation. However, it is how a lot of the people o the country travel, so to get a good taste of how Guatemalans travel and live, you have to take one. They look like large school buses which have been souped up with turbo diesel engines, often painted bright designs. They are an adventure unto themselves. Imagine heading up a winding, curved road in the pouring rain, with the driver taking the curves as if it were a straight path! It is a rush. Add into that that there is an over riding philosophy that there is always room for one more, and it makes for quite a transportation experience.

    They are relatively safe ... I took almost a dozen of them during my trip and never had an accident or problem with them. And they are very affordable, and take you to pretty much any town you want, even the smaller ones that tourist buses and shuttles don't have service to.

    A bus yard in Xela

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  • Crazy Buses

    by CrocsRuleBiotch Written May 24, 2007

    The chicken buses are like, scarily crowded. They look so cool, but they are crowded. I'm talking four or five to a seat. When I was riding on one, I actually sat in the aisle, held up by the two ladies on either side of me. That for four hours was like whoa. My dad thought it was the most amazing experience ever, so I guess if you're into that kind of crowded, personal bubble invasion thing, it would be pretty cool, but I was feeling a little claustrophobic.
    You can get a bus for about one US dollar, but be careful of the bus driver trying to charge you extra. Pay what everyone else is paying. Oh, and try not to get squashed. =]

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  • vaticanus's Profile Photo

    Pick Ups As Transportation to Remote Areas

    by vaticanus Updated Mar 23, 2007

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    Buses and mini-vans are the main way tourists have of getting hither and yon. But wherever you want to go, no matter how bad the road or remote the location you will find a pick up.

    One of the finest rides (and only available in a pick up) is the ride from Totonicapan to Santa Cruz del Quiche. It's a back way through pine clad mountains on a road that appears on very few maps. It's a great way to start a trip up to Sacapulas and on to Nabaq- a hiker's paradise.

    But whether you are going to remote villages in the highlands, unmapped villages along the Rio Chixoy, or squatter towns in the Peten - a pick up will take you there and back.

    Pick Up in Action
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  • sachara's Profile Photo

    By plane to Tikal

    by sachara Updated Dec 13, 2006

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    From Guatemala City we made an excursion to Tikal by plane with Aeroquetzal. From the plane we had a nice veiw at the city, the mountians and the forest. Just before landing we saw the lake Peten Itza with Flores at an island.

    We took a morning flight to Tikal. You can return the same day in the afternoon, like many visitors didi. But we decided to stay and took the afternoon flight of the next day back to Guatemala City.

    The airport is not far from Flores. From the airport you can go by bus to the ruins of Tikal.

    airport Flores Guatemala city from the air

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  • mongo2's Profile Photo

    Major Pan.Am.Hgy.Reconstrution Project

    by mongo2 Updated Oct 11, 2006

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    Due to a major Pan American Hgy.repaving project currently being undertaken between KM.20>KM.24 of the Pan.Am.Hgy.[Between San Lucas and Mixco],all travellers to or from Panajachel,Antigua,and all points north should allot themselves a minimum of 1 extra hour travel time for all travel to the Aurora,Guat.City Airport[Or any other destination in Guat.City] This reconstruction project is expected to last 8 months, or to approx.April 2007.
    ,

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  • vaticanus's Profile Photo

    They call em TUK TUKs (Took tooks)

    by vaticanus Updated Jul 13, 2006

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    Scene from Charge of the Tuk-Tuks!

    You've seen them in Southeast Asia and India (painted black) and now the three wheeler "tuk tuks" are swarming all over Guatemala's cities and larger towns. They are much cheaper than a taxi and drivers are more willing to do small favors. No meters of course.

    Officially, they are called mototaxis and operators pay about Q60 a month to operate them.

    Charge of the Tuk Tuks
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  • Suzie3's Profile Photo

    Other transport options

    by Suzie3 Updated Mar 13, 2006

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    These little red things are everywhere. We were warned by locals that they can be dangerous because they tip over easily. The locals use them a lot. They are called Tuk Tuks.

    Getting around Atitlan is quite easy by launch. We rented one for the whole day for $140. Not bad as there were 4 of us.

    Our boat captain and first mates on Atitlan.

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  • Albernfrau's Profile Photo

    Buses to Guatemala from Other Countries

    by Albernfrau Written Jan 15, 2006

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    We took a "greyhound" type bus through all of the Central American countries ending in Guatemala City we also did the return trip from Guat City all the way back to Costa Rica. Just ask a local travel agent. They are called "Tica Bus" but are sometimes referred to by another name. They are affordable but challenging. You have to deal with border crossings on your own and if you don't speak Spanish this would be very challenging but possible. The bus ride between countries is long, cold (they have the air-conditioning on high and loud as they have Disney cartoons playing on the TVs on high volume).

    IMPORTANT: They have no toilet paper in the washroom so bring some. Other than that Tica Bus is a great way to go.

    We paid to take the bus ride from Managua, Nicaragua to Guatemala City, Guatemala but the bus stops in San Salvador, El Salvador for a night. The cost for Managua to Guate was approx. $60US. The ride from Managua to San Salvador took approximately 12 hours.

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  • Albernfrau's Profile Photo

    Local Buses

    by Albernfrau Written Jan 15, 2006

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    Local buses are a great way to explore villages just outside of cities. They are dirt cheap and give you a great opportunity to travel with the locals. Unless your Spanish is good you essentially guess when to get off and on but we managed to explore without problems.

    The buses are colourful and felt pretty safe to drive in.

    Local Bus
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  • AnnaLupilla's Profile Photo

    Autobuses del Norte

    by AnnaLupilla Updated Jul 31, 2005

    Luxury 1st Class Service of ADN offers transportation to Tikal, Flores (Petén) and Guatemala with the following services:
    - double decker bus
    - game lobby
    - leather seats
    - dvd
    - air-conditioning
    - menu on board
    - bus hostess
    - lavatory
    - snacks
    - refreshments
    - pillows
    - non-stop service
    - first-aid kit

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  • AnnaLupilla's Profile Photo

    Helicopteros de Guatemala

    by AnnaLupilla Written Jul 30, 2005

    Get to know Petén by helicopter. Members of the International Helliopter Association, they take you on journies throughout the Mayan world, you an fly over the Lago Petén Itzá and many destinations more.
    To experience the most exotic places ask for transfer service to Yaxha, Uaxcatún, Cancuen, Piedras Negras, El Mirador ...

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  • melosh's Profile Photo

    Mexico City to Guatemala City

    by melosh Updated Mar 21, 2005

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    In 2004 I was in Guatemala city and at the Gallego (sp?) bus terminal and happened to notice the prices. It was $99 US one way to Mexico City. I am sure the reverse trip would be about the same amount. I think the trip was in partnership with the Mexican San Cristobal company. (There was a further connection through Greyhound in the US.) Gallego and San Cristobal provide first class service. There may be other companies making this trip, and if you took the trip in segments you would find lots of available bus lines for each segment.

    Going the full distance without stops would be a brutal trip. Unless you are desperately short of time, you ought to make stops in Oaxaca and other places along the way rather than just zoom on through. Of course, once you reach Guatemala City you are just a short 1 hour hop to Antigua.

    Do not take a school bus for long trips No decoration, but also no extra seats added Not matter how pretty, it is still a school bus
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  • mschwar's Profile Photo

    Buses!!!

    by mschwar Written Mar 17, 2005

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    You can get to almost ANYWHERE in Guatemala on a bus. Its incredibly cheap almost always under 2 dollars. There is a sign on top of the bus that says its destination. The only thing is you need to keep a low profile on the bus. If your going to be wearing nice jewelry, clothing, or flashing around fancy electronics then you should stick with the tourist groups. When you take a bus in Guatemala make sure that you take a taxi to the bus terminals and you have a taxi take you as soon as you get back. (this is for guatemala city, the other areas are less dangerous. but when in Guatemala city you want to get off the streets as soon as you can as a precaution.) Another option is the microbus. You can find them by the drivers shouting there destinations. What happens is they give you a price and then you wait for the bus to fill up (sometimes 15 people) and they take you to your destination stopping on the way to drop off and pick up anyone that wants to take the bus. You should be able to do this for between 20 and 50 Q's depending on the distance, your ablility to bargain, and your knowledge of spanish.

    Public Transport the fun way
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  • Waxbag's Profile Photo

    The Mayan Loop, San Cristobal to Cancun Via Tikal

    by Waxbag Written Oct 20, 2004

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    Here is the loop of Central America I took going through Lago Atitlan, Antigua, Tikal and Belize back to Mexico. The best way to go Antigua from Mexico is by San Cristobal de Las Casas. You can get a bus to Ciudad Cuauhtemoc on the boarder and cross into La Mesilla, Guatemala. Once in Guatemala you have to take about 6 chicken buses to Panajachel which is on lago Atitlan (gorgeous lake). It is not to difficult to do as the people are increadibly friendly, but it is quite an adventure. Once at the lake get a taxi to San Pedro on the other side as it is far nicer than touristy Panajachel.

    From the lake you can take a bus to Antigua the colonial capital and from there a taxi to the main bus station in Guatemala City. From Guatemala city you can take a bus to Flores which is the Peten about 3 hours south of Tikal (this is an over night bus). From here Flores take a mini bus to el remate which is right on Lago de Peten Itza. There is good budget accomodation here and the lake is nice. Ther e is also a nice nature park called Biotopo Cerro Cahui nearby to visit.

    From El Remate (which means "dead end") you can grab a noon bus into Tikal and stay the night at the Jaguar Hotel. You can camp there as well. There are a couple of small restaurants here where you can eat your meals. Stay the night and see the temples the next morining and head back to El Remate.

    From El Remate you can grab a minitaxi to El Cruce on the junction of Guatemala City and Belize. Grab a bus to the Belize boarder of Melchor de Mencos. You can stay at a great place called the Trek Stop past the Boarder on the way to San Ignacio. Xunantunich (Mayan ruins) is nearby and teh Belize River is quite nice.

    From San Ignacio you can get a bus to the capital of Belmopan and then on to Belize City where you can grab a bus to the Mexican boarder towards Chetumal. From Chetumal you can grab a bus to Tulum and then on to Cancun.

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