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Getting Around in Guatemala
 
 
 

By Air

Air transport is by far the most efficient means of internal travel since there are over 380 airstrips. Tikal Jets (www.tikaljets.com) run daily flights from Guatemala City to El Petén. Inter, a subsidiary of TACA, runs scheduled flights to several towns. Private charter flights are available. A travel tax of 5 Quetzal per person is applied to internal flights and payable at the check-in desks.

By Road

Traffic drives on the right. There is an extensive road network but less than a third of the roads are all-weather. Many of the roads are made from volcanic ash, and therefore very muddy during the rains. There are, however, about 13,000km (8000 miles) of first- and second-class roads in the country with paved highways from Guatemala City to the principal towns in the interior and to both the Atlantic and Pacific ports. Seatbelts must be worn at all times but there are no laws regarding the use of child safety seats. Speed limits vary depending on the condition of the road but they are rarely enforced. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal and those caught may be jailed. Travellers should avoid driving to Panajachel via Patzun as the road is badly maintained and criminals take advantage of these conditions to hold up travellers. The road from the El Salvador border to Cuilapa and from the Belize border to El Cruce are major danger spots for bus-jacking and there are also similar incidents on the main Pan-American Highway near Solola.

Bus

The network of regular bus services between major towns is cheap but crowded and road accidents are common. Slightly more expensive air-conditioned services are available. Transportes Litegua operates regular buses along the Caribbean Highway from Guatemala City, Rio Dulce and Morales to Puerto Barrios. The Guatemala City Council no longer permits inter-urban buses to enter the city centre; passengers are dropped at various points on the outskirts.

Taxi

Flat rate for short or long runs within the city although prices tend to be high. Cars can also be hired by the hour. Vehicles may be summoned by phone or in the street. There are ranks at the main international hotels. Tipping is discretionary (5-10%).

Car Rental

Budget, National and local firms provide services in Guatemala City. Rates are low, but insurance is extra. It is possible to rent a car for up to 30 days with either an International Driving Permit or national licence. It is also possible to rent motorcycles. Regulations may vary from company to company.

Documentation: A local licence will be issued on production of the visitor’s own national driving licence. Adequate car insurance is essential.

Urban Transportation

Guatemala City has a reasonably effective local bus system. Some of the most common bus lines include the 82, the 83, and the 101. Taxis can be found throughout the city. Be sure to negotiate a price before embarking on your journey. Travel after nightfall is considered dangerous and inadvisable.

 

 
 

 



 


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