Getting there & around
Taxis and tuk-tuks wait where the Guatemala City buses stop, and on the east side of Parque Central. A ride in town costs around US$1.60. A taxi to or from Guatemala City usually costs US$30 (US$40 after midnight).
Buses to Guatemala City, Ciudad Vieja and San Miguel Dueñas arrive and depart from a street just south of the market. Buses to Chimaltenango, Escuintla, San Antonio Aguas Calientes and Santa María de Jesús go from the street outside the west side of the market. If you’re heading out to local villages, it’s best to go early in the morning and return by mid-afternoon, as bus services drop off dramatically as evening approaches.
To reach highland towns such as Chichicastenango, Quetzaltenango, Huehuetenango or Panajachel (except for the one direct daily bus to Panajachel), take one of the frequent buses to Chimaltenango, on the Interamericana Hwy, and get an onward bus from there. Making connections in Chimaltenango is easy, as many folks will jump to your aid as you alight from one bus looking for another. But stay alert and don’t leave your pack unattended, as bag slashing isn’t unheard of in Chimal. Alternatively, you can take a bus from Antigua toward Guatemala City, get off at San Lucas Sacatepéquez and change buses there – this takes a bit longer, but you’ll be boarding the bus closer to the capital so you’re more likely to get a seat.
Chimaltenango (US$0.50, 30 minutes, 19km, every 15 minutes from 5am to 7pm)
Ciudad Vieja (US$0.30, 15 minutes; 7km, take a San Miguel Dueñas bus)
Escuintla (US$0.80, 1 hour, 39km, 16 buses daily from 5:30am to 5pm)
Guatemala City (US$1, 1¼hours, 45km, every few minutes from 6am to 7pm)
Panajachel (US$5, 2½hours, 146km, one Pullman bus daily at 7am) Departs from El Condor Expeditions (5498 9812; 4a Calle Poniente 34)
San Antonio Aguas Calientes (US$0.30, 30 minutes, 9km, every 20 minutes from 6:30am to 7pm)
San Miguel Dueñas (US$0.25, 30 minutes, 10km, every few minutes from 6am to 7pm). Placards just say ‘Dueñas.’
Santa María de Jesús (US$0.30, 30 minutes, 12km, every 45 minutes from 6am to 7:30pm)
Rental companies include the following:
CATour (7832 9638; www.catours.co.uk; 6a Calle Oriente 14) Rents motorcycles from US$10/45 per hour/day as well as motorcycle tours from US$140.
Dollar (2219-6848; www.dollar.com; 5a Av Norte 15)