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Night and day driving tips in Guatemala

Houston, Texas
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2 posts
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Night and day driving tips in Guatemala

Dear all, this is the first time we are travelling to Guatemala. Due to limited time that we have available, we decided to drive to Tikal (we will be staying in the park itself) directly from Guatemala City airport.

The drive will be at night and I was wondering what kind of roads are there, any gas stations, where is it safe/unsafe to stop? How much time do you think it may take? Google says 7 hours, but taking into account that we will be driving rental car at night on the roads that we do not know... 10 hours? More?

Two days later we will be driving from Tikal to Lake Atitlan. Any tips that you can share?

Thanks a lot in advance!

We are travelling with two kids, which makes me a bit more nervious that usually :)

Panajachel...
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1. Re: Night and day driving tips in Guatemala

I am not happy with driving at night in Guatemala. The roads to Tikal are generally good but poorly lit and with no stripes along the side of the road to help keep you on it at night. Truck traffic can be scary at night. I usually encourage people to drive in Guatemala - many people are scared to do so - but millions of people drive here everyday. I try very hard to avoid any driving at night.

Port Richey, Florida
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2. Re: Night and day driving tips in Guatemala

I totally agree with Groucho. The overnight bus service is safe and comfortable according to all the feedback I've read. The last bus from any of bus lines leaves around 10PM www.grupofuentedelnorte.com www.adnautobusesdelnorte.com www.lineadorada.info The only complaints I've read are, the A/C freezing your bones or the driver chatting the whole ride with his assistant and keeping you from being able to catch some zzz. The road is flat and the first part or the route is four lanes. But the main reason why I wouldn't recommend doing your own driving at night is because of road hazards such as a brokedown eighteen wheeler on a two-lane road without proper warnings and that kind of thing. Drivers tailgating you trying to pass you, your rental car breaks down etc, etc Your best option would be to rent a car with a driver. Now, if you were thinking about day time driving then I'd say go for it because I've done many times and it's a great convenience. And I feel safer with me behind the wheel. You have lots of gas stations. But beware that most of them take no credit cards and the ones that do take Visa only plus a 6/7% surcharge. But at night on an eight hour drive it's a different story. The other option to keep the kids comfortable would be to break up the eight hour drive with a stop over in Rio Dulce and stay at any of the hotels near the road including Bruno's. Flores and Tikal are only about four hours away from there. Good luck.

Edited: 11:22 am, November 21, 2013
Houston, Texas
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3. Re: Night and day driving tips in Guatemala

Thank you very much! Maybe we will change our plans a little but then...

Central America
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4. Re: Night and day driving tips in Guatemala

Driving at night in Guate is a seriously foolish idea. Yes, change your plans.

The Dalles, Oregon
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for Guatemala, Belize
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5. Re: Night and day driving tips in Guatemala

Renting and driving at night = more time, more money, more hassle, and way less safe - seems like changing your plans to taking the bus is a win-win. Have a safe trip, whatever you decide.

6. Re: Night and day driving tips in Guatemala

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