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Antigua to Guatemala City

Toowoomba, Australia
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Antigua to Guatemala City

Hi

Can anyone recommend a company for a transfer from my hotel in Antigua to my hotel in Guatemala City? I really want to catch a chicken bus but I have heard alot of horror stories and I am travelling by myself so I really don't want to risk antything happening. Or are they safer than everyone says?

Thanks :)

The Dalles, Oregon
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1. Re: Antigua to Guatemala City

Your hotel (likely either one) could set something up for you; I ask that of my favorite hotel stop in Antigua, Casa Cristina, because I know they trust their drivers and could follow up if there was a problem, though I've never had one. Or you could set it up with another provider. Here are 2 I’ve been pleased with in Guatemala for share shuttles, private transfers, and flight arrangements:

Adrenalina Tours: www.adrenalinatours.com

Rainbow Travel: www.rainbowtravelcenter.com

There are share shuttles (cheaper) as well as private transport. Note that the share shuttles may take half an hour or more to make the rounds in Antigua picking up passengers so you may be 1st, last, or in between on their list which affects the timing. I take local buses in places (like around Antigua for visiting area villages) but haven't been tempted between GC and Antigua since shuttles are quick and easy. Have a great trip, whatever you decide!

Toowoomba, Australia
11 posts
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2. Re: Antigua to Guatemala City

Great! Thanks for that I will check them out.

Mi Wuk Village...
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3. Re: Antigua to Guatemala City

The chicken buses are safer than the scare mongers would have you believe but are no longer a viable way to get to Guat. City for tourists due to where they now arrive in GC. Best way is to have your hotel in Antigua arrange it. That way if something does happen you have someone right there to makes calls. Happy trailmix. Beware of touts with links.

BC
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4. Re: Antigua to Guatemala City

My teen daughter and I took lots of chicken buses in Guatemala, I preferred them to the shuttles as they were so interesting and so much fun. It was a great way to interact with locals, who were unfailingly polite and respectful and helpful.

However, I did not take one to GC. Even if you book a shuttle, check that it will take you to your hotel. I think I remember something about them only going to a certain Zone and hotel, although that may not be all companies. But it was for that reason that I did not book a shuttle from Copan, Honduras to GC, rather I took the scheduled luxury bus.

Mi Wuk Village...
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5. Re: Antigua to Guatemala City

Pumper, the chicken buses used to arrive at a fairly central location in Guat. City. From there it was a quick taxi ride to the main hotels and even the airport. The government wanted to clean up the air..really needed... so a lot of diesel vehicles..including chicken buses were forced to more outlying areas. Back in the day shuttles also ran a lot more limited route. The development of a semi co op system tied together by cell phones caused a much wider expansion of their service. It could take up to 4 chicken buses to get from Antigua to Pana. Now it is one easy shuttle ride and the difference in price is only a couple dollars. Significant to a campesino but nada to a tourist. I've taken hundreds of chicken buses...don't look at calendars. Always felt safe. A friend who goes to Guat all the time wont ride them ever since the rear...with three rows of seats ..fell off the one she was on. I take the shuttles to Copan mainly to save time at the border. Crossing is faster with 7 people than 35. Oh.. things do happen that shouldn't but are allowed. I know why. Happy trailmix. Beware of touts with links.

BC
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6. Re: Antigua to Guatemala City

Having ridden chicken buses through Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia 30 years ago (certainly no tourist shuttles there then) I really didn't think NOT to ride them in Guatemala.

Yes, it took us three chicken buses from Pana to Antigua, but it was faster and a lot cheaper than a shuttle. And a lot nicer, I hated our first shuttle ride with the obnoxious tourists from France, and really didn't want any more shuttles.

The chicken buses are great because you don't have to fit yourself into a certain timetable, they just turn up really often, and the people will help you out finding your connection bus. All of the buses we rode on were in excellent condition, although I do not doubt that some are not.

I used the shiny, new, central bus station in NW Guatemala City earlier this year. It is very nice, part of a shopping mall, so a food store was there for purchases, but I could see that it is harder to get to.

A benefit (the only benefit?) of a shuttle service is that it takes you right to your hotel. From Copan they wouldn't take you to Zone 1, so they had no benefit to me. The border did take a while with a large bus, but it was a beautiful pleasant day to be outside. At least the bus waited for everyone, which was not the case in Belize, where the scheduled service bus just left without us.

The Dalles, Oregon
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7. Re: Antigua to Guatemala City

Some of the camionetas (local or 'chicken' buses) are in very poor condition plus nice looking on the outside doesn't mean the break pads have been replaced or that there's plenty of fluid where required. Sometimes the drivers are inebriated or lack training or experience and sometimes they are maniacal drivers, racing each other, passing on blind curves, ignoring the pleas of the passengers or delighting in them. The mountain roads often have huge drop offs and guard rails are rare. It only takes a trip or 2 like that before you swear off those mountain runs. Sadly, the tragic bus accident this week isn't the 1st and won't be the last.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24021845

Mi Wuk Village...
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8. Re: Antigua to Guatemala City

Sure many chicken buses have mechanical issues. They work on slim margins. But so do the shuttles. There are also a lot of bad shuttle drivers..even in the higher priced commission paying agencies. In the case of chicken bus drivers many own shares in the bus. They are more apt to take care. In all the chicken buses I've ever been on the only dodgy experience was when a passenger's bag came open and a bunch of grenades fell out but that turned out to be a totally legitimate reason. Happy trailmix. Beware of touts with links.

Edited: 6:43 pm, September 11, 2013
BC
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9. Re: Antigua to Guatemala City

Hopefulist, I don't doubt that what you write is true. However, in these cases you are almost at as much risk being in a car or a shuttle, because you could be hit or forced off the road by such a chicken bus. I would feel safer inside the old school buses as they are better protected in crashes.

We had a very scary ride in Ecuador 30 years ago, driving fast down a mountain road with sharp curves, completely in the clouds so limited visibility. Bus driver stopped to look at the scene of a bus crashed into little bits at the bottom of the mountain, I have the photo, and I thought maybe he would slow down. But no such luck. Although I now live in the mountains, I don't like driving in them as I am a prairie girl. I was never so happy to get down to the flat coast as that time.

The Dalles, Oregon
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10. Re: Antigua to Guatemala City

It's the going off the cliffs that scares me most. :-(