Guatemala Guides | How to get from Guatemala City to Antigua

Guatemala Guides | How to get from Guatemala City to Antigua

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In this guide, I will share with you the best way to get from Guatemala airport to Antigua. Having lived in Guatemala and traveled to and from Aurora International Airport in Guatemala more time than I care to remember, I’m a pro on getting to Antigua. If you are an early or late flight though more often than not, it is better to find hotels in Guatemala city near the airport to avoid traveling in the dark.

Distance from Guatemala City Airport to Antigua

The distance from Guatemala City Airport to Antigua is just under 40 Kilometers. On a good day, it will take you 45 minutes. On a normal day an hour and on a bad day it could take several hours!

How to get from Guatemala airport to Antigua

  • Private Driver
  • Shared shuttle
  • Taxi
  • Uber
  • Public Bus
  • C.A Express Bus

Guatemala Guides | How to get from Guatemala City to Antigua

Why you should travel from Guatemala Airport to Antigua

If you are traveling to La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala, then you probably want to get out of Guatemala City as soon as you can. It’s not somewhere that tourists like to hang around for safety reasons.

The closest place to Guatemala City Airport that’s tourist-friendly is Antigua Guatemala. If you are planning to explore Guatemala, Antigua is the perfect place to start your adventure. That said if you have an early or late flight and are nervous about traveling in the night then it is often best to stay at a hotel close to the airport.

All of the hotels/ hostels have a free airport shuttle. There are plenty of hotels in Guatemala city near the airport, but I have a few I have used that I recommend.

Here are the hostels near Guatemala city airport I recommend

Book a place on a shared shuttle from Guatemala airport to Antigua

This is the method of transport between Guatemala airport and Antigua that I recommend. It is the cheapest, safest and easiest way to travel. You can pre-book your shuttle (recommended) which will cost a little more money, BUT you will have peace of mind, and you shouldn’t have to wait for too long. To book a shared shuttle from Guatemala City airport to Antigua click here

If you decide to risk it and not pre-book, when you are exiting the airport there will be shuttle vans there waiting to take people from Guatemala airport to Antigua. The cost is around $10-15, and it takes just over an hour with good traffic.

Now the biggest pitfall of not pre-booking a shuttle is that you will be waiting for at least two others to join you. I’ve been sat there for 3 hours before. You may get lucky, but for a few $$ I would just pre-book at least a day before with GuateGo, they are the only company that you can book transport online with wherever you travel in Guatemala.

How to pre-book:

When booking be sure to check From: la Aurora airport To: Antigua Guatemala. Then select how many tickets you want and your dates. Note: Every shuttle will wait between 30 to 40 minutes for you to come out of the airport. They will be holding a sign with your name on. So make sure you look out for it! Don’t forget to book your return journey too.

The shuttle will drop you off at your hotel or a central point in Antigua if you have nothing booked.

If you arrive in the evening after 8:30 pm then you may need to take a taxi or get a hotel room (see below). You can probably spot a fellow traveler who you could share with to save money. It’s always worth asking people at the airport. 


There is now an eco-friendly shuttle service in town. You can choose your own seats, it has WiFi, a fully stocked bar with Guatemalan drinks and snacks, and just look how amazing it looks!

CA Express are seriously raising the standards of transport in Guatemala. Right now they are only operating one route (Guatemala Airport to Antigua) but they have a vision to cover the whole of Central America. The busses all have power sockets (perfect for us workaholic Digital Nomads), comfy seats, and you can even choose your spot on the bus.

The best part is the price is pretty much the same as the standard shuttles, so totally worth checking out! Right now they only have a few services per day so be sure to check out their website for more information.

I’ve not personally used their service so if you read this and book with them then please let me know how it was in the comments below!

Hire a Private Driver to drive you to Antigua from Guatemala City Airport

To do this, you can do a bit of a Facebook search in the Antigua Guatemala groups as there are always local drivers posting in there offering their services, or check out Viatour. The driver will be there to pick you up from the Guatemala City airport with your name on a sign and deliver you directly to your hotel.

Take an Airport Taxi from Guatemala airport to Antigua

If you are feeling flush, then you can take a taxi from the airport directly to Antigua for $35. If you prefer to travel in a little bit of comfort and don’t like the idea of your backpack/ suitcase being strapped to the roof of a van, then this is the mode of transport for you!

Book an Uber to take you to Antigua

Uber is available in Guatemala, and I have known people to book an Uber from Guatemala airport to Antigua. If you are traveling solo though I wouldn’t recommend it unless you are traveling after 7 pm due to traffic (it will cost a fortune quite possibly more than a taxi).

Want a free Uber ride on me?


Rent a car and drive yourself from the airport to Antigua

Firstly, hiring a car in Guatemala is a terrible idea. Unless you know Guatemala well and are experienced in driving in Latin American countries with roads full of potholes (craters) where no one pays any attention to traffic lights, give this a miss. But if you are convinced this is the option for you, then there are several hire car companies based in the airport, and you can book here.

Take the public bus from Guatemala airport to Antigua

This is not the way I would recommend you to travel from Guatemala airport to Antigua. Especially if you don’t know much Spanish. In fact, if you don’t speak Spanish, I would strongly advise against it! There is a lot of reported crime on the chicken buses between Guatemala City and Antigua so use caution when choosing this route. That’s not to say you shouldn’t use chicken buses in Guatemala (you absolutely should!) just not when you first arrive and while carrying everything you own…

You will need to take a shuttle into the city to the main bus terminal and get a “chicken bus” to Antigua. The cost of the chicken bus ride is 10Q ($1.25). But honestly, though, it really isn’t worth it.

When you clear immigration you will see signs for shuttles, just tell them you want to go into the city to the bus station. They will book you on the next shuttle.

Looking for a place to stay in Antigua?

I highly recommend Wiltcho and Charlies if you are looking for a hostel. It’s my go-to place, best showers and most comfortable beds in Guatemala. Or if they are booked try the Lemon Tree. I haven’t stayed there personally as it opened after I left but I know the owner well, and the photos look great. Alternatively, if you want a B&B, I can’t recommend Donde Rita enough. She is a good friend and has opened up the most stunning Moroccan style B&B. I spent my last weekend in Guatemala there drinking mint tea. If you go be sure to say hi from me!

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Guatemala Guides | How to get from Guatemala City to Antigua

Looking for things to do in Antigua?

I have a who load of ideas for you here.

How to get from Antigua to Semuc Champey

Things to know before visiting Antigua

How to spend a day in Antigua Guatemala

How to Spend the Weekend in Antigua, Guatemala

Guatemala Guides | 5 tours not to be missed in Guatemala

Is it safe to visit Guatemala? Guatemala Safety Advice for Solo Female Travelers

Are You Traveling soon?

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  1. September 29, 2017 / 11:59 am

    Hello! I made a video about taking the chicken bus from Guatemala City to Antigua:
    I think the bus is “safe enough” if you take it around lunch (when it’s not that crowded so you can take the backpack inside with you, not stored on the roof) and try to sit in front (locals told me it’s safer). For 10 quetzals + 1 quetzal for the Transmetro bus which takes you to El Trebol, it’s a bargain compared to the price of the shuttle (around 80 quetzals).

    • October 10, 2017 / 11:48 am

      That’s so cool! Thank you for sharing 🙂 I got the chicken bus quite a bit in Guatemala but I never did get it from the airport. I think I was just too lazy after my flight… my backpack is pretty big haha

      • Elisabeth Butler
        October 12, 2017 / 8:28 am

        Hey Claire! Do you travel solo to Guatemala? I’m planning on going to Antigua but my family is worried because I’m a woman…Would love your thoughts on this!

        • October 15, 2017 / 10:42 am

          I was in Antigua for the best part of 8 months solo. It’s an incredible place and I felt very safe there. There is a great community of strong women who I became very good friends with. Most of them are running NGO’s or doing other wonderful work with local people. So rest assured you will be fine in Antigua!

  2. Eliza Drummond
    January 10, 2018 / 4:07 pm

    Hi Claire,
    What a great website! Can you recommend a hotel in Antigua with breakfast for an older couple. We love hostels, but we prefer to sleep in one bed when possible 🙂

    • January 10, 2018 / 5:19 pm

      Hi Eliza! Thanks so much. I LOVE Guatemala and I get so excited when people are planning their trips. Yes, I have a friend who runs a BnB. She is Guatemalan but lived in Morocco for many years before returning and starting the BnB. it is close to the central area, it’s great value for money and she speaks fantastic English. Her name is Rita and you can find here on Facebook. Be sure to let her know I sent you 🙂

      If you have any other questions be sure to let me know, and let me know how you liked Guatemala!

  3. Luca
    March 16, 2018 / 4:09 am

    Hei claire
    Were i can pay for ä shuttle in guatemala äirport after 19:30
    To antigua

    • March 16, 2018 / 2:25 pm

      Hay Luca, when you arrive at the airport you can book a shuttle from one of the 2 desks there. You will have to wait until there is 4 of you though. So if you are in in rush (I’ve had to wait for 2 hours before) then Uber is your best bet! During the day is much easier as there are lots of people needing transport, evenings are pretty quiet!

      • Shelley
        July 2, 2018 / 11:03 pm

        Hi Claire!
        Is Uber safe to use in Guatemala? ie Airport to Antigua?

        • July 3, 2018 / 5:59 pm

          Hi Shelly. I didn’t ever use it myself but I know many people who have. From their experience yes it is very safe to use in Guate.

  4. Jock
    July 8, 2018 / 4:09 pm

    Hey Claire, thanks for the info. For the second option you listed — taking a shuttle from GC to Antigua — do you have to book in advance, or can you just expect that they will be available and running during the day? My flight arrives around 11am on a Thursday. Trying to figure out how much planning is needed ahead of time for this portion of the journey. Thanks in advance for your help!

    • July 12, 2018 / 9:34 pm

      Hi Jack, so sorry this went into spam! I’ve just found it now. At 11am on a Thursday you should be fine. I never bother booking but I have always had to wait for an hour or so for a few more people to share the shuttle. I’ve never even bothered to try and book in advance. I think Uber is pretty reasonable too as a backup. Sorry again and hope I’m not too late!

    • August 7, 2018 / 5:03 pm

      Hi Jack, just to let you know I’ve been contacted by a company who you can book the shuttle online before you get there. It’s a little bit more expensive than just booking it in the airport, but they have a shuttle at 1 pm so by the time you clear customs and immigration you shouldn’t have long to wait. You can book all of your transport with them in Guatemala. This is pretty huge as before now you had to do it all through agents.

  5. Yafit
    October 15, 2018 / 9:21 am

    Hi Claire,
    Where does the shuttle from the airport drops people off in Antigua? If I need to get to a specific address? Is Antigua small and walkable?

    • October 15, 2018 / 10:30 am

      Yes they will drop you to your hotel or hostel. Or if you don’t have one they will drop you at parque central 😊

  6. Yafit
    October 15, 2018 / 10:45 am

    Ah ok thanks. So if I have a specific address I don’t need to worry to find myself.

    • October 15, 2018 / 10:56 am

      No they will know where to drop you. Antigua is very small.

  7. Zaki Sadiki
    October 16, 2018 / 1:38 pm

    Hi Claire

    So glad I stumbled across your website. I’m off to Guatemala on 19th November from London and starting the Moon Course in San Marco, Lake Atitlan on 24th November. So was thinking of going to Antigua for a few days first. If anyone else is heading there and wants someone to hang with do message me. Always looking to meet new people on my travels.

    • Guy Angela
      November 10, 2018 / 11:20 am

      I’ll be there Nov 19-24 (Antigua & Lake Atitlan)!

  8. Teresa
    November 3, 2018 / 6:48 pm

    Hi Claire, Have you used GuateGo for transportation and for tours? I can’t find any reviews for this company online. Just want to make sure they’re reliable, etc. Can you share more information on what it’s like if you have used them? Thank you!

    • November 3, 2018 / 8:12 pm

      Hi Teresa! Great question. No they didn’t exist when I lived there. But one of the girls I worked with while I was there who I know very well and trust works for them. I’ve had Skype meetings with her and the CO of the company and I have been very impressed by what they are doing. They are a start up but are doing very well so that’s why I have endorsed them. The only thing to point out is that you will pay a little more booking through them as this covers card fees and their fees. However if I was to return to Guatemala I would 100% use them. For me it’s worth the higher price knowing I’m going with a reputable company… I had some total nightmare shuttle rides in Guatemala haha. Hope that helps 😊

      • Teresa
        November 4, 2018 / 11:09 am

        Thank you, Claire! It looks like they have a lot of great options. I think I’ll give it a go!

        • November 4, 2018 / 11:25 am

          Please let me know how you get on ❤️ have the best time in Guatemala!

    • Yafit
      November 3, 2018 / 8:28 pm

      To add to Claire’s answer, I jut booked GuateGo shuttle from Guatemala airport to Antigua for tomorrow Sunday Nov 4th (after reading Claire’s recommendation) and can let you know about my experience as soon as I can afterwards 🙂

      • November 3, 2018 / 10:33 pm

        That’s great! Thank you so much 🙏

  9. Yafit Gabai
    November 4, 2018 / 7:52 pm

    The ride was on time and very comfortable. The driver was waiting with a sign with my name. I know it’s low season now but we were only 3 people and the van was quite comfortable and specious. Even before booking I had emailed them with questions back and forth and they were prompt to respond to every question. I was not sure I would make the 1:30pm ride so they suggested that I book the one at 2:3o but saved me a spot for 1:30 as well, in case I make it. Again this could be due to not having many people at the moment. Overall the experience was very good.

    • November 5, 2018 / 8:08 am

      Hi Yafit that’s so good to hear! Thank you so much for your feedback and letting people know about your experience. Really helpful. Claire

  10. Angela Guy
    November 10, 2018 / 10:23 am

    Great blog! I’m going to be in Guatemala Nov 19-24 (first time, so excited!)… For Nov 24, there’s a shuttle from Antigua to the airport at 11 am, that gets to the airport at 2 pm. My flight departs at 3:45, do you think that’s enough time to get through security etc.? Or should I take the 9:30 am shuttle instead? Thanks!

    • November 10, 2018 / 10:28 am

      This is so tough. I have got through super quick at times and other times it’s taken forever. If it were me I would take the early one. The roads in Guatemala aren’t the best, and traffic getting out of antigua and into the city can be pretty bad.

  11. November 19, 2018 / 12:05 pm

    I wanted to thank you for this article. It was of great help when I got to Guatemala!

  12. Archana Vallabhaneni
    November 29, 2018 / 12:19 am

    Hello Claire,

    Thank you the article!

    However, I am in a fix now as I bought tickets to Guatemala on a whim and will end up landing at 1:00am on Dec 6th(night of Dec 5th) into La Aurora airport and would really like to head to Antigua straight without the hassle of getting in and out of GC. I also read that we are not allowed to spend the night inside the airport there. Would you know if getting an Uber or a taxi to Antigua at that time of the night is safe enough and would they be available at that time at all? I also read that there is no public wifi in the airport and so I wouldn’t even know how to order an Uber. Do you have any suggestions please?

    P.S. If anyone is traveling at that time and wants to split the ride with me(for the sake of $$ as well as safety), please holler.

    • November 29, 2018 / 8:44 am

      100% get an Uber! Taxis are also pretty safe but I would go with an Uber. Just make sure you book your accom in Antigua and let them know. You can also speak to your hostel/hotel as they might be able to send someone to pick you up 😊

  13. sidney
    December 9, 2018 / 1:54 pm

    Hello Claire,

    We are going to Guatemala as a couple (30 years old). I really liked your blog, I was wondering with your experience you recommend Must things to do in Antigua and Lac Atitlan. Our 2 main stops during our 10 days trip.
    We would like as well to go to the sea.. relax

    If you have any ideas I would be pleased to read you! (we look for activities, adventure mixed with relax moments)

    • December 9, 2018 / 2:05 pm

      Hi Sidney if you go to the Guatemala page you will see I’ve written about everything I recommend doing. But my number 1 would be hiking acatenango! You really must do that. Guatemala isn’t great for the sea. But I’d recommend traveling to el paradon from antigua on a shuttle. I also wrote about this. If you have any questions about it let me know.

  14. sidney
    December 9, 2018 / 2:11 pm

    Great I will check all this thanks!

  15. Lorraine Keegan
    January 2, 2019 / 4:05 pm

    Hi Claire, thank you for a fabulous website. I plan on travelling solo to Guatemala in July so I want to be very well prepared to lessen my anxieties!!! I’m flying into and out of Guatemala city airport. I have about 3 weeks in total. I would be so grateful for a recommended itinerary.

  16. Nicole
    February 5, 2019 / 4:30 pm

    Hi Claire! I’m going to Antigua for the first time in a couple weeks and the CA Express bus looks like a good option for me. My flight is scheduled to land at 1:30 – any thoughts on whether the timing for going through immigration, etc. will work for their 3:00 shuttle?

    • February 8, 2019 / 1:14 pm

      Hey, I would say yes. The airport is small and I have never been held up coming out. But just let them know your flight details. Its a new company and they seem great. I’d be really grateful if you let me know your experience if you do use them. I’m heading back to Guatemala in the next few months and I’ll be seeing for myself, but in the meantime, I’d love to know what you think of them!

  17. Emily
    March 11, 2019 / 3:08 pm

    Do you know car seats are required for children on the shared shuttles, or what Guatemalan laws are for that? (4 year old and 7 year old)

    • March 11, 2019 / 4:10 pm

      There are no laws haha… You would be lucky to find seat belts in most public transport. My advice would be that if you are concerned contact guatego and speak to them about it. I’m confident they will help you out with this.

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