The distance between the 500-year-old colonial city of Antigua and Guatemala City is 25 miles (41 km), but the curved roads and frequent traffic can make the journey between them much longer than the hour that's projected.

There are a few transit options available, but the best way to make this journey is by car, and it's better to hire a private driver if you don't have experience driving in Central America. If you are comfortable with the rules of the road, you can rent a car in Antigua and make the drive yourself.

Shared shuttle buses are also available, and although these are comfortable and have plenty of amenities, the direct bus to Guatemala City only runs once each day, so it might not coincide with your travel itinerary. Taxis and rideshares are available in this region, but this is not recommended as the rates can vary wildly if you hit a traffic jam.

For a short trip that will take you from the best churches and colonial architecture in Antigua to the small villages surrounding nearby Lake Atitlán before ending in Guatemala City, consider this 4-day itinerary.

To see the best of Guatemala, try this 11-day trip that begins in Antigua and includes a hike up the Pacaya Volcano, a relaxed bike tour of a charming coffee co-operative, a tour of the ancient Mayan ruins in Tikal National Park, and more.

By Private Transfer or Rental Car

Duration: 1 hour, more with traffic

The journey to Guatemala City should only take about an hour without traffic, but road conditions can vary, so be sure to give yourself plenty of time to make the journey. It should be fairly easy to find a private driver in Antigua, but consider asking a local specialist for help as not all drivers are fluent in English.

Many of the most popular international rental car companies have offices in central Antigua, so you should have no problem tracking down an available car.

The scenery in Guatemala is beautiful, but the winding roads and small cobblestone streets in the old districts of the cities can be quite difficult to navigate, and the rules of the road can be difficult for travelers to discern, so this is only recommended for those with experience in the region and a firm understanding of the Spanish language.

You'll first take Route 10, which will take you along the most scenic half of the route where you can get a look at the volcanoes outside of Antigua. About 12 miles (20 km) down the road, you can stop at Senderos Alux Ecological Park, where you can take a short hike, walk across a hanging bridge, or swing on one of the giant tree swings. 

From here, follow CA-1 to your final destination.

By Shared Shuttle

Duration: 1 hour, more with traffic

You can also take a Litegua shuttle bus from Antigua straight to Guatemala City. There is only one service that leaves Antigua each day, so make sure you plan ahead to catch the 2:35 bus.

These shuttle buses are comfortable and provide plenty of amenities like wifi, charging ports, entertainment options, restrooms, air conditioning, and more. 

You can't yet book your ticket ahead of time online, so make sure you have the appropriate language skills to purchase a ticket at the station. The local Litegua terminal is at 4A Calle Oriente 48. Consider asking a local specialist for assistance in booking if you don't speak any Spanish.

The shuttle bus will arrive in the hectic area of Zone 1 in Guatemala City, so make sure you have a private transfer waiting for you, or be sure to book a taxi or rideshare quickly to avoid attracting the attention of pickpockets who are known to target travelers.

By Taxi or Rideshare

Duration: 1 hour, more with traffic

Regular taxis and rideshare apps like Uber are available in this region of Guatemala, but as the trip on this route can stretch up to three hours with heavy traffic, it is not advisable to book these options as the ride fare can quickly skyrocket. It's better to book a private transfer where you can agree upon a fixed rate.

Map