La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City and Antigua are less than 25 miles (40km) apart, but, when you take into account the traffic, the winding roads that cut through the hills, and cobbled streets in Antigua's colonial center, you will need to allow for a minimum of one hour travel time and upwards of three hours during peak traffic.

There are a variety of different ways that you can travel from Guatemala City Airport to Antigua, including private transfers, Ubers, taxis, shuttle buses, and public buses (aka chicken buses). Private transfers rank top for comfort and convenience but are a little more expensive than an Uber or a public shuttle bus. Adventurous types and those on a budget might choose to take the chicken bus, but this takes much longer and comes bottom of the ranks for safety, comfort, and convenience.

By Private Transfer

Duration: approx 1-3 hours (traffic dependent)

The quickest and most convenient way to get from La Aurora International Airport to Antigua is by private transfer. This is also a good option if you are arriving late at night or if you are worried about safety. You will be met at arrivals by a private driver with your name on a sign, load your bags into the car, and head straight from the airport to your hotel in air-conditioned comfort.

While there isn't really a whole lot to see until you get to Antigua—bar traffic, unfortunately!—it's still a nice journey and a good opportunity to unwind after a long flight and catch a glimpse of Guatemalan life through the window.

By Taxi or Rideshare

Duration: approx 1-3 hours (traffic dependent)

If you’re looking for a smooth ride and to be dropped right at your door, but you haven’t booked anything in advance and you’re happy to wing it when you arrive, then a taxi is the way to go. Although you used to have to haggle to get the best price, these days there is a taxi rank in the airport where you pay directly and get a slip of paper to give to the driver, making it much safer and taking the gamble out of the equation.

Bear in mind though, that cars here can be pretty small, so if there are three or four of you with luggage then you might be in for a pretty cramped ride! The price also increases considerably late at night.

While ride-sharing apps can be cheaper than taxis, you also have to deal with the faff of finding WiFi or setting up SIM cards, and the cost of the journey can vary wildly. The estimated price is usually for a decent trip with good traffic (around one hour), but if the roads are busy and the hours start stacking up then you may find yourself paying double or even triple the quoted price.

Although you can use the free WiFi in the airport to book your Uber, this also isn’t always the most reliable, so you will probably need to have roaming or a SIM card with data for your phone. If your phone is unlocked then you will be able to pick up a SIM at the kiosk in the airport, but you’ll also need to factor in how long it will take to get set up and browsing and keep an eye on surge pricing and traffic, as well as pick-up locations, which are constantly changing.

By Shared Shuttle

Duration: approx 1-3 hours (traffic dependent)

If you want to take a shared shuttle from Guatemala City Airport to Antigua you have two options—to pre-book a shuttle or find one on arrival, where there are several stands advertising shared shuttles. Prebooking your shuttle means that you will be met at arrivals with a sign, you won't have to wait for the bus to fill up before you hit the road (which can sometimes take hours!), and you'll be dropped off at your door, but this convenience does come at a slight premium.

As a rule, the smaller shuttle buses can be a little crowded, while the bigger ones are more spacious and have amenities like WiFi, charging sockets, tables, and even a bar where you can purchase snacks and drinks. However, the bigger buses can't drive into Antigua's center, so you will be dropped off at the Shell garage (about 20-minutes walk from the center), where you can then take a taxi or a tuk-tuk to your final destination.

Bear in mind that if you arrive after 8 pm the options for shuttle buses are limited so you might have to stay the night in an airport hotel or head into Guatemala City for a night instead.

By Rental Car

Duration: approx 1-3 hours (traffic dependent)

Those with experience driving in Central America might want to rent a car at the airport and drive themselves out to Antigua. The daily rate to rent a car is around the same as a taxi from the airport to Antigua, plus gas and insurance, but if you are wanting to drive yourself around the country then this is definitely an option.

However, if you are not used to driving in Guatemala or Central America then we do not really recommend renting a car as the traffic can be pretty crazy and the rules of the road are a little unpredictable. It is also very difficult to find off-street parking in Antigua, so if you do want to drive in Guatemala then it is generally better to rent a car there than try to find somewhere safe to park near your hotel.

By "Chicken Bus"

Duration: 2-5 hours (traffic dependent)

Although this is the cheapest way to get from Guatemala City Airport to Antigua, it is definitely not the safest, most convenient, or most comfortable, especially if you don't speak any Spanish. To get to Antigua you will first need to take a local bus from the airport to El Trebol, then hop out and walk for 5-10 minutes until you find a side-street with big blue buses and signs to Antigua. From here, it is at least a 90-minute journey.

If you do end up taking the chicken bus you will need to pay close attention to your belongings as petty theft is pretty common on the buses and in El Trebol. You will also need to put your luggage onto the roof or in the overhead luggage racks, and can expect to be squeezed in with no AC and barely functioning windows. Once you arrive in Antigua you will be dropped at the Antigua bus terminal. From there, you can walk or take a tuk-tuk to your final destination.

Chicken buses are definitely not recommended after dark.


Map of How to Get from Guatemala City Airport (GUA) to Antigua
Map of How to Get from Guatemala City Airport (GUA) to Antigua