Around 175 miles (284 km) north of Guatemala City, Rio Dulce makes an ideal stop-off point to break up the long journey back to the capital from Tikal and Flores. However, it is a fascinating destination in its own right and even has it’s own Mayan ruins that are well worth a visit if you’re in town.

The drive from Rio Dulce to Guatemala City usually takes around 5.5-7+ hours, depending on traffic. You can get there via private transfer and taxi, rental car, and tourist shuttle, or you can join a multi-day group or a private tour, like this 11-day Best of Guatemala trip.

By Private Transfer or Taxi

Duration: 5.5+ hrs (traffic dependent)

The easiest way to get a door to door ride from Rio Dulce to Guatemala City is via private transfer or taxi. You can also ask to be dropped off at the airport. With a private transfer, your driver will come and pick you up at your chosen time, so all you need to do is relax in air-conditioned comfort, and enjoy the ride.

If you are taking a taxi you should agree on a price before you get in the car. You can also ask to make sure the AC is working. Guatemalan taxis can be notoriously small, so if you are a group of three or more with luggage then you might be more comfortable taking a transfer or requesting a bigger car instead.

By Rental Car

Duration: 5.5+ hrs (traffic dependent)

Whilst the majority of people travel around Guatemala by private transfer, taxi, and shuttle bus, a few choose to rent a car and self-drive around Guatemala. However, we don't recommend driving unless you've had some experience with mountain roads and Central American traffic beforehand. Also, you'll need an international driver's license and fully comp insurance. A lot of drivers in Guatemala are not insured, so you don't want to be liable if there are any problems.

The CA-9 from Rio Dulce to Guatemala City isn't too bad, but the traffic can be notoriously awful once you get into the city. It can also be tough to find secure parking in the capital, so be sure to find a guesthouse with a parking lot or drop the car off at the rental place and use taxis and Uber to get around instead.

By Tourist Bus

Duration: 6+ hrs (traffic dependent)

You can also take a tourist bus from Rio Dulce all the way down to Guatemala City. This is arguably the second easiest way after the private transfer as you don’t have to haggle rates with a taxi driver or drive yourself and brave the traffic! There are mostly big coach buses from Rio Dulce to Guatemala, but there are also a few minibusses that run this route.

The bus will pick you up from your accommodation and drop you in central Guatemala City, where you’ll be able to take a taxi or Uber to your next destination. There are no local buses from Rio Dulce to Guatemala City.

By Air

Duration: 45 mins (flight time) + 1.5hr transfer from Rio Dulce to Puerto Barrios

If time is of the essence, you can also fly from Puerto Barrios to Guatemala City. The drive from Rio Dulce to Puerto Barrios is around an hour and a half, and the flight time to Guatemala City International Airport is about 45-minutes. There are usually several daily departures but this does change according to the season.


Map of How to Get from Rio Dulce to Guatemala City
Map of How to Get from Rio Dulce to Guatemala City