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Travel to Guatemala

Flying to Guatemala

The main airline is Avianca (www.avianca.com), which has direct flights from Guatemala City’s La Aurora International Airport to Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Honduras, with connections to many US, Central and South American destinations.

There are regular flights from North America: United (www.united.com) has daily flights from Houston and New York; American Airlines (www.aa.com) flies daily from Dallas Fort Worth and Miami; and Delta (www.delta.com) flies daily from Atlanta.

There are no direct flights from the UK; connections are generally via the USA or with Iberia (www.iberia.com) from Madrid direct to Guatemala City.

Flight times

For those wanting to visit the Tikal ruins, the airport in Flores has a handful of international flights with TAG Airlines (www.tag.com.gt) to Belize City.

Flight times

From London - 15 hours (including stopover); New York - 5 hours 20 minutes.

Departure tax

US$30, usually included in the fare.

Travelling to Guatemala by Rail

There are currently no passenger services in Guatemala.

Driving to Guatemala

There are road routes into Guatemala from all its neighbours. From Mexico the main crossings are at Ciudad Hidalgo and Talismán (both near Tapachula) and between Comitán, Mexico, and Huehuetenango, Guatemala. From Honduras the main crossing is at El Florido, which leads from Copán, and from El Salvador, it is at San Cristobal. From Belize the main border crossing is at Melchor de Mencos.

Guatemala is on the 47,958km (29,800-mile) Pan-American Highway. It is possible to drive across the borders in privately owned vehicles, but it is essential to take caution. Poor road conditions, limited services, crime and corrupt border crossings are all hazards. Drivers must show their original driving licence and vehicle registration papers.

Long-distance buses connect the main Central American and Mexican cities, and direct executive coaches are of high standard with bathrooms and air conditioning. Tica Bus Company (tel: +502 2473 3737; www.ticabus.com) has services running the length of Central America, while Pullmantur (tel: +502 2495 7000; www.pullmantur.com) and Hedman Alas (tel: +502 2362 5072; www.hedmanalas.com) connect Guatemala with San Salvador, Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula. Tourist shuttle buses also run between Copan Ruinas, Honduras and Antigua, Guatemala.

Getting to Guatemala by boat

Santo Thomás de Castilla , Puerto Quetzal and Puerto Barrios are the main ports. Further information is available from the Guatemala Port Authority (www.cpn.gob.gt).

Ferry operators

There are regular water taxi services between Punta Gorda, Belize and Puerto Barrios, and boats between Punta Gorda and Livingston. There is also a service from Omoa, Honduras to Livingston. From Palenque in Mexico, there are a number of routes to Flores involving a mixture of bus and riverboat travel.