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Rental car: Airport or Antigua? + which company?

Hamme, Belgium
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Rental car: Airport or Antigua? + which company?

Hi,

After 2 times in Mexico (Yucatan area) we will visit Guatemala for the first time (end Jan. 2018) for almost 3 weeks.

We arrive on Saturday evening, 10h30pm. So, when leaving the airport it will be 11pm.

We leave on Friday at 7am. So, we need to be at the airport at 5am...

We prefer to rent a car, as we did in Mexico and make a trip for about 3 weeks.

I know...our arrival and departure hour isn't great.

What do you think:

A) Rent a car at the airport. Which company do you suggest? Alamo? Tabarini? Guatemalarentacar? Tally Rent A Car?

B) Transportation to Antigua (and from Antigua when leaving). Which transportation will be available at this hour. Taxi?

Any suggestions on car rental in Antigua?

Thanks for your ideas.

Steven

Belgium, Europe

7 replies to this topic
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137 posts
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1. Re: Rental car: Airport or Antigua? + which company?

Steven, your best bet is to spend arrival and departure nights, at least, near airport in Guatemala City. Search this forum for similar topics and you'll find that advice repeatedly, with lodging suggestions and explanations. It's simple and reliable. Then search for Antigua shuttle advice and you'll find company names. Buena suerte!

Edited: 23 August 2017, 11:21
Essen, Germany
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2. Re: Rental car: Airport or Antigua? + which company?

...just one quick reminder : you wrote your leave at 7 am at the airport and need to be at 5 am. Even before you had to be three hours before the flight at the airport, but with the new security checks, it's 4 hours, so you won't make your flight if you only get there at 5 am...

Also I wouldn't recommend self driving in Guatemala. ( Driving in Guate is different than in Yucatan, where roads are well maintained and you have signs everywhere.. ) There tourist shuttles take you pretty much everywhere and when I want to go to places off the regular routes, I just take a private transport ( which fior me traveling solo is admittedly a but expensive, but well Worth it, but if you're 2 or 3 people, you pay the same price). I also take a private transport to the airport which almost all hôtels in Antigua will arrange for you( again, it's 40$ just for me, but same price for several people )

Essen, Germany
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3. Re: Rental car: Airport or Antigua? + which company?

Oh, and another tip especially since you're from Belgium : for booking shuttles, tours, hotels etc. I highly recommend Adrenalina Tours. The owner Patrick is Belgium and I have travelled with them for years now and am always very happy with their service.

The Dalles, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Guatemala, Belize
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11,518 posts
327 reviews
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4. Re: Rental car: Airport or Antigua? + which company?

Some of the rental car issues are addressed above - I've never been tempted in part because it would restrict me to staying in places with secure parking and at some stops - Antigua and Lake Atitlán especially - a car could actually be in the way as opposed to being helpful (access to villages around the lake is much better via boat). Maybe a compromise would be renting for part of the trip?

Re: 4 hours ahead of your international flight at the airport, I just returned last week and every hotel person and shuttle driver told me the same thing if you plan to check a bag and/or carry a laptop. I flew home with just a carryon/no laptop, arrived at the airport with my boarding pass already printed, and breezed through security but others on my flight who allowed 3 hours barely made the flight. You'll want to sleep near the airport for a flight that early imho. Here's our favorite airport hotel, 2-3 minutes from the airport: http://hostalvillatoscana.com/

Re: heading to Antigua after landing, I'd arrange a ride through your hotel or a reliable agency. Here are 2 transportation providers I’ve been pleased with in Guatemala for share shuttles, private transfers, and flight arrangements:

Adrenalina Tours: http://www.adrenalinatours.com

Rainbow Travel: http://www.rainbowtravelcenter.com

Our favorite private driver, Alfredo Garcia, is bilingual, personable, prompt, and safe, and has nice vehicles: alf.transport@yahoo.com

My photos with blog, travelogue, and review links on the main page of each collection are below in case you're interested - all my recommendations are embedded there. Happy trails!

flickr.com/photos/staceyholeman/collections

Hamme, Belgium
4 posts
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5. Re: Rental car: Airport or Antigua? + which company?

thank you.

I take a taxi from airport to the hotel = ok?

Hamme, Belgium
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6. Re: Rental car: Airport or Antigua? + which company?

it is preferred to book a shuttle in advance (online)?

The Dalles, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Guatemala, Belize
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11,518 posts
327 reviews
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7. Re: Rental car: Airport or Antigua? + which company?

It's your choice. I prefer to book ahead if I'm arriving fairly late - it's just nice to exit the airport and see a friendly face holding a sign with my name, no need to pick a driver, negotiate the fare, will have a poorly maintained/unsafe/uncomfortable vehicle, or worry they won't know where my hotel is.

If I arrive earlier in the day I hop a share shuttle.

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