Car Hire from Guatemala City Airport
Mayan culture, colonial grandeur and outdoor activities are all waiting to be found in Guatemala. Only 2% of the Central American country is heavily populated, making it a great destination for nature lovers. Hiring a car from Guatemala City Airport is a great way to see more of the rugged landscapes the country has to offer.
Where to hire a car at Guatemala City Airport
There is a good selection of car hire options at Guatemala City Airport. Avis, Budget and Guatemala Rent A Car all have offices in the arrivals hall inside the terminal building. Alamo also provide a car hire service from Guatemala City Airport but will collect drivers from a designated point to take them to their rental office a short drive from the airport.
Petrol Stations near Guatemala City Airport
The closest petrol station to Guatemala City Airport is a Texaco garage around eight minutes’ drive from the airport terminal. It can be found just off 14 Avenida before the turning for the airport.
Driving around Guatemala City Airport
14 Avenida provides the main route to and from Guatemala City Airport. Northbound it goes towards Guatemala City while southbound it heads towards Villa Canales. It’s also easy to connect to the Interamerican Highway which travels west towards Chimaltenango and east towards San Jose Pinula.
It is advised that UK residents planning on driving in Guatemala obtain an International Drivers’ Permit before leaving on their travels. The permit is different from your standard international drivers’ license and you’ll need to apply to the RAC, the AA or at a post office in order to get one.
Depending on where you’re planning to travel in Guatemala, it may be worth considering hiring a 4x4. While roads around towns and cities are well-maintained, you will often find that smaller towns and villages are accessed by dirt roads with lots of potholes. Wherever you are in Guatemala, you’ll need to pay extra care and attention on the roads. Other drivers often disobey speeds limits and regulations and both animals and pedestrians can appear in the road with very little notice.
Getting to your destination
Guatemala City Airport is a great starting point for your Guatemala adventure. Here are just some of the places it’s easy to get to when you have your own hire car:
Guatemala’s capital is a big and bustling city. Visitors to Guatemala City will find a range of museums, an excellent modern art gallery and the city zoo. There’s some incredible architecture to ogle and visit including the delights of 6a Calle, a pedestrianised road of cafés and bars.
It takes around 25 minutes to reach Guatemala City from Guatemala City Airport, taking 11 Avenida and the Avenida La Reforma. Most of the city is laid out over a grid system of numbered roads making navigation fairly easy. Traffic in Guatemala City can be a problem, particularly at peak times. Be prepared for journeys through the centre to take longer than anticipated.
Volcan de Pacaya
A trek up to the summit of Volcan de Pacaya, Guatemala’s 2250 metre tall active volcano, is an experience not to be missed. The hike takes around an hour, walking through forests and habitats uniquely influenced by the ash and lava that regularly falls upon the land. Up at the edge of the cone, you’ll be able to see molten lava below and feel the heat under your feet.
The Volcan de Pacaya is around an hour’s drive from Guatemala City Airport, taking Carrer a Villa Canales south. You can leave your car in San Vicente Pacaya and make the ascent up the mountain from there.
San Andrés Itzapa
San Andrés Itzapa is a small, sleepy town, famous for its pagan shrine to San Simon, supposedly a “wicked” saint, and surrounded by beautiful countryside. The town’s market on Tuesdays, where local craftspeople make and sell beautiful handmade leather and jade products, is another reason to visit.
It takes an hour and 15 minutes to reach San Andrés Itzapa from Guatemala City Airport. Drivers should take Calzada Roosevelt towards Mixco before picking up the winding road east to your destination. There are plenty of street parking spaces in the small town.