DRIVING TIME: 1 hour
HWY: CA 1
The drive from Antigua to Guatemala City is very easy—it’s Guatemala City that will give you a headache. This is your true test of patience. The only thing that will get you through Guatemala City is diligence and a cold beer waiting for you at the end of the drive. Like all Guatemalan towns, the city was constructed using a strict grid system: avenidas run north-south; calles run east-west. Unless you have a specific business in Guatemala City, drive directly through it. You will drive around, backward, circular, and then through. Guatemala City is the junction point for several routes leading to El Salvador or Honduras.
Guatemala Border Exit
Whether you travel through El Salvador or Honduras, your first procedure is to exit Guatemala. Leaving the country is much easier than entering the country.
Immigration will request to see your passport and any other necessary documents. After the officials review your materials, they will give you the exit stamp.
Aduana wants your vehicle papers and any other documents that you were issued. The inspector will check your identification and your signature. He will then give you a stamped paper authorizing your exit from the country. You must show the stamped paperwork to the military outpost. After you get the okay from the military, the money exchanger guy will open the gate to let you and your vehicle out of the country—which is his side job, exchanging money or opening the gate?
Hotel & Eats
Locals in Antigua take their barbeque seriously, and you can find grills smoking all around town all day. Do not miss out on tasting jerk chicken and the national Antiguan delicacy saltfish and fungie made of cornmeal and okra paste formed into balls.
The military and the government inspectors seem to operate completely independently from each other in Guatemala. Don’t expect the other agency to follow suit when things run smoothly with one agency.
The exit procedures are straightforward, though you may get an attitude from the military inspector. He gives the final okay on exiting the country. Fingers crossed, he is in a good mood.
Next Section of Drive
Guatemala – El Salvador