Flying in or out of the Guatemala City Airport?
Here's what to do when you arrive at La Aurora Airport
Guatemala has invested quite heavily in its airports in recent years, modernizing the Guatemala City airport and others extensively.
...but to my surprise, I found that the Guatemala City international airport was sleek and modern, accommodating a wide variety of national and international airlines. On this page you'll find pictures of the terminals, transportation options, and entrance and exit procedures.
A photographer friend of mine took this stunning photo of La Aurora Airport.
Guatemala (GUA) Airport Terminal Map
Though La Aurora airport has not published an official terminal map, you can see from the photos that the airport is not very big, and currently has only two terminals operating with a third in construction. Just follow the signs after you go through security and it's really quite difficult to get lost.
Guatemala Airport Pick Up
The Guatemala City Airport has plenty of transportation options. The parking lot is adequate, though the bottom level where arrivals exit the airport can get pretty congested when flights are coming in. The fact that there is no waiting area except standing outside has caused uproar inside the country and mainly confusion for those who haven't experienced it yet.
When you enter the Guatemala City Airport in a vehicle, you will see the signs for arrivals (llegadas) and departures (salidas) in English and Spanish. Arrivals are on the lower level and departures are on the upper level. Parking is reasonable if you're picking someone up, only a dollar or two, but don't let the fact that you're in a third-world country mislead you - if you use the long-term parking as I did for a quick trip to the USA, you'll come back to find that the prices to park are around ten dollars a day. That was a shock since I hadn't checked the parking prices before I left.
Guatemala Airport Taxis
There are always Guatemala City airport taxis waiting on the bottom level to take you wherever you need to go, within the capital or out. A friend of mine even took a taxi all the way to Lake Atitlan, four hours away! Generally, the prices start about double what you would pay to get to the airport from the same location in the capital.
For example, a 20-minute taxi ride started out at 200 quetzales, but I quickly talked them down to about Q125 (this was with only moderate luggage). It may be worth it after a long flight to just pay what they ask, but with decent Spanish you should be able to get a better price. Taxis to Antigua, about 45 minutes away, are higher (anywhere from Q300 and up to start).
Guatemala Airport Shuttles
If you have more luggage or a lot of people, or perhaps you're coming to study Spanish in Antigua Guatemala, you might consider taking a shuttle. These will cost about Q300 for one person (if you need the whole van) but only goes up marginally per person. So, if you're willing to wait a few minutes while the shuttle fills up or if you have a large group, you can catch a shuttle to Antigua, Lake Atitlan, or any number of other places.
There are plenty of people with signs as you exit the airport with shuttle offers - you can choose any one of them that look trustworthy or you can book in advance with one of the shuttle services recommended in the Lonely Planet Guatemala Guidebook (new edition just out).
Exiting the Guatemala City Airport
Exiting La Aurora Airport is not so complicated if you are heading to the eastern part of the capital where most of the Guatemala City hotels are - just take a right at the roundabout at the airport exit, which will take you to Blvd Próceres. If you are driving to Antigua, however, it's best to ask directions somewhere nearby, as the whole area is under construction as of this writing, and the barricades blocking various streets tend to get moved frequently.
To see pictures of the airport, restaurants in the airport, and immigration, security, and ticket procedures, check out La Aurora Airport page.
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