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International travel costs

What does it cost to fly from/to Guatemala?

What does it cost to fly from/to Guatemala?

The sign is in front of the place with the worst exchange rates in Panajachel. I have been meaning to write about travel costs to/from Guatemala and this gives me a good start.

As they offer 7.4 quetzales to the dollar, I wonder if that is the exchange rate I would get to buy these tickets with Quetzales? OK, I am sure it is not but it might be fun to harass them about it.

Just in case you can’t read this, the prices are for round-trip tickets and it says taxes are included. There are some strange numbers here but it is pretty much the way it works. The strangest is $486 to Managua. As many of the flights from Guatemala to Costa Rica (San Jose on the sign) even stop in Managua, why would a flight to Managua be over twice the price to go to Managua? The sign isn’t wrong as I have seen this situation before.

The second cheapest flight is to Miami. As almost everyone in Miami speaks Spanish this is clearly a shopping trip flight. The other prices look much as you would expect.

The flights are, of course, not from Panajachel. Shuttle prices tend to be aroud $20 from Pana to Guatemala and, strange as it may seem, $30 from Guate to Pana. The good news is that the shuttles will drop you off at the airport and pick you up there. The public buses to/from Pana only cost Q30 but you then need to get to/from the airport which usually means a taxi.

If your travel is regional, buses are an alternative. For example, a bus from Guatemala City to Managua will cost from $25 to $100. Yes, it’s a big range. The $25 option is an old schoolbus that will leave from near Hotel España. On the high end are Del Sol (my favorite) and King Quality. Each leaves from some fancy hotel that will be another issue to get to. Note that in Pana the travel agencies I talked to seem to only know about TicaBus which I consider a bad option. Why? Because they only travel during the day so a trip to Nicaragua is two days and requires renting a hotel room in San Salvador. With hotel and meals you will spend a lot more money to add a day to your travel schedule.

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