Ways of transportation in Guatemala

There are several ways of transportation in Guatemala. Ours was a rental car we got in Cancun, Mexico. Welcome to the Caribbean! πŸ™‚

Caribbean lifestyle

I have to make a parenthesis here about this:
This was in the year 2010. Later, in 2018 we tried to do the same – we had already booked a place via airbnb, but we couldn’t make it there… At the Guatemalan border, the new regulations said that you had to own the car in order to cross. That was such an anti-touristic restriction! We had to cancel the place we booked and lost the money… If you want to do the same, make sure to check the latest regulations at the Guatemalan border!

Street traffic in Chetumal

Anyway, in 2010 we used the Mexican rental car and here is another very useful information:
Whether you go to Guatemala or to any other country it is a good idea to pay a little extra for the insurance. In our case that was a decision that saved us quite a bit of money. We had our rental car broken in and the cheep radio stolen. For a half of our trip we had to put plastic sheets in the rear windows to protect us from the draft… Hey, the fun of traveling πŸ™‚

I didn’t keep photos of the car after the incident, but it happened right on this street below.

Antigua Guatemala street

This is a nice and very touristic place by the way, with many historic authentic Guatemalan style hotels. But, you have to park on the street.

Antigua Guatemala street

The rental car however, allowed us to go on many country roads and observe the Guatemalan life style. We always like to take the back roads and rarely drive on highways, unless it’s absolutely necessary  πŸ™‚ * Click on the pictures for a larger view!

Small village in Guatemala

Ways of transportation in Guatemala

Let’s continue the story and see the style of Guatemala transportation.  One of the first things I saw on the back roads of Guatemala was this smiling rider transporting some merchandise with his two horses πŸ™‚

On the roads of Guatemala

But, like in other Latin American countries, public transportation is very common. They usually overload those old worn “camionetas” with people and everything else…

Overloaded public transportation in Guatemala
Truck transporting men to work in Guatemala
Public transportation in Santiago, Guatemala

… And of course any time is good for taking a nap πŸ™‚

Guatemala transportation

In larger communities, Guatemalans use bigger buses, and even trucks. Like all the other Latin Americans they love to decorate them. These photos below are from Santiago Guatemala, a city on Lake Atitlan. I made some of them as paintings in digital media and uploaded them to my Fine Art America Gallery. the ones with captions are available as art prints:

They often use old US school buses and call them “Chicken Buses”

In small towns especially in touristic towns, the tuc-tuc’s are very popular. Here is one in Panajachel:

Water transportation in Guatemala

The Lake Atilan for instance with a surface area of 130.1 km2 (50.2 sq mi) is one of the most touristic places in Guatemala. The only way to visit anything however, is by water – there are very few roads. The only easily accessible towns by land in this area are Panajachel and Santiago Atitlan.

Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, map

Most of the N. Americans go first to Panjachel, which is a very touristic town on the lake, with the view of the volcanoes. You can spend a whole vacation there and visit the beautiful area around.

I also made the picture above as a watercolor painting in the digital media:

The view of the water and great variety of boats on it is just fantastic. I couldn’t stop taking photos… Just take a look at a few of them posted here and tell me what you think πŸ™‚ * You can see more in my Lake Atitlan gallery

Lake Atitlan in Panajachel, Guatemala

This is what it looks like when you arrive on the other side:

I have seen and photographed some more interesting boat transportation instances in Guatemala, on lakes and rivers. They will most probably be the subject of posts to come, as it is literally not possible to insert them all here πŸ™‚

But in the countryside of Guatemala, people transport things their way and here are some instances I found worth photographing:

A woman carrying a pot of water for her family:

The same was doing this girl walking on the road by the side of the jungle:

Another woman was bringing cut wood (that she probably cut herself), home. That was on the side of the highway, where other fortunate people were driving trucks, buses and cars… * Yes, this is a woman!

I hope you enjoyed seeing my Guatemalan transportation photos πŸ™‚

Posted to “Tuesday Photo Challenge – Transport” on WP

6 Comments on “Ways of transportation in Guatemala”

  1. I love the way they decorate some of their vehicles like that bus. very cool. The horse looked like it was protesting going to work, lol.

  2. That’s a really big bummer β€˜bout the loss of the Airbnb β€˜cause of the Guatemalan regs! Surprised Airbnb didn’t get you a partial credit or something. But love your pics & story as usual & shared the last pic of the lady with the heavy pack on Pinterest! 😊

    • Thank you very much Felipe! Yeah, with the Airbnb it was after the limit time of cancellation (something like this), because we didn’t expect this to happen… just incredible! But we were not the only ones in this situation – Oh, I was not in the mood of taking photos there at the border, but I could write a whole story about that πŸ™‚

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