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sdnich

Hiring a taxi in Guatemala to go to Antigua

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We are on infinity April 2018 and had looked at Antigua on your own with celebrity but were wondering if we could just hire a taxi at the port to take us there wait for a couple hours and take us back. Has anybody done this ? we know we would have to come back early just in case of bad traffic but that's all right if we can have the flexibility of late leaving when we want. Would love to hear if anybody has done this on their own.

 

 

 

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We did the Antigua on your Own tour through NCL this winter. We had four hours in Antigua, which was a good amount of time. Given that it's a fair distance between the port and Antigua (about a 90-minute drive), along a two-lane road, with the possibility of traffic and delays, it seemed a wise way to do this. I can't say you'd be wrong to hire a taxi, just not sure I see how the (unclear) benefit outweighs the risk in this particular instance.

 

Whatever you decide, have a great trip!

 

PS: In case it's useful to you, my detailed trip report, with photos, is at this link:

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2456255

 

Our day in Guatemala starts at post 50.

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About six years ago my husband and I spent a week in Antigua. Having heard bad stories about catching a cab at Guatemala City airport (robberies etc) we arranged and prepaid for a private taxi to take us to Antigua. They never showed up (took us months to get our money back) and we had to find another cab on our own. Luckily, the driver turned out to be a big sweetie but later we ran into another couple whose cab had been involved in an accident (with them in the car) and their arrival was delayed by hours. Traffic can be terrible in Guatemala, especially around rush hours. Although I am a big fan of indep. touring , in this case, I would definitely use the ship's tour.

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Thank you for the input we will probably just take the ships tour !

 

 

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We joined a private tour (found on our Roll Call) which was excellent. We were driven in a nice new van and had a driver as well as a guide. Both of them were proud of having been Sandanistas....and told us some fascinating stories about their days fighting the government. I think depending on a taxi might be somewhat risky. There is no guarantee you will even find a decent taxi, and you may get a driver who does not speak anything but Spanish.

 

Hank

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Hank who did you book your private tour through do you have any names?

 

 

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We took a van from Puerto Quetzal to Antigua that we booked just outside the terminal two months ago.

 

The van was fairly new and the driver spoke good English.

 

I believe the price was 35 dollars per person and he gave us a good tour in Antigua.

 

The ride is a long one, and he took some side roads as we neared the city to avoid some of the traffic.

 

Overall, it was a good trip and I would do it again.

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Thank you for that info I was curious about getting a van outside the terminal. I'm waiting to hear back from a tour guide Carlos to see what he would charge to do a private tour possibly just the two of us and was just curious and just getting a taxi van also so thank you for giving me that info and the cost. We are looking forward to seeing and Antigua and our other cruise port stops next April!

 

 

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How many people did you have in the van?

 

 

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We joined a private tour (found on our Roll Call) which was excellent. We were driven in a nice new van and had a driver as well as a guide. Both of them were proud of having been Sandanistas....and told us some fascinating stories about their days fighting the government. I think depending on a taxi might be somewhat risky. There is no guarantee you will even find a decent taxi, and you may get a driver who does not speak anything but Spanish.

 

Hank

Hank, if you still check this thread, what was the name of the private tour operator or contact, or if you do not remember, what roll call were on you. If I knew I could search it.

 

thanks,

Ellie

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Hi Ellie I am Sdnich I searched for a while and I did find a tour guide for our April 11, 2018 stop in Guatemala. We were looking for something besides the cruiseship drop off in Antigua and booked with Carlos Mijangos .My husband and I booked a private tour to go into Antigua including a 3 Hour Dr. and a guided tour through the city . It was $330 for the two of us but I think will enjoy the day and not having to be on ships time. and I'm sure if you have more people he can make it more cost-effective.

Stefanie,

A fellow San Diegian

 

His email is Carlos@ Guatemalanguide.com

 

 

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Sdnich, we are booked with Carlos next month. I've been impressed with his efficient replies and his reviews on TripAdvisor. I'll try to remember to post on this thread after our return.

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Mljatsea, I would love to hear about your experience with Carlos he did seem like a very nice and professional person! We are still six months out! Have a great time on your cruise

 

 

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Sdnich, we are booked with Carlos next month. I've been impressed with his efficient replies and his reviews on TripAdvisor. I'll try to remember to post on this thread after our return.

 

I'm interested in learning about your experience with Carlos too.

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We are back from our cruise and the day with Carlos was the highlight of our trip. I had organized it for eight and there was plenty of room for all of us to be comfortable in the van. I'm sure it was much more pleasant than a taxi would have been on that somewhat lengthy trip. Plus Carlos gave us loads of information about his country and the area during our drive to Antigua. I have written a review of Guatemalan Guide on TripAdvisor under my Timarron name. It echoes all the other positive posts on that site.

 

Our ship didn't offer transportation to Antigua except with its shore excursions. By using Carlos we were able to do so much more than on a shore ex. Pace was perfect. No time for shopping if that's your thing but that was fine for all of us.

 

Of interest, the passenger dock in Puerto Quetzal was damaged some weeks ago and ships are currently docking in the industrial port. Only ship excursion vehicles were allowed to enter the area. The ship offered a 15-min. shuttle ride to the former passenger area which was deserted except for Carlos waiting for us. No taxis around but our ship was small (450 pax) and might be different if a larger ship was in. I don't know when it is expected to be repaired.

 

Couldn't have been more pleased with our experience!

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We are back from our cruise and the day with Carlos was the highlight of our trip. I had organized it for eight and there was plenty of room for all of us to be comfortable in the van. I'm sure it was much more pleasant than a taxi would have been on that somewhat lengthy trip. Plus Carlos gave us loads of information about his country and the area during our drive to Antigua. I have written a review of Guatemalan Guide on TripAdvisor under my Timarron name. It echoes all the other positive posts on that site.

 

Our ship didn't offer transportation to Antigua except with its shore excursions. By using Carlos we were able to do so much more than on a shore ex. Pace was perfect. No time for shopping if that's your thing but that was fine for all of us.

 

Of interest, the passenger dock in Puerto Quetzal was damaged some weeks ago and ships are currently docking in the industrial port. Only ship excursion vehicles were allowed to enter the area. The ship offered a 15-min. shuttle ride to the former passenger area which was deserted except for Carlos waiting for us. No taxis around but our ship was small (450 pax) and might be different if a larger ship was in. I don't know when it is expected to be repaired.

 

Couldn't have been more pleased with our experience!

mljatsea,

Could you tell us more about what all you saw & visited on your tour,please.

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I would love to hear a little more information back also when you get a chance !

 

 

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Here is the review I posted on TripAdvisor:

 

"I contacted Carlos after reading all the great reviews on TripAdvisor. My only concern was that Carlos might not be our guide, especially when he replied that he would be in Belize and would come back early to do the tour for eight of us on a cruise stop. Indeed he did and we had a wonderful day that was the highlight of our cruise. We stopped for a volcano photo opp, then headed into Antigua where we boarded a "chicken bus" to the central market where Carlos picked up local fruits of interest. The walking tour of colonial Antigua was informative and efficient. We all agreed we wanted experiences rather than shopping. We visited a local family for lunch and tour of their coffee farm. Carlos had given us a time schedule for the day so we knew we would be returning to the ship with time to spare. The bus was clean and comfortable for the eight of us and driver Homero was excellent. Interestingly we were the only group from our 450-passenger ship to do an independent tour. They missed out!"

The lunch in the local home was a great experience and visit to their coffee fields. I had expected it to be out in the country but the house was in town and a 15-minute uphill walk to the coffee farm. The family was doing chores while we were there like washing clothes by hand at a stone sink. The house is built around a courtyard and their horse was stalled there. A very genuine experience. Carlos offers a visit to a local school as another option.

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Here is the review I posted on TripAdvisor:

 

"I contacted Carlos after reading all the great reviews on TripAdvisor. My only concern was that Carlos might not be our guide, especially when he replied that he would be in Belize and would come back early to do the tour for eight of us on a cruise stop. Indeed he did and we had a wonderful day that was the highlight of our cruise. We stopped for a volcano photo opp, then headed into Antigua where we boarded a "chicken bus" to the central market where Carlos picked up local fruits of interest. The walking tour of colonial Antigua was informative and efficient. We all agreed we wanted experiences rather than shopping. We visited a local family for lunch and tour of their coffee farm. Carlos had given us a time schedule for the day so we knew we would be returning to the ship with time to spare. The bus was clean and comfortable for the eight of us and driver Homero was excellent. Interestingly we were the only group from our 450-passenger ship to do an independent tour. They missed out!"

The lunch in the local home was a great experience and visit to their coffee fields. I had expected it to be out in the country but the house was in town and a 15-minute uphill walk to the coffee farm. The family was doing chores while we were there like washing clothes by hand at a stone sink. The house is built around a courtyard and their horse was stalled there. A very genuine experience. Carlos offers a visit to a local school as another option.

Thanks for this additional info.:D

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Thank you also that sounds like what we would like to do! I know he had a couple options and said he would get back to be closer to our trip in April. So looking forward to the trip

 

 

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My husband and I were on the Island Princess out of LA (Dec. '17-Jan 2018) and booked the 'Antigua on Your Own' through the ship. The price was around $45 per person and there were three Princess buses with rest room facilities in the back. The trip took almost 2 hours and our guide was very informative. The drop off point was the Jade Museum and we walked to the Cathedral and all around including having some of the best chocolate drink at this Chocolate Museum on the way back to the meeting point. (free WiFi, too) There were tons of vendors in the colonial city but a simple "No Gracias" was fine. Two passengers who "got lost" kept us all waiting a half an hour.....only downside for the day. All in all, we really enjoyed our limited time in Guatemala. :)

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We were on HAL Eurodam and stopped in Puerto Quetzal in late April 2018. A friend of mine did the same Panama Canal trip in December 2017; they had taken the ship's bus to Antigua and ended up being one hour late on the return to the ship due to an accident on the highway. We listened to him and did the HAL Antigua tour On Your Own for about $59 per person. When you get to Antigua, you can hire a guide (use the ones that are certified and wear brown vests if you tour on your own). The guides are $15 per person for a 3 hour tour. We did not want to spend 3 hours on a tour and could only get them to agree to $10 per person for one hour so we passed and walked the town on our own. It was great!! There are numerous hotels and restaurants with beautiful courtyards and they welcome you in. We spent about 4 hours in town and could have used a bit more. The guide on the bus to and from the ship was full of great information. We highly recommend going to Antigua on the ships bus if you can get a tour that only includes the ride.

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