Guatemala was shaken by civil wars in to the 90's, can however now be traveled without danger. The infrastructure and especially the network of roads in the Central American country have significantly improved over the past years. The most important traffic junctions apart from the Panamericana are the Carretera del Pacifico which runs south as well as the Carretera del Atlantico which connects the two oceans. Of further great importance are the two main roads that lead into the less developed Petén Lowland. Most of the destinations in Guatemala can be easily reached with a rental car.

For driving in Guatemala a valid driver’s licence from the country of residence is required. But to avoid discussions with the Police during routine checks it is better to take an international driver's license with you.
The traffic regulations generally correspond to the European standard, are however also freely interpreted: some drivers use their horn to get the right of way. Bus drivers take the right of way. If you drive defensively, you will soon recognize that the people of Guatemala are very aware and flexible in somewhat chaotic traffic situations and that there are very few accidents.

The speed limits in Guatemala vary depending on street conditions and the amount of traffic. Since there is now a traffic police force, the amount of checks has increased. There are sufficient gasoline stations on the main streets, however now and then there are times when the supply is difficult. Therefore it is recommended to fill the tank regularly and to take a reserve canister along.

Which rental car is the right one?

In the past years, Guatemala’s government has invested greatly in road development. Many streets have suitable traffic markings and the edges of the roads have become safer at night due to reflectors. The majority of the streets however are not paved. An off-road vehicle is therefore recommendable for many routes. This especially is the case during the rainy season from May to October. For this reason, you will find the necessary information concerning road conditions, estimated travel times and distances for every trip on the maps from If an off-road vehicle is absolutely necessary, this is clearly indicated on the section of the map. Use this information when planning your trip in Latin America.