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Driving in Guatemala City is a headache. You can expect narrow streets jammed with traffic at just about any time of day. Things get better once you move out of the center of the city and the narrow streets give way to broad boulevards. Drives to nearby destinations like Antigua, for example, can be more pleasant.
Vehicle break-ins are common in the capital, so park in a guarded lot. All expensive and most moderate hotels have protected parking areas. Avoid leaving anything of value in the car.
If you're not intimidated by Guatemala's winding mountain roads, renting a car is a great way to see the countryside. There are several international agencies at Aeropuerto La Aurora and in the New City. Reputable local companies include Ahorrent, Tabarini, and Tikal.
Ahorrent. 2383–2800. www.ahorrent.com.
Avis. 2339–3249. www.avis.com.
Budget. 2332–7744. www.budgetguatemala.com.gt.
National. 2360–2030. www.nationalcar.com.
Hertz. 2470–3700. www.hertz.com.
Tabarini. 2362–2701. www.tabarini.com.