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From Guatemala City most people drive to the Atlantic lowlands via the Carretera Atlántica. The journey to Río Dulce or Puerto Barrios takes about five hours. The stumbling block is always the amount of traffic heading out of the capital. Descending the curving roads through the mountains you can feel the temperature and humidity rising.
There is no place to rent a car in this region. Take care of those needs back in Guatemala City.