Airport Safety

The airport in Guatemala City(La Aurora) is, as you would expect in Latin America – hustling and bustling in both the arrivals and the departures area.

On Arrival

With construction at the airport well underway (and scheduled to last for quite a long time), arrival facilities and routes can change, so keep eyes open for signs and directions to baggage claim and exits.

Prior to the baggage hall, you will be faced with immigration. You should have received an entry document on your flight – and it is at this point that it will be examined. Lines here can be slow and quite long.

TIP : the left hand lane is for Guatemalan Nationals, but once all have been cleared, it opens up to all – so the lefthandmost line is usually the quickest to clear, as it has 2 booths available to it.

Once you have your bags and belongings (double and triple check !!) – follow signs for the exit. Before leaving the baggage hall, you will see the customs officers standing in the exitway collecting the customs forms. I have never seen them do anything except collect forms – but be aware of the rules and regulations for bringing items into the country.

The exit path meanders around the new construction – past rental car counters etc. – until you emerge into the arrivals area, where you will likely see masses of waiting family to the right, and the exit door straight ahead. This is the point to slow down, and get visual id and eye contact with the representative from the Great Sailfishing Company. You will see a sign held high with your parties name on it – and you will be directed from there.

The van or taxi will pick you and your belongings up outside the exit door.

If -for any reason- you do not see the GSF representative or the sign, proceed slowly outside. Wait as close as possible to the exit door, do not accept any offer for transport or taxi from anybody unless they are a bona fide representative of the Great Sailfishing Company; they will have your details in hand.

To the left is a bank of telephones – you can get a prepaid card from the café/booth in the departure area to use at these phones if you do not have currency. You will have received emergency contact numbers for us in Guatemala, please do not be shy to use them if for any reason we have a disconnect – we would rather know as soon as possible so that we can rectify and reassure you.

If all else fails, there is a regular shuttle bus to the Marriott Hotel (10 mins away) and to the Intercontinental. Please take one of these to the hotel and we will work it out from there.

On Departure

It is traditional for the family, and in many cases the extended family to travel to the airport with whomever is departing – and so despite the fact that the airline schedule itself is relatively small for an International airport, you can multiply the numbers of seats by 5 or 10 to get an image of the departure and arrival areas.

Security is such that only bona fide travellers are allowed to actually enter the facility – so be prepared to show tickets and passport as soon as you alight from the van or taxi. There is inevitably a crush around the departure entrance, as family members either endeavour to get into the facility, or are just enjoying an argument – so keep documents close to you and in a firm and secure grip, as you should anywhere faced with a concentration of people.

Once inside the airport proper, it is relatively serene and well organised. You are faced with the usual array of departure counters, segregated lines etc.. There is substantial paperwork yet to be undertaken however – a departure form and a customs form, so have a pen in hand and be prepared to complete as you await check-in.

One tip here is if staying at or close to the Guatemala City Marriott, American Airlines have a check in office there (open until 6pm) – and all of this paperwork can be taken care of in advance.

Once you have checked in, you will be directed to a booth on the checkin floor (currently close to the entrance), where you will have to show your ticket and boarding pass in order to get the $3 airport tax (payable in USD or Q). This will then be affixed to your boarding pass for checking later.

From that point on, it is a normal international departure process.


The airport is currently undergoing substantial construction and expansion. The goal is to make it a category 1 airport, which will require the addition of a second runway and associated facilities. There is also a new concourse under construction – and so the usual bustle is amplified further by the construction traffic and constant change. As with any airport, particularly in Central and South America – keep your documents close by, ideally with your hand on them at all times – and any valuables/cash out of direct view. Normal precautions and common sense apply !


For more information or questions contact us
1-336 655 0541

Office: 00(502) 7934-62-20
Cell: 5966-4528 or 4065-1179

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