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From Las Salinitas to Antigua---the Options??

Ontario
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597 posts
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From Las Salinitas to Antigua---the Options??

Hi: We are well travelled, on and off buses and all that in Mexico and throughout Central America. Looking for suggestions to go on an over-night trip to Antigua, Guatemala, or even Chichi , and then back the next day to Salinitas. Local buses? Taxi to border? Problems at border or onward bound? Returning? Shuttle from Antigua back?

ubu
Barrie Ontario...
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1. Re: From Las Salinitas to Antigua---the Options??

Cubaguy,

When are you going to the Decameron????

Ontario
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597 posts
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2. Re: From Las Salinitas to Antigua---the Options??

Hi Ubu: I read some of your other posts and see you have been to Margarita and Cuba. We were in MI Feb.2004 and enjoyed it. We are also in Cuba 3-4 times a year, either in Cayo Guillermo or Trinidad. Our idea is to go to Salinitas before Christmas this year; we are always looking for different ideas. We would probably go for 2 weeks so we could return for a few days to Guatemala, a country we have backpacked in several times. This looks like a good base from which to explore. Do you have plans??

ubu
Barrie Ontario...
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130 posts
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3. Re: From Las Salinitas to Antigua---the Options??

Cubaguy,

We are booked for the Decameron in Feb.07 for 2 weeks, we have read good stories and bad stories about the resort

, we like to golf and there is a course next door and we want to go to Guaramala and Honduras for a day trips.

Ontario
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597 posts
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4. Re: From Las Salinitas to Antigua---the Options??

Ubu: Guess we will miss you if we go in the Fall. Will try to post here when we return. Post a response here, and then click " notify me by email..." and that should do it.

El Salvador
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5. Re: From Las Salinitas to Antigua---the Options??

Try www.lineaejecutiva.com.sv for Private transportation around the region.

San Salvador, El...
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6. Re: From Las Salinitas to Antigua---the Options??

Best to contract private transportation with an El Salvadorian operator with insurance to drive you over the border to Guatemala direct from Salinitas, from Salinitas to Antigua, stopping at the border and for a quick lunch is approx. 6 hours one way, local buses to the border are very slow and crowded, the international buses such as king Quality and Pulmantur, Tica Buses etc. leave from San Salvador and go express to Guatemala city about 4-4.5 hours depending day and traffic conditions, Pulmantur Buses, which leave at 7AM and 3PM from the hotel Sheraton Presidente in San Salvador, offer a weekend deal $99 per person including Hotel Antigua and transfers in comfort.

Ontario
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7. Re: From Las Salinitas to Antigua---the Options??

Thanks, JavierOrtiz and tropicalguide!!! For a while, I have been reading your advise to others, tropical guide, and very much appreciate your comments.

San Salvador, El...
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8. Re: From Las Salinitas to Antigua---the Options??

Thanks Cubaguy. The Decameron is in the Western part of El Salvador, and is the case with most resorts, they are situated in remote beach areas with a lot of security provided for guests, as in Jamaica and the Domincan Republic, etc. Decameron is a Colombian concern and there services are geared to vacationing Latins in family groups, and those Salvadorians who are members and come down on weekends and holiday periods such as Semana Santa - Easter holy Week, etc. The route to Guatemala is newly paved highway from the Kilo 5 crossroads north of Acacutla, crossing into Guatemala at the La Hachadura frontier post, about 1.5 hours or less from Salinitas, the only public transport available on the Guatemalan side is a very slow chicken type, old school bus that lands you in the very dangerous Terminal area of Guatemala City about 3.5 hours later, enroute there is little to see except the Safari Chapin Drove through Zoological Park. Regarding Antigua, an old and dear friend of mine operates a tour service, recently clients in Guatemala asked her if they could drive to and from Puerto Barrios, on the Caribbean side of Guatemala in one day..an 11-12 hour round trip and take in her walking tour of Antigua and some other sites in ONE day..impossible unless you wish to drive at night..NOT recommended in Central America! Most tour operators will charge you extra for night driving...very stressful and very dangerous...if you don not beleive me..E mail Elizabeth Bell, who is also the author of the books on Antigua ,through her web site http://www.antiguatours.net/ Elizabeth recently has purchased her own transport for Shuttle services, as the transportation company in Guatemala many of the tour operators have been subcontracting does not pay its drivers minimum wages, nor Social Security Institute benefits, so drivers have to rely on tips and commisions from hotels, and there have been many complaints. Antigua is full of walk in so called Travel agencies hawking the same tours. Competition is fierce. El Salvador remains in the infancy of receptive tourism, and a day tour with a bi lingual guide is expensive per person unless you are in a group and have contracted and prepaid in advance.

Ontario
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9. Re: From Las Salinitas to Antigua---the Options??

Thanks, tropicalguide: I was hoping to change buses in Esquintla and go directly to Antigua. What do you think? You mentioned before the idea of a privatre transfer with a driver who has insurance in to go into Guatemala. That`s looking like a better idea,since time is a factor and we will be with another couple who are a little hesitant.

San Salvador, El...
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10. Re: From Las Salinitas to Antigua---the Options??

I would not take the local buses from Salinitas to the border and try and get a bus to Antigua from Escuintla, they have them however they run on the old back roads, the Bus Terminal in Escuintla is a mini Dantes Inferno and you will be carrying your passports!! If I were were you I would stay at Decameron, contract some day tours of El Salvador with a driver or tour operator..like to Parque El Imposible, Cerro Verde-Volcano Izalco, Ruta de Las Flores etc. and return safe and sound in the evening to the resort, whih is secure. The next trip stay in Guatemala visit www.guatemalareservations.com and www.antiguatours.net 2 wonderful and honest long term resident ladies I know and trust. In my humble opinion you are complicating things and you may wind up spending a fortune to see Antigua for 2 or 3 hours.

Otherwise spend more time, go from Decameron-San Salvador and take one of the 1st Class Buses over to Guatemala. Taxi to border very expensive. Loal Buses leave when they fill up and that border is very remote. At any rate, don't risk it, in my opinion.