2 Guatemala Logistics Infrastructure

Guatemala infrastructure consists of three main ports (one in the Atlantic and two in the Pacific Ocean), with two international airports (La Aurora airport in the heart of Guatemala City and Flores in Petén), and a road network for connecting main cities and rural areas.  There is rail road network but is not in operation. 

Since the nineties, there have been many improvements in logistics infrastructure, but still there are many things to be done.   There are considerable restrictions with the quality of transport services and higher rates in comparison with other countries of similar development.  Also Guatemala has serious bottle neck problems, as the regulatory systems in specific sectors such as ports.

Special worries in the inland transport, quality of roads and ability of ports to accommodate larger vessels.  

Public Private Partnership investments in Guatemala, ANADIE

The National Agency for Alliances for the Development of Economic Infrastructure -ANADIE- is a decentralized entity with its own assets created with the aim of preparing and coordinating the plans, policies and regulations for the development of contracts under the modality of Alliances for the Development of Economic Infrastructure, known as Public Private Partnerships -APP's- for public institutions in Guatemala.

Guatemala is now planning for investing more than US$1.6 billion in infrastructure investment across a portfolio of six infrastructure projects, which are being studied under the Public-Private Partnerships.

The National Alliance for the Development of Economic Infrastructure (ANADIE) works on the following areas:

  • Road infrastructure
  • Transport
  • Ports and airports
  • Public construction projects

Road Infrastructure

Guatemala total road infrastructure network is 16,946.20 Km. The paved roads network is 313.74 km, asphalt 7,152.3 km . accessible to transport cargo and people, connecting its different regions, ports and borders with Mexico and Central America and  9,740.18  km of unpaved roads. [1]

The Ministry of Communications through it office COVIAL, is responsible for the maintenance of existing routes.

It is important to add that currently one of the projects of great connotation in this sector is the construction of the National Northern Transversal Strip Road, which will cross Guatemala from the Atlantic Ocean, through four departments, to the border with Mexico, forming a corridor of 358 Km. The “Franja Transversal del Norte” (FTN)  project could be completed in 2023. Its construction began in 2010 and was scheduled to be completed by August 2, 2022, but the work would not be finished until next year.   In addition, this project aims to interconnect terrestrial and ports which are important to the pursuit of economic development, benefiting approximately 1,176 million thousand people.

For more road projects please see:

National Airport System

The international airport La Aurora is located in the City Center, with capacity to receive 4 million passengers a year. The airport is Category 1 by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) of the United States of America.   It has more than 160 weekly flights and direct connections to six cities in the U.S., Mexico, Central America, Peru and Spain.

La Aurora International Airport has an area of 115,000 m2, 98 double desks of common use, 500 meters of linear strips, 24 immigration control points and a capacity to serve 22 aircrafts simultaneously.

At 507 km from Guatemala City is the Mundo Maya International Airport, visited by many tourists interested when visiting Tikal.

In addition to the international airport, there are seven more airports in secondary cities such as Quetzaltenango, Huehuetenango, Retalhuleu, San Marcos, Coatepeque, Puerto de San Jose, and Puerto Barrios.

Maritime Ports in Guatemala

Guatemala currently has five seaports, of which two are located on the Atlantic Coast: Santo Tomás de Castilla and Puerto Barrios. The other three are Puerto Quetzal, San José and Champerico on the Pacific Ocean, and the five ports are connected to each other by the national road network.

The main cargo ports are Puerto Quetzal, Puerto Barrios and San Tomás de Castilla. The other ports are used for recreational and finishing activities, except for San José, which is used mainly for bulk liquid shipments of petroleum and molasses, among others.

Guatemala exceeds three billion US dollars in industrial and agri-food products. A good part of these products are shipped from ports such as:

Santo Tomás de Castilla.    This is the largest Atlantic port in Guatemala, located 295km from the capital and connected by road and rail. This modern facility not only handles cargo but is also the main docking point for cruise ships that bring tourists interested in visiting the area's Mayan ruins. More than 5 million tons of products and merchandise pass through the port each year. It has terminals for liquid bulk, general cargo, containers and cruise ships.

 Puerto Barrios.  Located on the Caribbean coast of Guatemala, Puerto Barrios is the older and smaller of the two ports on this coast. It is modern industrial port. Built by the United Fruit Company, it is located 295km from Guatemala City. Originally planned as a rail terminal that would help connect the country to American commerce, it remains a major hub for fruit and vegetable exports, including Chiquita, Dole, and Del Monte.

Puerto Quetzal. Located on the Pacific side of Guatemala, Puerto Quetzal is the largest seaport in the Pacific. In addition, it benefits from a key location thanks to its proximity to the Panama Canal. It is located 100km from Guatemala City. Puerto Quetzal is a large sugar export center and also the most efficient sugar loading terminal in Central America. It also has a liquefied gas terminal, another for coal and another for cruise ships.


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