The Difference between First Class and Luxury on the overnight bus from Flores to Guatemala.

“What is the difference between these two buses, besides the cost?” I asked the guy selling us the tickets. He answered. In fact, I asked this question to about half a dozen people, all with different answers. Noone gave me a straight answer. So, in the spirit of research, we took both. One on the way to Guatemala City and the other on the way back. To save you the run around, let me tell you the difference between the cost and the quality of the overnight buses that run between Flores to Guatemala City. (The prices quoted below are what we paid to get from Flores to Antigua. The bus takes you to Guatemala and then a shuttle van takes you to Antigua.)

Waiting for our Taxi to take us to the Bus

Waiting for our Taxi to take us to the Bus

I think the best way by bus to Guatemala City or Antigua is utilizing the comfortable overnight buses. The ride is over 8 hours long and both buses were from the Linea Dorada line. Both of these buses are nice, but there are key differences among them that make the ride very different. So, here are your choices:

Luxury “Lujo” Bus from Flores to Guatemala City (and vice versa)

The lujo bus costs $40 US, about $5 US more than the first class bus. It is an air-conditioned* double-decker bus that leaves a half hour earlier than the first class bus. We purchased the “Lujo” fare and were seated on the top deck of the bus. The seats are super comfortable, recline generously and even have a nice lazy-boy like leg support rest. I don’t think we could have been more comfortable on a bus. We received a bottle of water and a ham and cheese sandwich as a light snack before departing. There is a bathroom on the bus located in the front of the first level. We slept most of the way arriving in Guatemala City well rested.

* The air conditioning was a little chilly, but we had sarongs to cover ourselves with. If you choose this bus, make sure to bring a light jacket or wear long sleeves to stay warm.

The luxury bus also has a ‘vip’ or ‘premium’ section ($5-10 extra) that is the first level. It supposedly has larger seats and reclines even more than the upper deck luxury section.

The double decker Linea Dorada luxury or "Lujo" bus

The double decker Linea Dorada luxury or "Lujo" bus

First Class Bus from Guatemala City to Flores

The first class bus is a large, comfortable bus, but is only one story. It leaves a half hour later than the luxury “lujo” bus. It also has a bathroom situated in the back of the bus. The first class bus costs $35, $5 less than the luxury bus. As soon as we sat down on the bus, we wished we had purchased the luxury bus. The seats are padded, but within 2 minutes my butt was sore. The bus is not air-conditioned and it makes several stops along the way. There isn’t as much leg room as the lujo bus and there was no leg rest. That made a huge difference.  The seats on the first class bus don’t recline as well and are not padded very well for a 9 hour ride. Perhaps, it’s because we didn’t sleep much, but we also felt the constant acceleration and braking on this bus.

Our choice: Go Luxury “Lujo”

Your choices are 1) to save $5 and not sleep well, or 2) spend the extra money, indulge in the air conditioning and comfy seats and get to Guatemala City or Flores well rested.

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12 Responses to “The Difference between First Class and Luxury on the overnight bus from Flores to Guatemala.”

  1. Allison April 20, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    I choose the Luxury bus, thank you very much.

    Why on earth couldn’t anyone have explained these very obvious differences to you beforehand?

  2. Emily April 20, 2012 at 9:40 pm #

    Very informative! For $5 additional, the luxury bus sounds like the way to go. Thanks for the tip!

  3. Mary April 20, 2012 at 10:02 pm #

    It is very much the same here in Asia. And no one seems to be able to give you a good answer when you are trying to decide. Thankfully because of how big my guys are we always go with the more expensive one knowing it will give great leg room!

  4. Martin Pietrzak April 21, 2012 at 4:15 pm #

    I know the pain. We had taken a few VIP busses and every company is different. What we do now, is ask for pictures of what the busses look like to check any possible reviews of the companies we are about to use.
    Otherwise, let’s hope luxury is first class. Cheers and safe travels.

  5. Lisa Wood April 22, 2012 at 5:54 am #

    How weird that no-one could point out the differences! And to think it was only $5.00 difference, but a nine hour trip difference 🙂

    Luckily you realise which one to book next time…air-condition, comfy seats – yep the Luxury sounds perfect!

  6. Living Outside of the Box April 23, 2012 at 12:03 am #

    So sorry to hear the trip back wasn’t as cushie! $5 more, it is!!

  7. a&d December 5, 2012 at 7:49 am #

    Thanks for the info. Its very helpful when people put information like this up. Your right though, it is almost imposible to get an answer from anyone!

    • S King December 6, 2012 at 6:32 am #

      My pleasure! I couldn’t find an answer anywhere so I sacrificed my rear end to do the research. Pay the extra $5 and get a decent sleep on the lujo bus!

  8. monica June 29, 2013 at 9:24 am #

    hi – thanks so much for this informative post, I am planning on visiting guatemala with my husband and two kids this august, i am going to be reading all your guatemala posts! if you have any particular favorites: towns, hotels, restaurants would love to hear. thanks! monica

  9. Danielle July 17, 2013 at 9:30 am #

    Very helpful info to have—thank you so much for sharing!

  10. Anna March 3, 2014 at 1:39 pm #

    Hi there!
    I just came across this post as I am currently going through the process of planning our Guatemalan adventure 🙂 Quick question, did you reserve these tickets in person, phone, or online?

  11. Rutger January 4, 2015 at 10:57 am #

    BE CAREFUL!!! A friend and I booked an overnight trip from Flores to Guatemala City (8 to 9 hour trip) with Linea Dorada and the bus we were supposed to take was literally missing a wheel. After mentioning the dangerous defect to the Linea Dorada office they told us they were aware of the missing wheel and were willing to accept the risk. Because of this extremely dangerous situation, we’ve decided to take another bus company (Fuente del Northe – Maya de Oro). The day after we went to the Linea Dorada office in Guatemala City to collect our refund, but they told us it was not on us to decide if it is safe or not to drive with their busses and we didn’t get our refund. Furthermore, they told us the bus safely arrived with a missing wheel to make a point we weren’t right about our complaints and it was safe to drive. The bus was still missing the wheel when we were at the office. So I strongly advice you not to travel with Linea Dorada because of their extremely pour safety standards.

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