Sri Lankan tuk-tuk in Colombo, Sri Lanka
Image via Wikipedia
If you are in Antigua Guatemala you need to master the art of riding a tuk-tuk.  A tuk-tuk is sometimes referred to as an auto rickshaw, so that kind of gives you the idea.
Basically, its a three-wheeled scooter and most of them will fit the driver and two passengers and their grocery shopping more or less comfortably.  Yolkobsens have done it with three passengers.  It was fun, but when we reached our destination we felt like three fruit roll-ups that had to be separated carefully.
Most of the time walking is the best and most satisfying means of conveyance for visitors to this Spanish colonial town.  But sometimes heavy packages, too much vino or just plain sore feet (see Yolkobsens’ blog about walking Antigua’s cobblestone streets) require mobile intervention.  Enter the tuk-tuk.
You can get to most places inside the main part of Antigua and a few kilometers outside for between 10 Q to 15 Q, which is about $1.25 to $1.90 U.S. They are everywhere in town and are easy to flag down.  And much, much cheaper than a regular taxi.
It’s a blast of fun, and sometimes challenging, to ride one of these noisy (that’s why they call it a tuk-tuk; the name imitates the basic composition of its song) through the eccentric streets of Antigua. You have to hang on tight, though, since there are no doors.  Packages and other bundles should be stored in the limited space at the back or held onto with an iron grip. Yolkobsens had a lovely bouquet of roses go flying out of our tuk-tuk and onto Alameda de Santa Rosa, startling pedestrians and annoying a stray dog.
The drivers are usually cheery and talkative, but it’s hard to hear them over the overpowering noise of their baby taxis as they are sometimes called.  Though not all streets in Antigua are cobblestone, many are, thus adding an additional thrill to the ride, at no extra charge.  It’s a bumpy, exhilarating  ride for sure as you see the town not exactly whizzing by.  Actually, it’s more like seeing the world from the inside of a blender.

But there’s really little danger.  Although the noise and the bumping make it seem like you are traveling on an elaborate Lawnboy, there is usually a religious figure attached to the narrow dashboard or hanging at eye level at the windshield.  So, of course, no worries.

Advertisements