While the primary reason I wrote this page is to help people get to our Bed and Breakfast, the information is useful for anyone traveling to Guatemala from points south. Once you get to Guatemala (City), “Buses to Most Anywhere” in our CDR transportation page should help you out. So, let’s concentrate on getting to Guatemala City.
If you are traveling by air, there really isn’t anything additional to say. Just fly to GUA and you are here. If your destination is on Lake Atitlan, there are public shuttles, private shuttles and public buses to get here.
If you are traveling in Central America by bus, here are my suggestions (based on experience). There is nothing direct from anywhere further south than Managua Nicaragua. But, once in Managua, you have multiple options to get a direct trip to Guatemala City. While there are additional options, these three are the most popular.
- Transportes del Sol — my favorite. Their terminal in Managua is in Bolonia, across the street from TicaBus. They leave Managua between 3 and 4AM. It is a 16 hour trip to Guatemala City with a quick bus change in San Salvador. Meals, more or less, are included. $75 one way with a discount if you purchase the return trip at the same time. Rates are 2 for 1 on Wednesdays. A great deal but if you are not two, be warned that the bus is usually close to full. Terminal in Guatemala City is the Crown Plaza Hotel. If you think you might want to stay there, the last time I asked the room rate was $146 for one person. And, no, I didn’t stay there.
- TicaBus — they take an overnight stay in San Salvador. I did this once (on the Guate to Managua route) and it makes no sense to me.
- Premium — Their terminal in Managua is a few blocks from the other players but still in Bolonia. For me, they seem to have an attitude and they are the most expensive. In Guate you end up in the yuppie part of of the city (Zona 10) so you have a choice of overpriced hotels.
Once you get to Guatemala City, if you are looking for a reasonable priced hotel, try Zona 1 which is the center of the city. A taxi fare from my bus to Zona 1 will be Q50 or less and expect to find hotels in the Q200 range. My favorite is Hotel Spring but there are lots of other options.
If you are heading to Panajachel, there are lots of transportation options.
- Public bus — All public buses going west leave from “Calle 41. You can get there by taxi or take TransMetro to the Santa Cecelia station, exit left on the overpass, turn right when you get to the street and just follow the sidewalk. In a block the sidewalk will curve to the left (right before an overpass). Follow it and in a couple blocks you will be where all the buses leave from. While there are direct buses to Panajachel, any bus that goes to Los Encuentros will work. Change to a Sololá bus there and then change to a Panajachel bus in Sololá.
- Public shuttle — It will cost form $25 to $30 and will stop in Antigua. What that means is that it will take longer than a public bus. Your hotel should be able to arrange it for you.
- Private shuttle — Expect to pay Q600 to Q800 for your group. If others can arrange it, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will connect you with someone who can do the transport for you.
Hopefully this will help you get to your destination.