. Directions Section ] Climate ] Money ] Food ] Health ] Hotels Guatemala City ] Hotels in San Pedro ]  
. Tourist Van Direct ] Bus Direct ] [ Bus Pana + Boat ]  
You will get the best idea of what Guatemala is like going this way. You take what the locals call the "chicken bus" from Guatemala to Panajachel and then take the boat across the lake. This is the only way to get to San Pedro via a "chicken bus" that you are not at risk from thieves in Guatemala City.
To get from Guatemala to San Pedro, leave in the morning, the earlier the better. The bus will take around four hours to get to Panajachel. Boats don’t go across the lake to San Pedro after 5:00 or 6:00 in the afternoon, and often the wind will come up in the late afternoon making the boat ride unpleasant. 
The airport to the bus terminal.
There are taxis outside the doors when you leave the airport. If it is late in the day take a taxi to a hotel and leave for San Pedro the next day. To go to San Pedro ask the taxi to take you to the Rebuli bus terminal in Zona 3: "Terminal de Autobuses Rebuli." It will cost you about 50 quetzales from the airport. Do not let the taxi driver leave you off anywhere but the terminal building (if he tries to leave you to wait on the street somewhere it is not the terminal). The terminal has an interior courtyard where you can safely wait for the bus. Have the driver or his assistant tie any of luggage you can't carry on your lap on top of the bus and cover it with a tarp. Recently gangs of thieves have been targeting tourists who board the buses at stops on streets within Guatemala City. Rebuli is the only bus line that has a safe terminal where you can secure your luggage. If you do this you should be safe from the thieves, if it worries you or is too much trouble, take the tourist vans, the safest way.
Guatemala City to Panajachel.
There will only be a few other people at the Rebuli terminal. You can get the safest and most comfortable bus seat by going to the terminal and there it is easy to deal with your luggage. Rebuli is the only bus line which goes straight to Panajachel from Guatemala City, and conversely all Rebuli buses go to Panajachel, so you don’t have to worry about getting on the wrong bus. When you get to Lake Atitlán you will first stop in Solola at the top of the mountain. At this point the bus will probably get filled to overflowing with people going down the mountain. The descent from Sololá is very steep, very scenic and until they widened and repaved the road was more treacherous. You want to get off at the first stop at the bottom of the mountain where the road has just become level. This is not the main stop in Panajachel, but it is closer to the boat dock, and if you have luggage worth the effort to squeeze out of the bus. If possible, start moving to the front as you get near the bottom. They will wait for you to get off, if you are firm about wanting to get off.
Panajachel to San Pedro la Laguna.
There will probably be some Indians getting off the bus at the same time as you, and most of them will start walking towards the lake. Follow them down the road to the lake. It goes straight to the dock where the boats go to San Pedro. If you have a choice take the large launch with the excursion deck. It is slower, about an hour, but the trip is more enjoyable. On a calm day the ride from Panajachel across lake Atitlan to San Pedro can be one of the delights of Guatemala. There now very fast (10 to 20 minutes) direct (not stopping in all the small towns around the lake) small boats to San Pedro. Look for a 75hp or larger motor. Cost: 6 to 15 quetzales. If you are being quoted 25 to 50 quetzales you are chartering a boat. If you just sit down and wait a reasonable boat will come. If it is late and the weather looks bad you might want to stay in Panajachel and cross in the morning.
4. WALK:
San Pedro la Laguna dock to Casa Rosario.
Either print out the maps below and follow them. The garden classroom is an easy five minute walk. If you want to be taken in a Tuctuc (tiney taxi), they only have direct access to go to the school building.
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  This is a map showing the route from the dock to the garden classroom of Casa Rosario. It is about a five minute walk. Classes are from 8 a.m. to noon and 2 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Someone is usually now there most of the day on both Saturdays and Sundays. The brown areas are where the paved road becomes a dirt path.
. Directions Section ] Climate ] Money ] Food ] Health ] Hotels Guatemala City ] Hotels in San Pedro ]  

  Tourist Van Direct ] Bus Direct ] [ Bus Pana + Boat ]  


For questions and answers in English call me in San Francisco, California at (415) 282-7654 (I will be away from December 25 to January .) or email me at .

Mailing address:
Casa Rosario Spanish School
Canton Sanjay
San Pedro la Laguna
Depto. Sololá
Guatemala, C.A.

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© 1988–2013 Arte Maya Tz'utuhil

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