How to get from Lake Atitlan to Chichicastenango Market

How to get from Lake Atitlan to Chichicastenango Market

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Want to go to Chichicastenango Market? If you are staying in Lake Atitlan and you want to get to Chichicastenango for the Thursday or Sunday markets there are a few ways you can do it. In this guide, I will walk you through all of the ways you can get from Lake Atitlan to Chichicastenango.

There are two ways I would recommend traveling from Lake Atitlan to Chichicastenango

  • The cheap and cheerful way that is a bit more complicated
  • The more expensive and simpler way

I would 100% recommend the cheap and cheerful way. It’s more fun saves you money and you have more control over times. But I know not everyone is as adventurous as me so you may prefer to play it safe and book your transport in advance.

How to get from San Pedro to ChichicastenangoPlanning my trip to get to Chichicastenango I was a little bit nervous at the prospect of 2 ferries 6 busses (and a Tuk-tuk) to get there but it was so simple I really had nothing to worry about!


Option 1 

Book yourself on to a Tourist Shuttle

Head to one of the numerous tour operators around the lake and book a tour bus from Lake Atitlan to Chichicastenango. Or even better book online with GuateGo. It’s that simple. They will tell you a pickup time and tell you what time they will bring you back. Normally pick up is around 8 am and they will bring you back at around 2 pm. Price could set you back $20 roughly. That’s about 150Q. It may be slightly cheaper to first travel to Panajachel and arrange transport from there. The ferry takes about 30-40 mins and costs 25Q each way.

Option 2

Do as the locals do and take public transport all the way from Lake Atitlan to Chichicastenango

Now please don’t be put off by how complicated it may seem to get from Lake Atitlan to Chichicastenango, it really couldn’t be simpler! The first part of your journey is to take the water taxi to Pana from wherever you are on the lake. It takes around 30-40 minutes and costs 25Q.

I would recommend spending the night in Panajachel. Book a hotel close to Calle Santander, explore Panna, get a coffee at Crossroads and have a chat with the legendary owner Mike and watch the beautiful sunset from Bar del Sol (get their early to get a good seat). Then get up early and take the chicken bus to Solola. The bus will stop outside the “Pollo Campero” (fried chicken shop) you will find it at the top of Calle Santander. If you are worried grab a Tuk Tuk and tell them you want the bus for Solola, they will take you strait there.

How to get from San Pedro to Chichicastenango

The Journey from Lake Atitlan to Chichicastenango 

Then get up early and take the chicken bus to Solola. The bus will stop outside the “Pollo Campero” (fried chicken shop) you will find it at the top of Calle Santander. If you are worried grab a Tuk Tuk and tell them you want the bus for Solola, they will take you straight there.

When you get there-there will likely be a few men shouting “Solola” they will usher you in. Take a seat and enjoy the 20-minute crazy ride up the mountain to Solola. It’s the last stop so you don’t need to worry about missing it. Just get off when everyone else does. The cost is 3Q and someone will come and collect it when the bus gets going.

Once you get to Solola you should see another Chicken Bus just across the road. Again there will be men shouting “Encuentros”. That’s the bus you want. Its likely others from you first bus will be heading there too so follow the crowd. Check the front of the bus says “Encuentros” and hop on. Like the first bus, its 3Q and they will collect when you get going.

You should be on the bus for about 40 minutes and once again you want the last stop. When you get off in Encuentros yo will see ahead of you a load of mini vans. Head towards them and ask for Chichi. You will be ushered into one.

Top Tip: Try and sit at the back if you can. They will put as many people in as they possibly can! I spend the 40-minute drive with a teenager pretty much sat on me… all part of the experience!

Cost is 5Q for this on. They will take you directly to the market. Pay attention to where you get off as you will need to find your way back there for the return journey.

Getting back is just the reverse of this. There really isn’t much time difference in the journey by tourist transfer and local busses. I know all of the changes sound a lot but there was no waiting around at all and it saved me enough for a night in a hotel. Plus as I said before it was much more fun and part of the Guatemala experience.

Final Thoughts

I hope you have found this guide to getting from Lake Atitlan to Chichicastenango helpful. I have written lots of different guides on Guatemala so be sure to stick around and read a few more!  ps. don’t forget to pin it for later.

Looking for somewhere to stay in Lake Atitlan?

If you want to stay in San Pedro then I’d recommend Zoola San Pedro AtitlanAmiGosHotel Tinamit, or Cristalinas Cafe, Hotel & Restaurant at Lake. If you are planning on staying in San Marcos and enjoy yoga then I cannot recommend Eagle’s Nest Atitlán enough. If yoga isn’t your thing and you want something bit more upmarket then you can’t go wrong with Lush Atitlan. Or this cute Airbnb is just outside of San Marcos, I stayed here and the views are worth the walk into town.

My friend Julia is developing an incredible retreat center close to San Marcos. They have two places to stay on Airbnb and I can’t recommend them enough! I stayed there and it was the most blissed-out I’ve been in years. In Panajachel, I recommend PanaHouse or Selina Atitlan

Would you like up to $29 off Airbnb? Just use this link.


How to get from Lake Atitlan to Chichicastenango Market


Planning a Trip to Guatemala? You might be interested in these articles:

How to get from Guatemala City to Antigua

Is it safe to visit Guatemala? Safety Advice for Solo Female Travelers

The night I thought I was going to die in Guatemala

Things to know before visiting Antigua, Guatemala

11 things to know before visiting Guatemala

The Top 5 Tours in Guatemala


Book your trip now

Are you ready to book your trip?  To help you get the best deals and service here are the companies that I personally use to book all of my travel online. I always shop around before booking anything, but these are my tried and tested starting places.

  • Skyscanner – I’m a bit fan of Skyscanner, it is who I use to book all of my flights. I often will check other like Google Flights or Momodo, but I always go here first and it is who I book 99% of my flights with. 
  • – I LOVE especially when I can book and cancel free up until a certain point, mostly because my plans are forever changing. It’s easy to use and has one of the widest selections. 
  • Airbnb – I’m not a huge user of Airbnb, but sometimes I do like to use it, and I ALWAYS check it before I book anything else. You can get some really cool places to stay here, and it is especially good in places like Cuba. If you don’t have an account and you click on this link then you will get $36 off your first booking.
  • Hostelworld – If you are looking for hostels then this is a great place to check first. They often have additional places that you won’t find on
  • Agoda – Although I don’t use it as much as, Agonda is especially good if you are traveling in Asia as they really do dominate there. 
  • Worldpackers – If you want to travel on the cheap and save money on accommodation then you need Worldpackers in your life. You can read more about it here. If you click this link to sign up and use the code CLAIRESITCHYFEET then you can get a 40% discount on your membership! 
  • Book a Way – If you are traveling in Asia and want to pre-book your transportation then is a fantastic site to do so. They have buses, trains, and cars.
  • RentalCars – Looking to rent a. car while you are away? I always book through Rental Cars as they do a search of all of the big sites and find the best deals. 
  • Welcome Pickups – Very occasionally getting from the airport to my accommodation is a total pain in the butt, or I’m traveling in a group and it makes sense to arrange a pickup. When I do I use Welcome pickups.
  • World Nomads – If you are looking for flexible travel insurance then it’s World Nomads all the way. I wrote all about insurance here if you want a more thorough review. 
  • SafetyWing – AsI’m a Digital Nomad and not moving around quite so much anymore I personally use SafetyWing now for my health insurance. I wrote a full review here
  • Viatour – Sometimes it can be a little expensive, but I like Viatour for somethings, especially if you can get a discount code! It’s also great for inspiration. 
  • Klook – If you are traveling in Asia, then Klook is great! You can book all kinds of tours, activities, and train tickets, plus they even have sim cards and WiFi.

Claire Summers

Dancer, producer, traveller, photographer, cake maker, dog lover and knitter of Christmas scarfs.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Jack S

    I am leaving Chicago headed to Lake Atitlan in a week. Your site has been so helpful. Looking forward to the adventure of the chicken buses, language school and my homestay. I chose the same school as you. Unfortunately I will only be going for 17 days. This is the trial run though. Next time hopefully for a month or two.

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