Do you need to know how to get from Antigua Guatemala to Lake Atitlan? There are several methods to get from Lake Atitlan to Antigua and vice versa. In this post, I’m sharing the best ways to travel from Antigua to Lake Atitlan, including a shuttle from Antigua to Lake Atitlan and more.
Always Travel Through Panajachel
If you’re traveling from Antigua to Lake Atitlan, the most convenient location to catch a ride is Panajachel. Wherever you start or finish your trip, take the bus between Antigua and Panajachel.
If you travel by bus rather than a shuttle from Antigua to Lake Atitlan, you must catch it from Panajachel anyway. However, if you are in another town, booking a tourist bus or finding a private transfer will be easy.
Booking a direct shuttle from San Pedro to Antigua will take you hours—plus, that road coming in and out of San Pedro is a death trap, haha. There’s a constant stream of buses traveling from Panajachel to Antigua and boats ferrying people from the lakeside villages. Trust me, I did this journey more times than I care to remember. Take a boat to Panajachel and a bus to Antigua.
Did You Get Travel Insurance Yet?
The Insurance companies I recommend are Hey Mondo and Safety Wing
Hey Mondo is great if you are looking for a great value flexible policy. They offer single-trip cover, annual multi-trip cover, and long-term travel cover. Safety Wing is great value, with monthly coverage starting at $39. It’s super easy to use, and it just renews each month. I currently use them as they offer me free cover for my son as part of my policy.
Read my full travel insurance post here, where I go into detail about all companies.
Taking the Chicken Bus From Antigua Guatemala to Lake Atitlan
Are you wondering how to get to Lake Atitlan from Antigua on a backpacker budget? Taking a bus from Antigua to Lake Atitlan is the cheapest, but it can be tricky. The timetable is limited, so if you can’t leave in the morning, you will most likely need to get a tourist bus.
Quick Tip: Book accommodation, tours and transport ahead of time online to save money and stress.
Best Lake Atitlan Tours: Click here to check out the top Lake Atitlan tours
Best Lake Atitlan Accommodation: Click here to check out the best accommodation in Lake Atitlan
Best Lake Atitlan Transport: Click here to book a bus, ferry, or train in Lake Atitlan
Antigua to Panajachel
There is one direct bus early in the morning from the central bus station by the market. It leaves at 7:00 a.m. and should arrive in Panajachel by 10:45 p.m.
Panajachel to Antigua
There is no direct bus to Antigua from Panajachel, so you must get three buses.
Taking the Shuttle Antigua to Lake Atitlan
Traveling by shuttle is the easiest option if you miss the direct bus or prefer to travel comfortably. Book a direct shuttle from Antigua to Lake Atitlan through GuateGo by clicking the link here. You can also book through most hostels.
When you travel by shuttle, you also have the added benefit of a comfort stop halfway. Your bags will be secured on the roof rather than slung on the chicken bus!
Taking a Private Car or Shuttle Antigua to Lake Atitlan
If money’s no object, use a tour company to arrange a private shuttle from Antigua to Lake Atitlan. Antigua tours will take up to four people one way for $190. You can also book a private shuttle from Lake Atitlan to Antigua with GuateGo.
Looking for Accommodations in San Pedro?
My friend Julia is developing an incredible retreat center close to San Marcos. They have several places to stay, and I can’t recommend them enough! I stayed there—it was the most blissful I’d been in years. In Panajachel, I recommend PanaHouse or Selina Atitlan.
The company I recommend for booking transport and tours in Guatemala (other than the individuals and companies I have named) is GuateGo. They are a Guatemala-owned company that has combined all the transportation and tour options in one easy-to-use website. You can book transportation and Guatemalan tours with them here.
Lake Atitlan Travel Guide Planning
🧳 Any recommendations on what I should pack for Lake Atitlan?
🚗 Where can I book bus or private transportation while I’m in Lake Atitlan?
I strongly recommend using GottoGo. You can book almost all transport in the major tourist destinations through them online. They don’t just cover buses they also cover shuttles, ferries, and private drivers.
🎫 Where can I buy tickets for museums, attractions, and tours in Lake Atitlan?
👩⚕️ What is the best insurance to have while traveling?
I have also written a blog post covering all my recommended travel insurance here
✈️ Any flight recommendations?
📱What do you use for internet connection while traveling?
I’m a big fan of personal WiFi devices and they have saved my ass so many times when traveling. I wrote a full review of the top travel WiFi devices you can read here. I personally use GlocalMe as I can either pop in a physical sim card or use their local carrier.
With regards to my phone connection, I use e-sims while traveling, so rather than having to swap out my regular sim card I can download the app and buy a virtual sim card. I recommend using eitherAirhub or Alosim. Both have great coverage of multiple countries and are very easy to use.
🛏️ What is the best platform to use for booking accommodation?
🛅 Do you have any luggage recommendations for traveling?
How to Get to Lake Atitlan? Final Thoughts
While taking a bus is the cheapest way to travel from Antigua Guatemala to Lake Atitlan, taking a shuttle is the easiest. If you’re traveling on an unlimited budget, book a private car or shuttle from Antigua to Lake Atitlan for added comfort. Read more about Lake Atitlan here for inspiration on things to do once you arrive.