Guatemala Guides | How to get from Antigua to Lake Atitlan

Guatemala Guides | How to get from Antigua to Lake Atitlan

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Need to get from Antigua to Lake Atitlan? There are a few different ways and in this post I’m going to talk you through the best ways to make the journey, starting with the cheapest.




Always travel through Panajachel to or from Antigua

If you are planning to travel from Antigua to Lake Atitlan the easiest place to travel to or from is Panajachel. So wherever your starting or final destination you want to take the bus between Antigua and Panajachel.

If you decide to travel by chicken bus rather than a shuttle you will need to catch it from Panajachel anyway. However, if you are in any of the other towns it will be easy enough to book a tourist bus or find a private transfer.

The reason I say this is because if you book a direct shuttle from San Pedro to Antigua for example, it will take you hours and hours longer. Plus that road coming in and out of San Pedro is a death trap haha. There is a constant stream of buses coming through 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 then a bus from Panajachel to Antigua.

Taking the Chicken Bus from Antigua to Lake Aititlan

Getting from Lake Atitlan to Antigua

This is the cheapest way, but it can also be a bit tricky. The timetable is limited, so if you can’t leave in the morning you will most likely need to get a tourist bus.

To get from Antigua to Lake Atitlan

There is one direct bus early in the morning from the main bus station by the market. It leaves at 7 am and should arrive in Panajachel for 10:45 pm.

To get from Panajachel to Antigua

There is one direct chicken bus to Antigua from Panajachel a day that departs from Calle Principal (by the fried chicken place) at 10:45. It will cost you 35Q ($5) it will take you about 2.5 hours.

If you miss the direct bus you will need to get 3 buses. Just head to the bus stop on Calle Principal and wait for the bus to Solola. Take it right to the end and then when you get off you need the Los Encuentros bus. From Los Encuentros you need to take the bus to Chimaltenango and from there you can get the bus to Antigua…phew!

The total cost is 36Q (3Q, 3Q, 20Q, 10Q)

Take a Tourist Bus/ Shuttle from Antigua to Lake Atitlan


Traveling by shuttle is by far the easiest way to travel if you miss the direct chicken bus, or if you prefer to travel in a little bit more comfort! Book a direct shuttle through GuateGo by clicking the link here or you can book through most hostels.

YWhen you travel by shuttle you also have the added benefit of a comfort stop half way and you see them securing your bag on the roof (rather than it just being slung on top of the chicken bus!)

Take a private car or shuttle from Antigua to Lake Atitlan

If money’s no object for you then one of the tour companies can arrange a private shuttle. Antigua tours will take up to 4 people one way for $100. You can also book a private shuttle with GuateGo.

Final Thoughts

Take a look here for information about things to do around Lake Atitlan. Or if you are heading to Antigua then make sure you take a read of my posts on Antigua.

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 who have painstakingly brought together all of the transport and tour options in one easy to use website. You can book transport in Guatemala with them here and Guatemalan tours with them here.

Need accommodation in Lake Atitlan? Stay here with my friends Julia and Joel in there amazing AirBnB!

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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 | The Best Tours in Guatemala in Guatemala

Guatemala Guides | How to get from Antigua to Lake Atitlan


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