Bound for Guatemala City, on the 7am TicaBus, we reluctantly embraced another bus ride. TicaBus provides service to all of Central America and offers extremely cheap fares ($20 for the 7 hour ride from Tapachula to Guatemala City). You can't, however, buy tickets online, make reservations online, or get much information about the exact service you'll be getting (our bus arrived in Guatemala City 3 hours later than the website indicated it would).

The border crossing was interesting, to say the least. You are immediately accosted by several people the moment you step off the bus - mostly money exchangers and people selling their wares. While Alex waited in line, to go through customs, I ran from one guy to another trying to find the highest rate for changing our leftover pesos. I find that the most effective way to get the best rate is to look sad and disappointed when they offer you the first rate, then a "come on, really?" expression at the second rate, and then you just point up when they give you their final rate... then when they won't go up anymore, you move on to the next guy. This method has worked out extremely well for us! Some photos from the bus ride into Guatemala City:

Our shuttle to Panajachel (on Lake Atitlan) was waiting for us at the TicaBus terminal in Guatemala City. The shuttle then dropped us off in Antigua so it could pick up more passengers. Half an hour later it was off again. We finally arrived in Panajachel about 2.5 hours later and then had to get another van to San Antonio Palopo (a small village on the lake). We arrived tired, and yet relieved, at our Hotel at 9pm.

Our accommodations were definitely not what we expected. However, since we were pretty much the only guests around Christmas, it was an amazing deal for the 5 days we were there and the view from the room was breathtaking:

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  1. Such a fun story, and such beautiful views!

  2. Anonymous2.1.10

    that tree is amazing.... kinda makes you think doesn't it? hello life in the 21st century.

  3. amazing views!

  4. My husband and I had the chance to go to Guatemala two years ago...and it was such an amazing experience! I absolutely fell in love with that place. I miss those mountains.

    Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year!

  5. Happy new year to you Mina...Thomas

  6. Anonymous2.1.10 guys are wayyyy more travel savvy than I will ever be! LOL

  7. Anonymous2.1.10

    haha i like your method for exchanging currency. i'll have to try this during all of life's price haggling adventures.

  8. What a fun adventure you are having! It looks beautiful!

  9. oh my gosh the bottles hanging from the tree!