We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Travel w/ fam from Antigua to the DEPARTMENT of San Marcos

Which Antigua hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Athens, GA
posts: 3
Travel w/ fam from Antigua to the DEPARTMENT of San Marcos

I'm arriving to Antigua with my wife and 2 little daughters for a Monday night in a couple weeks, and then the next day (a Tuesday) we want to travel to the Department of San Marcos (i.e., NOT San Marcos La Laguna). I have never stayed in Antigua before so I don't know much about how to get from Antigua to the highlands out west. However, I doubt there are there any direct buses from Antigua to San Marcos or Antigua to Xela. If we have to wait for a bus from the capital I'm sure they will already be super overcrowded by the time they get to Antigua too.

In essence my question is this:

1. What travel options do we have to get from Antigua to San Marcos and about how much will they cost more or less? (I'm guessing most options will entail transferring in Xela and if we want to ride more comfortably I'm sure we'll need to backtrack to the capital to catch a pullman, right?).

My second related question is this:

2. How much would it cost, more or less, to travel from Antigua to where the Pullman's depart in the capital (backtracking, but at least it will be more comfortable to travel all the way to San Marcos).

Any advice would be much appreciated! Thank you in advance!

6 replies to this topic
Crowsnest Pass...
posts: 59
reviews: 9
1. Re: Travel w/ fam from Antigua to the DEPARTMENT of San Marcos

Given that there are 4 of you, it may not cost much more to get a private shuttle. That way you would be able to stop when you wanted to and not be crammed into a (very) full van full of other people for the 5 hours it takes to get to Xela. The shuttles (shared) are $30 - $40/person from Antigua to Xela, not sure how much more to get to San Marcos.

I'm sure others can recommend reliable companies to arrange this.

When I was in Antigua over Semana Santa I was handed a flyer from Pacaya Expeditions. It offered a pullman bus from Antigua to Panajachel (1/2 way) for Q36/person. I have no personal experience with this company but it might be worth checking out if they have connections from there.

Bethesda, MD
posts: 1,601
reviews: 23
2. Re: Travel w/ fam from Antigua to the DEPARTMENT of San Marcos

There is (or was, it's been quite a while) a bus line that services San Marcos from GC. I'd guess a cab to the station from Antigua would be $30-40. It might be easier to spend the night in GC if that's an option.

Also, where in San Marcos are you headed? If it's in the south, you might be better off with a bus line that works the Pacific coast hwy.

Either way, this could be a pretty long trip for young kids. You might want to think about breaking it up somewhere, if possible.

Athens, GA
posts: 3
3. Re: Travel w/ fam from Antigua to the DEPARTMENT of San Marcos

Thanks. We'll be headed right to the city of San Marcos in San Marcos, actually we'll be going to the municipio Comitancillo, but someone from Comitancillo is going to pick us up whenever we arrive in San Marcos).

I didn't want to stay the night in the capital the first night but I also didn't want to travel very far after just getting off a plane and spending many hours in airports with the kiddos. So the original plan was to go a little bit of the way (only like an hour) toward San Marcos that first day and stay in Antigua. I made the hotel reservation in Antigua, but now it's looking like that wasn't such a great idea since the only direct pullman routes leave from Guatemala City, which would mean backtracking. I appreciate the advice from both of you. It seems like the best option (considering costs and comfort) might be, though, to just take a cab back to the capital to the bus terminal and get on a pullman that goes directly out west. Thanks again for both of your prompt replies.

Edited: 9:27 pm, April 29, 2013
The Dalles, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Guatemala, Belize
posts: 6,100
reviews: 84
4. Re: Travel w/ fam from Antigua to the DEPARTMENT of San Marcos

With little kids I think I would shell out for a private driver. You would have complete control over the schedule and stops along the way for sightseeing, bathroom breaks, or picnics. Here are 2 transportation providers I’ve been pleased with in Guatemala for share shuttles, private transfers, and flight arrangements:

Adrenalina Tours: www.adrenalinatours.com

Rainbow Travel: www.rainbowtravelcenter.com

Athens, GA
posts: 3
5. Re: Travel w/ fam from Antigua to the DEPARTMENT of San Marcos

Thank you hopefulist. And I'm from Oregon too! SE Portland. Anyway, I just sent an email to Adrenalina tours to inquire about how much shuttle service would cost us to San Marcos. At the very least, their webpage indicates that they travel to Xela, which gets us most of the way. I'm still a little unsure if the shuttle prices listed are per person, though, and if so, if they would charge for our 3 year old and 7 month old girls. But the chance to stop and take a bathroom is very appealing when travelling with little ones. Thank you!

The Dalles, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Guatemala, Belize
posts: 6,100
reviews: 84
6. Re: Travel w/ fam from Antigua to the DEPARTMENT of San Marcos

The share shuttle costs listed would be packed vans and prices are listed per person, not sure about the girls. Private shuttles will be more but you might judge the comfort and convenience worth the expense.

Reply to: Travel w/ fam from Antigua to the DEPARTMENT of San Marcos
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted