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Rio Dulce to Lanquin?

Vancouver, Canada
2 posts
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Rio Dulce to Lanquin?

Hello,

I'm trying to figure out some of the bus schedule for our trip to Guatemala but it seems that I'm going against the bus services.

We'll be going to Livingston, then take a boat to Rio Dulce. We don't want to stay in Rio Dulce but leave right away for Lanquin. Is that possible? Is there a bus from Rio Dulce to Coban that can drop us off at Lanquin?

Thanks

The Dalles, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Guatemala, Belize
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326 reviews
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1. Re: Rio Dulce to Lanquin?

I'll pop in to say hi since no one else is responding. Frankly, it isn't a common trip for TA readers. Unfortunately, the Thorntree forum for CA isn't running right now and it's there you'd find your answer; here's the link in case your trip is a way off and you'd like to keep trying:

www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/forum.jspa…

Although I haven't made that trip, I know from reading that it's not one of the quicker or more straight forward routes. I'm thinking you'll have to go to Coban and grab a shuttle or pickup there. ¡Buena suerte!

Vancouver, Canada
2 posts
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2. Re: Rio Dulce to Lanquin?

Thank you! We decided to change our plans because after all my research, I couldn't find anything.

Central America
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3. Re: Rio Dulce to Lanquin?

Alta Verapaz is one of our favorite areas in Guate. We usually drive there so I can't help you with some of the public transport details, but I can give you an overview of the options.

Note that your public transport options for this area are mostly collectivos (public minivans), chicken buses, and tour shuttles. A source for schedules, and other info on the area, is http://www.cobanav.net/info.php. To my knowledge, none of the major bus lines run to Coban except Monja Blanco, and I believe they only run from Guatemala City to Coban.

There are two common routes to Lanquin from Fronteras (Rio Dulce).

One, the route via EL Estor. The roads on this route are mostly unpaved and a bit dicey, sometimes not passable, but this is how the locals typically make the trip.You will find the collectivos on the street in Fronteras. I believe you will catch a collectivo to EL Estor first and then on to Lanquin. If you are an adventuresome traveler then this may be the route for you. I think there are also some tour shuttles which run this route. No major bus lines run this route.

Two, take the main highways (mostly CA-9) to Coban. Paved roads all the way. Even with paved roads wash outs are not uncommon on the last leg to Coban, but they are usually passable, and they have been doing lots of work on this road to improve the situation. This is the route we usually drive, but you can hop collectivos etc to run this route and there are tour shuttles that run it too. From Coban there are many collectivos and tour shuttles which can take you to Lanquin.

Since I usually drive this route I don't have tour shuttle recommendations, but I expect you can find recommendations here on TA.

Always hate to hear of people short-chaning themselves on the Rio Dulce area (I mean the whole Rio not just Fronteras). It is a beautiful place with lots to see and do, but at least it sounds like you are spending some time in Livingston.

Victoria, BC, Canada
6 posts
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4. Re: Rio Dulce to Lanquin?

Hi there,

I haven't been yet, but I'm planning on doing the route from Rio Dulce to Lanquin and have been doing extensive research for a couple months now. Back when thorntree was online, I asked about this. There is, apparently, a shuttle that runs regularly from the Sundog cafe in Rio Dulce town at about 1 or 1:30pm. Supposedly takes about 5.5h to get there. Some people say the road is fine, others say it's pretty scary- I guess it's subjective.

Another note: someone else on here recently mentioned that he went to the sundog cafe to catch this shuttle and it didn't show up- apparently you need to let them know ahead of time as it's not a hugely popular route. I think he said that you have to arrange it with either the sundog cafe or backpacker's hostel. If you look through the guatemala forum on here you should be able to find the thread.

Hope that helps!

Central America
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5. Re: Rio Dulce to Lanquin?

Re the road from Rio Dulce to Lanquin. The section from Rio Dulce to EL Estor is paved and in good condition. The section between EL Estor and Lanquin is not paved and the condition can vary quite a lot depending upon how much rain has fallen recently.

So, if some say it was "fine" and others say it was "scary" they can in fact both be right.

Port Richey, Florida
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6. Re: Rio Dulce to Lanquin?

Hey BZ Sailor How about following the route via Fray Bartolome which is the recently paved Franja Transversal del Norte (FTDN) wouldn't that make it much easier to get to Semuc from Rio Dulce. Have you had a chance to check out that new road yet which as you know starts in Modesto Mendez , Izabal.

Central America
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7. Re: Rio Dulce to Lanquin?

Not familiar with the route via "Fray Bartolome", but will definitely

check that out.

Central America
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8. Re: Rio Dulce to Lanquin?

Now that I look at it on the map, I have driven the route from Rio Dulce (Fronteras) to Modesto Mendez. It is a good road and a very easy drive (also serviced by bus/collectivo), but I have not taken the route West to Fray Bartolome.

If that is now paved then could certainly make this an easier, and more all-weather, route.

Do you know what the road is like which cuts South near Fray Bartolome to near Lanquin?

Victoria, BC, Canada
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9. Re: Rio Dulce to Lanquin?

I'm also curious about BZ's question!

Port Richey, Florida
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10. Re: Rio Dulce to Lanquin?

Well that project it's been kicked around for the last twnety years or so. Then finally the congress gave its approval for obtaining an international loan. The project was awarded to an israeli firm which from what I understand subcontracted the segments of the route in order to expedite it's progress. Take a look http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHw2fgHOEBU It starts in Modesto Mendez and it goes all the way to Nenton, Huehuetenango real close to the mexican border. There is also a video there about this new paved route getting close to Ixcan. Supposedly since they're using cement and asphalt in order to guarantee its long life it's moving real slow.