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Travel from Palenque, Mexico to Quetzaltenango

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Travel from Palenque, Mexico to Quetzaltenango


I am wanting to travel from Palenque, Mexico to Quetzaltenango, Guatemala and I am looking for advice in doing so.

Can somebody share how it can be done and how it can be arranged?


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1. Re: Travel from Palenque, Mexico to Quetzaltenango

There are good options for buses and tourist shuttles that run between Palenque and San Cristóbal de las Casas. I traveled between last summer and it took 7-10 hours each way depending on stops; many tours take in one or more of the waterfalls enroute. Over the last few years I've read lots of recommendations to avoid the night buses.

From there it's ~$35 by tourist shuttle to Lake Atitlán (which I did both ways, approx. 10 hours though they told me 7) and would be a bit less time and $ to Xela (Quetzaltenango). Lots of agencies in San Cris can arrange that; the shuttle will pick you up at your hotel and take you to the border where you'll cross out of México, into Guatemala, and switch vans. Happy trails!

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2. Re: Travel from Palenque, Mexico to Quetzaltenango

You could always catch an OCC bus down to San Cristobal Del Las Casas for MXN 152.00. There are many shuttle companies leaving from there and it's a great stop off point. I took the same shuttle except coming from San Pedro La Laguna at Lake Atitlan Guatemala to SCDLC. So going the opposite way than you, but the prices I was quoted were basically the same coming from or going to Xela from SCDLC, around 35$. I was lucky and found a shuttle company in San Pedro La Laguna that only charged 200Q (25 USD) to San Cristobal. So I'm sure if you shop around you could find a similar price. My trip was just last month. The bus from Palenque to San Cristobal will take about 5 hours. Then to Xela a shuttle should be about 9 hours.

If your feeling adventurous then you can take the OCC from Palenque to Ciudad Cuauhtémoc, Chiapas for 304 Pesos ($21.90) and catch a colectivo to the Guatemala border and cross into La mesilla. Then you can get a chicken bus to Huehuetenango and switch to another bus straight to Xela. I saw a few at the border that went straight to Xela via Huehue. Either way it should only cost around 25$ from Palenque taking this option but it would be much safer and easier to find a shuttle company and not much more expensive. I'm sure they have a few shuttle companies operating out of Palenque going to Xela but I only know first hand of the many in San Cristobal.

I'm heading to Xela again next February and taking the same way as you back to Xela Except i'm flying into Cancun and taking buses to Merida and then Palenque and onto San Cristobal where I'll get a shuttle. Of course i'll be staying a few days in each town mentioned on my way to Xela.

You can read up on ADO's website at http://www.ado.com.mx or ticketbus.com.mx for bus times and prices within southern Mexico. Good luck and ¡Buen viaje!

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3. Re: Travel from Palenque, Mexico to Quetzaltenango

Thanks for sharing this great information, Mike!

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4. Re: Travel from Palenque, Mexico to Quetzaltenango

You don't need to go to Lake Atitlan; there are shuttle companies that go direct SCLC to Quetzaltenango. When you're in San Cristobal, walk the main tourist streets and ask around.

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5. Re: Travel from Palenque, Mexico to Quetzaltenango

No problem. I have been researching this route quite a bit since I'll be taking it in your direction to Xela rather than the way I went last time from Lake Atitlan, Guatemala to San Cristobal.

I found another way if you want to make San Cristobal, Chiapas your jumping off point to Xela and you can even check out the Mayan Tonina Ruins along the way.

I read that you can take a collectivo to Ocosingo, Chiapas from Palenque for just 40 Pesos (Halfway to San Cristobal del las casas) then take another collectivo to SCDLC. probably for another 40 Pesos. It would only save about 70 Pesos if taking a bus but If you liked the ruins in Palenque I've read these are pretty interesting also.


I never indicated the OP needed to go to Lake Atitlan in my first post I actually posted he could get to either destination, it was just that I had traveled from Lake Atitlan to SCDLC on my last trip. I did mention in my post Xela was a definite option from San Cristobal. As you posted, there are many shuttle companies ready to take you to Xela or Lake Atitlan if you ask around once you get there..

I still haven't been able to find any direct shuttles from Palenque online but most companies won't have websites. You'll probably need to book once you get there unless you use a big company like Adrenalina tours. I originally planned to take them from Xela to Chiapas but they were more expensive than what I had hoped for. If I wasn't stopping in San Cristobal on my way to Xela I would take the bus route as long as I didn't have lots of luggage.

Here's a list of Adrenalina's routes and prices to and from CHiapas MX to Xela along with many other shuttle options they have.


Edited: 1:34 am, September 26, 2011
6. Re: Travel from Palenque, Mexico to Quetzaltenango

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