Subject: Re: Guatemala report

Guatemala does have a relatively extensive bus system. Unfortunately, the bulk of the system is based on the so- called "chicken buses", refurbished school buses from North America. As Reuven pointed out they are an experience that everyone should try when visiting the country. However any long distance travel would be most uncomfortable and very time consuming on these. There are a few routes that do offer the more spacious and direct "Pullman" buses but they are no way as extensive or as comfortable as in Mexico. Instead, all of the tourist routes are now serviced by "mini-shuttles". These are vans (ranging from the smaller Toyota vans up to the larger Ford and Chevy vans) which seat up to 14 people. We traveled on these mini-shuttles between Panajachel (Lake Atitlan) and Guatemala City. And also Coban to Tikal. But they do run all throughout the country to the major tourist destinations. These shuttles can be booked at a myriad of tourist agencies at these destinations. As we traveled around the country last Autumn we easily booked the shuttles the day prior to our leaving. The only domestic travel we booked prior to arrival was our transfer from the Guatemala City airport to Antigua and our flight back from Tikal (Flores) to Guatemala City.

Reuven's report was spot on and I would highly recommend a visit to this beautiful country.

John in San Diego