Jill and Kelly's Adventures in Guatemala travel blog

Catching the Chicken Bus

Posing by Lake Atitlan

One of our fellow GAP travelers, Dennis

After arriving in Anitigua yesterday, we finally had a chance to meet with our group last night at our hotel. There are 10 travelers, all from the United States and Canada. We are definitely the youngest! Our tour leader is originally from Canada, but has been doing GAP tours for almost a year. After our meeting, we went to a local restaurant for some quesadillas and then turned in early last night to get rest before our adventures started today.

Jill and I woke up around 7:00 and had breakfast at a restaurant called Fernandos close to our hotel. We had the plato tipico, which consisted of black beans, eggs, friend plantains, and tortillas. The food was pretty good, but the cappuccinos here are amazing! We then met with our group to catch a ride to Panajachel. We walked 5 blocks to the local meeting place with all of the buses.

A chicken bus is basically an old school bus that has been turned into public transportation by the Guatemalan people. Sometimes, chickens are taken to market on top of the busses, and that is supposedly how the buses received their name. However, after riding on three different ones today, Jill and I have a different theory....maybe they got their names by the way they play chicken with the other vehicles on the road, honking and driving, until everyone else gets out of the way!

Riding on the bus was definitely an adventure! During the longest part of the trek here, there were a minimum of 3 people per seat, a few kids on laps, and others standing in the aisle. Regretfully, there were no chickens onboard. We both had seats on the first bus, but Kelly was not so lucky on the second one. She held on with two hands for the majority of the trip, and decided that Disney World needs to open a new attraction!

After arriving in Panajachel, we had lunch and walked down to see Lake Atitlan, which is less than one block from our hotel. Tomorrow, we are off on another chicken bus to the famous market of Chichicastenango.

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