Skip to Content

How to get from Panajachel to Xela, Guatemala

Xela is well connected with Panajachel. You can get from Panajachel to Xela by public bus, shared shuttle, private transfer, rental car, or taxi.

Quetzaltenango, or as it is more widely known as Xela, is a vibrant, down-to-earth city in Guatemala and the country’s second-largest city.

One of the most off-the-wall cities I’ve seen, Xela is bursting with cultural quirks and interesting architecture that make it stand out! 

Don’t let the small size of this city fool you, though – there’s so much here to do and so many places you’ll want to explore on your trip.

Xela has a unique historic center and a massive urban sprawl. Nevertheless, the city has its character, especially regarding food and beer!

The area is known for its traditional Mayan cuisine and sweet corn tamales but has lots more to offer to hikers, artists, and people who want to relax.

I’ve put together a guide on how to get to this unique Guatemalan city so you can be prepared before you go! 

Traveling between Panajachel and Xela is easy, and you can choose between a bus, shared shuttle, private transfer, rental car, and taxi.

Check our guide for the best options to travel from Panajachel to Xela!

How far is Xela from Panajachel?

The distance from Panajachel to Xela is 52.2 miles or 84.1 kilometers. The journey usually takes around 2 hours!

Transportation Options from Panajachel to Xela

The following table outlines all transportation options from Panajachel to Xela:

MethodTravel timePrice
Shared Shuttle from Panajachel to Xela2-3 hoursUSD 30-USD 35
Public Bus from Panajachel to Xela3 hoursUSD 3
Taxi from Panajachel to Xela2 hoursUSD 60-USD 75
Rental Car2 hoursUSD 20+

Getting to Xela from Panajachel

1. Shared Van Shuttle from Panajachel to Xela

Journey Duration: 2-3 hours

The most common way to travel from Panajachel to Xela is to get on a shared van shuttle. It’s a practical and fast way, and shuttles regularly leave every day in the afternoon.

It’s a short journey of only 2 to 3 hours and a comfortable ride! There are two operators with generally similar prices.

Plus, the shuttles do hotel pick-up and drop-off, saving you time and no hassle with carrying your luggage!

Check out the schedules online, and ensure you get your tickets on time!

Panajachel to Xela Shared Shuttle Schedule:

  • 04:00 PM to 06:00 PM: Shuttle to Xela from Panajachel

Total price: USD 30

  • 04:00 PM to 07:00 PM: Shuttle to Xela from Panajachel

Total price: USD 35

GuateGo

On GuateGo, you can check all available transportation options from Panajachel to Xela. It is a reliable and easy-to-use platform for comparing prices & schedules and making a booking online.

Panajachel To Xela Universal Traveller

2. Public Bus from Panajachel to Xela

Journey Duration: 3 hours

If you are a budget traveler, alternatively, you can get a chicken bus directly to Xela from Panajachel! 

The bus leaves from the intersection of Santander and the main road, directly across from the Inguat office, where most of the buses stop. You don’t need to get off the bus until you reach Xela. 

Buses operate from early in the morning, unlike the shuttles, but both take approximately the same time to arrive in Xela.

Why choose this option? The ticket costs only USD 3! So, if you want to experience local Guatemalan life, this is the most cost-effective option!

This route saves you loads of money and is exceptionally safe and easy!

How To Get From Panajachel To Xela, Guatemala

GuateGo

On GuateGo, you can check all available transportation options from Panajachel to Xela. It is a reliable and easy-to-use platform for comparing prices & schedules and making a booking online.

How To Get To Xela Universal Traveller

3. Driving with Rental Car from Panajachel to Xela

Journey Duration: 2 hours

Another convenient option for traveling between Panajachel and Xela is to rent a car!

Car rentals in Panajachel, or Guatemala generally, can be found at ridiculously low prices that are worth it!

Besides being cheap, this option is great if you want to explore the area, drive around the city and visit multiple destinations. It’s an affordable and comfortable ride, so grab a map and get ready to hit the road.

You might even want to stop for some fantastic views along the way!

How To Get From Panajachel To Xela, Guatemala

4. Uber or Taxi from Panajachel to Xela

Journey Duration: 2 hours

As a last choice, you can always take a taxi from Panajachel to Xela.

Even though most times this option is not cost-effective because of Guatemala’s windy roads and heavy traffic, you can consider it for this trip since the distance between Panajachel and Xela is not that long. 

The ride will last around 2 hours, leaving you at your exact final destination. Expect to pay around USD 75.

Just make sure to negotiate the price before taking off, and be careful not to get scammed by local drivers.

How To Get From Panajachel To Xela Guatemala2

Best day tours in Xela, Guatemala

Get Your Guide helps you find the best tours wherever you are heading to. It’s usually the first website I check when I plan a trip to a new place.

The following widget shows some of the best tours in Xela, Guatemala.

How To Get From Panajachel To Xela, Guatemala

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cheapest way to get from Panajachel to Xela?

The cheapest way to get from Panajachel to Xela is to take the public bus, also known as the chicken bus. The price for a ticket to Xela is only USD 3!

What is the fastest way to get from Panajachel to Xela?

The fastest way to get from Panajachel to Xela is to drive a car. You can either rent a car or grab a taxi.

How do I travel from Panajachel to Xela without a car?

The best way to get from Panajachel to Xela without a car is to get on the shared shuttle, which takes 2-3 hours and costs USD 30 – USD 35.

Can I drive from Panajachel to Xela?

Yes, the driving distance between Panajachel to Xela is 84 km. It takes approximately 2 hours to drive from Panajachel to Xela.

What is a Chicken Bus?

Chicken buses, also known as “camionetas,” are Guatemala’s local buses connecting the country’s villages, towns, and cities. It is the most common mode of local transportation and is usually the cheapest option for traveling any distance.

Can I use Uber in Guatemala?

Uber is available in Guatemala, but it is usually more expensive than all other transportation options.