Bus Travel

Linea Dorada and Autobuses del Norte (ADN) offer direct bus service between Guatemala City and Santa Elena and Flores. The 9-hour trip on air-conditioned buses with comfortable reclining seats, TVs, and bathrooms costs around Q180 one-way (US$23) or Q350 (US$45) round-trip. Call at least one day ahead for reservations. Inexpensive local service is available, but those buses stop in every village along the way, which adds hours to the trip.

In Santa Elena the San Juan Hotel serves as the local bus terminal. Here you can catch a bus operated by San Juan Travel that makes the 1 1/2 hour, 42-mi (70-km) trip on a good paved road to Tikal at 6, 8, 9, and 10 am and return trips at 2, 4, 5 and 6 pm. Service may be reduced during slow periods. They cost around Q30 one way or Q60 round-trip per person. Local buses serving other destinations like Sayaxché depart from the market in Santa Elena. They are inexpensive but very slow.

The 42-mi (70-km) paved route between Flores–Santa Elena and Tikal is served by scheduled minibus shuttles, operated by San Juan Travel and other companies. They cost around Q30 one-way or Q60 round-trip per person. The trip takes about 1½ hours.


Autobuses del Norte. E Bus Terminal, 4a Calle, Santa Elena. 7924-8131.

Linea Dorada. Calle 4a, Santa Elena, Petén. 7926–0528. Calle de la Playa, Flores. 2232–9658.

San Juan Travel. San Juan Travel, a travel agency, tour operator, and shuttle service, has long had a mixed reputation, especially for service. It runs a daily tourist bus from Chetumal, Mexico, to the Marine Terminal in Belize City, and then continuing on to its private terminal in Santa Elena. It also has shuttles between Flores and Tikal park. 6 Avenida, Santa Elena, Petén. 502/7926–0042 in Guatemala; 501/223–1200 Mundo Maya Travel at Brown Sugar Terminal in Belize.

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