This video explains how to cross the southern border of Mexico into Guatemala. Much of the information I found online was questionable at best. So I did my own research. I spoke with locals and got some great intel on how to do this on the cheap. I also spoke with the local travel agencies offering shuttles; granted they have a clear agenda. I also chatted with trusted friends at Everyday Hobo.
The cheapest way to travel from San Cristobal to Panajachel is to take a combination of colectivos, a taxi, and a chicken bus. Take the first colectivo from San Cristobal to Comitan. Take the next colectivo onward to Cuauhtemoc. Then you will need to take a taxi to the border. After getting stamped out of Mexico and being stamped into Guatemala catch a chicken bus to Panajachel.
At this time the cost is about $10 usd. However be aware the colectivos and chicken bus will make many stops and this will not be a quick or comfortable trip. The most direct way to travel from San Cristobal to Panajachel is to hire a shuttle from one of the travel agencies in San Cristobal offering the service. the current cost is 1,100 pesos or about $55 usd. This option provides for far fewer stops as well as a more comfortable ride. Other issues to consider.
Your luggage will almost certainly be placed on the roof outside and rain is likely in this region. Use a rain cover for best results. Electronics should not go in a bag onto the roof due to rough handling and potential exposure to moisture. Currency exchange in San Cristobal consider giving Banco Azteca a try; they have a good reputation with being fair to tourists. Banco Azteca is insanely busy on Sundays with a block long line. As a result I used Centro Cambinrio Andador instead. On Sunday November 6, 2022 I received 800 Quetzales for 2000 Pesos.
That was a great deal as after checking the exchange rate online before hand I expected less than the 785.78 quetzales quoted. Wonder which route I am going to take? Stay tuned for my next video of the actual experience crossing the border and traveling to Panajachel. Still have questions or maybe something to add from your own experience crossing this border? Leave them in the comments below. Feedback is always appreciated.
I primarily travel solo but you don't have to to enjoy this channel. Working as a river guide during summers in North America I don't earn a lot of money and live close to the federal poverty level. In spite of this I live a rich life on a frugal budget. If you would like to learn more about traveling in Latin America or maybe frugal travel tips visit Fast Fred Travels and if you would like to come rafting with me check out Fast Fred Rafts for details.