In Guatemala, if you want to be in, then you need to use the mean of transportation Nr 1: THE Chicken bus! It is not only a way of going from point A to point B, it is a whole cult, a sort of love hate relationship.
But what is it exactly?! Guatemaltecs go all the way to US to buy an old school bus, drive all the way back and pimp their ride back home. It is their baby, a real love story, always really clean and good taken care of!
We were many times offered and advised to book a shuttle from Antigua to Lago Aticlan (a 2.5 hours ride). However we decided to go local and take the chicken bus. In reality the chicken busessss ( I put a lot of S because we needed to take 4 different buses in total).
First you wounder your way to the first bus, then really fast you are jumping in a moving bus were they want you to put your backpacks on the roof ?! Bad idea we like our stuff too much for that and kindly refuse! Then no clue were you exactly go, you enjoy the ride with the locals at about 100km/h on very small and bumpy roads, were a normal car would score a maximum of 30 km/h. Locals look at you interested and young kids enjoy the ride as we did, like being in a very old and dangerous roller coaster.
After a while the driver’s assistant ask you for money, you check what the locals gave him before you and give him the same. The chance of getting change back is depending on his mood. Then the bus is stopping and the driver’s assistant make you a sign that you have to jump off and change bus. As soon as you step out you are put in another bus and the story starts over.
We had a lot of fun and advice anyone to take a ride! It was one of our most fun transportation, even more fun than the bingo bus in Patagonia!