The popular ecotourism area of Lake Atitlán and the small southwestern city of Huehuetenango are 104 miles (168 km) apart. As there are no airports nearby, the best way to make this journey is by hiring a private driver.
As Santiago is the largest village surrounding the lake, you'll want to find a driver here. You can also opt to rent a car, but the roads in this region are quite winding, so make sure you're comfortable navigating this terrain.
There are no direct buses from Lake Atitlán to Huehuetenango. You would first have to take a private transfer or taxi to Los Encuentros or Nahualá, making this a poor option as both more than an hour away from Lake Atitlán.
For a 14-day trip that covers Tikal National Park, Huehuetenango and the indigenous culture of the Ixil region, a boat tour of Lake Atitlán, a relaxing stay on the neighboring island of Roatán, and more, then check out this itinerary.
By Private Transfer or Rental Car
Duration: 4.5 hours
The best place to find a driver or rental car near the lake is in Santiago. If you opt to rent a car, make sure it's easy to return the car and that the return destination aligns with your travel plans.
From Santiago, you'll take SOL-4, which winds around the lake and offers jaw-dropping views of the scenery and nearby San Pedro Volcano. About 26 miles (46 km) into your drive, you'll merge onto CA-1 and follow it along until you arrive at your destination.
Duration: 4.5 hours, more with transfers
To take a bus to Huehuetenango, you'll first have to travel to Nahualá—which is about 34 miles (55 km) away from Lake Atitlán—or Los Encuentros—about 37 miles (61 km) away. You'll need to hire a taxi driver to take you to one of the bus stations in either town.
As it's not possible to book these bus tickets ahead of time, you'll have to get them at the station, which requires Spanish proficiency and an understanding of the bus timetables. As all of this is quite difficult to coordinate, we do not recommend this option for anyone traveling to Guatemala.