The cheapest and fastest way to get to IMAP from Guatemala City is by public bus ( also known as “chicken bus”). These colorful vehicles travel at high speed and you may have to share your seat with up to four other people. Make sure you clearly indicate that you want to go to San Lucas Tolimán and that the bus has “Atitlán” written on the windshield. Otherwise you will have to make one or two additional transfers and pay more. We do not recommend public buses unless you are a seasoned traveler in Latin America. If you look disoriented, you may attract the attention of pickpockets and scammers.
Go to the Central BUS Terminal (known as “CENMA” by locals) located in Guatemala City. This is where the trucks that travel all over the country leave from.
To get to this truck terminal, you can take an Uber or InDriver from the airport or your hotel. We suggest you avoid public white cabs at all costs.
The buses you can take are called the “ATITECA” or the “ESMERALDA” (Q50). Look for them on platform 44A at CENMA. The sign will say “Patulul / San Lucas Tolimán / Santiago Atitlán”. They both go through the same route: Escuintla – Santa Lucía Cotzumalguapa – Cocales – Patulul – San Lucas Tolimán – Santiago Atitlán. They leave CENMA every hour from 7:00AM to 4:00PM. These vans even leave you in front of the Pachitutul community where iMAP is located (not to be confused with Patulul, located much earlier on the road). We recommend that you sit in the front and let the driver know that you are getting off in Pachitulul when you arrive in San Lucas Tolimán (the driver’s assistant will announce it). You will have to walk on an unpaved road for about ten minutes and turn left. If it is more convenient and you have a lot of luggage, you can get off at the market or the cemetery in San Lucas Tolimán and take a mototaxi or tuc-tuc (Q15) to Pachitulul that will drop you off at the IMAP parking lot.