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How to get from Panajachel to Rio Dulce, Guatemala

You can travel from Panajachel to Rio Dulce, Guatemala, by bus, shared shuttle, private transfer, and rental car.

Rio Dulce is a river in Guatemala which stretches for 43 kilometers or 27 miles. It is nestled between Guatemala’s largest lake, Lago Izabal, and the Caribbean Sea.

Tourists and locals alike come to Rio Dulce to immerse themselves in the rich Afro-Caribbean Garifuna culture in the area. The place is also known for all the water activities you can do here, like kayaking, canoeing, and swimming. 

A guided tour is the best way to go when exploring Rio Dulce.

Combine it with the best way to get to Rio Dulce from Panajachel, and you are good to go!

Distance from Panajachel to Rio Dulce, Guatemala

The distance from Panajachel to Rio Dulce, Guatemala, is about 395 kilometers or 245.44 miles by car. It takes about 7 hours and 15 minutes to travel this distance.

Transportation Options from Panajachel to Rio Dulce, Guatemala

The following table outlines all transportation options from Panajachel to Rio Dulce, Guatemala:

MethodTravel timePrice
Bus and Shuttle from Panajachel to Rio Dulce14 hours and 20 minutes USD 99
Shared Shuttle from Panajachel to Rio Dulce11 hoursUSD 60
Private Transfer from Panajachel to Rio Dulce7 hoursUSD 444
Driving with Rental Car from Panajachel to Rio Dulce7 hours and 15 minutesUSD 41.68

Getting to Rio Dulce from Panajachel

1. Bus and Shuttle from Panajachel to Rio Dulce

Travel time: 14 hours and 20 minutes

Hopping on a bus is probably the most common way to get from Panajachel to Rio Dulce. It is easy to book online, and Maya de Oro has one daily connection that you can catch.

What’s good about this option is its combination of affordability and comfort. For USD 99, you can ride an air-conditioned bus with reclining seats, a bathroom, and a television on board.

14 hours is a long way to go, so make sure that the transport service you choose will benefit you well.

Maya de Oro’s coach bus leaves from the Atitrans Office in Avenida Santander Anexo Hotel Regis in Panajachel.

It then drops you off to get transferred to a shuttle that goes to Zone 1. Lastly, you ride another coach bus which will take you to Calle Principal in Rio Dulce.

A one-way bus ticket already includes fares for all the transfers along the way.

Departure TimeArrival TimeDurationPrice per Person
5:00 AM7:20 PM14 hours 20 minutesUSD 99BOOK NOW 3 e1661788865313
Panajachel to Rio Dulce

2. Shared Shuttle from Panajachel to Rio Dulce

Travel time: 11 hours

Another option that you can take is the Panajachel to Rio Dulce shared shuttle. You will not find it hard to get hold of a transport operator offering this service in Panajachel.

At around USD 60 to USD 65 per person, you arrive at Rio Dulce from Panajachel in eleven hours. This rate already includes all the transfers that may take place in between.

Departure TimeArrival TimeDurationPrice per Person
5:00 AM4:00 PM11 hoursUSD 60 to 65BOOK NOW 3 e1661788865313

3. Private Transfer from Panajachel to Rio Dulce

Travel time: 7 hours

Getting a private transfer from Panajachel to Rio Dulce is definitely the most expensive option of them all, but if you value comfort and privacy for your traveling party, consider this a great option.

The estimated travel time from Panajachel to Rio Dulce by private transfer is seven hours.

As you can see, the duration has decreased significantly compared to the other options because you will not have to transfer vehicles with this option.

Aside from the time, you can also benefit from the door-to-door service that a private transfer can give. You can also go as you please and stop at interesting sites along the way.

Prices for a private transfer from Guatemala City to Antigua

  • USD 444 for 1 to 3 passengers
  • USD 834 for 4 to 7 passengers
  • USD 1,278 for 8 to 10 passengers
Panajachel to Rio Dulce

4. Driving with Rental Car from Panajachel to Rio Dulce

Travel time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Do you want to travel as you like? Think about renting a car for your trip to Rio Dulce from Panajachel. 

Getting a rental car in Guatemala allows you to plan your own itinerary and drive at your own pace. This enables you to maximize your trip to the Caribbean coast. 

To drive from Panajachel to Rio Dulce, you must take CA-19 to arrive at the least possible time. Just make sure to do ample research about driving in Guatemala so you will know what to expect.

The cost to rent a car in Panajachel starts at USD 41.68. We recommend you make a reservation in advance!

Best day tours in Rio Dulce, Guatemala

Is this town and river truly ‘sweet?’ Find out for yourself – and don’t say I didn’t warn you! Get Your Guide has all the fun activities to do in Rio Dulce, Guatemala.

Frequently Asked Questions

How far is it from Panajachel to Rio Dulce?

The distance between Panajachel and Rio Dulce is 395 kilometers or 245.44 miles.

How long does it take to get from Panajachel to Rio Dulce?

It takes at least seven hours to get from Panajachel to Rio Dulce, Guatemala.

How do I travel from Panajachel to Rio Dulce without a car?

If you do not have a car with you on your trip to Rio Dulce, you can take a bus and shuttle, a shared shuttle, or a private transfer.

How much is the Panajachel to Rio Dulce shuttle?

The shared shuttle from Panajachel to Rio Dulce costs about USD 60 to 65.

Is there a direct bus from Panajachel to Rio Dulce?

No, there is no direct bus going from Panajachel to Rio Dulce. You can ride a bus that transfers you to a shared shuttle to Zone 1 and then finally to another bus that will take you to Rio Dulce.

How do I book a private transfer from Panajachel to Rio Dulce?

You can book online if you would like to ride a private transfer from Panajachel to Rio Dulce. Alternatively, you can ask for help from your accommodation to connect you with local transport services. Our partner travel agency can also assist you in making a booking.

Can I drive from Panajachel to Rio Dulce?

Yes, you can drive from Panajachel to Rio Dulce. You have to take CA-19 to arrive at the least possible time. Just make sure to do ample research about driving in Guatemala so you will know what to expect.

What is the cheapest way to get from Panajachel to Rio Dulce?

The cheapest way to get from Panajachel to Rio Dulce is by rental car. The cost to rent a car in Panajachel starts at USD 41.68. 

What is the fastest way to get from Panajachel to Rio Dulce?

The fastest way to get from Panajachel to Rio Dulce is by rental car. This is true as long as weather and traffic conditions are favorable.

What is the best way to get from Panajachel to Rio Dulce?

The best way to get from Panajachel to Rio Dulce is by rental car. This option saves you from making multiple transfers. This also allows you to extend your itinerary beyond Rio Dulce.

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