You’ve landed on this post because you want to know how to get from Antigua to Semuc Champey. Getting to Semuc Champey from Antigua is pretty straightforward if you go the typical tourist route and I’m here to tell you that it’s going to be a long haul.

Most travelers stop in Semuc Champey for a few days en route to Tikal from Antigua or vice versa. Getting to Semuc Champey from Antigua or from Guatemala City will take a bit of effort but it’s worth the energy.

In this article, I’ll go over the different ways to get from Antigua to Semuc Champey, and at the end of the post I’ll add any useful tips that will aid you in a trip to Guatemala.

Antigua to Semuc Champey Travel

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But first, are you in a hurry? The easiest way to get to Semuc Champey from Antigua is a on a shared shuttle. You can prebook your shuttles from Antigua to Lanquin online here.

Lanquin is the closest town to Semuc Champey and from Lanquin its a 45 minute ride down a bumpy road in the back of a 4 wheel drive vehicle.

Shuttles to Lanquín cost about $40. Book your Antigua Semuc Champey shuttle now if you don’t have time to read the whole article or are trying to book transportation at this moment.

Book a Shuttle to Semuc Champey →

Streets on Antigua Guatemala

Semuc Champey to Antigua Distance

The distance from Antigua to Semuc Champey is approximately 200 miles by road. Travel time can vary significantly depending on the route taken and road conditions.

Typically, the journey by bus takes around 8 to 10 hours, as it involves navigating through winding mountain roads and rural areas. Plan for a full day of travel. If you despise long bus journeys, consider breaking up the journey with an overnight stay in Coban.

I traveled all around Guatemala for 7 weeks, using local tourist transportation. This was by far the most uncomfortable and exhausting bus ride. My knees were jammed and pressed up against the seat in front of me.

To make matters worse, once we arrived at our hostel in the jungle next to Semuc Champey we started to feel unwell. By the time morning came, we were in a delirious haze and couldn’t muster up the courage to visit Semuc Champey.

Woof. But we’ll save that story for another post.

Antigua Guatemala to Semuc Champey
Beautiful building in Antigua Guatemala

Ways to Get from Antigua to Semuc Champey

🛵 Okay, let’s get into the details of the different ways to get from Antigua to Semuc Champey or from Guatemala City to Semuc Champey.

  • Tourist Shuttle from Antigua to Semuc Champey
  • Public Chicken Bus
  • On a Tour from Antigua
  • Renting Car from Guatemala City Airport

Everybody has different priorities when it comes to transportation and traveling around a country. My top priorities are to get somewhere safely, swiftly and for a good price.

The transportation through Guatemala is sometimes grueling, sweaty and very bumpy but it is well connected throughout the country. If you’re willing to be patient, you’ll be able to explore the entire country via tourist transport and/or public transportation.

Bus Travel in Guatemala

Antigua to Semuc Champey Shuttle

The easiest and quickest way to reach Semuc Champey from Antigua or Guatemala City is on a shared shuttle. These shared shuttle services run daily from Antigua, departing at 8 am.

Expect these mini-vans to be packed, trust me all seats will be accounted for. That means your bags will be strapped to the top of the van with rope and usually under a tarp.

I never ran into any issues but if you carry a lot of important electronic equipment like me, the experience is always a bit unsettling. If you are traveling Guatemala during rainy season make sure you bring a rain cover for your bag!

You can book a shuttle at any of the tour shops in town, with the front desk of your hotel or hostel or you can book it online through Guatego. Guatego is a reliable transportation company that operates through Central America.

It costs about the same price if you were to book in person and saves you the time trying to shop around for your ride. That means more time for eating and activities 👍.

The shared Antigua to Semuc Champey shuttle will pick you up from your accommodations in Antigua and drop you off in front of the gas station in Lanquin.

Lanquin is a small town and if you are staying in the jungle closer to Semuc Champey, your accommodation will be able to help arrange transportations from the shuttle drop off area.

The shared tourist shuttles are cost-effective options and for a more stress free experience, I would book a shuttle to Lanquin in advance so you can spend more time hiking volcanos and less time looking for safe, comfortable, and reliable transportation.

Book a Shared Shuttle to Semuc Champey →

chicken buses in Guatemala

Public Chicken Bus to Lanquin

The cheapest way to get to Lanquin for Antigua is one the public bus. You’ve probably heard of the notorious chicken buses that are a part of Guatemala’s public transit network.

Chicken buses are old US school buses that have been decked out with lights and a sooped up engine. The reason they are called chicken buses is since locals frequently see them on the bus with a basket full of chickens.

Although this is the least expensive alternative by far, it is not the most convenient because it makes a lot of stops. It’s more of a novelty experience for the travelers like myself that aren’t backpackers and are not über-luxury travelers taking private drivers on a daily basis either. We’re somewhere in between.

The Antigua to Semuc Champey bus option requires many stops and transfers. I would not recommend this option, unless you’re fluent in Spanish, love a good challenge, and don’t mind being smooshed up against your neighbor, people and chickens.

Semuc Champay in Guatemala

Lanquin to Semuc Champey

All of the shared shuttles from Antigua will drop you off in Lanquin at the same place, in front of the Estacion De Servicio Puma (gas station). There are many accommodation options in town and many travelers stay in Lanquin.

There are also a few hostels located closer to Semuc Champey. If you choose to stay in the jungle near the entrance of Semuc Champey, your hostel can arrange transportation to the place in advance.

Transportation to Semuc Champey will more than likely bein the back of a pickup truck, locally known as a “camioneta”. You can often find camionetas departing from Lanquin to Semuc Champey.

Although they may not have a set schedule and may wait until they are full before departing. The journey from Lanquin to Semuc Champey takes about 45 minutes to an hour.

Where to stay in Chichicastenango

Top Places to Stay Near Semuc Champey

  • Greengos Hotel – $$ Fabulous hostel located 5 minutes walking distance to the Semuc Champey entrance. Has awesome commons area with plenty of hammocks and hang out spots.
  • El Portal De Champey – $ Located about a ten minute walk from Semuc Champey. You can book private rooms or dorms.
  • Utopia Eco Hotel – $ Peaceful hotel in Lanquin. Tasty food, friendly staff, and tranquil atmosphere. The staff are warm and friendly.
  • Viñas Hotel – $ Exceptional hotel located in town walking distance to the market and a 45 minute pickup truck ride to the natural wonder.
  • Hostal El Nawal – $ Cozy hostel in the jungle about a 25 minute to Semuc Champey.
  • Pachamaya River Hostel – $ Great location right next to the river. The rooms are spacious and comfy.
  • Mountain Nest – Amazing views and a great choice for couples and those seeking a remote and tranquil stay.
Antigua to Semuc Champey Travel

Visit Semuc Champey on a Tour

Another good way to visit Semuc Champey is on a multi-day guided group tour. This tour is 3 days and takes you on an adventure through central Guatemala’s highlights and leaves from Antigua.

This tour takes you to the alpine town of Cobán, on a hike through the El Biotopto del Quetzal forest and finally to the pools of Semuc Champey.

Book a 3 Day Tour of Cobán & Semuc Champey →

Pepian a traditional dish in Guatemala
Honorable Mentions of the best restaurants in Antigua Guatemala

Rent a Car to Drive to Semuc Champey

The last way to get from or to Antigua from Semuc Champey is in a rental car. Renting a car at the Guatemala City airport is a straightforward process. I would definitely reserve a rental car in advance.

The transportation system throughout Guatemala isn’t always the most comfortable but it is convenient. If you don’t mind driving on some rural roads and like to get off-the-beaten path, this could be a good option for you, especially when exploring this part of the country.

Rent a Car for Guatemala → 

💳 Travel Hack: If you reserve your rental car in Guatemala with the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, rental insurance is covered through the credit car.

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    How to Get to Semuc Champey from Antigua FAQ’s

    Guatemala Travel FAQ's

    Can you Fly to Semuc Champey?

    Semuc Champey does not have its own airport, so you cannot fly directly to Semuc Champey.

    How Long Does it Take to Get to Semuc Champey?

    The journey from Antigua Guatemala to Semuc Champey typically takes around 8 to 10 hours by road. However, travel times can vary depending on several factors, including mode of transportation, road conditions, and any stops along the way. Plan for a full day of travel.

    How to Book a Shuttle to Semuc Champey from Antigua

    Shuttles from Antigua to Lanquin run daily and cost around $40. You can pre-book a shared shuttle here to save time.

    Book a Shared Shuttle to Semuc Champey →

    What Luggage to Travel Guatemala With

    I travel the world full time and I use this Carry-On Roller Suitcase and this Travel Backpack/Camera Bag and I absolutely love these brands.

    No, I am not sponsored (not yet at least 🙌🏼, Goals) but these pieces of travel gear have withstood me rolling, dragging, carrying, stuffing, and banging them around for two full years of travel all over the world. Still haven’t had to replace them.

    Antigua a day trip from Guatemala City

    Antigua & Semuc Champey Guatemala Travel Guides

    Antigua is the most popular destination in Guatemala and there are plenty of things to do in Antigua. Check out the guides below to help plan your travels through Antigua and Semuc Champey.

    Semuc Champey Travel Guide – What to do, where to stay, how long to stay & tips to know before you go.

    31 Awesome Things to do in Antigua (+ Day Trips) – This is the big guide on everything to do in Antigua, plus all the awesome day trips nearby.

    14 Best Hotels in Antigua Guatemala – Antigua accommodation guide on the best places to stay in Antigua including best hotels and hostels.

    13 Must-Eat Restaurants in Antigua – There are so many delicious restaurants in Antigua that if it made the list, its sure to be 🔥.

    Overnight Trek on Acatenango Volcano – This 2 day, 1 night adventure takes you up Acatenango Volcano for front row seats of Volcan Fuego erupting through the night. Located an hour from Antigua.

    Hiking Pacaya Volcano – An active volcano that takes you on a hike through lava rocks.

    15 of the Coolest Places to Visit in Guatemala – Get inspired on other beautiful places to visit in Guatemala.

    20 Epic Things to do in Guatemala – If you need more reason to book that ticket, check out these 20 awesome things to do in Guatemala.

    How to Get from Guatemala City to Antigua – Find out all the ways to get from the capital to Antigua.

    Guatemala Travel Vlogs

    Would you rather see what traveling Guatemala is like? Joe and I spent 7 weeks in Guatemala eating, exploring ancient ruins and hiking volcanos. It was an epic adventure.

    Check them out after you read this post and please subscribe or give us a thumbs up. It doesn’t cost you anything and really helps us be able to continue creating free content for you to enjoy 🙂.

    View from Pacaya Volcano

    Final Thoughts on How to Get from Antigua to Semuc Champey

    Getting to Semuc Champey from Antigua is pretty straightforward but long, sweaty, cramped, and bumpy.

    Semuc Champey is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Guatemala so it’s worth the exhausting trip. If you found this article useful, let fellow travelers know in the comments below 👇.

    Guatemala Travel Guides ↓

    📍 Planning a trip to Guatemala? Guatemala is a hidden gem and full of history, culture, and natural wonders. Check out the guides below for more inspiration and aid in planning your travels to Guatemala.

    30 Guatemala Tips for Traveling Guatemala 

    El Paredon Travel Guide | What to Do, Where to Eat, Sleep & More 

    San Marcos | Lake Atitlan’s Most Spiritual Town

    Everything You Need to Know About the Chichicastenango Market

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