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If you don’t want to take a tourist shuttle that costs up to $50, you can do it as a local for less than half price. You’ll need to take 4 minivans, 2 buses and cross two borders, but it’s quite smooth and easy. So here’s how I did it. 

Total Cost: $10,50 
Total Duration: 5 – 6h

Copan – El Florido (border) 

There is only one minivan (colectivo) from Copan, the first one leaves at 5:20 (mine left around 5:30, they were not in a rush). The border office opens at 6 am so there’s not an earlier transport. The transport is comfortable, not many people early in the morning, pretty chill. 

copan to santa ana

Location: Hotel Plaza Magdalena (14.8388242, -89.1567346)
Price: L 25 
Schedule: From 5:20 am to 6 pm every 20 min
Duration: 20min

El Florido (border) – Aldea Vado Hondo

I arrived at the border earlier than the officers so was waiting around 10 min. They were actually on time and very nice. I was the only foreigner here and the first person in the line. It went super fast and at around 6:15 I was already on a bus. 

When you leave the building, just walk toward a ramp and there will be some collectivos already waiting. The company’s name is Transportes Vitegua Vilma. They even have guides that give you a ticket. Don’t throw them there will be more guides hopping on and off the bus to check them. I told them I needed to go to the border with El Salvador and they pointed to this bus company. 

The only thing is that they make a short stop in Jocotan in around 45 minutes. The bus doesn’t go further so they will just move you to another bus, more comfortable, that goes directly to Chiquimila. The driver will make sure that you get on the right bus that stands just a few meters away. They will even take your backpack for you to the bus. 

I also told the driver that I was going to the border with El Salvador, so he could stop in Aldea Vado Hondo. Jocatán is a busy town so be ready for a lot of people, babies, and chickens on board. 

Location: (14.8577420, -89.2266021)
Price: GTQ 25 
Schedule: from 3am 
Duration: 1h 45min

Aldea Vado Hondo – Quetzaltepeque 

This was even easier than I thought. They stopped at a junction and apparently, more people were changing buses. There was already a colectivo waiting on the other side of the road. So I got on a colectivo that goes to Esquipulas. I told the guide that I was going to the border with El Salvador and asked him where they could drop me off. He said in Quetzaltepeque. They also helped me with the bag. 

Location: (14.7310774, -89.5056102)
Price: GTQ 10   
Duration: 30min  

Quetzaltepeque —> Frontera Anguiatu 

Changing the colectivo was very easy again. When they stopped, there was already another colectivo right behind with a guide saying “Frontera”. That’s yours. The guide from a previous colectivo told him there was a person who’s going to the border, so he came to pick me up and helped me with my backpack. The only thing I needed to do is just get off the colectivo walk a few steps and get on the other one. 

Price: GTQ 30   
Total time: 45min

Frontera Anguiatu —> Metapan

As you get off the colectivo there will be exchange guys sooner than you will get your backpack from the back of the minivan. They wear a vest on the back saying “Intercambio autorizado”. They are both on Guatemala’s and El Salvador’s sides and all have the same rate of $1 – QTZ 8. I asked the border officer and he said it’s safe to change with them, so I did. 

When I got to the border they took my passport and I waited for around 10 minutes. They gave me 180 days. I didn’t need to go to an immigration office anymore. 

For the buses, you’ll need to walk a bit up from the borders and a bus stop is in front of one of the stores.

Location: (14.4116976, -89.4349380)
Price: $0,56
Schedule: not sure about the schedule, but mine was scheduled at 9:30 and left before 10 am. 
Time: 45min

Metapan —> Santa Ana 

I don’t even know how but I fell asleep and when I woke up, we were in Metapan. The bus change was super easy as for the whole time. Another “chicken bus” was standing right next to the place where they dropped me off. An older guide was very friendly and helped me to put my huge and heavy backpack up to the storage area. Apart of the guide having some religious speech during the journey, everything was quite normal. On the way, there are some food vendors who sell food. They always enter the bus walk through it and get off. 

Location: (14.3308636, -89.4421243)
Price: $0,80
Schedule: 10:25 am 
Time: 1h 15min

Will I have time for breakfast? 

As I wanted to spend as little time on the road as possible and the minivan/bus changing was pretty fast I didn’t have time to get something on my way from Honduras throughout Guatemala. There are some simple restaurants on the borders but at 6 am, everything is closed. You might be able to get something fast in Quetzaltepeque they stop right in front where they sell food. The only time I had was on a border in El Salvador. I got breakfast to go and finished it on a bus. So make sure you buy some snacks before you do this trip. 

What about the safety? 

I was traveling alone and for the whole time, I felt safe. The drivers and guides were helpful, they even carried my backpack and told me when and where to get off. Even when I wanted to take my big backpack to the other colectivo, they told me not to worry about it and the driver of the other colectivo would take it. 

The only thing that happened was that an older guy started to talk to me. He spoke English and offered to give me a phone number if something happened, but I refused. I knew it was one of those guys who try to be nice because a girl is traveling alone. Being polite and saying no will not make anyone aggressive. 

Also, the drivers don’t drive like crazy, they go in a normal phase. 

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