Armed robberies of “chicken buses” have increased dramatically in recent months throughout Guatemala. They have been robbed on the routes between Guatemala City and Antigua, Lake Atitlan and the both coastal highways. Antigua had no chicken bus service for two days this month after drivers went on strike to protest the lack of police protection. And of course, several chicken buses drive off a cliff or crash into another bus or vehicle every year.
Shuttles are far safer, though do occasionally get robbed. And shuttles don’t cost much more: from San Pedro to the capital, Q50 versus Q30. If you must take a bus, do not travel after dark, especially on the Pacific coast between Mexico and Salvador.