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Public Transportation in Livingston

Mastering the public transportation system in Livingston is a crucial aspect of adapting to life there. This article provides a detailed overview of the available local transit options.

Livingston, a vibrant town located on the Caribbean coast, offers a unique blend of Garifuna, Afro-Caribbean, Maya and Ladino cultures. The town is not accessible by road, making public transportation a vital part of life for both locals and expats. The primary modes of public transportation in Livingston include water taxis, tuk-tuks, and walking. With these options, an expat could comfortably live in Livingston without a car, embracing the local way of life.

Water Taxis

Water taxis, also known as lanchas, are the primary mode of transportation to and from Livingston. They provide a scenic and efficient way to travel between Livingston and other towns along the Rio Dulce and the Caribbean coast. Water taxis are generally safe, even at night, as they are the main form of transportation in the area. However, it’s always advisable to be cautious and aware of your surroundings, especially if you’re a woman traveling alone or with children. The cost of a water taxi ride varies depending on the distance, but a trip from Livingston to Puerto Barrios, for example, typically costs around 35 Quetzales (approximately $4.50). The water taxis operate on a schedule, but it’s flexible and often depends on the number of passengers.


Tuk-tuks, or mototaxis, are another common form of transportation in Livingston. These three-wheeled motorized vehicles are a quick and affordable way to get around town. Tuk-tuks are generally safe, but like any form of transportation, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings. The cost of a tuk-tuk ride in Livingston is usually around 5 Quetzales (approximately $0.65), making it a very affordable option. The routes are not fixed and the tuk-tuk drivers are usually flexible, willing to drop you off at your desired location within the town.


Given the small size of Livingston, walking is a viable and popular option for getting around. The town is relatively safe, and many locals and expats choose to walk to their destinations. However, it’s always important to be cautious, especially at night or when walking alone. There are no costs associated with walking, and it provides a great opportunity to explore the town at your own pace, take in the sights, and interact with the locals.

Public Buses

While Livingston itself is not accessible by road, public buses are available in the surrounding areas. These buses, known as chicken buses, are a common form of transportation in Guatemala. They are typically old school buses that have been colorfully painted and repurposed. Chicken buses are an affordable way to travel, with fares usually costing a few Quetzales depending on the distance. However, they can be crowded and are not always the most comfortable or reliable option. It’s also worth noting that while they are generally safe, petty theft can occur, so it’s important to keep an eye on your belongings.

In conclusion, while Livingston, Guatemala may not have the extensive public transportation systems found in larger cities, it offers a variety of options that make it possible to live comfortably without a car. Whether you’re taking a scenic water taxi ride along the Rio Dulce, zipping around town in a tuk-tuk, or enjoying a leisurely walk, you’ll find that getting around Livingston is part of the adventure.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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