All School Buses Go to Heaven! – A Guide to Chicken Buses in Latin America

Guide to Chicken Buses - CheckMyBus

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Do all school buses go to heaven? The answer may vary depending on your concept of heaven but if you think heaven lies somewhere between the Central American rainforests and the Andean mountains of Peru, then you might be onto something!

 

Say hello to the chicken bus!

Guide to Chicken Buses - CheckMyBus

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It’s a train! It’s a plane! No, it’s a… chicken bus?!

Chicken buses are usually old refurbished school buses from America and Canada that, instead of going to bus heaven, have found renewed life in countries such as Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Colombia, Venezuela and Peru.

Having ditched the school bus yellow for bright and exciting rainbow-like patterns, the buses are also adorned with religious motifs meant to protect the drivers and their passengers during the usually bumpy rides.

Besides being a genuine means of transportation, chicken buses are a popular bucket list item for many travelers looking to discover the hidden treasures of the Americas.

Chicken Bus Facts

The coop

Guide to Chicken Buses - CheckMyBus
Chicken buses get their name from the fact that drivers cram in as many people as possible for as long as the ride lasts. Despite this, they remain popular with locals and some adventurous tourists as they provide a cheap alternative to more modern buses.
 

Paradise City

Guide to Chicken Buses - CheckMyBus

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Besides being easy on your budget, chicken buses sometimes reach places normal buses can’t reach and cover scenic routes with breathtaking views. You can go from crowded cities to misty rainforests to sandy beaches with pristine waters in under two hours.
 

Nobody said it would be easy

Guide to Chicken Buses - CheckMyBus

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There might be a small price to pay, however, as the roads aren’t usually in great condition and most bus rides include nausea-inducing, cliff-side bends zigzagging up and down narrow streets shared by vehicles driving in both directions.
 
 

Perhaps to muffle the loud gasps and heartbeats of inexperienced passengers, drivers also have loud music blowing from surprisingly hi-tech sound systems. (The music, in turn, muffles the loud sound of the horn everytime the drivers are about to turn a blind bend at high speeds).

Still, if you want to experience the real local culture, chicken buses are a great way to get there. You’ll surely learn to deal with personal space issues and get to understand the culture in ways not possible on trains or planes. You’ll see religious preachers, vendors selling miracle cures and get to experience each country the way the locals do.

It might not be the most comfortable bus ride but it offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience and might even provide some valuable life lessons.

More than a thousand words

Guide to Chicken Buses - CheckMyBus

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Guide to Chicken Buses - CheckMyBus

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Guide to Chicken Buses - CheckMyBus

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Guide to Chicken Buses - CheckMyBus

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