The road out of San Mateo Ixtatán  heads east and descends 28 kilometers to the ladino frontier town of Barillas, which lies at about the same altitude as Guatemala City. The town itself is fairly unremarkable, though it’s interesting in that it borders the Ixcán wilderness to the north and west.
Should you need to stay or eat here, the best options are located just opposite the town’s central square.
There is one daily bus and several pickups heading east to Playa Grande (Cantabal)  via a rough road. The government announced plans to construct a transversal highway stretching east-to-west from Izabal department through Alta Verapaz and Quiché all the way to Huehuetenango’s Mexican border. It broke ground in November 2009.