Tikal, Petén Department, Guatemala
4 days - December 2017
Time to leave paradise and discover a new country : Guatemala !
Another day in local ferry, buses and shuttle ... crossing the border was surprisingly easy and we started speaking Spanish again (speaking is a big word, more like saying a word or two ;) )
We arrived in Flores on the 26th of December, a great base to discover the last ruins of our trip- Tikal.
Travelling during school holidays is never a good idea and we struggled to find a double room in Flores in our budget for our 3 nights there. We found one at the entry of the island but the worst we had so far. We didn't have proper windows and the staff were super noisy having "meetings" in front of our room from 11pm to 4am! (And sometimes it's better not to understand Spanish because I can tell you that hearing them debating and negotiating for 30min about toilet papers at 3am is not fun !)
Despite the lack of sleep we had a good stay in Flores with unlimited views on the lake Peten Itza from the terrace of the hostel.
Flores reminded us a bit of Mediterranean cities with cobbled street, a beautiful church, coloured little houses and perfect sunset on the lake.
The island is quite small and it took us a maximum of 15min to walk around it but the peaceful atmosphere and many cheap drinks (10 quetzal (1.5 AUD!) for a Mojito) on the hotel terraces overlooking the lake can make you want to stay here for a looong time.
One day our new friends convinced to take a lancha (small boat) to cross the lake and discover a zoo on another small island. While I wouldn't recommend the zoo, the boat ride was really pleasant! You can also rent kayaks to discover the mangrove.
The main reason why people come here is to do a day-trip to visit Tikal.
We couldn't miss that and decided to take the 4.30am bus to reach Tikal at 6am (opening hour). Early morning wake up but so worth it ! The site is huge and we walked around 10km feeling like Indiana Jones again. The Mayan ruins are constantly changing as the site is still being explored and new ruins are discovered every year. The image i had of Tikal was the thin pyramid and I was not disappointed to see it in person :)
Besides we saw many animals like birds, monkeys (we learnt that it's not good to stand below them as they tend to poo to protect their territory! We did that for 30min 10 days ago in Calakmul but luckily didn't get attacked) and most importantly : our first Toucans! They were standing proudly 6-7m above us. Beautiful birds!
Flores is not the traditional Guatemala we got to discover a bit later but a great introduction to it !
Besides we met 4 nice travellers with whom we travelled with the next 3 weeks so quite glad we stopped there :)
# no entry fee to get into Guatemala
# 40 BZD dollar to leave Belize
# 20 USD from Belize city to Flores (6h)
# we don't recommend the hotel Mirador Del Lago. 120 QTZ for a double room but super noisy and small rooms.
# 60 QTZ for the return shuttle to Tikal
# 150 QTZ for Tikal entry fee. Open at 6am. You can enter the park prior 6am for an extra 100 QTZ to attend sunrise from the top pyramid but there is mist pretty much every morning so not really worth it...
# go there early as when we left at 1pm, it felt like Disneyland with all the tourists...
Feb 8, 2018 - 05:07 AM
Très intéressant, nous qui voulons partir l'année prochaine pour un tour des Amériques, on vous suit avec plaisir. PMH
Christelle & Cedric
Feb 8, 2018 - 05:00 PM
Nous recommandons le Guatemala ! Plus d'articles a venir :)