Blogs from Flores, Petén Region, Guatemala, Central America Caribbean

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Wed 14 November - Day 19 to 19 - Flores We waved goodbye to Belize after leaving at 7.00am (with our breakfast box) then crossed into Guatemala to the charming island-town of Flores. This journey was in a private minibus. When departing Belize we paid a small fee of $40.00BZD (5.5BZD to $1AUD), pad our passports stamped then walked to the entrance of Guatemala, filling out their form to get an entry stamp. It was seamless process although some of our group lined up to get the form then lined up to submit the form. I thought that was ridiculously inefficient so went up to the counter past the long line of people to get several forms, which they gave me. Before getting to the border, I couldn’t find my passport in my small backpack, so ... read more
Tikal National Park Guatemala - Temple 2 (2)
Tikal National Park Guatemala - tucan (2)
Lunch stop on way to Flores Guatemala - El Muelle (2)


Flores is our last stop in Guatemala and we hope that we have left the best to last as this is our base for visiting the Mayan city of Tikal. As with many of these ancient sights it has become popular to go for sunrise, but here, that’s only really feasible during the winter months. They also charge a whopping 100Q extra for the privilege on top of an already significant 150Q entrance fee. I’m happy to have escaped from Antigua and though we pass through the outskirts, to have avoided Guatemala City altogether. We have a long day on a bus to reach Flores and arrive just after dark but this still gives us time to book a shuttle to take us to Tikal the next day leaving at 8am and returning at 3pm. Flores ... read more


Ich bin am Montag Abend, den 19. März, nach einer sehr langen Busfahrt in Flores angekommen. Ich bin mit einem Bus von Chetumal aus dorthin gefahren und war mit 3 anderen Leuten unterwegs, die ich im Hostel kennengelernt hatte : Laurenz aus Berlin und Anja und Skander (ein Paar) aus Bern. Laurenz hatte ich in der Bank kennengelernt, wo ich für ihn Geld getauscht hatte, da er seinen Pass nicht dabei hatte. Komischerweise verlangten sie dort den Reisepass, aber der Wechselkurs war gut, also was solls. Wie ich kurz vorher war auch Laurenz ohne Pass dorthin gegangen, aber da ich es schon hinter mir hatte zurück zum Hostel zu gehen, wollte ich ihm das ersparen und habe sein Geld mit umgetauscht. Die Busfahrt nach Flores war sehr lang und ermüdend gewesen und wir waren froh endlich ... read more
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I arrived to Flores on Monday evening, 19th of March. I got there via bus from Chetumal with 3 other people I had met in the hostel in Chetumal : Laurenz from Berlin in Germany and Anja and Skander (a couple) from Bern in Switzerland. I had actually met Laurenz at the bank in Chetumal, where he tried to exchange some money, but in the end I had to do it for him, because he didn’t have his passport with him. I had made that mistake earlier that day and had returned to our hostel in the meantime to get it. Since I wanted to spare him that extra trip, I exchanged both of our money. The bus ride to Flores was long and exhausting and we were very happy when we finally arrived in Flores. ... read more
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An early 5am wake up was required to catch out 6am bus to El Salvador. This was expected to take longer than the previous bus trip taking us around 12 hours to reach Santa Ana in the north of El Salvador. The bus became very full very quickly with many people standing, unable to find a seat. It wasn’t as nice as our previous bus and lacked working air conditioning, legroom or reclining chairs. Despite our previous luxurious experience in the bus, it was fine. After 11 hours of driving and stopping on the bus we arrived to the Guatemala -El Salvador border. The passengers queued up to get their exit stamps and later got entry stamps from El Salvador. Ben had told me about that despite there being an official stance suggesting there is no ... read more
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We woke up at 6am and I visited the local bakery for a cinnamon pastry and morning coffee for breakfast. It was a very pleasant walk two blocks with the colourful colonial style architecture and empty street. At 7.40am the bus picked us up from the hostel to take us into Guatemala City to transfer to Flores in the North. We spent most of the bus journey talking, planning the rest of the days on the trip and a brief stop for food too. At 8pm we arrived at Flores. We woke early the next morning and decided to spend the day relaxing on the island of Flores. By the waterfront there were many restaurants serving pancake breakfasts with honey, strawberries and unlimited coffee for $3. I enjoyed this while looking over the lake. After breakfast ... read more
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13.5. Die Fähre bringt uns nach Belize City, dort besteigen wir den Bus nach Belmopan, der Hauptstadt. Von der Landschaft sieht man nicht viel, da wiederum der Strasse entlang dichte Hecken wachsen. Ein gesprächiger Taxifahrer bringt uns zu unserer Unterkunft 10km ausserhalb des Ortes. Er erzählt uns, dass letzten August ein Hurrikan Stufe 1 (geringste Stärke) grosse Schäden angerichtet habe - geknickte Bäume und zerstörte Häuser zeugen noch davon. Im Jahr 1961 habe einer der Stufe 5 das Land derart zerstört, dass rund die Hälfte der Einwohner in die USA geflüchtet sei. Bei unserer Ankunft auf der Banana Bank Lodge herrscht dort Hochbetrieb: wir haben ausgerechnet den Tag der Feierlichkeiten zum 40-Jahr-Jubiläum erwischt. Diese beinhalten eine Western-Horse-Show durch die Angestellten – echte Cowboys! - und musikalische Unterhaltung durch einen Marimbaspieler (der auc... read more
echte Cowboys
virtuoser Marimbaspieler
wundersame Orchideen


It's a sad statement to make, but the title of this post is true. For real. I didn't kill it, and I didn't have to make sure that someone somewhere would kill a dog just so I could get a ride from Flores, Guatemala, to Palenque, Mexico. But a dog did die, and I was absolutely disgusted. It wasn't like the dog ran out in front of my transport, either. It was in the middle of the road, looking the opposite direction, and Carlos (the driver) did slow down. But not fast enough. As we were passing where the dog was, I heard a little thud but nothing else. I was shocked, and so I turned to look out the back window of the van and sure enougb, there was a dog lying on its side, ... read more
I took my life in my own hands this morning at breakfast in Guatemala
My ticket to Palenque. Not shown in the price: one dead dog
Getting out of Guatemala was the easy part


I arrived at Arcas in Peten, Guatemala after a long journey in taxi, colectivo and lancha (small boat). Arcas is a rehabilitation centre in the jungle for animals and birds. Some have come in as injured and others have been confiscated by the government from illegal trafficking. I stayed as a volunteer for two weeks and looked after parrots, toucans, baby crocodiles, turtles, a falcon and a macaw who kept trying to escape! Other animals at the centre included monkeys (spider and howler), racoons, coatimundis, grey wolf, puma, jaguar, ocelot, jaguarmundi, margay (small wild cat), agouti, peccari (wild boar), otter, stork, owls and an eagle. Looking after means feeding and lots of cleaning! The aim of the centre is to rehabilitate and release the animals and birds where possible so we were not allowed to touch ... read more


The first few nights in Guatemala I stayed in Flores. I´ts a little island in the Petén Itzá lake. There are some touists because the Tikal temples are nearby, but in general it´s nice and quiet. I decided not to visit Tikal, becaue I´ve already seen some temples and it was a little expenive. There will be many more temples on my way so I didn´t really mind missing out on this one. The next day I went with Lisa and Kasper -who stayed at the same hostel- to "the park". The guy at the reception told us that the park was nice to see. We thought he meant a reserve at the other side of the lake. He called a "lancha" (watertaxi) for us and there we went.. In stead of the park we thought ... read more
Tuk Tuk
Market in Flores




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