Flores… y Tikal!

The ride out of Belize was easier than expected! We took a collectivo to the border where we were rushed with money changers in our face. We actually DID need to change our money and they are on top of it, with American/Guatemalan/Belizian dollars, and a calculator for your own ease. We payed our exit fee and continued on to Guatemalas border. As soon as they saw our American passports, they asked for an “entrance fee” of 20Q each (only about 3 bucks) OR…if you have 5 US

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each…you can pay that! Ok…we knew this was prob BS, but were willing to pay as long as we could have a recipt! …”Oh…they want a reciept” the guy muttered under his breath to the head lady, in which she proceeded to flip through our passports pretending to look for something, and then handed them back without us having to pay the fee! Hehe oh corruption!

Flores from above!

About an hour taxi ride

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later and we arrived in a cute little town located on an island in the middle of the lake, called Flores. I immediately loved it – the old uneven cobblestone streets lined with local shops selling colorful Guatemalan gear. Similar to India, the local women in Guatemala actually wear their traditional dress still on an everyday basis! We were staying in a private room in a quieter hostel called “Hospedaje Yaxha” where you can take Spanish classes or eat at their cafe downstairs. Around the corner though was “Los Amigos”, the fun and colorful hostel with a cool garden full of hammocks…we moved there a couple days later!

Los Amigos!

On our way to the only ATM working on the island, we ran into Alex and Outti, our friends we met in Bullet Tree, and immediately organized a reunion dinner in town. Crazily enough, on our way to dinner, we ran into Stav, the other guy we were with in Bullet Tree, so he tagged along and it was one big CS reunion :) Super cheap dinner at the markets in the central square alongside an AMAZING Christmas Tree that lights up as it blares our the theme song

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to 2001 A Space Oddysey! Haha it was hilarious! Then, along with some other hostel friends, we all enjoyed beers at what became our favorite local spot in town! 3 beers for 15Q (2 bucks)!

Awesome Tree!


The main reason to visit Flores is as a stopping point to see the famous Mayan Ruins at Tikal. We woke up at 4am to catch the 4:30 shuttle to the ruins an hour away to be there for the park opening. 100% worth waking up, as you can be one of the only ones in the park if you skip the long-line for coffee and breakfast at the cafe they drop you at when you arrive. Unfortunately you cannot climb Temple II, the most famous image of Tikal. It really is just so steep..tourists are bound to slip and fall.


Awesome Moss!

What was recommended to us, and what we will also recommend, is to head straight to the back of the park to Temple IV, the highest temple that towers up above the rainforest canopy. It will most likely by super misty and foggy, but as the sun keeps rising, the fog slowly melts away to uncover the other temples sprouting out through the jungle. The mix of ruins with lush green trees, howling monkeys and talkative birds makes for a mystical experience. You beat the crowds first thing too!

Temple IV lookout!

This entry was posted in Central America, Hostels, National Parks and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Flores… y Tikal!

  1. Nanny Rochfort says:

    Beautiful place

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