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As I didn’t have a guidebook for Guatemala and because the journey was long and included changes in Guatemala City I decided to book the shuttle service at one of the offices in Flores for the trip between Flores and Antigua. It was 250 quetzales (July 2009).
The bus was supposed to leave Flores at 9.20 but it didn’t arrive until later. In Flores it picked up tourists and then went on to the bus terminal in Santa Elena. In Santa Elena the new passengers were scanned for metal and they had to show their bags before going on the bus. Around 10.15 we left Santa Elena. There were many foreign tourists on the bus, but they all went off in Rio Dulce, except one. At three o’clock we stopped at a restaurant to eat. When we were on the road again a pickup car had an accident and landed on the roof in front of the bus, but luckily the driver of the car could come out of the car himself. An ambulance arrived quickly and then we continued.
At 18.30 we arrived at the small bus terminal of the bus company in Guatemala City. Someone with my name on a sign was waiting and I was taken to a minibus, in which I was the only passenger. It was rush hour and lots of traffic out of Guatemala City. In Antigua the driver wanted to take me to another hotel than the one I had intended to go to, but I didn’t want to so he drove on to Casa Amarilla. It was then eight o’clock and I was happy I had paid for the shuttle. It was good to be driven to the door of the hotel as it was dark and it was good not having to change buses (and probably bus terminals) in Guatemala City in the evening.
Written Dec 11, 2009
It is easy to book transport from Flores to Tikal. I booked from the hotel the evening before going and I booked a seat on the 5am bus, the first bus leaving in the morning. The return trip was 60 quetzales (July 2009).
The bus drives around Flores and I was picked up outside my hotel at 5.15. When we arrived in Tikal the bus stopped at Jaguar Inn and Restaurant and there they had prepared sandwiches, tea and coffee for breakfast. It was convenient and quick to buy the breakfast hear. A sandwich and coffee was 25 quetzales. At 7.00 I had paid the admission to the Archaeological Park and was on my way to the ruins.
Coming back from the ruins I quickly visited the two museums and than caught the bus at 14.00 back to Flores. The company had several buses leaving for Flores in the afternoon and the seat was not booked in advance, which is good as you don’t know how much time you will need at the site.
Written Dec 6, 2009
I took the first minibus in the morning leaving Copán for the border. It left at 6.00 and was 20 lempiras (July 2009). At the border the customs went quick as I was the only passenger from the minibus who needed to get my passport stamped. On the Guatemalan side the bus going to Chiquimula waited for me. For that bus I paid 25 quetzales.
In Chiquimula the company Maria Elena has got buses to Flores/Santa Elena at 6, 10 and 15. At their office I bought a ticket for 100 quetzales for the 10 o’clock bus and then went out to find something to eat. At one of the eateries at the market I bought a plate with meat, rice and beans and a pepsi to drink. It was served with tortillas and it was 19 quetzales.
After a few hours drive towards Santa Elena/Flores the bus broke down. Someone were sent out to buy new screws, but the only ones they could get hold of were too long, so the men then tried to shorten them with the help of a stone and a pair of tongs. I don’t know if they succeeded, because after waiting for more than half an hour another, bigger bus heading for Santa Elena stopped. It was from another company, but I didn’t mind paying more as long as I arrived before dark. On this bus I paid 40 quetzales. There were another two hours until we reached Santa Elena. As we entered Santa Elena the passengers going to Flores had to change for a shuttle bus (it didn’t cost any extra). It took us to our hotels, and at the same time they tried to get us to sign up for a tour to Tikal the next day.
Updated Dec 5, 2009
San Juan travel agency based in Flores, Guatemala, operates a bus from Flores to Belize City via Melchor de Mencos. It leaves Flores at 5 o’clock in the morning which, God willing, gives you the chance to catch the 12 o'clock water taxi from the Belize terminal to Caye Caulker. One little detail - if you need a visa to visit the country of Belize make sure you have passport-size photos. Otherwise you will be dispatched back to Guatemala, where the photo shop is and thus miss the chance to board the bus again. The driver’s patience is limited!
Written Mar 23, 2009
The airport transportation is reduced to taxi service only. The local "union" of taxi drivers is firmly entrenched and would not dare to negotiate a price, a bit of a Cuban syndrome. The price is the equivalent of 6USD unless after a lot of persuasion the driver does not figure that you might be a customer on the following day to Tikal and lower his fare to 5USD. The ride from the airport to Flores is less than 5min. and Santa Elena maybe 2min!
Updated Mar 7, 2009
There is a minibus service organized by San Juan agency practically on the hour from Flores to Tikal and back. The price is exceptional compared to the taxi offers from the touts at the airport who would ask you for 60USD for the day. Plus you have the flexibility of staying in Tikal for a day or two.
Written Mar 7, 2009
TAG is little known airline with quite a bit of experience and "home-maid" feel to it. The ride was excelent albeit delayed. Observation of a following day flight gives the impression that the original cause of delay, fog, was highly improbable.
Updated Jan 25, 2009
buses leave from Santa Elena, across the causeway from Flores. these are available destinations:
Guate (60-80Q) - Buses del Norte, Linea Dorada, Maya de Oro. 1st and 2nd class buses.
Finca Ixobel (Poptún) /Rio Dulce (20-40Q) - 2nd class buses or vans going to Guate. if van, tuktuk to Finca Ixobel or ask driver how much to take you all the way there.
Tikal (15Q) - regular bus at 13.00. continues to Uaxactún.
Carmelita (20Q) - 1 bus at 13.00 and early return. base for El Mirador hike.
Bethel (30Q) - 7.00, 8.00 and 13.00. cross river and continue to Mexico.
Melchor (15Q) - minivan every 3 hrs or so. cross bridge and continue to Belize.
Sayaxché/Cobán - minivan or regular bus. change at Sayaxché after river crossing if Van. Bus continues through. minibuses to Lanquín from Cobán.
Written Mar 18, 2008
Flores’ small airport has no jetways or luggage carousel. Nor does it have air conditioning which means that the heat and humidity can be quite oppressive as you wait for your departing flight. Pass the time by doing some last-minute souvenir shopping or get a coffee drink at the espresso bar.
Written Jan 13, 2008
Mundo Maya International Airport (FRS) is the only International Airport in Guatemala, aside from the one in Guatemala City. The airport is quite near Flores, located a little more than a mile from the causeway. TACA and TAG airlines have daily flights between Guatemala City and Flores, but are reportedly frequently delayed in either direction. Mayan Island Air and Tropic Air have regular service from Belize City. TACA and Mexicana fly from Cancun. Continental flew from Houston, Texas once a week, but this service is reportedly suspended. There are shuttle vans direct for Tikal from the airport, and many tourists coming through the airport skip Flores altogether in their hurry to get to the ruins. This is a mistake in my view for a number of reasons, but you choose what you want to do.
Written Jul 21, 2007