Flores Transportation

  • TAG Saab plane on Flores tarmac
    TAG Saab plane on Flores tarmac
    by Assenczo
  • Tuk tuks
    Tuk tuks
    by Jim_Eliason
  • Tuk tuks
    Tuk tuks
    by Jim_Eliason

Best Rated Transportation in Flores

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    Minibus

    by calcaf38 Written Jan 1, 2007

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    Flores Bus Terminal
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    The minibuses are what we call vans in the U.S.

    Actually, I took a minibus in Antigua which was a twin of the one we use in the retirement community where I work, with a disused wheelchair lift in the back.

    Although it seems intimidating at first, it is all easy to understand, and very cheap. In my experience, the conductors place the bags of foreign travelers in a safe spot - instead of on the roof with everyone else's. See the transportation tips on my Sayaxche and Coban pages for more details.

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    Mundo Maya International Airport

    by calcaf38 Written Jan 1, 2007

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    Flores has the second busiest airport in Guatemala. It is a typical tropical airport, open to the elements, and patrolled by youths with big weapons. As soon as you descend from your plane you know: "This is IT."

    Unfortunately, FRS has recently lost two carriers. Tikal Jets went belly up in August 2006, and Continental discontinued its weekly service from Houston on November 25 (I was on the very last, very empty flight).

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    Bus from Mexico to Flores

    by atufft Updated Jan 8, 2007

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    Inside the Bethel-Flores bus
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    After crossing the river border at Bethel, a bus departs at about 3pm for Flores and ultimately heads for Guatemala City. Be sure to check the schedule in advance when you arrive in Bethel because this is the only bus, and an overnight stay in Bethel is likely to mean camping as I didn't see any hotels of any kind. The old bus will load mostly locals, and we saw turkeys being loaded into a fumey compartment near the engine. As the bus works its five hour bumpy ride toward Flores it fills up with passengers so that by the time it arrives in Flores/Santa Elena, the bus is full of passengers. There are very few tourists on this route, making this a true adventure tour. Even so, the seats were reasonably comfortable and the view out toward the flatlands of the Peten not unpleasant even after the sun had set. Each pueblo stop was a cause for great excitement and for food vendors to display their fruits and snacks. The ticket price is the equivalent of $8- as I recall. Don't try to get reservations in advance as there is not formal bus station in Bethel. The bus will arrive in Santa Elena, and from there one can either walk or take a taxi. We choose to walk as the taxi drivers wanted sizeable sums for a rather short distance. If one chooses, a passenger can stay on this bus and continue to Guatemala City, an additional six hours or so, as I recall.

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    Tuk tuks

    by calcaf38 Written Jan 1, 2007

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    Just like in Luang Prabang, the easiest and most cheerful mode of transportation in Flores is the tuk tuk. Just plop your bag behind the seat, hold on to your hat, and enjoy. You would not take a tuk tuk for long distances, but it is perfect to go from Flores to Santa Elena's bus station.

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    Hiring a Boatman

    by calcaf38 Written Jan 1, 2007

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    I don't want to generalize, but the boatmen I had in Guatemala were a tad bit scary. Unlike taxi drivers, bus drivers and tuk tuk drivers, boatmen were somewhat aggressive and not too friendly.

    My boatman in Flores was about 4 1/2 ft. tall, and he was as cute as the little girl with the red raincoat at the end of the movie "Don't Look Now."

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    Flores/Santa Elena Transport guide

    by gfinesilver Written Mar 18, 2008

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    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.

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    Minivan transport around Peten

    by atufft Updated Jul 20, 2007

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    Minivan in Peten Region of Guatemala
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    In Santa Elena, near the market, there is a minivan stop where passengers can board and wait to depart. When the van is loaded with passengers and cargo, it departs. These minivans are generally in good repair and the proprietary drivers sensible about their driving. Most drivers are sensible about the arrangement of rooftop cargo, but if you are hoisting your backpack up there, I'd watch to make sure it's reasonably placed among the many other types of boxes and bags strapped in. It may be possible to pay for an extra seat if bringing the backpack inside, but otherwise trying to insist that anything larger than a purse or daypack be part of the cramped passenger quarters will be regarded as a nuisance to the locals that regularly use this service. From Flores/Santa Elena minivans depart for the east bank of Rio Passion, where small boats shuttle passengers across to pueblo Sayaxche. This was about a $5- ride, as I recall. Waiting minivans fill up and head to Coban and other places in the Mayan Highlands, another $5- or so. These vans are loaded with locals, and tourists are rare. For transportation to Tikal, make arrangements at your hotel the day before. Tikal destine tourist vans are considerably more expensive because they are almost exclusively dedicated for tourist service and provide a round-trip ride. Expect to pay several times the cost of an equivalent distance minivan ride elsewhere, but it's still fairly cheap and not a financial impediment, except for the downride stingy.

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    3-Wheeler from Santa Elena

    by atufft Updated Feb 5, 2006

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    3-wheeler in Santa Elena/Flores
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    Flores is so small that foot transportation is really the best way to get around in the pueblo, but after a hike around Santa Elena, a ride back across the causeway can save the feet from exhaustion. There are running around Santa Elena these three wheel motorcycle vehicles, recently imported from Asia. Bargain for the price and hold on. I can't recall what we paid, but I'm sure that it was a few dollars at most. It was either this, or wait for the old school bus to go by. The one we rode in was virtually new, but the owner had some problems with the gas line, as I recall. Three average sized people can squeeze into the backseat, but prepare for the low overhead. These drivers aren't dare devils though.

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    To Tikal from Flores

    by MalenaN Written Dec 6, 2009

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    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.

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    From Flores to Antigua

    by MalenaN Written Dec 11, 2009

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    Security check

    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.

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    TAG is not just a tag

    by Assenczo Updated Jan 25, 2009

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    TAG Saab plane on Flores tarmac

    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.

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    Tikal bound

    by Assenczo Written Mar 7, 2009

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    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.

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    Airport taxi

    by Assenczo Updated Mar 7, 2009

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    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!

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    Flying into Flores

    by Blatherwick Written Mar 28, 2005

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    Grupo Taca

    The airport is 2km east of Santa Elena. Minibuses and local buses head into town. The cost is usually around 10 Quetzal.

    I flew into Flores from Cancun. I flew Grupo Taca but there is an airline called Tikal Jets as well. There is a $3 US departure tax when you leave from Flores to another country.

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    To Flores from Copán Ruínas (Honduras)

    by MalenaN Updated Dec 5, 2009

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    Lake Peten

    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.

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