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Guatemala – Flores and a Trip to Cobana

Published: 16.9.2019
From Belize we headed to Flores. As soon as we cross the border, they start chasing us on expensive tourist buses. We will not be fooled, we will cross the local bridge and ask for “non-touristic buses”. Of course, there are regular buses to Flores, which are much cheaper.

hranice

We stay in Flores on the mainland, also called Santa Elena. On the island of Isla de Flores itself we just walk. Located on Peten Itza Lake, it was formerly called Tayasal. In the 16th century the Spaniards of Taysal after several attempts to force the Indians to convert to the Christian faith destroyed and remained abandoned until the 18th century.

While Santa Elena is such an ordinary city, the island is basically aimed at tourists visiting the ruins of Tikal. It is full of hotels, restaurants, tourist offices and souvenir shops. In addition to the central square there are nice and pleasant streets, which are worth seeing, beautiful is also a walk along the promenade around the lake shore. But beware, because of the surface of the lake it is partially submerged.

Isla de Flores   Isla de Flores

From Flores we head to Coban. It's just another town to sleep in, but the journey here is quite adventurous. We will hitchhike to La Libertad, take the local bus from there and then just take the bus and finally the boat across the river.

Those bus trips are unforgettable. As many people are crammed into the minibus, we sit slowly on our lap, a few brave people travel even on the roof. Because it is raining, they are covered with a tarpaulin and they always stop before the check, the couple of boys are squeezed inside the car for a while, then they climb up again and go on the roof.

cesta do Cobánu   cesta do Cobánu

From Flores we head to Coban. It's just another town to sleep in, but the journey here is quite adventurous. We hitchhike to La Libertad, take the local bus from here and then just change the bus and finally the boat. It is full, so we say that we are unlucky and we will have to wait a few hours for the next. We don't have to take the backpacks, tie them to the roof and squeeze us to the others. But maybe it's better in the end, another minibus would look just as crowded.

Those bus trips are unforgettable. As many people are crammed into the minibus, we sit slowly on our lap, a few brave people travel even on the roof. Because it is raining, they are covered with a tarpaulin and they always stop before the check, the couple of boys are squeezed inside the car for a while, then they climb up again and go on the roof.

Cobán

Boat trip is probably the most pleasant. Finally we take the last bus to Coban where we stay. It's quite cold and raining. We will just hurry through the markets, try the local specialty tamales, which is a corn porridge coated in a banana leaf. We'll sleep and move on, but about a week later.

GPS: (Isla de Flores) 16°55'50.3"N 89°53'29.5"W

 

Text and photos: Tomáš Novák



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