Guatemalan Adventures

Week 7 – Flores Island to Lake Atitlan

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A ruin temple over 60 metres high
Temple at Tikal National Park

After a long journey from Caye Caulker, we finally arrived in Flores, Guatemala. It was time to start the Guatemalan adventures. On Flores, we only went and grabbed some food and settled in for the night.

The next day we explored the ruins of Tikal National Park. These ruins were amazing. They are situated in the middle of a jungle where these impressive Mayan ruins are scattered throughout acres upon acres of land.

As I am a budget traveller we opted to explore the ruins by ourselves. It was doable. However, we did nearly miss the famous Temple 5! Wondering through this magical jungle you were surrounded by wildlife. Birds filled the air with their tune and monkeys swung from tree to tree.

The monkeys howled loudly, they were everywhere. I feel I spent more time watching them than looking at the ruins. This experience of wandering ruins without information boards would have been better with the guide. This is so you understand the history of the ruins. Here, I would recommend getting the guide plus it wasn’t too much extra money anyway.

Guatemalan Adventures to Lanquin

Waterfall Pools lined with lush green forest during the Guatemalan adventures
Waterfall Pools at Semuc Champey

After, exploring the ruins, the next day we took a tourist bus to Semuc Champey. Semuc Champey was quite the trek to get to. It included a 12-hour bus ride through very windy mountain passes multiple times. Therefore due to the nature of the journey this ride was hell. I couldn’t tell you how many mountain passes we crossed to get there but it was unpleasant. The windy roads seemed to last forever and worse was knowing that we would be doing it all over again to get to Lake Atitlan.

Semuc Champey in my opinion was not worth the torturous journey to get there. I had seen it online with a lot of hype yet for me, it really didn’t live up to it. Normally, I am not disappointed with nature but I felt that I had seen better. The hike was a tough one and long to get to the viewing platform that overlooks the natural limestone bridge. All in all this leg of the journey could be skipped. Also, It was not cheap getting to and from Lanquin nor do hostels have cooking facilities. Therefore, for a traveller on a strict budget, this trip really starts to add up.

Exploring Lake Atitlan

green trees filling th ebackdrop with a natural pool of green and blue water
Semuc Champey

Last up for this week was exploring the many small villages that sit along Lake Atitlan. Arriving after dark was scary. The ‘ferry’ port is in a very random, dark street. Plus, that skipper was very reckless and sped across the dark lake. We made it but those bumps were something else. The small villages each offer a different feeling and are worth checking out each of them.

It was nice to kick back and relax for 4 nights. At this point, we have moved so quickly through Guatemala that it was a welcomed break to be in one place. We even finally managed to do our laundry which at this point was everything that I had in my suitcase.

The next chapter is all about continuing the Guatemalan adventures with a unique experience in Antigua, Guatemala.