This is part of the London to Belize and Guatemala trip December 2019. http://dickandsuegotravelling.com/2019/12/detroit-usa-to-belize-2019.html
We travelled from San Ignacio for about 30 minutes to the border, located at Benque Viejo Del Carmen, Belize, and Melchor De Mencos, Guatemala.
A number of ‘horror stories’ are told on the internet about border crossings and we anticipated that this crossing would not be any different. However when we got to the border, at about 9 am mid week there were no queues. We paid $40 US (Cash) each to leave Belize and got a receipt which is a nice touch!
We walked across ‘no man’s land’ approx 100 metres into Guatemala. Entry was quick, and we were met by our transport, the Guatemalan part of Jets Shuttle. The transfer to Flores was about 1 hour 30 minutes. A distance of about 60 miles.
We were booked into Hotel Del Patio just on the very outskirts of Flores.
Hotel Del Patio, Flores, Guatemala
There are 2 Hotel Del Patios in town, ours is not to be confused with Hotel Del Patio Grande, which a number of taxi drivers wanted to take us to.
Within the grounds of Hotel Del Patio is a very nice courtyard with the rooms surrounding that wouldn’t be out of place in Italy.
Our room had 2 double beds, unfortunately the view out of the window was overlooking someones washing line. We were on the first floor and there was a meeting area with hammocks and tables and chairs. Although breakfast was not included there was a great restaurant.
We didn’t watch too much Guatemalan Television as it was very ‘local.’
The only downside to the Hotel Del Patio, Guatemala was the location in that it was 200 metres away from ‘civilisation’ and the walk back in the dark could be problematical withe the wrong people about!
There is a busy shopping centre with ATMs and supermarkets about 200 metres away on route to Flores town.
The main reason for visiting Flores is to see the UNESCO heritage island village which is easily walk able across the bridge from the above shopping centre.
In total about a 10 minute walk from the hotel to Flores. Coming back in the evenings we took a taxi for the equivalent of about $4 US to the hotel. There are many Tuk Tuks in the area. They seat 2 people and charge around $1 US per ride around town. Why walk?
If you are worried about the language barrier then fear not as both English and Spanish are spoken here.
Flores is located on a lake. We went onto the island and found one of the many water taxis to take us around the island, then to the local zoo on another island, the local museum and a gentle ‘drive’on the lake lasting around 3 hours for $10 USD each for the 4 of us in our own private charter.
There are a number of privately run ferry operators which the locals use to maximum use!
Bars and restaurants, Flores, Guatemala
In the evening there are a multitude of bars and restaurants to choose from. We also tried ‘street food’ which is available half way along the Island bridge however I found it very bland, but great value. One restaurant we returned to on a number of occasions was La Villa Del Chef, https://villadelchef.com/ Calle La Union,Petén, Flores, Guatemala.
Here at La Villa Del Chef a meal for 4 with drinks lasting several hours came in at $70 US for the 4 of us. Excellent
value. A meal of note at Restaurant La Villa Del Chef were the shrimp skewers.
If you like real ale then Cool Beans, Flores, https://www.facebook.com/coolbeanstikal is worth a visit. The Cool Beans restaurant is a bit basic but serves great beer! Whist you are there you have togo to the gents toilet, it is both indoors and out!
A visit to Flores Guatemala is not complete without a trip to the Mayan ruins at Tikal, Guatemala.
These ruins are not quite up to the ruins at Seim Reap in Cambodia, however not far off, but like everything in life you get what you pay for. We arranged a private transfer for the 4 of us with our own guide, lunch, and soda and water along the way. This trip was $100 US each, however was a very rewarding day out.
The next day we return to Belize and head for the small tourist area of Hopkins.