Flores & Tikal // Guatemala // Part II

A good 12 hours later we arrived in Flores, Petén. We were extremely tired and exhausted because the sleep during our ride wasn’t really sufficient. We got to our hotel and asked when we could check-in. It was only 6am so we knew we had to wait atleast a few hours. The receptionist told us that our room would be ready at 9am. We went up to the rooftop and listened to music and enjoyed the view. At 9am we asked for our room but they said it’s not ready yet, and because all we wanted to do was sleep we asked if we could switch to another room with an equal price. It was a pretty big place and you could look into a lot of windows, so we knew that they weren’t even close to being booked out. For whatever reason we could not switch rooms and we had to wait until 1pm to get into our room! To pass the time faster we went to get some coffee, and once we got into the room we passed out. The rest of the day we just hung out and rested, and booked a tour to go to Tikal the next day. Flores is located in the north of Guatemala and part of the city is on a tiny island (Lina said it’s the size of Lindau if that helps). The small lake is called Lago Petén Itza. Most people make their way up here to explore the Mayan ruins of Tikal (UNESCO world heritage) or to do a 5-day jungle trek to El Mirdador an ancient Mayan site as well. The next day we started our tour at 3am. We got picked up by our shuttle and drove 1-2 hours towards the site. Then we started walking towards the first pyramid. Before going to Costa Rica I had bought new Trekking/Hiking shoes for cases like this one. My sleepy self forgot to wear long, thick socks and wore short socks instead. Immediately my heels started rubbing against the shoe and within an hour my skin started peeling. It literally was so uncomfortable so I decided to just continue the tour barefoot. Most of the trails were grass or foresty soil, just sometimes there were little rocks. We hiked up the first pyramid to watch the sunrise, but sadly it was pretty cloudy and we couldn’t see too much of it. It was still amazing to hear the jungle awaken early in the morning, with the different sounds of the animals. We continued the tour and saw many more pyramids, statues and altars. The first constructions of the ancient city started back in 400-300 BC and probably more than 90.000 people used to live here. It was a very intresting tour but we were soo tired that at times it was very difficult to listen to the guide. We got back to our hostel around 1pm and we decided to nap for a while. Later that day we went out to get some food and just strolled around the little island of Flores. On Tuesday we decided to check out a nearby beach so we hopped on a watertaxi to San Miguel and we walked down some trails until we arrived at Playa Chechenal. It was a nice beach, it didn’t really have sand just mainly grass and some wooden picnic tables. There were barely any people there and we enjoyed our afternoon sunbathing and swimming in the fresh water of the lake. A few hours later we walked back on a different trail, passing a lookout where we had a beautiful view of the island and its surrounding towns. Back on the island we had one last dinner and then headed off with another night bus to Lago Atitlán…

 

//Olivia

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