going to Tikal, Guatemala

On the next morning, I’ve got up around 8am, had a quick breakfast (again toast and beans) and then asked, what will be the cheapest way to the border.
I’ve known, that the only way to get there, is to take a taxi, but I first thought, I would need to take another bus to a closer border town.
The manage of the hostel told me, that the cheapest way is to go by a collective taxi (green number plates) and the best place to stop one is just across the street.
He also told me the price (I’m not sure anymore – I think it was about 6 Belize Dollars) and it took me again two tries, until I found a ride.
There were two students going to there school, close the border and me in the car. The taxi driver was quite young and like nearly everybody in Belize (as it’s the official language there) his English was quite good and we talked a lot.
I’ve reached the border, where I’ve spent another (I’m not so sure anymore) US$ 10, to leave Belize and US$ 3 to get into Guatemala.
The border is kind of wired – they try to sell you extremely over priced rides to Flores and offer you to change your money with very bad exchange courses.
A taxi driver tried to win me, for a ride to Tikal. I’ve known, that I definitely want to go there and even I never checked it out on a map, people told me, that you would drive back again, if you go there from Flores. I just trusted, that I will find a way, but there were absolute no buses going to there. Later I understood why, as Tikal is really just the Maya temples and not a own real city. That’s the funny side at travelling 100 per cent flexible! You never know, where you will end up, but it works, as long as you trust, that you will arrive at a nice place.
The crazy taxi driver tried to win me for a ride to over there – he offered me the ride for US$ 45, which is anyway far to much for a 2 hours drive.
I told him, I first of all need an ATM machine and he offered me, to drive me to town for US$ 3. I dealt it down to US$ 1,- (which was a very funny conversation: 3-1, no, 2-1, no – okay I do it for 1 ^^)
It was still much money, as the town was just 10 minutes to walk, but he drove me to the two ATM machines there, as the first wasn’t working. The second was out of service and so he finally drove me also to the bus station, where shuttles where leaving to Isla Flores.
I’ve dealen again and got the price down to 40 Quetzales (about € 4,-).
Just couple of minutes later, Timm from Germany got into the bus and as well some friends from the USA.
I talked a lot with Timm, who decided to work for one year in Honduras, at a social school project. He already stood there quite a while (soon going back home) and decided to travel now a bit.
His plan was as well, to go to Tikal and he lent me his Lonely Planet, so I could read a bit about this place.
There are only couple of options, to stay in this national park. Most of them are very expensive, the cheapest option would be to camp there in a tent. Timm told me, that’s his plan and my only question was, if his tent fits two persons. Yes it did and so we decided to travel together. Timm is a great buddy, coming from Hamburg and his Spanish was on a very professional level. It was good fun, travelling together with him and he is very open to the world! =)
We got off the tiny shuttle bus (which was a great adventure, as those little buses can fit endless people – I think, in the most extrem moment, I’ve counted 27 persons =P) at the point, the road split to go to Tikal or Flores.
Form there on, we first hitch hiked on the back of a blue pickup and later paid (if I remember right) another 25 Quetzales, to go with a little shuttle to Tikal.
It was still quite early on the day (11:30am or so) when we arrived at our final destination.
We first of all relaxed a bit, eaten the rest of my toast bread for lunch and checked out the cheapest option to stay there over night.
There were only two campsites and we chosen the cheaper one.
We known, that if we buy the entry tickets after 4pm, they will work for tomorrow as well.
Until 4pm, we’ve built up the tent, actually in a small building and then went for a walk.
In the past, they had a small airport over there, but then decided to close it down. That was about 10 years ago (in case I’ve got informed right) and it’s impressive, how less you can see it anymore. The nature just went over it! =)
As Timm already lived such long in Honduras in the rain forest, he did know everything about the animals, the dangerous things and what to watch out for.
We walked to find crocodiles, but been unlucky. We just walked around, on a small track through the rain forest and I’ve been very excited to be the first time in such a typical jungle area! =D
During we’ve built up the tent, I’ve already seen a small baby scorpion and Timm told me a lot about snakes, spiders and monkeys.
On the way back, we stopped by a panorama visitor point, in the middle of the rain forest, where you climb up a very height tree.
To describe it in Timm’s words: Guatemala is amazing – you can do things here, which you could never do in Europe, because of the safety rules! =)
… and for sure, such a panorama visitor point, would have been built way more massive in Austria! ;)
At 4pm, we walked to the park. We actually tried first to get in from the side, but a motorbike security stopped us. We then decided, that there would be a way to get in for free, but as they already stopped us once, they will now keep an eye on us. Which was not to hard, as most tourists have left the side earlier. So we bought the entry tickets for US$ 22,- as all security guards over there wear shoot guns with them. It’s good, to sometimes trick out systems, but the risk would have been to height this time! =P
We hiked through the park during the rest of the day and enjoyed whole Tikal just for us. There weren’t any other tourists than us and so we’ve been able to climb up all the places and temples, which are usually not open to the public. We got some awesome cool pictures and also seen spider monkeys.
It already got dark, when we met one of the security guards, who told us to better find a way to the exit soon, before it gets dark.
So we climbed one more temple and made our way back. We had dinner in the cheapest restaurant there, at which we’ve paid around 30 Quetzales for a burger plus French fries.
It was already dark, when we finally came back to the tent and went to bed. We’ve borrowed for another extra 10 Quenzales (pretty exactly € 1,-) two sleeping mattress, which worked perfectly. In the end it has been more comfortable, than I’ve expected it to be, but we anyway didn’t slept long, as we planned to see the sunrise, from the top of one temple, on the next morning.

2 thoughts on “going to Tikal, Guatemala”

  1. Hallo Sebi, schön, wieder mal was zu hören (lesen) von Dir – die Beschreibungen klingen verlockend, da möchte ich auch mal hin….. nur die Anreise scheint mühsam zu sein
    Wünsch Dir weiterhin viele atemberaubende Ausblicke und bezaubernde Einblicke in das Leben auf diesem wunderschönen Kontinent.

    LG Jutta

    PS: Ich dachte Klammeraffen gibt es nur im Internet ggg

  2. Haha – Danke! =)
    Ja … die Anreise ist ein bissal sehr mühsam – naja – man könnte nach Guatemala City fliegen … – dann muss man aber immer noch das Risiko eingehn, dass einem im Bus, bei dieser Schaukel-Partie schlecht wird! ;)
    Heute Nachmittag werde ich die nächsten Tage hochladen – die waren noch viel unterhaltsamer/extremer! ^^
    Muss jetzt schnell frühstücken um nicht zu spät zu meinem Spanisch Unterricht zu kommen! ;)
    Bussi auf Spanisch – SEBI=D

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