Belize City is not a place I felt comfortable getting around on my own, so before I left Caye Caulker I purchased a tourist shuttle ticket to Flores $25. They met me when I got off the water taxi and with 4 others we were ready to go…..about 4 blocks to be told we had to wait an hour for more passengers. Now we have 13 people in a bus (van) that seats 11. Crossing the border was easy – pay $18.50 exit fee for Belize, and no fee to enter Guatemala. We are often stopped for Police road checks. Economy would seem to be quite poor here. We finally start to get into some hills, and now we see lots of horses. They are small and are well cared of. Arrive in Flores, a lovely little town on an island in a lake. Little cobblestone streets and colorful buildings. The hostel I wanted to stay in was full, but the manager suggested I try the hotel across the street. I was able to get a room with a fan for $26. The fan was like an airplane propellor, I turned it on and things flew everywhere. The next morning I moved across to Hospedaje Yaxha. It is well known for its cafe and I fell in love with the mango/banana smoothies. Dinner here was a huge bowl of pasta, chicken and veggies for $7.
Service here is great. I had them arrange my tour to Tikal. We left at 4:30 am to arrive at the park by 6. Our guide was great, Mayan calendar is the basis for everything here. The park is huge, and most is not restored. I did like seeing some pyramids restored on one side, but not the other – great “before” and “after”. I was happy we did the five hours of hiking before the day got too hot. 39 degrees and lots of humidity is my kind of weather, except when I have to do something. Tour and transport were $20 and there is a $20 entrance fee to Tikal. I found it clean and well kept. We saw lots of wildlife and birds. Stayed in Flores a couple more days. This hostel is great – private room, private bath for $20. I was going to take a minibus to Rio Dulce but the owner here suggested I take an a/c sightseeing bus. Took a tuktuk to town today and bought my ticket for tomorrow morning, $13. More from the coast.