They say that “when you know, you know.” And that’s what Guatemala was for me.
As I was trying to figure out my next international vacation, I stumbled across photos of Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. It was stunning. I had to go there.
But getting there was challenging. And I don’t have a ton of paid vacation at work. A little research showed I could more quickly and easily get to Flores, Peten, Guatemala. Tickets were cheap, so it was a done deal.
We spent an incredible 5 days there in March 2018. Stay tuned for future posts that detail some of the activities we did.
Planning a trip to Flores and the surrounding Peten region? Here are my best tips:
- Tours and travel agencies
- There’s a monopoly with local travel agencies. Avoid Gran Jaguar/San Juan Tours, and any man with a large scar on his face. Travel forums tell me he steals money.
- I booked 2 tours with Crasborn Travel, and they were phenomenal! They can arrange tours to anywhere in the Peten region. They’re honest, communicative and just plain nice. (I researched Crasborn before my trip and am not getting paid to mention them, by the way.)
- It’s hot. You’re going to sweat. Bring changes of clothes, lots of sunscreen, a hat or two and deodorant.
- It’s casual. A sundress at dinner is about as fancy as I saw while I was there.
- A boat ride on Lago Peten Itza will cool you off. Be sure to negotiate the price.
- Purchase bug spray with DEET. Apply it every couple of hours.
- I sprayed my clothes and body with bug spray.
- I tried some of the “natural” bug spray wipes. Nope.
- Visit the Flores bridge around 5 p.m. for excellent street food.
- Make sure your veggies are cooked.
- Bottled water is a must.
- Many people speak some English. Attempts to speak Spanish are appreciated.
- This is a magical place and everyone we came across was kind. Smile and strike a conversation!
- Do not take your phone out in the bank, even if you’re just trying to Google translate something. Phones aren’t allowed. Don’t ask me how I know.
- We opted for typhoid and hepatitis A vaccinations and took malaria pills.