While in Flores we visited the ultra cool and ultra popular Los Amigos hostel. While there we booked a tour to Tikal for 4am. And we booked an overnight bus to Antigua that would pick us up at our hotel at 8pm the same day. Rushed, but necessary.
I communicated I wanted the best seats on the bus and they assured me they were. Adults were 250Q (AUD$31), Mia was half price and Caius was free. That equalled just over $78 for a 10 hour bus ride. Much better deal then our Belize to Guatemala fiasco.
They only accepted cash so we went in search of an ATM. What should have been 15 minutes turned into 2 hours when we realized the ATM did not want to accept our card.
After trying several different cards we finally managed to get out some money and pay for out tour and bus trip. I did not have the premonition I had with the previous trip, but was slightly anxious in the hopes that nothing would go wrong.
Both of the kids were asleep on the couch in the hotel lobby while Josh and I were working on the laptops when a lovely guy rocked up. He spoke excellent English, gave us our tickets and explained the process.
We would be taken by taxi to the bus. Then the bus would take us to Guatemala City and then a shuttle would take us the 1 hour ride from Guatemala City to Antigua. He paid the taxi driver and we were on our way to the bus stop.
He mentioned the downstairs part of the double decker bus was a “VIP” area, however it was full. We had “First Class” tickets, 3 seats at the back. We prayed it would not be a full bus because I did not want Caius sleeping on me all night.
A non-English speaking security guard labelled our bags and ushered us inside to a waiting room. It’s a long wait and we each have a sleeping child on us so it is with great relief when the bus arrives and we can unload our children.
I placed the kids on our seats and then hopped back out to take some photos, loaded the bags and watched how many people got on. It is with great relief when they removed the mountable steps and closed the doors to see the bus is only half full and all of us have plenty of room to stretch out. Caius and Mia got their own seat, which reclines extremely well, Josh took two seats and I claimed the back seat in the hopes of lying down. I don’t do too well sleeping in anything but a bed and didn’t hold much hope for the bus but least I had lots of room.
The staff handed out a ham & cheese sandwich for each guest and a large bottle of water. It came in handy about midnight when I got the munchies.
Both kids never woke the whole night. They were asleep before we boarded and only woke when I shook them to get off the bus. Lucky ducks. Josh slept the entire time as well and I never heard a word out of him.
I watched 2 shows until my laptop died and then I attempted to sleep. The bus was cold, but I was prepared with towels as blankets, not to mention a generous man donated his blanket to my kids before we got going, so sweet. Not far into the journey the aircon turned off and the bus heated up like a sauna, blankets came off and I opened up the window.
It’s a bumpy ride and a fitful sleep for me. I couldn’t have been any more comfortable on a bus then this one and am so grateful for the journey. Linea Dorado first class was a great trip and the toilet came in handy too.
Before we knew it we were at Guatemala City at 5:30am. We sleepily got off the bus and there was a man calling my name. He helps us with our luggage and we hop onto a shuttle bus for a 6am departure. Thankfully the 15 seater only has 16 people and Caius is on my lap for the 1 hour journey.
We arrived in Antigua about 7am. The property manager never got back to us on whether to meet at the house so the bus drops us in Central Park. It’s 7am and it’s freezing. We were all in shorts and t-shirts. We spotted a open café across the park and slowly manage to get all our stuff over to it where we ate breakfast, sat and waited.
It wasn’t long before the property manager called us and came to meet us. She organised a taxi and showed us our new house, where we promptly all fall back asleep.
What a journey. And what a change from our hellish ride from Belize to Guatemala. It went fast and was a very cheap alternative to getting into Antigua. Just be prepared to know where to go on your arrival, because it sure is early to be wandering the streets of a new and strange place.