el mirador seems costly. does it have to be?
Replies: 3 - Last Post: Feb 19, 2013 3:17 AM Last Post By: lydiabartones
Feb 8, 2013 3:45 PM
Feb 8, 2013 9:09 PM
Feb 9, 2013 8:11 PM
2It seems that in some of the tourist areas there has been some price gouging going on for a while now.
I talked to some Koreans who were charged US$50 per person to enter Semuc Champey. The price for foreigners is Q50.00, (or approximately US$6.50)
When I visited the ruins in Copan, Honduras, with a U.S. passport I had to pay US$30.00 while my Guatemalan wife paid the equivalent of US$5.00. (I paid because my wife wanted to avoid a confrontation).
It seems like there is a guild or union or something, of tour guides into El Mirador. Those who know the way and need no guide are turned back and required to pay for a guide anyway - and the prices are outrageous.
You are supposed to get into Tikal after 4 PM with a ticket which is also also good for the following day. They are not honored the next day - unless you insist.
Unfortunately this is not controlled by the tourism authorities and people charging these fees do so because they can get away with it.
If you live in Guatemala as I do you can usually handle their bullying by bullying them back but if you are new to a place you frequently don't know any better.
Feb 19, 2013 3:17 AM
3The average price for a 10-person group would be 250 USD per person with agencies in Flores. This usually includes everything (transport, mules, guides, cooks, tents, water, etc). If you go through Carmelita and find yourself a local guide, take care of your own food and have some time to organize, you might pay something as low as 100 USD per person. There is a blog listing all the current operators, prices and contacts: elmiradorhike.blogspot.com
Be careful to take an INGUAT-licensed guide, since over the past year many people have been turned back by locals supported by tourist police when they did not have a guide or the guide was not Cooperativa Carmelita-approved. Of course, many groups did not get turned back... it all depends on your luck.
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