Night bus to Flores
Replies: 12 - Last Post: May 7, 2013 12:17 PM Last Post By: NYCRoadTripper
Apr 23, 2013 7:52 AM
Night bus to FloresHi all,
I would like to know if anyone has any experience of the night buses that go to Flores. Are they safe and worth it to avoid wasting a day traveling?
I would also be interested to know if you can catch these buses direct from Antigua or if you can only get them from Guatemala City.
Many thanks in advance for any advice you can give.
Apr 23, 2013 10:12 AM
I have made this trip in both directions a few times in the last two years. I recommend paying for the most expensive bus (Linia Dorado or something along those lines) as the difference between 1st and 2nd classes are really not that large. First class buses are more comfortable and should not stop along the highway to pick up passengers. I took a second class bus on my way to Flores and we did stop at all hours to pick up people on the road but took a 1st class every time after and we didn't stop.
Any tourist office in Antigua or Flores will get you to where you want to go. From Antigua you will take a minivan to the Guatemala bus station then take the bus directly to Flores. From Flores you will take the bus to Guatemala City and then get a shuttle the rest of the way to Antigua. Prices vary so talk around before you commit. Both trips are hassle free but I do recommend the more expensive route. Returning from Flores you will either board the bus near the hotel by the bridge or at the bus station in Santa Elana (just over the bridge). Check with your tour operator to make sure you go to the right meeting point!
Apr 23, 2013 10:37 AM
Apr 23, 2013 10:39 AM
Unless you have private transportation you will have to travel by night. From Antigua a shuttle will pick you up at your accommodations around 6pm and take you to the bus station in Guate City. The bus leaves Guate at around 10:30pm and you will arrive in Flores around 6am the next morning. Depending on the bus you book there is a small possibility the bus will drop you off in Santa Elana and not Flores. This isn't really a big deal as it is as the edge of the bridge that connects Flores to the mainland and taxi's into Flores are plentiful and cheap. Check with the tourist company to make sure the bus will take you into Flores or not but you will definitely have to travel overnight on the bus.
Apr 23, 2013 12:01 PM
4I've taken the day bus. Take a shuttle from Antigua to the terminal.
It is about 9 hours from GUA to Flores. The bus makes 3 stops: For passengers transferring to points east, a comedor for lunch, and a security checkpoint.
I'm quite certain I took Linea Dorada. The bus disembarks in the middle of the bridge to Flores. If you're staying in Flores there's no need for a taxi or tuk tuk. It's a short walk and the island is tiny and safe. Even at night.
I know by taking the night bus you save a night at a hotel, but being the restless type I wouldn't be able to sleep two winks on the bus. I sacrificed a day for a good nights sleep.
Apr 24, 2013 3:25 AM
Apr 24, 2013 9:50 PM
6I am 100% positive now that it was Linea Dorada because I can recall my LP guide (4th Ed.) specifically indicating a Linea Dorada stop right ON the island just a couple of hundred meters from my hotel, getting dropped off on the bridge after an extremely long trip WITHOUT A/C*, and muttering to myself, "Damn you, LP."
*The driver drove with the door open, made a minimum of 5 stops to chat with people on the side of the road, and at the first (actual) stop (transfer) was suddenly in such a rush that he tried to prevent people from getting off to purchase bottled water BEFORE THEY DIED OF HEAT STROKE. We got our water, but I thought for sure there would be a mutiny on the next leg of the trip... nothing. Total silence. I imagined how this scenario would play out in the states: calls to corporate, demands for refunds, Facebook posts, threats, intimidation, maybe a 911 call from some elderly lady with high blood pressure. Now when I hear someone on line complain about not getting their everything bagel with vegetable cream cheese in a reasonable amount of time (in this case 36 seconds) I say, "Thank you. Thank you, Guatemala. You've made me a better person."
The A/C did turn on just as we were pulling in. This is why I travel.
Sorry for the rant. Buen viaje.
Apr 25, 2013 12:23 PM
I went to Flores from Antigua and back at the beginning of March. I used Fuente Del Norte night bus leaving GC at 9pm.I think it is called Oro de Maya. Bus was very comfortable, seat downstairs are a bit bigger and there is more leg space as well but upstairs seats are very comfy also, my girlfriend and I were only gringos on the board, we felt very safe during the journey.
We got to Flores around 5:30am. The bus stop only once and some officials were checking bags for fruits and veg. as I understood we were not allowed to bring them to Peten.
We left Flores at 9pm got to GC at 5:30am and then took shuttle to Antigua.
We paid Q200pp 1 way for FDN bus.
On the way to Flores we bought tickets in the bus as we were a bit late ( shuttle from Antigua to GC did not show up) and there were 4 places left.
In Flores we bought tickets 2 days before traveling at the bus station in Santa Elena. On both ways bus seemed to be quite full.
If you want to get more info you can e-mail FdN. I did it before we went to Guatemala and they came back to me very quickly with good info, schedules.
Have a good time
Apr 26, 2013 2:26 AM
May 1, 2013 4:45 PM
9I took LD to Flores (booked through the Tzutujil travel agency in San Pedro) which was ok. The AC was cranked all night, I would definitely pack a little blanket or even a hat and gloves if I went again. Unfortunately my seat mate was quite large so I was squished against the window the whole way, but it was ok. We had to get off in the middle of the night for the fruit thing as well, although half the people were "asleep" and nobody made them get off. Guy will jump on the bus in Flores and try to lasso you into one of the hotel vans in Tikal, but if you already have arrangements in Flores there are lots of tuk-tuks who will take you to your hotel on the island. (Once you get oriented there, you don't need the tuk-tuk at all.) On the way back, I was on Fuente del Norte. As luck had it, I was in the front row of the upper level, so I spent the whole night alternating between anxiety attacks and nightmares about driving into oncoming traffic. Fun! anyway, I wouldn't exactly jump at the chance to take that long of a bus ride again (I went San Pedro -> Antigua -> Guatemala City -> Flores) but unless you're stopping somewhere in between there's not too much choice...
May 2, 2013 7:51 AM
10Just out of curiosity - where would be a good place to stop at in between GC and Flores? To spend a couple days? My interests would be either a nice, quiet town or a lovely place to stay in the countryside. I'm in the beginning stages of planning a trip to Guatemala, so please forgive my ignorance. :) Would Lanquin be an easy stop over?
Thanks so much!
May 3, 2013 2:20 PM
May 7, 2013 12:17 PM
If you take Linea Dorada from the GC, the first stop (Coban? My memory is purple hazy) is where you would get off for a shuttle to Lanquin.
There are plenty of other options to get from GC to Coban.
Semuc Champey is a spot I unfortunately did not consider too strongly, but was told by other travelers how awesome it is. Knowing what I know now, I could have easily rearranged my itinerary to include it. Hope you do the same.
I've heard of shady pickup drivers in Lanquin luring you to crappy hostels so be careful.
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