Day 7: Flores - Lanquín - Semuc Champey (How to go from Flores to Semuc Champey)
In principle, this type of transport does not negotiate the schedules since they usually leave all at the same times and make the same routes. The other day we received a notice that the schedule changed from 8 a.m. to 6 a.m. The truth is that we found it very soon, but counting that the trip is about 6-7 hours, thinking about it, we prefer to get up early and get to our hotel in Semuc Champey before, to enjoy the afternoon there.
Punctual as a clock at 6 in the morning we are at the reception of the Hotel Villa del Lago in Flores, without even having been able to have a coffee, since the breakfast time starts at 7 in the morning and everything is still closed at the surroundings.
Shared vans in Guatemala
This is the means of transport most used by travelers in Guatemala, since it assures you the most common routes at a fairly economical price, also ensuring the departure time (more or less) and security.
Things to keep in mind in shared vans:
- Normally they are not punctual, do not suffer. They have to pick up all the customers for the different hotels, so if yours turns out to be the last one on the list, you can quietly wait 45 minutes. But if he is the first, he thinks he will be there on time like a clock.
- The shared vans in Guatemala They do not stop every hour, not every two or sometimes every three, so it is quite advisable to bring water and some snacks to entertain the stomach.
- The seats are not assigned, so the earlier your turn comes, the more likely you are to have a good seat.
- Shared vans are not assured of comfort or modernity. Depending on your luck, you will be able to find yourself in a last model with air conditioning or in a little bit that hopefully keeps the 4 wheels.
- The luggage is placed on the roof of the van, so we advise you to travel with a backpack, much more comfortable than the luggage in these cases.
- They always put some tarps, to avoid that if it rains the luggage gets wet, so you can be calm if suddenly the storm of the century begins to fall.
- If the journey is long, you will make one or two stops, usually one of them coinciding with the meal time, so you can buy or eat in a restaurant.
We are lucky and they come to look for us so punctual that when we arrive at the reception we see the van at the door waiting for us, so without thinking too much, we pass the backpacks to the driver, so that he can accommodate them on the roof, we sit on the second row of seats and we headed out of Flowers to Semuc Champey, with a very unlikely start of the tour, since we ended up going 4 times through the same place, picking up the rest of the tourists who are going to make the same route as us. Then we will understand the reason for this and that is when one of the vans is not complete and the passengers can adjust between two or when several passengers stay halfway, all the drivers are in contact, to go placing and bringing passengers together according to destinations and thus avoiding unnecessary stops.
The day has dawned quite cloudy and all the places that we are crossing do nothing more than say that it will rain, so we may expect a moving journey in this can or coffee maker which has touched us today as transportation.
Lucky that yesterday we bought some breakfast buns and with that we can keep the stomach entertained now until the driver decides to make a stop that allows us to drink the first coffee of the day.