Guatemala's Center



Description :
A dusty street under the hot sun (at least when I was there)

Comments : This place does not look nice at all at first but the surroundings mountains, the huge cave of Candelaria and the Rio Escondido should provide some escapes if you are stuck here. They may even be worth a stay...

What to do ? Change transport, wait for a transport or explore the area ? 8km on the road to Chisec, you will find the impressive Cuevas de la Candelaria (Q25, 2 hours with guide). This area is guarded and managed by a French guy who created the Complex Cultural de Canderia and usually caters for French tour groups. 

What you may not like ? The atmosphere of the town 

How long ? The time until the pick-up or bus shows up or an afternoon ?

Where to stay ? The best bet in town is apparently Hotel Agua Verte (no name), 400m on the road to Sayaxche : Q25 per person w. fan or Q80 w. AC. 

Leaving ? You may indeed wish to... There are quite a few pick-up to Sayaxche during the day. They cost also Q20 and are much faster than the 1pm bus. Comfort is another issue... / Buses to Coban (Q20, 5 hours) should leave at 5,8 & 13. / You can also go to the Mexican border from there via Subin and Bethel. 

The trip to Sayaxche (Peten) : SSS / L&R / Q20 / 2.5 hrs
A pick-up was waiting for our bus but the idea of spending two hours shaking and breathing dust under the sun with twenty other people did not really appeal to me. Especially after being told that there would be a bus at 1pm... 
I waited for it at a nice flowered tienda (nearly opp. Hotel Agua Verte) and it did show up on time and, yes, there were even seats available ! The problem with this bus is that it was taking its time, stopping a couple of times at every village to let people get in or off and, more irritating after a while, to sell the newspaper of the day (the one with the girly poster inside and the most stupid international news you could imagine). 
One hour later, we reached Peten. It is easy to tell : there is a sign, a sanitary inspection to check that no passenger carry a pork in his luggage (this apparently to prevent cholera to spread) and a dusty road. The latest actually does not last too long and the last section (40mn) is on an excellent route. 
The scenery was of course different from the highlands and it certainly looses points in the scale of beauty. The Northern Transversal Strip is basically flat and desolated. It however did offer some sights, like a cattle of oxen or a few cow boys... There were however no Generals in sight (huge properties in the areas were distributed to the army's top men, hence its surname of 'General's Strip') and it got boring after a while. We reached Sayaxche at 15:20. 

See also the trip from Lanquin