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Lanquin to El Estor to Rio Dulce to Flores

Flores, GuatemalaSince I’ve been in Guatemala I’ve wondered if it was possible to reach capacity on a chicken bus or colectivo. No matter how many people are on the bus they never say no and always manage to cram on more people. I now know it is possible to reach capacity….sort of. I got on [...]

Flores, Guatemala

Since I’ve been in Guatemala I’ve wondered if it was possible to reach capacity on a chicken bus or colectivo. No matter how many people are on the bus they never say no and always manage to cram on more people. I now know it is possible to reach capacity….sort of. I got on my first colectivo of the day at 7:00 am but was not shoved into the mass of people inside the bus. Instead I was told to join the other two guys sitting on the roof of the bus. Up until this point I don’t think that I have truly appreciated life. Crusing down a windy, bumpy, unpaved road for 45 minutes had me truly appreciating being alive. Post roof-top experience I was hanging half way out of the open door of the collectivo. The good news was that I was almost inside the colectivo and the road was paved. The bad news is that a paved road meant the driver could take curves even faster (The tires were screeching on each turn) allowing me to continue my appreciation of life. After this, the next 7 hours of the journey to El Estor from Lanquin weren’t life threatening but I did find out you can fit 22 people (not counting the two babies) inside a small Toyota minivan. The 7 hours in the minivan on dirt roads had me blowing brown snot for the rest of the evening.


My final destination was El Estor and I’m not really sure why I chose to go there. I guess I thought there would be more there than there was. After being around so many travelers since I left Xela it’s a bit odd to walk down the street and not see a single tourist. I think I would have liked to stay there under other circumstances but just wasn’t in the mood to be in a small Guatemalan town with nothing to do. The next morning I packed up and took the hour and a half shuttle ride into Rio Dulce.

Rio Dulce definitely had more going on. The town is built up around the fact that Lago Izabal is a Hurricane safe port. There are several hundred sail boats all camped out here during Hurricane season and those that haven’t turned into a trailer home on water are preparing to set-off as Hurricane season is ending. This would be a good town to talk with sailors and drink beer but, like El Estor, I just wasn’t in the mood to stay. I woke up this morning and felt done with the Rio Dulce area. The downpour of rain also helped me make up my mind to bus up to Flores.

Ahhhh…Flores. I’m back on the backpacker trail and for right now it just feels comfortable. Soon I’ll be fed up with this scene and looking for another town like El Estor but for now I’ll just soak it all in.

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Filed under: Cubicle Ditcher, Guatemala

About the Author:

Sam Langley left a comfortable and profitable job with an insurance company in the USA to travel the world. He has been going for years, and has not stopped yet. Keep up with his travels on his blog at Cubicle Ditcher. has written 147 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.