I’m no princess. I’ve travelled on night buses many times. We take them as often as we can, it saves us paying for one night of accommodation but the night bus from Flores to Guatemala city was not my favourite, that being said, on a global scale, it’s not a bad bus at all, there are far worse.
The Night Bus From Flores to Guatemala City
Or even the bus from Guatemala city to Flores, we did it both ways, same bus, same sleepless night.
I’ve travelled by bus all over the world and, to be honest, the Flores to Guatemala bus is A GOOD bus, an excellent bus even. We went with Linea Dorada, the luxury bus, there is a cheaper version.
Our bus was new, had comfortable reclining seats, curtains, air-con, even a clean enough toilet. The only better bus I’ve ever been on is the super comfortable San Salvador to Guatemala City bus. That one is to die for with extendable leg rests, tray tables, waitress service and squishy cushioning. ( the one in the picture)
Our big backpacks were taken, tagged and stowed safely by liveried staff, the buses were well organised and on time, so what made it the bus from hell?
1. The Air Conditioning.
Why-oh-why do they have the air-con set to polar vortex? It was freezing. I had a long-sleeved shirt, jeans and a fleece and still I was cold. If you’re taking this bus take as many warm clothes as you have in your backpack. And a hat. It really is that cold. A pillow of some sort would be a bonus, too.
2. The Roads.
Guatemalan roads are good and the drivers we’ve had haven’t been speed demons. I was perfectly happy with our driver. The problem is the speed bumps and hairpin bends. There was no way I could sleep through speed bumps that felt like small mountain ranges and twisting, turning roads.
3. The 4am Arrival in Guatemala City.
We weren’t expecting to arrive so early. We spent a couple of hours in the bus station waiting for dawn to arrive. As global bus stations go, it’s very good. Clean toilets, seats, no rats, only one cockroach, an armed guard and a security door to keep undesirables out. But it’s still not really the place you want to be at 4am after a sleepless night.
At 6am we got a taxi to our pre-booked hotel and, thankfully, they let us check in to our fluffy towelled, soft bedded heaven early. ( We scored a free hotel stay at Howard Johnson Inn by saving points on our USA road trip). The taxi set up is excellent at the bus station, the guard organises a taxi driver for you, no problem at all.
Hotels and Hostels We Recommend in Flores and Guatemala City
In Flores, Los Amigos is superb for the backpacker scene but if you need a comfortable family room with lake views take a look at Hotel Villa Del Lago.
In Guatemala City, the quirky and more up-market Howard Johnson Inn was great for us and had large family rooms with breakfast in the dining room. They let us check in ultra early after our dawn arrival from Flores.
So Was it Really The Bus From Hell?
No, not at all, it’s a great bus and a well organised service. I’m just cranky as all hell on no sleep.
The kids slept just fine, so did my husband, not surprising after 6 beers at the excellent Los Amigos hostel in Flores. The night bus is fine, so long as you stay warm. I was too cranky to even take photographs.
Be very careful when you book your tickets that you have a reservation with Linea Dorada. We’ve heard that some unscrupulous agents take your money and put you on the cheap bus. My husband walked from Flores Island to the Linea Dorada terminus in town to book our tickets direct. We saved a few Quetzales and were sure we had the right bus.
Want to read more about buses? Try this post about the extremely interesting bus from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang in Laos. Or try our Guatemala Travel Blog round up page for more on our 7 weeks there.
Now I’m off to write a post about the beautiful bus between El Salvador and Guatemala City that we are about to take for a second time, bus heaven, ahh!
Back to the Guatemala Travel Blog round up page.