Bus From Flores to Guatemala City. So Bad?

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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.

Night bus from Flores to Guatemala city

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?

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.

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.

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 for more information on getting around Guatemala and transport between Guatemala City and Flores.  On our last trip we only made it to Antigua, Flores and Lake Atitlan, lots more to come. The bus from Flores to Guatemala city wasn’t so bad, but comared to other buses in the region it wasn’t great, far more luxurious bus services exist in Central America.

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About the author
Alyson Long
Alyson Long is a British medical scientist who jumped ship to chase dreams. A former Chief Biomedical Scientist at London's West Middlesex Hospital she started in website creation and travel writing in 2011. Alyson is a full-time blogger and travel writer, a published author, and owns several websites. World Travel Family is the biggest. A lifetime of wanderlust and over 6 years of full-time travel, plus a separate 12 month gap year, has given Alyson and the family some travel expert smarts to share with you on this world travel site. Today Alyson still travels extensively to update this site and continue her mission to visit every country, but she's often at home on her farm in Australia.

14 thoughts on “Bus From Flores to Guatemala City. So Bad?”

  1. I’m taking a trip to Guatemala and plan to take the night bus from Guatemala to Flores and viceversa. Did you buy the tickets directly at the bus station? I get to Guatemala City at 1pm in the afternoon and plan to go directly to the Linea Dorada office to buy a ticket for that same night, but I’m worried that the tickets might be sold out.

    • Hi Valeria. It’s so long ago now that I don’t feel I can advise you. My husband bought the tickets in Flores, he went a day or so before the journey to Guatemala City and bought them somewhere in the town. He’s not here so I can’t ask him, sorry. Have a great trip!

  2. Hi,
    I am a solo female traveller looking into getting the night bus form Guatemala City to Flores.
    Just wanted to know if you would recommend for myself or if you know of any other companies that do the same trip.

  3. Are there are a lot of night busses/shuttles in Guatemala?
    I’m looking into Flores to Lanquin on night bus and Languin to Angtigua for night bus. I can’t seem to find anything on night busses.

  4. Thanks for your blog. I recently took the bus from Flores to Belize using what appeared to be an OK agency on the front road facing the mainland, Flores Island. I asked for Dorada and was told that I would be on the bus. It turned out to be a run down San Juan transfer with minimal air conditioning and bags on the roof. My advice is to try to avoid anything to do with San Juan Travel Agency or any of their buses. They seem to have a mafia type operation both to Tikal and to Belize. To get your bus go to the actual Dorada office on the mainland.

  5. My husband and I did it too and it was the most scary bus ride ever, the driver was going so fast and no slow down ever ..ever! no even a bit, like broken brakes, could kill easy an animal or a village person from all the small towns we drove by, on 9 hours! this is only for the brave…very scary

  6. Yeah, it’s always the air-conditioning in warmer countries. It’s way too much as I always end up getting a cold. A simple breeze would be so much better or even just good old fresh air! ‘Glad that you had a good trip. Look forward to reading the rest. ๐Ÿ™‚


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