Los Amigos hostel is probably one of the fanciest hostels I’ve ever seen. There’s a sauna, sound-proof party room, juice bar, restaurant, pool table…. I can’t even remember it all. I opted to pay a bit extra for a 6-person room with A/C, rather than the 20-person dorm without A/C and less chances of quality sleep.
I signed up for the sunset tour to Tikal the next day, which was AMAZING. I’ll make a separate post about that. I met some cool people the first night and stayed up kind of late talking to people around the common area (which is an open space with palm trees in the middle of the hostel).
Morning of day 2, I woke up early to go to the ATM for cash for the Tikal trip, ate breakfast, walked around the city exploring, and came back to the hostel for the noon meet-up. We got back from Tikal after 9pm, and I walked over to a street fair with some people from the tour, where we got SUPER CHEAP tacos, burritos, flautas, etc. I wasn’t super full, but it was a good meal.
Morning of day 3, I showed everyone my pictures from the night before and convinced a bunch of people to sign up for the tour that evening to Tikal. I hung out talking with them, until they left at noon, then I did some more exploring on my own around the city.
For dinner, I found the only vegetarian restaurant in the city and ate there. A British guy and Dutch girl invited me to sit at their table, and we talked about hardcore, American politics, cool places in the world, and had a great dinner experience over some mediocre food (note: the British guy ordered a Thai dish that he said was great, but my pasta was so-so). It was definitely a great moment in time.
That night, when everyone was back, we all talked about how amazing Tikal was, shared pictures, and just lost our minds about how amazing the Mayan civilization was. Before going to bed late that night, we made plans to go to the rope swing the next morning, before I took a bus to Belize in the afternoon. I was only going to do about 2 hours of travel, so time wasn’t a concern. I also got a tip to stop in San Ignacio, Belize, which hadn’t been on my itinerary. There are some more Mayan ruins there, plus a cave to explore, where they had performed human sacrifices.
Morning of day 4, we all ate breakfast at the hostel restaurant (prices weren’t actually that bad for a plate of rice, beans, tortillas, avocados, fruit, coffee & juice) then rented some canoes from the hostel to go over to this rope swing at a guest house across the bay. Pro tip: this is why I have a waterproof case for my phone. The canoe shifted while I was climbing in from the dock, and I wound up in the water, with my wallet and my phone in my pockets. After about 30 minutes of paddling our 3 canoes, we got to the rope swings and laid out my money/debit card to dry in the sun before playing for a few hours.
The rope swing was honestly a great experience. More people showed up while we were there, so there were 10 of us by the end. There’s a tall platform you can jump off of, plus the 2 ropes. It was seriously a blast. Around 3pm, I said that I needed to get back, so one of the guys paddled back with me, and we tied up our canoe before walking back to the hostel to get my stuff. After a quick goodbye, I took a tuk-tuk to the “terminal vieja” and got the last available seat on the bus to the border with Belize.
Guatemala didn’t last as long as I had originally hoped, but I saw the main thing I wanted to see (Tikal), had some amazing times, and made some great memories with new friends.
Next post: Tikal itself.
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