Flores area guide - Suzie2?

Old May 10th, 2007, 09:28 AM
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Flores area guide - Suzie2?

Hello -
Suzie, I saved the contact information (but not the name!) of the guide you liked in Flores/Tikal and remember reading you were planning to use him again on a more extended trip. Can you tell me more specifically what you hired him to do in the Peten and approximately the cost? We were thinking probably just a pick up in Flores or El Remate for an early morning tour of the ruins and jungle, but might be interested in a tour somewhere for birding, canopy, or ?? the afternoon before as well. We'll be there around the 20th of August for 2 nights. Any advice or recollections gratefully received! Happy trails!
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Old May 12th, 2007, 04:00 AM
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Old May 14th, 2007, 06:20 AM
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Hi! Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. Hope you had a happy Mothers Day.

La Casa de Don David in El Remate gets great reviews, or at least the ones I have seen. We spoke with some people last year who were staying there and they said they were enjoying it. Just a suggestion as you mentioned possibly staying in El Remate. It is a darling little town.

The only web site I could find for CDD is a little outdated but if you contact them I am sure they could help you with more up to date info if you are interested. They have some good colectivo and bus schedules with prices for getting around in the area. I am sure the prices have gone up as gas has gone up horribly but hopefully not by much.

Our costs with Luis were a bit higher than those above mentioned buses but certainly within the range, or even less, of the lodges around there that charge $100 and up per person for a lot of things. He doesn't have a car so pays for transportation from private drivers. To us, he is worth the money. His knowledge of the parks and the wildlife around there is really impressive. He has been sponsored by birding people to go places and learn the birds there so he can expand on his birding tours. This past trip we had him rent a car and then we paid for that plus paid for him to take us around for the day. We were happy to not have the liability on us if anything were to happen to the car.

His price was around $100 or even a little more for the day. For three full days including a rental 4x4 truck it was around $500 maybe a little more, my husband couldn't remember exactly because he always adds a little more. We had extra long days with him traveling all around the area. The first time we used him, the year before, he was guiding us at Chiminos Lodge and brought us back to El Remate from there.

The first time we went to Tikal a guide was around $50 for the tour which runs around 4hrs. Unfortunately, we got very little out of the guide we picked. Hubby picked him so he could speak spanish but not everything got translated for the rest of us. Compared to the tour we took with Luis a week or so later (minus our friends unfortunately because they had to head home), we found out that the first guide didn't seem to really know that much which is why my husband didn't translate much. I am sure there are better guides. We heard plenty speaking English if you decide to go the bus route on your own. You can even ask around to see if anyone wants to share the cost of a guide. We had quite a few people asking us.

Most of the tours are done by lunch and people start clearing out. There is a snack stand by temple 4 that closes around 1:30-2:00pm. I was relaxing around the temples by myself in the afternoon waiting for the sunset and there were very few people there. Hubby and Luis were doing more birding and going to a genuine mayan limestone quarry for pieces to bring home to my husbands geology professor.

There is a place not far from El Remate and the airport called Ixpanpajul. We were the only people there but it was beautiful and so clean. They have a zip line and very healthy horses, great birds. We saw a peccary standing around the horses eating the corn and grain with them. They have camping there and they were just finishing up some little cabinas. We are thinking of staying there next time when we meet up with Luis for our Rio Dulce, Copan trip.

Things we have done with Luis are private birding and rescue from Chiminos Lodge (we didn't like it there).

Mostly birding and ruins in Tikal, Yaxha, and Ixpanpajul. Just driving around for hours looking at places where he has seen great birds. He did rent a small boat to take us (4 of us) out on the Lake Peten Itza but the boat broke down. He managed to get it going again and we were able to limp back to El Remate. That area has seen an increase in tourism since Survivor but I don't think they were completely ready in terms of capital outlay of things for tourists. We did see a difference in just one year. On the other side of things, he took us to meet friends of his, we met his family. The ability to get around and see and learn about life in general in that area was great. We do pay extra no matter where we go for the personal touches we get from people like Luis and have had some wonderful trips in CR, Mexico, Guatemala and even over in Europe because of it. We meet wives, kids, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, and secret children from past romances. You sound like the kind of people that enjoy that as well. You will be meeting plenty of family members and seeing plenty of local life soon.

Your trip sounds amazing. I will definitely be waiting for your report.

[email protected]

Hope this helped. I am going to be pretty busy for the next few weeks getting ready for our trip. We will be gone for about 5 weeks plus I am going to go spend a few days with the grandkids before I leave. I won't be on the boards much for awhile although I will peek in once in awhile. Feel free to email me. [email protected]
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Old May 14th, 2007, 06:32 AM
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In regards to La Casa de Don David - we will be staying there in about two weeks, so I'll post some up to date info upon our return.

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Old May 14th, 2007, 08:16 AM
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I think we've decided to stay 1 night in the park and 1 in Flores, then fly out in the morning to connect with a noon flight home. Don David's place is nearly as much as staying in the park which I've really enjoyed in the past, plus we feel more comfortable being right there in Flores with a morning flight to GUA.

Thanks so much for the feedback! Happy trails!
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Old May 14th, 2007, 11:53 AM
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Have you decided on any particular place in Flores yet? If you have a place in mind, just reply here, and I'll try to stop by and have a look around for ya if I get a chance while I'm there.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 12:45 PM
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That's a really nice offer!

We'll probably decide between Casona de la Isla and Villa Margarita, a brand new, less expensive option on Avenida Reforma that was recommended by someone of Trip Advisor. The 1st is $50+/night/double and the 2nd is $25/night/double. Can't decide if the pool will be worth the added splurge so any feedback you have after your trip would be great! Happy trails!
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Old May 14th, 2007, 07:09 PM
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Ok, I'll definitely attempt to check 'em out while I'm there.

9 days and counting...
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Old May 14th, 2007, 10:04 PM
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Thanks!! Have a great trip!
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Old May 24th, 2007, 12:39 PM
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Bear in Mind that Casona de la Isla is in Flores, and Margarita is in Guatemala City. I live in Flores, so I know the place. If I could help, would be glad to.
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Old May 24th, 2007, 02:03 PM
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There's a new one in Flores, apparently. Hotel Villa Margarita just recently surfaced on Trip Advisor. Here's the link:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserR...ta-Flores.html

If you ever check it out, let me know what you think.
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