I promised you that Aoife would be writing this edition of the blog, however, because she’s a dirty cow unfortunate, she’s suffering from a pretty horrible ear infection, and writing is the last thing on her mind. So you’re stuck with me today! Anyway, I’m sure you’re all on the edges of your seats waiting to read about the drug-addled Scouser, so without further ado…
When the day came to leave Flores we hopped on our shuttle bus bound for Lanquin, which was unsurprisingly late, as the buses tend to be in this part of the world. When we got on the bus everything seemed pretty mellow, there was a smattering of different nationalities politely chatting and reading high-brow literature.
Then 3 horrible humans hopped aboard, 2 of which we recognised from our time in Caye Caulker. Those 2 were Antipodeans and as a result had no idea of how loudly they were talking at any given time, the third person was the aforementioned Scouser. A shambling, wreck of a human, dressed in a stained white vest, ripped shorts and haggard flip-flops.
“It’s alright, he’ll probably sleep most of the way” we thought, but alas he didn’t. He spent the majority of the first 6 hours (that’s right, this is a looong bus journey) snorting lines of cocaine and chinning Bacardi. However, his crowning glory came on the descent into Lanquin.
This small isolated jungle village is set in the bottom of a humongous valley, and the only way to get there is to navigate some incredibly steep, dangerous ‘roads’. Halfway down one of these steep, precarious roads the Scouser stood and said to the driver, “Hola, por favor pull over for uno piss amigo?”. Remarkably the driver understood and pulled over.
Out jumped our hero, stumbling towards some shrubbery he pulled out his old chap and ignited a cigarette at the same time. Urination finished, he hopped and skipped back towards the shuttle, but he missed a vital step and lost his balance.
Swaying, like a candle in the wind, he finally succumbed to the powers of gravity and disappeared over the edge of an incredibly steep verge. I rejoiced, he must be dead, but unfortunately, there was a glimpse of a hand over the edge of the cliff. He was clinging to a tree, which allowed his Antipodean friends the time to rescue him. Roadside drama done, we finally arrived in Lanquin after an arduous journey.
As soon as we left the shuttle we were greeted by a horde of men screaming the names of hotels at us when we heard “Hostal Vista Verde”, we nodded and were guided to our transport. A pick-up truck with two seats reserved for the driver and his mate. In the back, we hopped.
A short, bumpy ride later and we were at our hostal, a quaint retreat amid the jungle. The resort consisted of several cabins surrounding a large hut that doubled as a reception and a restaurant/bar. Vista Verde is run by a family of traditional Mayan women, all of whom are incredibly polite and attentive. Due to the isolated nature of Lanquin, there’s no choice but to eat in the restaurant, which is nice but slightly expensive.
The accommodation is split between dorms of 4 beds or private rooms that have 2 singles in them. The price difference is negligible, and the private rooms have intact roofs on them, which makes them immeasurably better than the airy dorms. Lights & electricity go out at 11pm and there’s only hot water between 6pm and midnight, which is available in the outdoor showers.
Slight note, the hot water is more of a myth than an actuality, so don’t expect a lovely stream of bubbling hot water. Seen as we bill ourselves as ‘honest bloggers’, I won’t bullshit, I’ll tell you the downsides. Spiders and wildlife. The place is absolutely crawling with massive spiders, gargantuan crickets and plagues of mosquitoes, but it’s the jungle, what do you expect?
Each bed is provided with a mosquito net, but bring your own just to be sure as ours weren’t fully intact. Also, when it rains, it rains and walking around the resort can be quite tricky as it’s steep and muddy. All that aside, I do believe this to be the best place to stay in Lanquin, people will recommend Zephyr hostal but we spoke to plenty of people that stayed there.
The feedback wasn’t good, the accommodation was supposedly completely open air, leading to even more spiders, crickets and mosquitoes and the place also has a bit of a party rep. Which isn’t good when you’re trying to sleep, and the nightclub is your hostal. So be wise, choose Vista Verde.
We ended up staying for three nights, which was one night too many when you consider the lack of things to do so I’d go for two nights. Activity wise, Semuc Champey is the only thing of note in the area, which is great and will be the focus of the next blog.
Fingers crossed, that next blog will be brought to you by Aoife, if her ear infection has cleared up. Anyway, I’ll leave you with a little breakdown of prices and budgets for your time in Lanquin.
Hostal Vista Verde – £17.50 Per Night. Private room, two single beds.
Shuttle Bus from Flores to Lanquin £10 P/P
£20-£25 per day for two people. Impossible to buy food and cook for yourself, so you have to rely on the restaurant in the hostal, which as mentioned above is quite pricey.
Daily Budget-Excluding Accommodation