Next episode: Flores, Guatemala, a city entirely covering an island in the middle of the lake and connected to the main town by a bridge. The city looks magical with its cobbled streets and little buildings, each in a different colour. Almost all of the hotels / restaurants are placed at the waterfront, giving amazing views of the lake.
Initially we were planning to only stay here for a few days and treat it more as a base for visiting Mayan Ruins, our plans changed dramatically when we got scammed by one of the travel agencies….
We arrived in Flores on Friday afternoon and book a tour to el Mirador with El Gran Jaguar. It’s a 5 day trek of 80 km, where you get to visit one of the greatest pyramids in the world – only accessible by foot or helicopter since there is no actual road as it is based in the middle of a jungle. We though that it would be a great adventure and a challenge so decided to go for it!
On the evening before the 5 day trek after we already got ready for the trip and paid over half of the price, the sales men came to us and said that the trip is cancelled, because other group members are ill. He suggested that we could go on another day but we said that we aren’t interested in a date change and that we would like our money back. Therefore we both agreed a full refund was in order.
The next morning we awoke at 4 am to a banging on our hotel door – it was the owner of the company and the sales man. They told us that they changed their mind and that we are going for a trip now, so we have 30 minutes to get ready. A full refund was now no longer available as apparently the group was leaving at 5 am. At the end of the conversation we heard: “we have a proof on the hotel camera that we tried to wake you up, so you better get ready”.
Fuming that the fat prick had woken us up and refused a refund, and sure we didn’t want to be in the same room as him, let alone spending five days with them, we decided to push for our money back.
It was insane, it took us an hour and a half of dissuasions to get our money, they were telling us that the group is leaving at 5 am but there was no one there. Leaving with our money and somehow no punches thrown we left with our cash.
After this we looked online and there are hundreds of horrible reviews of El Gran Jaguar – the actual company – they were giving us a fake name: “backpackers” when we asked for the company name before.
It was literally insane!
After that unpleasant experience we decided to treat ourselves with a trip to Tikal, another giant Mayan Ruin site, located in the middle of the jungle. We spent 4 hours observing the wildlife and climbing up pyramids – the tallest one measuring 70 meters, poking above the jungle. The views were incredible, we have seen monkeys, toucans, wild turkey and many more. Finishing the day by socialising with other backpackers and getting tips on where to go on with our adventures.