The Zoo in Flores and Grutas Actun Can (Caves with BATS!!! EEEECK!)

Santa Elena Travel Blog

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We woke up on Thursday the 12th and decided to go to Guatemala!#$%^& What the heck...we only live once!

The Guatemala border is only a 5 minute drive from Robert's house in Benque. We took a Taxi to the border, walked through customs and off we went. I'm so happy I had my own personal tour guide (Robert) the whole trip. It's definitely helpful to be with someone who already knows what to do and where to go.

We took a "mini" bus to get to our destination, Santa Elena. What an experience that was!! It's about a 2 hour ride and these mini vans that take people from city to city take off from the border every couple of minutes. So, we found one, which just had room for the 2 of us (so I thought) and off we went. Little did I know that people would be getting off and on in villages all the way to our destination.

This is the entrance. Where the bats were!
Oh...and little seats pop out of no where on these things! Imagine a regular mini van...with room for like 19 + driver! At one point the van was so crowded that 2 people were standing up (yes...standing up!). It was actually pretty funny and Robert and I kept laughing the whole time.

The van dropped us off in the center of town and we walked to a nearby hotel that Robert had stayed in before. Checked in, had lunch and then had a personal tour guide (well...more of just a driver) from the hotel take us to the Grutas Actun Can (caves).

The driver dropped us off and we walked up to the little hut where you purchase your tickets. We were expecting to have a guided tour. However, it turns out, that on weekdays...there are no guides. So, we were on our own. And.

..we were the only people there!! The girl at the counter handed us a flashlight and said "good luck"!!! I was scared and knew for sure we would get lost in there! So, we proceed to the entrance and that's when I hear them! BATS!!!! I was like, "um..there's no freaking way I'm going in there!"

Of course, my trusty personal tour guide coerced me into entering. He promised they would not attack me and that they were only at the entrance. After some hesitation, I decided to trust him and went on in. It was actually really cool being the only people there. We went about on our own through the scary caves. And of course, as I expected, we ended up getting lost. But only a little. We were in there a good 45 minutes.

Once we finished our self-guided cave tour we were off to the zoo.

It's located on an island nearby. So our personal driver left us by the water and we took a little wood power boat ride to the zoo, where our little boat waits for us to be done. They gave us an hour. Now, one may notice that I don't have that many pics of animals. That's because...there hardly were any! LOL You walk through this huge zoo...and I was kind of depressed. The animals there are not very well taken care of. They are malnourished and you can tell they are dehydrated. It's extremely hot there for them too. They were all hiding in the shade...which made it hard to take pics of the ones that were there. Robert was really excited about showing me the Jaguars, but when we finally reached the Jaguar cage...there were none there!!! That's like the zoo's attraction..and they were not even there. The highlight for me were the spider monkeys. I like monkeys, and they were such show offs! Hahaha

After the zoo we went back to the hotel, showered and changed and went out for a nice dinner. We had an early night as we had a long day ahead of us at Tikal.

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This is the entrance. Where the ba…
This is the entrance. Where the b…
Dont let the light fool you. Its…
Don't let the light fool you. It'…
Santa Elena
photo by: jeffy