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How to Get From Flores to Semuc Champey

In this blog, I’m sharing how to get from Flores to Semuc Champey and Flores to Tikal. There are several options, including taking a Flores to Semuc Champey bus and a Flores to Semuc Champey shuttle, which we’ll discuss.

I thought the bus ride from Antigua to Lanquin was terrible, but nothing could prepare me for the hell that was the bus from Lanquin to Flores. If you want to see Semuc Champey (and believe me, you want to see it), this is the price you must pay. So, if I haven’t already completely put you off, read my guide on how to get from Flores to Semuc Champey, Flores to Tikal, and Lanquin to Flores.

Did You Get Travel Insurance Yet?

The Insurance companies I recommend are Hey Mondo and Safety Wing

Hey Mondo is great if you are looking for a great value flexible policy. They offer single-trip cover, annual multi-trip cover, and long-term travel cover. Safety Wing is great value, with monthly coverage starting at $45.08. It’s super easy to use, and it just renews each month. I currently use them as they offer me free cover for my son as part of my policy.

Read my full travel insurance post here, where I go into detail about all companies. 

How to Get From Flores to Semuc Champey Route Overview

  • The day before your trip, you must book the bus from Flores to Semuc Champey, either through your hotel/hostel or with GuateGo.
  • The shuttle from Flores to Semuc Champey should pick you up at 8:00 a.m. It’s Guatemala, so expect them to be late!
  • After the Flores to Semuc Champey bus has picked up all the passengers, you‘ll head to Coba, which should take two hours. You probably won’t leave Lanquin until around 9:00 a.m.
  • From there, you might change buses and drivers. Get some food here, as it’s another two to three hours before the next stop.
  • When you stop again, you should have around 30 minutes for food.
  • The next part of the journey is a bit of a killer, especially if you don’t have AC on your bus. You’ll stop and wait for a raft/boat to take you across the river. If you miss it, expect to wait around 30 minutes for the boat to return.
  • From this point, you should have just over three hours left.

To get from Semuc Champey to Flores, reverse this process. Book the bus at least the night before in your hostel or with GuateGo.

Quick Tip: Book accommodation, tours, and transport ahead of time online to save money and stress. 
Best Semuc Champey ToursClick here to check out the top Semuc Champey tours
Best Semuc Champey Accommodation: Click here to check out the best accommodation in Semuc Champey
Best Semuc Champey Transport: Click here to book a bus, ferry, or train in Semuc Champey

A Warning About the Bus From Flores to Semuc Champey

When entering Santa Elena, someone will suddenly appear on the bus and try to give you “local information.” He suggested we travel from Flores to Tikal for sunrise the next day and told us people needed to buy tickets at the bank. A few people decided they wanted to do this, so the bus stopped to let them purchase tickets. ONE HOUR LATER, hot, tired, and grumpy after 11 hours on this minibus ride from hell, we were still there—so close but so far.

If this happens to you, get off the bus and take a tuk-tuk. It will cost you 6Q to go over the bridge. Don’t buy anything from these people and ignore them if they tell you a hostel is full—they are just trying to get you somewhere that gives them a commission.

Cost: 100-150Q

Time: The Semuc Champey to Flores bus leaves at 8:00 a.m. (more like 9:00 a.m. when you leave Lanquin) and takes six to eight hours (it took us 11).

Quick Tip: View my full Guatemala packing guide here including a downloadable checklist. And check out my Guatemala Essentials shopping list here.

What I’d Do Differently

If I could do this again, I’d book everything online with GuateGo—the Flores to Tikal tour, the shuttle from Flores to Semuc Champey, everything. Why? Because there are way too many cowboy shuttle drivers and rogue tour agents. I can’t tell you how many people I spoke with who paid extra for things like AC only to get on a minibus with none and a driver who didn’t even have insurance!

GuateGo vets all the companies they work with and is an official seller of Tikal tours. Save yourself a lot of stress and book before you get there. It costs more money to pre-book online, but you’ll save a lot of stress.

Are There Semuc Champey Tours to Tikal?

I wish I could give you options for nice air-conditioned buses that are on time and take smooth roads, but it’s Guatemala! Lanquin is in the middle of the jungle down some pretty gnarly roads. This is the only option besides driving or taking a private transfer. I’ve traveled all over Guatemala, and this was by far the worst journey I’ve taken. But like I said above, book with GuateGo, and you should be fine!

Book Semuc Champey Tours From Antigua

Another option, if you have the budget, is to book a tour with Heart of Travel. They organize everything for you, including pickups from Antigua, and you can even organize Semuc Champey tours of Tikal and Rio Dulce. Click here to learn more.

How to Get From Flores to Semuc Champey Tips

  • If you can, book a window seat—even better, get the front seat!
  • Wear synthetic clothes that will dry quickly. Shorts and a vest top are ideal as you’ll be hot and sweaty.
  • Purchase a hand fan for the road.
  • Grab some coconut water from the street vendors.
  • Keep your headphones or earplugs handy to block out the noise.
  • Take plenty of snacks—nothing that will melt, though.
  • I wouldn’t recommend buying a huge water bottle unless you down it. I could have made tea with my water because it got so hot! Get one of these water bottles to keep your water cool.
  • Download audiobooks and something on your Kindle to pass the time, or load your tablet or smartphone up with movies.

Looking for somewhere to stay in Semuc Champey? Check out these options!

Utopia Eco Hotel
El Portal De Champey
El Retiro Lanquin

Semuc Champey Travel Guide Planning

🧳 Any recommendations on what I should pack for Semuc Champey?

Yes! I have created a whole packing guide to Semuc Champey which you can read here and you can also check out my packing list for Guatemala on Amazon here.

🚗 Where can I book bus or private transportation while I’m in Semuc Champey?

I strongly recommend using GottoGo. You can book almost all transport in the major tourist destinations through them online. They don’t just cover buses they also cover shuttles, ferries, and private drivers.

🎫 Where can I buy tickets for museums, attractions, and tours in Semuc Champey?

I recommend either Viator or GetYour Guide. They have a lot of options!

👩‍⚕️ What is the best insurance to have while traveling?

I recommend using Heymondo for a great value policy. The app also offers you 24/7 Dr Chat. For Digital Nomads check out SafetyWing digital nomad insurance.

I have also written a blog post covering all my recommended travel insurance here

✈️ Any flight recommendations?

WayAWay offers you cheap flights with cashback. You can use this code CLAIRE22 to get 10% off. Otherwise Skyscanner or Expedia are my go-to flight searching platforms.

📱What do you use for internet connection while traveling?

I’m a big fan of personal WiFi devices and they have saved my ass so many times when traveling. I wrote a full review of the top travel WiFi devices you can read here. I personally use GlocalMe as I can either pop in a physical sim card or use their local carrier.

With regards to my phone connection, I use e-sims while traveling, so rather than having to swap out my regular sim card I can download the app and buy a virtual sim card. I recommend using eitherAirhub or Alosim. Both have great coverage of multiple countries and are very easy to use.

🛏️ What is the best platform to use for booking accommodation?

The 3 best platforms that I normally use are, and Expedia They offer great deals and multiple options. I always check all three to be sure of the best deals.

🛅 Do you have any luggage recommendations for traveling?

I do have a complete list of the best packing and luggage products that I recommend, you can check the list here. I’m currently traveling with this suitcase and this backpack. 

Flores to Semuc Champey Final Thoughts

This hasn’t been the most positive post, but I wanted to be honest about the Flores to Semuc Champey shuttle being hell. However, I would do it all again to see Semuc. Whether you travel from Flores to Tikal or Semuc Champey, you’ll have an incredible time exploring this area of Guatemala.

How to get from Semuc Champey to Flores and Tikal

This post was proofread by Grammarly.


Sunday 22nd of January 2023

Hey! Can you tell me what month did you do this in?

Claire Summers

Friday 27th of January 2023

I did it in April... just before Samana Santa!


Sunday 8th of January 2023

Great piece! Does the shuttle go from hotels like greengos right near semuc or does it only pickup in lanquin? and just one shuttle each day?

Claire Summers

Wednesday 18th of January 2023

Hi Dave! Once you arrive most of the shuttles will come and pick you up. But the best thing to do is ask the hotel when you book as they will have the most up to date info. I do my best to update this every year, but things change fast! If when you do the trip you learn anything new please pop back and drop it here in the comments to I can update! Have an awesome trip!


Monday 30th of May 2022

Just writing an article about transport in Guatemala in general and will link your post. See for in some days: Your article is super helpful for future travelers.


Sunday 20th of March 2022

Where did you book the shuttle to cost you 100-150Q?


Monday 12th of July 2021

Is it safe to do the drive in a rental car if you get a jeep do you think? Want to avoid the bus, and have drove in South America before. Thanks!