Prior to discovering just how far apart places are in Guatemala we had planned to travel through the mountains to Coban and then head west towards Huehuetenango with the intention of heading to Todos Santos.
This would have allowed us to take in the beautiful mountain scenery of the Alta Verapaz region, and give us a little respite from the heat.
That was before our 5 hour (yet only 197km) journey in a small packed shuttle van, being sped along winding roads at break neck speed, all the while having the speakers blaring at full volume – for the full 5 hours…
We decided there and then that we would have to amend our plans.
We arrived in Coban a little after 6pm with no idea as to our whereabouts in the town and with no idea of where to stay.
We were approached and eventually persuaded by a hotel owner to go to his place, partly due to it being already dark and partly due to the price being cheap.
The hotel (Hotel Ecologico) turned out to be a small place with concrete blocks as rooms, we stayed the night but as there was no hot water in our room we found an alternative place for the next 2 nights, a nice little hostel called Don Jose on the other side of town.
Coban itself is not really worth visiting, it is a good place if you plan to do local tours like we did, for example, to Semuc Champey but if not then you could happily skip it.
If you are using it as a jump off point then there are plenty of places to stay although prices vary greatly, there are numerous eating places and supermarkets, most of which are centered around the cathedral at the top of the hill.
A downside though was the fact we could not find any accommodation which offered cooking facilities, and am sure we asked almost everywhere, so we had to yet again eat out for every meal.
After 2 days in Coban we decided to move on to our final main stop in Guatemala, Antigua, but not by shuttle!