Flores is a charmingly beautiful town in Peten, Guatemala. For those interested in seeing the incredible Mayan ruins of Tikal, this is the town to stay at! The town itself is also full of charm, with its beautiful views from the island in the middle of the lake (joined to the mainland by a small road, no boat crossing necessary!).
There are plenty of cheap options to stay at by the lake in Flores. The most common for fun-seeking travelers is Los Amigo’s, however the prices can be a little expensive. Instead, we stayed at El Mirador Del Lago Hotel, which was a 30 second walk from Los Amigos. It had stunning views of the lake in the private rooms for 2 people (we went for this option) and for a slightly cheaper price you can get a bed in one of the dorm rooms. It was super cheap and provided pick up for the Tikal Tours.
If you are looking for something a little bit more fancy, I would check out booking.com, there are plenty of beautiful hotels on the island for a bit more money if you don’t want the backpacker price. I would recommend not booking in advance though and asking about prices when you arrive, usually you will get a better deal than if you book online.
The night markets on Flores have an incredible spread of food, check. it. out! That was the best spot for dinner, you can grab a plate of deliciousness and sit by the lake enjoying the view. There are plenty of vegetarian options and lots of incredible looking cakes to choose from once you’ve had your dinner! Apart from the markets, there are plenty of little restaurants and cafes around the mini island that you can walk to. For a jungle-like atmosphere and some delicious food check out Cool Beans .
Los Amigos always have a great party vibe going on. They are also super respectful of the neighbours so they have a little area to the back of the hostel so to not annoy the other guests. This means everyone gets together and keeps the party raging!
Tikal Ruins. Tikal is beautiful spot to enjoy the ancient Mayan ruins. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a collection of limestone architecture that was used during 300-850 CE (aka, a long ass time ago). You can get up super early to see the sunrise at Tikal, however it can also be a beautiful experience to get there in the morning so you can explore while the sun is already up. The easiest way is to organise a tour from your hotel (prices are usually quite similar everywhere, but you could always shop around on the streets) and they will take you to and from the ruins as well as have a tour guide organised.
While you are in Flores, you may as well explore what else it has to offer! I would suggest renting some canoe’s and taking a paddle on the lake. Apparently their is a slide that goes into the lake on the eastern side of Flores, I was unable to find it, but maybe you’ll have more luck- ask some of the locals!
The Flores Night Markets have delicious food, but they often also have people selling jewelry and art. This is a great place to relax after a busy day sight seeing at the ruins. I brought an exquisite hand made ring from the markets there and when I wear it, it always makes me think fondly of those beautiful little markets.
As for everywhere in Central America, ladies should be extra careful, while I was in Flores a young woman was raped in Tikal from a tour operator who offered to give her a ‘private tour’ after the main tour. While this can happen anywhere (and I believe the matter was dealt with and the man was caught) women solo travelers should be a bit more on their toes when it comes to being left alone. I would always recommend to go on tours with someone else you trust and always, ALWAYS remember to trust your gut instinct, if something does not feel right do not do it.